The Pujols Awards: Week 10by John Brattain
March 14, 2008
Another week, another batch of heroes and zeroes. Forrest Gump may have opined that baseball is like a box of chocolates and that bloggers should keep their opinions to themselves, but baseball is like a rose. It is lovely to look at but watch out for the pricks. In that vein, let’s look at this week’s blossoms and pricks…
The Arizona Diamondbacks front office (Submitted by John Dorhauer)
I want to nominate the Arizona Diamondbacks front office. I am moving from St. Louis to Phoenix in June, and I bought two season tickets (a package, actually, where I get two tickets for one game every homestand). Since I am not moving till June, I will miss the first 12 homestands. I called to see if I could exchange unused tickets for later dates. I told them I didn’t want all 12 exchanged, but I did want to make sure I got at least two of them exchanged for the two Cardinal dates I would not have tickets for.
They said all of that was perfectly okay with them. Now, while all of that is good, it is not deserving of an Albert. The woman with whom I spoke was very cordial—she gave me her name: Adriana. She told me she needed the actual tickets I would not be using. I told her I would not move till June, and she said that was okay, I could just mail those unused tickets to her. I told her, well, I will be in town April 2-5 (to meet with my new board of directors and look for a house), and she said that would be great, I could just bring the tickets to the stadium and exchange them.
Now, up to this point she has been very courteous, but probably no more so than any other front office—still not deserving of an Albert. The next words out of her mouth, though, just blew me away: “And if you can’t come to the stadium when you are here, just give me a call and I will come to you and deliver the tickets you were hoping for.” I asked her to repeat that just in case I wasn’t hearing her correctly—and she assured me I had. I don’t even know what to say to that. But, this is a front office deserving of an Albert: THAT is class.
Indeed. It’s nice to see an organization act like it’s a privilege to earn your business and not the other way around.
The Macon Music (Submitted by eTrueSports.com’s Frank Coffey)
If you think the team name is a groaner, Macon had a hockey team called the Macon Whoopee. I can just imagine some sweet ol’ grandma asking her darling grandson about where he’s going on Saturday and getting the reply “I’m playing the Macon Whoopee. I’m gonna try and score a lot—I’ll score one just for you gramma! Uh Gramma? Gramma?? GRAMMA?!?!”
But I digress (don’t I always?).
Anyway, as you’ll see below in the Luis, Elliot Spitzer is in hot water for a hooking incident that didn’t involve the Macon Whoopee. I mean it did, but not really, it’s just that … aw screw i… forget it! At any rate, the Macon Music has decided to feature a promotion surrounding the wrong kind of hook slide and swinging at the wrong kind of hook coming from the hum…mound by Mr. Spitzer (I wonder what his favorite kind of bird is … go nuts with that one).
For giving red-faced parents an opportunity to finally broach the subject of the birds and the bees when their kids ask uncomfortable questions at the ballgame, the Music gets an Albert. As Mr. Coffey (the live one that didn’t kanoodle with Marilyn Monroe) put it, “The Macon Music marketing maven making melodic moves.” (This from the misnomered man’s marker mistakenly matching Machiavellian male mirthfully making music mounting Marilyn Monroe).
Yeah, we both deserve Luis for that. Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio a nation turns its alliterative ideas to your ex. Oops … just got a note from my editor. What’s this, Joe? Invited to a party? I love parties. Frank is invited too? That’s nice of you. (Hmmm, he forgot to mention where it’s being held. I assume we’re just gonna hang out somewhere since he told me it’s a hanging party.)
Elliot Spitzer (Submitted by eTrueSports.com’s Frank Coffey)
Okay, dude is a politician, right? So, what is he doing here, you’re probably too unconcerned to ask. Believe it or not, eTrueSports mentioned the following regarding Mr. Spitzer (God forbid he ever domesticated a swallow and folks ask whose bird it is—it’s as bad as naming a pet money "Spank") …
Spitzer did play (high school) baseball (at the Horace Mann school in the Bronx, where I coached girls basketball for four years; I knew a number of people who knew him and they all said the same thing: “Off the chart smart, off the chart arrogant), so I believe he should be considered. I found this a touching gesture…
Sources tell eTrueSports that Denver running back Travis Henry, who has fathered nine children with nine separate women, has offered his counsel to soon-to-be former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer. “I know where he’s coming from,” said Henry.
Joe Maddon (Submitted by John Beck AKA jscape2000 of Pinstripe Alley)
For not telling his players to quit railroading catchers during spring training games. First, Carl Crawford squashed Humberto Quintero, then Elliot Johnson broke Francisco Cervelli's wrist. It's fine to hustle and show you want this season to be different, but hurting opposing players is not the best way to get to 71 wins.
Shelley Duncan (Submitted by The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort)
Okay, sunshine, listen up. It is spring training and you’re a nobody. I’m sorry, you just are. Your stunt of trying to give the Manny Manzanillo* treatment to Akinori Iwamura is not only classless, it’s dumb, it’s David Samson level low. You see, if the Rays decide to escalate this in the regular season, they won’t be looking to nail you—they’ll be taking aim at Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano … guys who can hurt them on the scoreboard. All you’ve accomplished is potentially putting your teammates in jeopardy. (“Can I have "mindless baseball" for $800, Alex?”).
If you want to impress the skipper and win a job try the following: Crush the ball, play smart in the field. If you’re swinging a hot stick and providing snappy defense, the club will find a way to take your north.
Bud Selig (Submitted by The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort)
Oh where to start this week? A few things have Samsoned me off.
