Take nothing for granted -- that’s one of those pearls of wisdom you’re supposed to carry around with you at all times.
So if you’re just absolutely certain Clayton Kershaw is going to win his second National League Cy Young award this off-season, there had be some solace found in the announcement Tuesday that he was one of three finalists named for the annual honor determined by Baseball Writers Assn. of America balloting.
Kershaw won the award in 2011, came in second in 2012 and is the favorite to win it for 2013 after going 16-9 and leading all of baseball with a 1.83 earned-run average and 0.92 WHIP. He also led the NL in strikeouts with 232.
Kershaw, 25, isn’t the only one from the Dodgers named as an award finalist.
Yasiel Puig, who pretty much took Los Angeles and much of baseball by storm after his call-up on June 3, is one of three finalists named for NL rookie of the year.
Puig, however, faces some stiff competition in Fernandez, who looks like a budding ace for the Marlins, and St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller (15-9, 3.06, 1.21).
Fernandez, who struck out 187 in 172 2/3 innings, is considered the favorite, but Puig hit .319 with 19 home runs and scored 66 runs in just 104 games.
Don Mattingly, who apparently is coming back to the Dodgers next season, is one of three finalists for NL manager of year.
He won’t be favored against Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle and Atlanta’s Fredi Gonzalez, but he held steady a team that got off to a miserable start, and led it to that historic 42-8 run and to the NL Championship Series. Hurdle is considered the heavy favorite after guiding the Pirates to their first playoff appearance in 21 years.
The announcement of three finalists is, of course, now a regular TV show. It’s produced in partnership with the BBWAA and the MLB Network.
The NL and American League rookies of the year are scheduled to be announced Nov. 11, the managers Nov. 12, the two Cy Young winners Nov. 13, and the most valuable players Nov. 14.