PITTSBURGH - JUNE 01: Neil Walker #18 is hit in the face with shaving cream pie by teammate Joel Hanrahan #52 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after a win against the Chicago Cubs on June 1, 2010 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Neil Walker finished fifth for the Rookie Of The Year, behind Buster Posey, Jason Heyward, Jaime Garcia and Gaby Sanchez. Meanwhile, Jose Tabata was eighth, which meant that one person gave him a third-place vote.
I can't argue with those results too much. In the SB Nation poll, which isn't out yet, I believe I voted for Heyward, Posey and Garcia, respectively. After that, I think picking Sanchez, Walker, Starlin Castro, Ike Davis or maybe even Madison Bumgarner might have been reasonable. VORP says Walker was the best of that bunch, but it doesn't account for his defense, which wasn't good for a second baseman. (And of course Walker has a good excuse for that, but still.)
Neftali Feliz (a.k.a. "Sure, I guess we'd take him for Joel Hanrahan") won in the AL. That's fine, although, as with the Posey pick, it probably reflects the voters' desire to pick a guy whose team did well. Austin Jackson hit well, played excellent defense and, you know, isn't a reliever; I probably would have picked him.
UPDATE by Charlie: Oh, wow. The entirety of Walker and Tabata's vote total came from Dejan Kovacevic's ballot, and he left off Jason Heyward. Somebody is about to get some unwelcome attention. I think the witch-hunts that ensue whenever a writer does something like this are usually worse than whatever the omission was in the first place, and that's especially true in this case, since Kovacevic's decision had no impact on the eventual winner. And while I think the idea that Walker and Tabata were better than Heyward is pretty much indefensible, I also think there's room for people to think differently from one another here. But, ultimately, Walker and Tabata only got votes because of Kovacevic.
Feeling always has been with voting that broadest variety of perspectives bring best results. Few can argue final overall tally, I'd think.
That makes sense to me. Walker and Tabata didn't deserve the award, but they deserved to be in the discussion, and Kovacevic made sure they were.