The Pujols Awards: Week 18by John Brattain
May 09, 2008
The vox populi has spoken and it was unanimous—they want a “Manny being Manny” award. I was hoping for maybe a dozen votes and I soon gave up counting the yeas in favor of seeing if there were any nays.
There were not.
I’m guessing we hit high double-digits in votes, so thanks to all for voting and reading—the support was gratifying and a little scary. As promised, Luke Scott’s “Luis” from Week 16 has been rescinded and he becomes the inaugural winner of the “Manny being Manny” award. All thanks go to our friend Jake for his brilliant idea.
Liz Wallace and Mallory Holtman (Submitted by Ron Ackner)
I have a nomination for a (Albert) Pujols award—Liz Wallace and Mallory Holtman. If you read the following article, you will be able to see quite easily why they deserve to get this award.
Jake (Submitted by The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort)
When you come up with an idea that gets such an overwhelming positive response as did the “Manny being Manny” award, then you have done something notable. For giving this feature a boost as well as a compromise for certain actions within the game, I happily award Jake an Albert.
The Cleveland Indians (Submitted by Adam Dorhauer and Jake … see above)
Both of these gentlemen have requested a perpetual Luis for the Cleveland Indians because of their Chief Wahoo logo. I will run a Luis every week somebody submits a reason why they feel it should go. My two cents: I’m not the most politically correct guy on the planet and I’m not against all aboriginal team names and logos. To me, there are two stripes of this phenomenon—one, the mascot such as Wahoo as well as offensive terms like the Redskins.
The other, which I have no problem with, is the historical name or the tribute. There is nothing wrong with the Chicago Blackhawks' logo—a dignified profile of the man bearing the name. I have no problem with naming a team after the region’s aboriginal history (indeed the entire country’s history is ultimately aboriginal) such as the Illini and the Seminoles, as long as the symbols reflect a respect of their heritage and don’t desecrate anything the groups hold sacred.
The aboriginal peoples are our brothers and deserve to be treated as such. If a team seeks a degree of fraternity with First Nations through an honorable tribute, then I say fine. However “Wahoo” as well as the name “Indians” is over the line in my opinion. Some will disagree with it. Many call the club by its nickname, the “Tribe,” and that strikes me as a reasonable compromise.
Darrin Fletcher (Submitted by Brandon Webb)
I would like to nominate Darrin Fletcher, ex-catcher for the Jays and their current Midwest analyst, for insolence and indolence. All last week I had to suffer through his verbal meanderings during Jays games and I blame him personally for the team’s recent losing skid. During a recent Blue Jays game against the Royals, David Eckstein fouled a ball back into the stands. Campbell, the play-by-play guy, sounded alarm because it appeared to hit a little girl in the stands. This prompted the Fletch to say, “she’ll shake it off.”
Fletcher immediately followed this weird comment with another witless remark. He actually wondered aloud why Royals manager Trey Hillman (who managed in Japan, which Fletch found funny, causing him to make some unintelligible remark that probably offended the entire country) would not just put eight players on the right side of the diamond. I’m not sure if the Fletch realizes what that might mean, or if he was even joking, but I bet it would take him a good inning and a half for him to figure out the reason for all the passed balls. As a former catcher, you'd think he'd understand that positioning himself in shallow right field is probably not a good thing for the pitcher.
Honestly I don’t know what is worse: the Fletch’s insolence in the face of possible injury, or his indolence when it comes to analyzing baseball games. Either way, I am seriously fatigued from his analysis and think he deserves a Luis.
Pity, I loved him both as an Expo and Blue Jay. Ah well, I guess it’s hard to be a genius in two fields. I know how he feels though (“check that“), I used to (“check that“) get a similar reaction (“check that“) from Brian Williams (“check that“) and John Cerruti’s (RIP) calling (“check that“) Jays’ games on the CBC (“check that“).
Lou Pinella (Submitted by Joe Distelheim)
Here's a Luis for "Luis" Pinella, manager of the Cubs, who jumped all over a radio reporter the other night for having the temerity to ask an impertinent question. Had the manager, the reporter inquired, considered lifting gimpy-legged, hours-off-the-DL Alfonso Soriano for a defensive replacement, with the Cubs leading by two in the ninth, at home, before his flyball misplay that wound up costing the Cubs that day's game?
Fumed Pinella the next day, "The question that was asked, the guy that asked it knew the answer before I had to answer it. Why ask it? Why can't he just report the news instead of try to create the news?
"I'm not going to take Soriano out for defense. He knows it. You know it. And unless it's a double-switch, that's the only way he's going to come out of a ballgame. Everybody knows that. You don't take superstar players out of the lineup...."
Uh, Barry Bonds, speaking of superstar left fielders? Teddy "Take Him Out of the Ballgame" Williams?
Soriano, understand, is a staggeringly inept left fielder—think Carlos Lee without the gracefulness—stationed there because the National League doesn't have the DH and because he was even worse in previous incarnations as a second baseman and center fielder. He is by far, far the worst left fielder in the league, according to the Revised Zone Ratings you can find on the Hardball Times site. If you could, you'd take him out for a defensive replacement before you handed in the lineup card.
The night after Pinella's rant, Soriano played two fly balls into hits in the same inning.
On the hand, to be fair, he is hitting .164. You don't take superstar ballplayers out of the lineup.
Allow me to introduce you to one of the brave folks who are part of THT’s editing staff. He’s also the poor soul in charge of editing “The Pujols Awards.” If you enjoy this feature, be sure to toast him next time you hoist a frosty one.
The "Manny Being Manny"
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, 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.
Alex Rodriguez (Submitted by The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort)
This certainly explains the Yankees' postseason struggles of the last four years. Whenever another Yankee dynasty is about to be born, A-Rod’s play faints. Heck, the New York media would tell you that were Derek Jeter there, not only would he have taken over birthing duties—he’d pop the kid out himself (although I‘m guessing he‘d opt for a C-Section) and dive into the linen cart to snag the baby before she hit the ground.
The New York Daily News reports that the new arrival has fallen in love with Roger Clemens and the Rocket man will be dropping into Cyndi’s room to meet the parents once Alex comes around.
Cheer up Alex, it could be worse ... remember what Jose Canseco’s ex revealed about his fried mini-sizzler?
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, Luis, "Manny Being Manny" or "The Samson."
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.