Colon named AL's top pitcher

Colon is Sporting News' top AL pitcher

In what could be a fruitful offseason on the accolades front, Bartolo Colon was named The Sporting News' American League Pitcher of the Year.

Also honored were St. Louis' Chris Carpenter, named NL Pitcher of the Year; Atlanta's Andruw Jones, who was named NL Player of the Year; and Braves manager Bobby Cox and Chicago White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen, who were named top managers in the National League and American League, respectively. Oakland's Huston Street was awarded top rookie in the AL, while Houston's Willy Taveras took the NL rookie honors.

A total of 498 Major League Baseball players participated in the balloting, which also named the Yankees' Jason Giambi as baseball's Comeback Player of the Year.

Colon enjoyed his finest year in the big leagues with a 21-8 record, tying the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter for the Major League lead in wins, and combined that with a 3.48 ERA, which was eighth lowest in the AL.

It was the first 20-win season for Colon with one team. The right-hander won 20 games in 2002, but that was split between Cleveland and Montreal, for whom he won 10 games each. Colon's 21 wins this season was also the first 20-win season by an Angels pitcher since Nolan Ryan went 22-16 in 1974, tying Ryan (21 wins in 1973) for second most in franchise history.

Colon carried the mantel of staff ace capably all season and was equally effective in the first half of the season and the second half. He posted an 11-5 record with a 3.42 ERA before the All-Star break and went 10-3 with a 3.55 ERA after the break.

The 32-year-old proved his value this past season by going 11-2 after Angels losses and was at his best in August, when he posted a 5-0 record with a 1.72 ERA in six starts.

His teammates also recognized his contributions, as Colon joined Chone Figgins as co-MVP on the ballclub. Colon is also a front-runner to become the first Angels pitcher to win the Cy Young Award since Dean Chance in 1964.

Joining Colon on Tuesday was right fielder Vladimir Guerrero, who was named to Sporting News' AL All-Star team. Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez of the Red Sox completed the outfield. Also on the squad were Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira, Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, Rangers shortstop Michael Young, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek and DH David Ortiz. Mariano Rivera of the Yankees and the Twins' Joe Nathan tied for relievers.

The National League All-Star team was as follows: Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent, Reds shortstop Felipe Lopez, Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg and Marlins catcher Paul Lo Duca, with Miguel Cabrera of the Marlins, Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Reds and Atlanta's Jones in the outfield. Chad Cordero of the Nationals was the NL's top reliever.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.