One, you have not read Barry Bonds' grand jury testimony. You’re getting one of your staff to read it and give you a report. Look, Bud, the steroid era is your baby. Despite your earnest efforts to rewrite history to paint yourself as the crusading commissioner who purged the evil plague brought into the game through the greedy players and their evil union, we know better.
Make no mistake, I’m just an idiot living next door to a cow pasture, but as long as these fingers have a keyboard I’ll be reminding folks as often as I am able that everyone was complicit.
I know I’m not gonna be the only one, either.
If you’re going to pass judgment on Barry Bonds and the records he set, then you owe it to the game to read these things yourself. Don’t trust translating to some butt-kissing toady who will tell you what you want to hear. If you wish to slow further incursions of PED into the game, then you’d better find out first hand how it happened.
It’s bad enough that you’re deciding who to punish from the Mitchell Report's findings when he recommended to just learn from the past and move on. What makes it worse is that you’re letting the players stew while you dither over what to do. The Mitchell Report isn’t gospel truth, but you’re proceeding as if it is. Adding to this is the fact that even the government oversight committee recognized it was a one-sided report. You and your cartel are every bit as dirty as the players in this, but I feel pretty confident that your punishments will be as even-handed as the report (was not).
The thing is, Bud, you’re coming across as capricious. Let’s face it, up to 1994-95 you and your buddies got spanked like little brats at a Catholic school. Now that the pendulum has finally swung back, you’re getting your little revenges on the union.
Shame on you. All you’re doing is proving that you deserved the spankings you got in the first place.
You have a lot to apologize for—the steroid issue made your buddies a lot of coin. Since you become commissioner you’ve raped community after community of scarce resources for your stadium scams. After giving the people a royal reaming, you go in for seconds as fans have to pay more for everything in the park their money built!
Between ignoring steroids because you didn’t want to interrupt cash flow and the 20-plus boondoggles you’ve inflicted on cities hosting your sport, you have managed to secure a compensation program that exceeds all but a minority of superstar players.
All that ill-gotten gain and you sit in judgment regarding the players’ transgressions?
You may think you have the authority to do it, but if there were an honest bone in your body you would realize that you have no moral authority to do so. The sins of the players are misdemeanors compared to yours. You should judge accordingly and listen to Mitchell’s recommendation.
In honor of Bud’s level of depravity, I am adding a new dimension to the Pujols Awards. Every week that goes on where he doesn’t implement Mitchell’s suggestion of amnesty he gets “The Bud.” If he suspends one more player based on the Mitchell Report, “The Bud” becomes a permanent feature (although he’ll cease to receive them weekly since he’ll be permanently "honored" by the award’s existence).
To nominate someone other than Selig for “The Bud,” they have to be lower than low. This recognition is for the Brett Myers, the Ugueth Urbina, the Julio Mateo, the Elijah Dukes level of slimy activity. This isn’t for garden-variety chuckleheadedness—it’s for just-opened exhumed-casket levels of stenchy putrescence. Nominations for this distinction are not automatic—you have to make your case why they deserve this distinktion.
Here is the first awarding of "The Bud":
For blatant hypocrisy, attempts to rewrite history, profiting from the steroid era (to the tune of a $15 million-plus compenation package) while punishing players for doing likewise and ignoring his role (in the steroid era) I bequeath the following to the commissioner of baseball...
References and Resources
*Back in 1997, Josias Manzanillo got feeling a little testy (or is it the other way around?) after Manny Ramirez launched a rocket up the middle that hit his cup—had he been wearing one.
The game report listed it as "M Ramirez Fielder's Choice P; Thome out at Hm/P-C." I guess the fielder had to choose which ball to pick up and which one to return to its rightful owner.
His career neutral won-loss record was 13-15; his career neutered one-loss record was just that.
Roasted nuts, barbecued wiener, the sick gags came early and often for the new soprano, the reliever in desperate need of relief. I even penned a poem in honor of the event. Detectives believe alcohol was a factor:
The Ballad of Josias
This is a truly sad story, that I'm about to relate,
About a moment in life, my lowest moment I'd rate.
The pitching coach beseeched me, "Make sure your pitches aren't up"
I forgot that kindly advice—and also my cup.
If it were only Mark Lemke, or a hitter that's pesty,
But I had to let Manny line one off of my testes.
Why couldn't the ball have hit on my uniform tunic …
… instead of nailing a spot that nearly made me a eunuch?
I dreamt that in baseball I'd win cups of both gold and pewter,
Now I'll be known as the pitcher, the one that got neutered.
The pitching coach oft told me: "Your pitches have to be mixed"
I ignored that timely advice and nearly got myself fixed.
When I got myself hurt, my skipper berated:
"Had you listened to me you'd not be castrated.
Don’t tell me I don't have a legitimate beef;
since there is just no way I can provide you relief."
One thing I've learned, that made my mind keener,
That you can love hot dogs, but not barbecued weiners.
For the rest of my life, I will hear the same gag,
That whenever I pitch, I'll have the game in the bag.
I'll consider myself smarter and pitch for the Hall,
I cannot walk batters with two strikes and one ball.
Though out of the frying pan, I'm still in the fire,
I am being treated by—Doc. Oscar Meyer.
Ernest Lawrence Thayer I am most assuredly not.
Our good friend, and THT stalwart, John Brattain passed away on March 24, 2009. John was a prolific writer, whose work can also be read at Sympatico/MSN Sports and Baseball Digest Daily. John's work was also featured at USA Today, MLBtalk, ESPN Insider, Baseball Prospectus, The Baseball Analysts and The Baseball Journals. Never afraid to express himself in any medium, he was also a frequent radio speaker.