If I could sum up my thoughts in one sentence, it would be this:
Randy Arozarena is not a rookie.
I get that statistically speaking, he is categorized as a rookie. He had less than 130 at-bats prior to the 2021 campaign.
The guy was an ALCS MVP before he won this award, and I think by that very nature, he should not be considered either as a rookie or for the ROY award.
We need to change the way we identify players’ status and service time classifications. And I have the perfect verbiage to use if MLB is listening.
The new rule should state something like this (take note, MLB):
A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) SWUNG A BIG OL’ PLAYOFF DICK, or (b) won a playoff accolade and put on a ridiculous show throughout each round of the postseason.
DO IT, MLB! YOU COWARDS.
But seriously, this is by no means a rant to discredit Randy’s “rookie” season. He had a great year. Maybe not as great as some other candidates, but I’ve talked about that before on previous blogs.
Mike Petriello on Twitter said it perfectly, though:
Like seriously, when are we as a baseball community going to just recognize experience when we see it. People talk about ‘feel’ all the time with baseball, and it comes up a ton with managerial candidates nowadays. “This guy is an analytics guy, but does he really have a ‘feel’ or ‘pulse’ of the game” is something that is said all the time. If baseball is such a game of ‘feel’, experience, and intuition, why are we awarding someone who has been a part of such big moments in our game on the grandest stage?
Rookies don’t have playoff experience. Rookies are fresh from the farm system and explode onto the scene. Rookies aren’t people who have iconic postseason performances in their PRE-rookie year.
Which, now that I think about that… What do we call Arozarena’s 2020 season? An experience? A trial season? Although he only played in 23 regular season games, the 20 post-season games he played in plus his performances in those games should automatically grant him a year of service time. Isn’t that worth anything? He’s playing on the highest level our game has to offer. That experience has to count for something!
But I digress. Regardless, he’s played great, the award has been given and as much as I don’t want to admit it, I guess he deserves it. There’s nothing that me, a 27 year old teacher in New Jersey, can do about who the BBWAA gives their awards to anyway.
But if they’re reading this… he’s not a rookie.