The Pujols Awards: Week 16by John Brattain
April 25, 2008
In honor of our recently instituted award—“The Samsons”—we’ll open this week with the Top Five David Samson pet peeves…
5. Children mugging him looking for Lucky Charms.
4. Getting golden showers from "man’s best friend" whenever he wears red.
3. Visually impaired truant officers.
2. Wedgies received at “Star Trek” conventions.
1. Not being invited back to Neverland Ranch because Michael found him too creepy.
Onward and upward…
MLBAM (Submitted by “Detroit Michael”)
… for continuing to let the pitch f/x data be publicly available? I would have thought they would make a money grab and not have the data available for fans and independent analysts to peruse, yet 2008 opened with this data still in the public realm. I'm mildly and pleasantly surprised.
I’m shocked and require medical intervention. Does anybody know how to operate a defibrillator?
Troy Percival (Submitted by Matt Roberts)
That Percival story from this week's Pujols Awards is no doubt a nice one, but the one linked here (originally from the LA Times) is a lot more impressive:
I had already liked Percival from a distance, but this story cemented him as one of the all-time good guys in baseball. When I found out he was attempting a comeback last year, it was the first time I had rooted for anyone on the Cardinals since Willie McGee left the team.
Jeff Suppan (and his wife) and the Milwaukee Brewers (Submitted by Mike Cade)
For a total of 75 games, the Brewers will donate four field level seats (located behind home plate in Section 117, Row 13, Seats 12-15) to active members of the military and to the families of fallen soldiers, inclusive of all branches of the armed forces in Wisconsin. These seats have been specially outfitted with camouflage colors as a tribute to our servicemen and women. In addition, Brewers pitcher Jeff Suppan will donate $200 in Miller Park vouchers to the guests at each game to be used for merchandise and concessions. As a result of Suppan's ongoing support for military families, the Brewers have named the four camouflage military seats "Soup's Troops" to thank him for his generosity and to honor our troops.
Not just any seats, but 13 rows behind home plate.
Priscilla Oppenheimer (Submitted by Mike Cade)
If you accept belated Alberts, one for Priscilla Oppenheimer, please, the retired director of minor league operations for the San Diego Padres. From reading around the 'net, it sounds like she did plenty of wonderful things for Padres minor leaguers, but this is outstanding.
The Tiger Stadium Fan Club and Field of Schemes e-list (Submitted by The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort)
Well, Tiger Stadium isn’t long for this world. The evil forces of the corporate welfare Lords of Baseball and Mike Ilitch’s defacto fiefdom of the city of Detroit are finally going to have their way to have their coveted vacant lot—this one on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. After all, it just wouldn’t do to have any form of sports entertainment there that could negatively affect Mike Ilitch’s bottom line.
However, the good folks at TSFC and the various hearty souls on Neil deMause’s e-list fought the fine fight and did all they could to preserve a historic landmark. For their tireless efforts at preserving one of the most intimate and enjoyable ballparks I have had the pleasure to watch the game inside of, I salute these good people.
At least we still have Fenway Park.
(More on this whole saga further down)
Hank Steinbrenner (Submitted by Adam Dorhauer)
…for his comments regarding Joba Chamberlain's current role. These aren't his most egregious comments of even this short year (i.e., suggesting that small market teams like Tampa Bay should compete differently against wealthier market teams like his out of obligation to his supposed generosity of mandated revenue sharing, or that such comments were apparently sparked by his disgust that Akinori Iwamura dared to bloody the spikes of one of his scrubs on a play at second), but this time they go beyond typical idiocy that you can laugh off as what you get with George's kid.
When he reported his displeasure with his burgeoning stud's spot in the bullpen, "There is no question about it, you don't have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a set-up guy. You just don't do that. You have to be an idiot to do that," he not only expressed the sentiments of the entire organization for no apparent reason (how grumpy do you have to be to rant by simply rephrasing the policy already in place?), he also managed to show exactly why he shouldn't be making baseball decisions.
