Dave Stewart, the first pitcher since Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles to win 20 games for four consecutive seasons, is the best player in baseball, according to computer rankings compiled by the sport's statisticians. The Oakland Athletics right-hander narrowly edged Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox, 95.984 points to 95.783 on a scale of 100, the Elias Sports Bureau said yesterday.
The rankings, created as part of the 1981 and 1985 strike settlements, are used to determine free-agent compensation. They are based on such statistics as batting average, plate appearances, home runs and RBI for hitters, and starts, innings, ERA, saves and strikeouts for pitchers. Statistics from the 1989 and 1990 seasons are used and averaged. The top 30 percent in each category are Type A free agents, and their former teams get two draft choices as compensation if they sign with a new team.
* MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Jeff Torborg, who took a Chicago White Sox team that finished last in 1989 with a 69-92 record and led it this year to a 94-68 mark, second-best in the American League and third-best in the majors, was named Manager of the Year by The Associated Press. Torborg received 75 votes and Jim Leyland, who led the Pittsburgh Pirates to the National League East title, 51 of the 165 votes cast by a nationwide panel of sportswriters and sportscasters.