In 54 years, no team has ever claimed all four major awards -- MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Manager of the Year -- in the same year.
As Tom Singer of MLB.com points out, this could be the year that changes, as the Rangers have solid candidates in every category in the American League.
Manager Ron Washington, who in spring training looked like a longshot to keep his job after admitting he tested positive for cocaine last year, seems a favorite after leading the Rangers through an impressive campaign.
League-leading hitter Josh Hamilton is playing about as well as a guy can play lately, making clutch plays at the plate and in the field. Miguel Cabrera definitely has MVP numbers, but the Tigers have become irrelevant down the stretch and the award traditionally favors players for playoff teams.
An early-season injury has kept Cliff Lee from piling up big win and strikeout totals, but he's been incredibly impressive in both Seattle and Texas. He has seven complete games, a 3.44 ERA and leads the league in WHIP. The Rays' David Price might have a better case, but Lee is getting a lot of attention.
The AL rookie award seems pretty wide open, but Neftali Perez has a good shot. He has 27 saves, and as Singer points out, the rest of the rookies in the league have 20 combined.
The Cardinals have a longer shot of pulling off the sweep in the National League, though there are big obstacles for manager Tony La Russa (Bobby Cox will be a sentimental and dserving favorite) and rookie Jaime Garcia (a raft of rookie stars led by Jason Heyward). Adam Wainwright might end up ahead of Ubaldo Jimenez for Cy Young, and Albert Pujols is poised to win his fourth MVP.
All four awards are voted on by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The last team to come close to the awards sweep was the 116-win Mariners of 2001. Ichiro Suzuki won the rookie and MVP awards, and Lou Piniella was Manager of the Year.
-- David Andriesen
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