And the winner of the World Series will be …

Published 7:16 am Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall is my favorite time of year. Football is going on, and baseball playoffs are around the corner. The autumn colors are turning and it gets a bit cooler. Apples and pumpkins are ready to be bought, and the smell in the air is amazing.

This fall we have great sports going with the Vikings and Packers heading for a big game and also the Twins gunning for the division title. The Minnesota Golden Gophers’ football team in the new TCF Stadium is fun to watch. This past weekend a wide receiver threw a touchdown to the back-up quarterback. It was very cool!

I wish the Gophers would have beat Cal, but they are definitely turning it around. I really hope the Twins win the division next week. My sports predictions have been going OK this year, and with that said, I should put out my MLB award picks here today.

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In the American League, I like Mark Teixeira as Most Valuable Player over Joe Mauer. I know Joe is a very good candidate, but Teixeira’s stats are just too good. I realize also that many people want to have Derek Jeter win it, but it is not a lifetime achievement award, so too bad.

Cy Young will go to Zach Greinke of Kansas City because he is just too good.

The Fireman of the Year award is definitely Joe Nathan of the Twins as he has had his best year ever and is really quite amazing.

In the National League the Most Valuable Player award goes to Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. His stats are untouchable, and he is the best player in baseball.

I will stay with the Cardinals and give Adam Wainwright the Cy Young award as best pitcher.

Never leaving the Cardinals and making it a sweep of postseason hardware is reliever Ryan Franklin as the Fireman of the Year.

Oh, whoops I almost forgot managers of the year. That would be a mistake as Ron Gardenhire of the Twins has done an incredible job with a team and payroll that is not even half of what other teams spend on their players. With the patchwork pitching staff he had to deal with this year, he still has the Twins almost winning the division. It is quite remarkable.

In the National League, Tony LaRussa has quietly led the Cardinals to a remarkable season and should be rewarded. It is weird that I gave so many awards to the Cards because I am not even a fan of them, but looking over the stats, they are quite a good, deserving team.

What is my World Series prediction? That would be Cardinals over the Yankees in seven. Strong pitching overcomes the big payroll once again.

Homecoming spirit

Homecoming Week in Albert Lea is this week. Tomorrow is the big football game versus Faribault. Let’s try to pack the stands for all the festivities. I think it is great when the whole town comes out to cheer on the local teams! Dress in Tiger colors and cheer on all the kids. Good luck, Tigers!

Runner, not runner-up

Congratulations to Chrissy Monson of ALHS on winning the Mayo Invitational cross country meet last week. What a great kid with a huge heart. Everyone is behind you, Chrissy. Keep up the inspirational work.

Staff kudos

I want to thank all of my co-workers at the Albert Lea Tribune Media on tomorrow’s Impact Business & Industry edition because it looks great.

My staff is quite inspiring and the hard work that they put in day in and day out never ceases to amaze me. Thanks so much for putting out not only the daily newspaper, but the e-mails, texts, special sections, e-news, direct mailings and Southern Minnesota magazine. I know I have said it before, but I sure am blessed with a great staff. The quality work everyone does day in and day out is, well, amazing.

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.