The announcement of the AL MVP and Cy Young awards was overshadowed by the controversy in the Rookie of the Year award. Anaheim Shark Alan Peterson was named MVP, and teammate Darryl Adams won the Cy Young, but the real drama was in the Rookie of the Year race, where High Roller Donne Harding easily won the trophy with 21 votes, but with lingering questions about his rookie status.
The following rule is from the MLB rule book determining rookie status: A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).
The controversy came in when it was discovered that Harding had accumulated 199 ML at-bats in two seasons with Las Vegas. "How could Donne Harding be classified as a rookie with 199 ML ABs before this season?" asked Charlotte Dogs GM The_Kid. Harding was unavailable for comment, referring all questions to his agent. Runner up Luke Henly of the Sharks was clearly miffed. "I am a legitimate rookie, not some two season vet! I deserve the award and will leave a space on my trophy shelf open for it should Harding decide to be the bigger man and put the trophy where it belongs," stated Henly. "Where does it end?" Henly continued, "The next thing you know they will be letting in 30 year olds from Japan who have played pro ball for years win the award."
The AL MVP race was a very close one, and in any other year would have gotten top billing as Peterson won over Kip Zeille of the Chicago Sabercats by a mere 2 votes. Peterson was ecstatic, "This is a great moment for me, my team, and my family. I will cherish this award forever!" The slugger Zeille was disappointed, saying, "I guess chicks only dig the long ball in the NL. Hard to believe I lost out to a two-bit slap hitter. Don't get me wrong, Peterson had a great year, but a slap hitter is still a slap hitter in my book."
In the Cy Young race Adams doubled up runner up Josias Morales of the Sabercats with 16 to 8 votes. Morales conceded that Adams pitched well, but was probably helped out by his teams record. "I pitch very well, win 17 games with a respectable ERA. But if we make the playoffs, I know I am Cy Young," said Morales.
In other awards Boston Heat closer Elvis Kennedy won the Fireman of the Year award, the Anaheim OF swept the Silver Sluggers, and the Silver Sluggers of St. Louis finally won an award when pitcher Marty Leary won a Gold Glove.