Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
Last week, I asked AN readers to vote for the best A’s of 2022 in several categories. In the past, the same awards were determined by our contributing writers. But with our ranks somewhat thinned of late I thought I’d poll the community at large on the matter.
Sean Murphy has already bagged the AN Gold Glove award, and that will not likely be the last accolade afforded him. But today I would like to honor the A’s 2022 Team Captain according to the AN community: Tony Kemp.
I personally gave TK my vote for this award. He provided a veteran presence on a very young A’s team and set an excellent example to follow on and off the field. Kemp struggled mightily with his bat early in the season but showed the grit and determination to grind through it and post a 126 wRC+ from after the All-Star break through the end of the season.
Kemp gave 110 percent in the field every day and made so many spectacular plays that I considered giving him my Gold Glove vote. As it turns out, Kemp did in fact “lay out” to make big plays more than any other player in MLB this season.
Found this stat prepping The Bill James Handbook (2023 Edition)— SIS_Baseball (@sis_baseball) October 21, 2022
Most Plays Made By Diving, Sliding, Jumping
Tony Kemp 46
Dansby Swanson 34
Ian Happ 34@tonykemp @LieutenantDans7 @ihapp_1 pic.twitter.com/Zap4J0RD8n
Statistical analysis makes pretty plain that Sean Murphy and Nick Allen are stronger overall defenders than TK, but going all out every time and stretching those two extra inches to make that play that I’d have thought impossible? Well, that’s the stuff we should expect of a Team Captain.
Tony Kemp exudes more positivity and good vibes than I ever thought could be contained in a 5’6” frame. He has been the A’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee for three straight years. Per MLB, the Clemente Award serves to recognize “a Major League player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions both on and off the field.”
Hopefully Kemp’s third nomination will prove to be the charm when this year’s Clemente Award Winner is announced. Athletics Nation salutes Captain Tony Kemp! And I hope he’s still in green and gold when 2023 Spring Training arrives.
- Lockard: Oakland A’s offseason outlook: Nick Allen, Seth Brown and the infield depth chart ($)
- Jackson: Watch A’s prospects in Arizona Fall League
- Burke: Mailbag: A’s Payroll in 2023, and Who to Spend it On
- Burke: A’s Nick Allen Should Be a Gold Glove Finalist
MLB News & Interest:
- Franco: Previewing The 2022-23 Free Agent Class: Designated Hitter
- The Athletic: Astros vs. Phillies World Series predictions, pitching matchups and what you need to know ($)
- McDonald: Marlins Hire Skip Schumaker As Manager
- Wirth: Report: Giants will do ‘whatever it takes’ to land Judge
- Adams: Latest On Royals’ Managerial Search
- Stark: How the star — and the stars — lined up to lead the Phillies to the World Series ($)
- Adams: Marlins Down To Four Managerial Finalists
- Kirschner: A Yankees season that began with great promise ends with ALCS sweep to Astros ($)
- Deeds: Dodgers Expected To Pursue Aaron Judge; Mookie Betts Reportedly Open To Move To Second Base
- Lin: Padres’ decision not to use Josh Hader will not define their memorable 2022 season ($)
- Polishuk: Poll: Who’s Going To Win The World Series?
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Miller continues to dazzle with high octane.
Wow, A’s prospect Mason Miller drops a 101 on the final pitch of the second inning. Here he is going 98-99 to Cardinals super-prospect Jordan Walker before fooling him with a slider. pic.twitter.com/phcUVHfWxN— Cubs Prospects - Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) October 25, 2022
Say it ain’t so, Hal!
Disappointing news: with the stadium deal stuck and me graduating, the A's won't be able to keep me on next year. I really wanted to keep doing this forever, but it's not to be. I can't overstate how meaningful and fun its been. A's fans have been so great to me 1/2— Hal the Hot Dog Guy (@AsHotDog) October 25, 2022
Some very cool history from a fellow ex-Stocktonian.
George & Lou out here bangin’ in the 209! I grew up going to this field to watch the @stocktonports. I grew up playing on this field. It was a privilege to play here because I knew the history of this park way back then. Stockton’s own Diamond in the Hood. pic.twitter.com/76uwAXoS4u— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) October 25, 2022
First pitch for all seven potential World Series games between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies: 8:03 p.m. ET.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 24, 2022
Game 1: Friday
Game 2: Saturday
Game 3: Monday
Game 4: Tuesday
Game 5: Wednesday
Game 6: Friday
Game 7: Saturday
1-2, 6-7 are in Houston. 3-5 in Philly.
An omen, I should hope.
I'm sure I'm not the first to mention this, but it is still very funny to me that the last time the Astros lost a game, 22 days ago, it was ... to the Phillies, in a game started by Aaron Nola.— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) October 25, 2022