2016 MLB MVP Winners

2016 MLB MVP Winners

A few thoughts on the recent MVPs.

The MLB MVP awards have come out and there is no surprise who won on either side. Kris Bryant, reigning world series champion took home the NL MVP trophy and Mike Trout of the Angels took home the AL trophy. They are both equally deserving of the trophy and had great seasons. They are also two of the most exciting players to watch in the game today.

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant had an incredible season after receiving the ROY award just a season before this one. He was extremely productive wherever Joe Maddon put him in the field and in the batting order. He batted .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI’s. That is an incredibly productive season for a 2nd year player in the majors. He improved his numbers in almost category and he did not slow down in the postseason either. In the postseason he batted .308 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI’s, eventually leading the Cubs to a world series win. He shows no signs of slowing down and it will be interesting to see if he can put up those same type of numbers next year.

Mike Trout

I had the pleasure of watching Mike Trout throughout the season and he was just an all-around beast. Unfortunately, the Angels were plagued with injuries making it a very long and dragging season. It seemed like every pitcher they started needed to get Tommy John Surgery at some point and the bats were not able to carry the team either. With all that misfortune, Trout did not slow down and put up incredible numbers that probably were not even noticed unless you follow the Angels. Trout batted .315 with 29 home runs and 100 RBI’s. It is impressive that he even got to 100 RBI’s with the lack of offense from the Angels in general. He never seems to slow down and plays all out no matter what the circumstances are. It just goes to show that you do not have to be on a winning team to have an MVP caliber season.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Red Gets the Gold

This 17 year old snowboarder won the United States their first gold medal in Pyeongchang.

Redmond Gerard, fondly called 'Red,' won the United States' first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, competing in the snowboarding slopestyle competition. At just 17 years old, Red is the youngest competitor to win a snowboarding gold medal for the United States at the winter games, and the first medalist at the winter games born in the 21st century.

Before Red's last run in the slopestyle competition, he was in 11th place out of 11 snowboarders. But in his final run, he managed to surpass the competition with a score of 87.16 to earn him the Olympic gold. In an interview with NBC a year ago, Red admitted the Olympics weren't on his mind.

Snowboarding, on the other hand, has always been on this new Olympian's mind. Growing up in Silverthorne, Colorado, Gerard's brothers taught him to snowboard on their homemade backyard slopestyle course. "They were always so helpful with me," Gerard said. "They were always wanting me to learn new tricks and teaching me how to do stuff."

All of Red's family have been extremely supportive of his snowboarding career, as well. Seventeen people came to support Gerard in Pyeongchang; parents, siblings, and siblings' significant others are there cheering on Red as he makes his Olympic debut.

After his win, Red was on cloud nine, as I imagine most Olympic gold medalists are. "I couldn't believe that I even made it onto the podium at the Olympics," he said. Gerard has another chance at an Olympic medal in the big air competition on February 21.

At just 5'5, Red is small but mighty. Though Red may not be able to achieve the same speed as some of his competitors, his small stature allows faster spins and quick maneuvers. Gerard isn't bothered by his size though. Despite his height, he was still able to win an Olympic Gold, which makes him pretty much able to accomplish anything. However, he isn't the only U.S. snowboarder dominating in Pyeongchang. Shaun White, Chloe Kim, and Jamie Anderson have all secured gold medals for the United States in their respective snowboarding events.

Shaun White, also referred to as 'The flying tomato,' won his third Olympic gold medal in the men's halfpipe, scoring a 97.75 during his third run. In the Olympic qualifying runs, White earned a perfect score of 100 for his halfpipe routine. Chloe Kim, another of Team USA's younger members at just 17, won her first Olympic gold in the women's halfpipe. Kim also received an almost perfect score, winning with a 98.25. Chole felt winning the gold in South Korea was a special moment for her family, as her parents are immigrants from South Korea. Jamie Anderson secured an Olympic gold medal in the women's slopestyle in Pyeongchang as well. A score of 83 won Anderson her second Olympic gold in the slopestyle competition.

