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Birdland Todd has put me on the spot:

Todd's take: Pete, since a lot can happen from now till the end of the season, how about a list of your picks as of today for AL and NL MVP, Cy Young, R.O.Y and Manager of the year awards.

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Pete's take:

NL MVP: Brandon Webb (Diamondbacks)

AL MVP: Carlos Quentin (White Sox, right)

NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum (Giants)

AL Cy Young: Cliff Lee (Indians)

NL Rookie: Geovany Soto (Cubs)

AL Rookie: Evan Longoria (Rays)

NL Manager: Lou Piniella (Cubs)

AL Manager: Joe Madden (Rays)

Brief explanation: The pick I'm squirming with most, of course, is Webb as NL MVP. I seldom go with a pitcher, but if the MVP criteria is most valuable to his team, I can't think of anyone in the NL who fits that description better than Webb in the soft NL West. I stared at Ryan Howard's numbers for a long time, but really think Chase Utley has been more valuable to the Phillies this year. Even though I picked Webb as MVP, I think Lincecum is having the better statistical season so I gave him the Cy. The AL Rookie was tough, too. Hard to overlook Detroit's Armando Gallaraga (12-4, 3.17), but I've got Rays fever like everybody else.

AP photo

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