The American League's Cy Young Award winner will be announced tomorrow and it will probably be Boston's Roger Clemens.
No problem, under the present system. The voting is conducted before the playoffs. On that basis, Clemens probably deserves it.
During the regular season, the big Red Sox righthander was 18-10 with an earned run average of 2.62. Jack Morris, of Minnesota, was 18-12 with a 3.43 ERA.
But anyone who paid attention to the whole 1991 season must feel that the pitcher of the year was Morris. When you think of TC what he did in the World Series, pitching three games and winning two -- including a 10-inning shutout in the 1-0 seventh game against Atlanta -- Morris is one of the most heroic pitchers the game has seen in a while.
The problem, it seems to me, is that the Baseball Writers Association should wait until the season is over to decide all the big honors. It's done the present way to give equal opportunity to players who didn't get to add to their luster in the playoffs or World Series.
"Jack Morris was the best player in the World Series," says Bob Miller, of the Orioles PR department. "That's why he was voted the Series MVP.
"But the Cy Young Award goes to the pitcher who was best during the 162-game season."
Not to me. The World Series is the most important part of the season. That's when the pressure is greatest. That's when the best stand tallest. No pitcher is up there with Jack Morris for the total season.
* Orioles fans eagerly await the naming of the American League's Most Valuable Player, to be announced one week from today. By all rights it should go to the Orioles' Cal Ripken, who did it all this year.
I hope I'm wrong, but my gut instinct is Cal won't get it. Toronto's Joe Carter will. Pity, that.
There's no comparison between Cal's value offensively and defensively, playing every game at a tough position like shortstop, and Carter's. Joe's an outfielder.
A lot of my BBWA brethren feel an MVP should come from a winning club. There are notable exceptions. Andre Dawson won it in the NL in '87 when the Cubs finished last. Ernie Banks won it over there in '58 and '59 when the Cubs were under .500.
If Carter beats out Ripken, it's the price Cal pays for playing for a sixth-place team.
* If you think it's tough selling houses and cars in this recession, how'd you like to be out there selling Navy-Marine Corps Stadium luxury suites for Navy football games?
Incidentally, no one should have been surprised that previously winless Tulane defeated still winless Navy last weekend. Tulane plays much tougher competition (Ole Miss, Florida State, Syracuse, Alabama, etc., compared to Navy's Ball States and Bowling Greens, plus, of course, a Notre Dame). We are surprised, however, that Tulane beat the Middies so easily (34-7).
* Penn State has a terrific football team because it has so many outstanding players. Look for the Nittany Lions to beat Notre Dame and Pitt and play Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
Maryland left linebacker Dave Marrone, after the Terps' 47-7 loss to Penn State here Saturday, talked about something else the Lions have going for them.
"We tried to do things," Marrone explained, "but every time we did, Penn State adapted to what we did."
That's called coaching, spelled P-a-t-e-r-n-o.
* Cleveland Browns GM Ernie Accorsi, who once held the same position with the Baltimore Colts, was here for the Penn State-Maryland game. His reaction to his old hometown, after seeing the new ballpark at Camden Yards and the light-rail system that will soon traverse the tracks of the old Western Maryland Railroad, was one not so likely to be uttered by someone who is here every day.
"Baltimore," said Accorsi, "is stepping back in time."
* UMBC will have one of the more improved college basketball teams here this winter. The Retrievers have picked up flashy 6-8 junior college product Tory Nixon to compliment four returning starters.
UMBC opens at Kansas Nov. 23. A 23-game broadcast package, including games at Marquette and Penn State, will be broadcast live on WYST-AM (1010). Howard Mash will do play-by-play, Quint Kessenich and Steve Levy will do color.