The Olympics continue until February 25th, so tune in to catch historic moments for Team USA.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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A Message To Joel Berry And Theo Pinson

Thank you: told from the perspective of a die-hard North Carolina basketball fan.

There are two things I hate in this world: country music and Duke basketball.

Nothing makes me cringe more than enviously observing Coach K bring in top-tier recruiting classes year after year, except maybe watching his team hoist two National Championships in the past eight seasons.

But I digress.

North Carolina basketball has served as a major component of my young life. From when my older brother, who is also a Tar Heels fanatic, introduced me to the team during the early portion of my adolescence until the present day, I have always remained loyal to the Heels.

Being a Carolina diehard, I’ve seen it all: when Gerald Henderson blatantly punched Tyler Hansbrough in the nose, the PJ Hairston dilemma, and that time Stilman White started an Elite Eight game against Kansas.

There have been both ups and downs, but that’s the life of a sports fan, so I really can’t complain.

During my tenure as a Tar Heel supporter, I have grown attached to a significant number of players.

The competitors who I admire most are not necessarily the individuals with the most skill, but instead are the ones who play hard on a consistent basis, develop a solid reputation for themselves off the court, and, perhaps most importantly, stay at the school instead of forgoing the remainder of their college eligibility to pursue professional aspirations.

Some names that come to mind when discussing the aforementioned criteria are Danny Green, Tyler Zeller, Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige, Isaiah Hicks, and Kennedy Meeks, to name a few. These individuals epitomize Carolina basketball in every way and will always be some of my favorites to don Carolina Blue.

There are two players on Carolina’s current roster that are approaching the conclusion of their college basketball careers and, as a fan, I could not be more thankful for their contributions.

Coach Roy Williams offered these young men scholarships not only because of their exceptional talent but also because they are team players focused on playing for what’s on the front of their jerseys rather than what’s on the back.

Joel Berry and Theo Pinson know what it takes to play for North Carolina. As highly touted freshmen entering the 2014-2015 season, neither player received much game time under Coach Williams, but they never let that negatively affect them.

From that point forward, Berry and Pinson have gone above and beyond to earn their respective positions in the Carolina starting five.

As sophomores, Berry and Pinson played key roles in helping the Tar Heels advance to the National Championship game, eventually losing to Villanova on a last-second buzzer beater.

Once again, Berry and Pinson refused to be discouraged, garnering motivation from the defeat to capture a National Championship during the proceeding campaign.

Both Berry and Pinson underwent monumental transitions during their junior seasons. Not only did Berry grow out his hair, but his performance on the court reached new heights.

With a deadly three-point shot and the ability to penetrate against larger defenders, Berry found a niche in Carolina’s squad for being a playmaker.

Although the early part of his 2016-2017 season was plagued by injuries, Pinson continued to progress, becoming the lockdown defender that Coach Williams always hoped he would be.

Together, Berry and Pinson pushed UNC to its full potential as the team inevitably overcame the previous season’s shortcoming by winning the school’s sixth National Title.

This season has been difficult for Carolina players and fans alike. The team has struggled at times after losing multiple key players due to graduation, but that has not affected Berry and Pinson, who continue to serve as crucial players for Coach Williams.

Whenever adversity strikes, Berry and Pinson step up to the plate, prepared to handle any situation that comes their way.

I will definitely miss Joel Berry and Theo Pinson. Together, the two seniors have developed a legacy at UNC and will be remembered by fans for their inherent skill and determination to win.

These types of players are hard to come by, but their presence should not be taken for granted.

As the NCAA Tournament nears, so does the end of Berry and Pinson’s stays. I would just like to take a moment to thank these young men for all they have done.

In a world flooded with responsibilities and expectations, sports is a way for individuals, such as myself, to get lost and relieve some of the stress that accompanies everyday life.

Thank you, Joel and Theo, for representing North Carolina in the most professional way possible.

Now let’s go win another National Championship.

Cover Image Credit: goheels.com

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