And the nominees are ...
Those words never previously were uttered regarding the top awards for Major League Baseball, but television's influence prompted a change in policy. The Baseball Writers Association of America, whose members vote for the awards, on Wednesday released the names of the finalists in both leagues for the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year.
The awards will be handed out next week in televised ceremonies on MLB Network. The nightly telecasts will start at 6 p.m. ET, with the Rookies of the Year announced Monday, the Managers of the Year on Tuesday, the Cy Young Award winners Wednesday and the MVPs on Thursday.
The AL champion Detroit Tigers could sweep the MVP and Cy Young honors for the second year in a row, though this time two separate players would have to take the trophies. Reigning MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander is one of the AL Cy Young candidates this year, along with the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price and the Los Angeles Angels' Jered Weaver.
Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is an AL MVP nominee after winning baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967. The other candidates are Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout, New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and two Texas Rangers, outfielder Josh Hamilton and third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Trout is expected to be an easy winner in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. The other candidates are both international newcomers to the United States: Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes of Cuba and Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish of Japan.
Chicago White Sox first-year skipper Robin Ventura is a candidate for AL Manager of the Year. The other nominees are the Oakland Athletics' Bob Melvin and the Baltimore Orioles' Buck Showalter.
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, the reigning NL MVP, is a finalist to repeat as the winner. He is vying with San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
The NL Cy Young Award nominees are New York Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey, Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez and the 2011 winner, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Cincinnati Reds infielder Todd Frazier and Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley are the NL Rookie of the Year candidates.
Bruce Bochy, who led the Giants to a second World Series title in three years, is one of the NL Manager of the Year candidates. He's joined by the Reds' Dusty Baker and the Nationals' Davey Johnson.