His reasoning is that Joba shouldn't be a set-up man because he can touch triple digits with his fastball? Hell, what's Farnsworth been doing in that role these years? You'd have to be an idiot to keep him as a set-up guy. Whoops. Forgot about that one, eh Hank? He's starting to remind me of another George, one with a bit more important role than his dad's, when they let him in front of cameras and microphones on his own. Fortunately, Hank's ineptitude can only hurt the Yankees. Come to think of it, an Albert might be in store if he manages enough dysfunction to blame it on if they miss the playoffs.
Manny Acta (Submitted by James Cole)
It pains me to say this, but I think Manny Acta deserves a Luis. Even though he's apparently pretty sabermetrically inclined, he seems prone to doing something that, to me, seems incredibly stupid. Yesterday (April 17), against the Mets, in the bottom of the 14th inning, with a man on third, he walked both David Wright and Carlos Delgado, loading the bases. The pitcher, Joel Hanrahan, who had already thrown two unintentional walks, and has walked 48 batters in only 60 career innings, was now in a position where a walk loses the game. To his dubious credit, Hanrahan promptly threw a wild pitch, giving up the winning run.
This wouldn't have been particularly egregious, if it had been the first time this had happened. But on April 3, Manny Acta intentionally walked Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, loading the bases in the bottom of the 10th. Jesus Colome, who walks more than 4.5 batters per nine innings, walked the next batter on four pitches to end the game.
I don't have any evidence (maybe it's something one of THT's crack staff can help me with), but I would assume that, after tossing eight intentional balls extremely wide of the plate, it might be tough to get back into your rhythm and throw strikes. It was either Einstein or Ben Franklin who said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Luke Scott (Submitted by eTrueSports’ Frank Coffey)
I am reminded of a scene from “Night Court” where a man was brought into Judge Harry Stone’s courtroom after being arrested for being armed like an entire militia. After Dan (Reinhold) Fielding read off the charges and weapons in the man’s possession he quipped to the defendant, “Expecting trouble?”
Well, Luke Scott carries around both a Bible and a Glock pistol (has he ever come across Matthew 26:52? "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." I’m guessing that would apply to Glocks as well) which strikes one as being incongruous at best.
For having the oddest combination of personal accessories in recent memory, we’ll give the ol’ Glock-plucker a Luis.
Mike Ilitch and Detroit politicians (Submitted by The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort)
“Every prostitute receives a fee, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors. So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.”
About 2,600 years ago, an old Hebrew man must have had a vision of Mike Ilitch’s relationship with Detroit politicians. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his predecessor Dennis Archer have played the role of the denarii-dispensing whores to their owner Ilitch and made up an unholy trinity consisting of The Plotter, The Bum and the Sorry Half-wit.
Nothing will come of the corner of Michigan and Trumbull save yet another vacant lot. However, in Ilitch’s eyes an empty space holds no threat to his financial empire whereas he wanted to make sure that nobody with a capitalistic bent (verboten in Ilitch’s monopolistic domain known as Detroit) could put a minor league/independent league team in the ballyard.
What makes this so disgusting is that the city picked up a large chunk of Comerica Park’s tab for Ilitch, paid Ilitch about $400,000 a year to maintain (read: allowed to rot) Tiger Stadium after the team left and now the city will pick up the tab to destroy a landmark with nobody committed to developing the site.
In other words, the soon-to-be vacant lot at The Corner will be a lasting monument to the sleaziest of whores protecting the financial interests of her corporate overlord at the expense of the people these electoral sluts are supposed to protect and represent. To get more background on this bawdy and immoral relationship…
A More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy
Michigan and Trouble
Therefore, for short-sightedness, small thinking, diminutive moral standing, undersized intellectual capacity, stunted mental and emotional development and having stooped so low that they could get their nose hairs caught in their own fly imprinting YKK on the skin between their nostrils while giving I.D. advocates a living example to claim that natural selection is bogus simply by virtue of their continued existence, we bestow upon the above “The Samson.”
If you have a nomination for the “The Pujols Award,” let us know! who deserves to be honored this week. If you wish to have your blog credited with the submission, we’ll post the link along with your candidate. Let us know why you feel he deserves an Albert or a Luis.
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.