The Pujols Awards: Week 6by John Brattain
February 15, 2008
I learned a valuable lesson—whining works. I had an above-average number of submissions for this week’s Pujols Awards. It creates two questions. One, do I use this new power for good or for evil and two, would it improve the
The public/natural selection has spoken—they do not want two rants a week from me so we’ll keep the Pujols Awards. If nominations aren’t forthcoming, I will again use my mad whining skillz.
Anyway, lots of fun, so let’s get to it.
The Kansas City Royals (Submitted by Ryan Wagman)
Ryan, a man after my own heart (in a guy way) nominated the Royals. Why? For the very best of reasons: getting training camp started early. If trying to get us back to real baseball sooner isn’t Albert worthy, then nothin' is. It’s getting close!
Debbie Clemens (Submitted by eTrueSports.com)
One may wonder why she gets an Albert rather than a Luis. It’s this—it’s unbelievably funny. Did Brian MacNamee inject her with HGH as well? Does this make her the bride of Clemens' crime? Evidently, she, like her husband, has had other ummm artificial "enhancements." How 'bout a complaint from other players' wives regarding how Debbie "cheated" her way to the cover of SI (Summarily Injected?).
Between Debbie and Roger, it appears Mr. MacNamee has found his true calling—we just have to decide whether that calling is making boobs bigger or making bigger boobs. At least Roger is shielded somewhat from his sinking credibility and drowning in innuendo by Debbie, who is impervious to the dangers of sinking/drowning. We had "Three Men and a Baby" in the 1980s. In the aughts we have "Three Pricks and a Babe" (Roger, Brian and any syringes used). This stuff writes itself. For adding a hilarious new element to a tawdry episode, Debbie gets an Albert.
Terry Francona (Submitted by Sam Breen)
He has been a great manager in a tough city. He manages and has managed larger than life personalities (Ortiz, Ramirez, Schilling, Pedro) with aplomb. In the 2007 postseason he was brilliant with his use of the pitching staff and made the tough decision to play Ellsbury over Crisp. He plays match-ups well and readily acknowledges the numbers. In short, he deserves a definitive contract extension from the Boston Red Sox.
Drunk Jays Fans and The Tao of Stieb
I’m going to try to keep writers and bloggers nominated for this award to a minimum (lest every blog post somebody disagrees with results in a submission). This week I’m making an exception for the above mentioned blogs for their unceasing and much deserved ripping of the Toronto Blue Jays for giving fans in Detroit and Boston first crack at tickets for April series involving the two clubs.
This is a gross insult to true (powdered) blue Jays fans. These two blogs, in true Canadian style, have dropped the gloves and started swinging, blasting the Jays organization for selling out the fan base. Okay, prefer a baseball analogy? They're protecting their teammates (fellow Jays fans) with a little chin music. For letting the organization know that we refuse to be treated like crap, I’m awarding both of these blogs an Albert.
Can you imagine them trying to pull a stunt like this in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, etc.?
Brian MacNamee (Submitted by Eric Schmutter)
No buts about it, sticking a syringe in a guy’s butt is bad enough. Keeping it for years afterward is bizarre. I realize that he might have wished to look ahead to cover his butt about his uncovering somebody else’s butt, but it’s still pretty sad, no ifs ands or buts about it. He claims to look to the Rocket as a role model as a parent/person (Leave It To Beavis and Butthead?) but doesn’t trust him enough to toss the evidence in case this trusted companion decides to toss him under a bus (so close) or make him the butt of an investigation.
But maybe he was planning blackmail, which is pretty sleazy as well. At the very least it makes him the butt of jokes (the smoking gun is the smoking butt. Too bad Al or Mark Leiter wasn't implicated; if you're gonna smoke a butt, you need a Leiter).
Three things we can be very grateful for:
1. I've run out of ways to say but/butt.
2. Paul Assenmacher, Brian Asselstine and Arsenio Arcangel weren't involved (and don't get me started on former Brewer Sam Hinds and former Blue Jays farmhand Jeff Cheek ... speaking of Blue Jays, did you know Scott Brow was born in Butte Montana, the Jays third base coach is Brian Butterfield and our Hardball Times editor Carolina ... owns a gun?? *gulp*. Moving right along...)
3. At least Margo Adams didn’t think like Brian MacNamee.
For taking the lewinsky of least resistance, Mr. MacNamee gets a Luis (Luis N. Skee)? As a bonus, we’ll give him a bunch of bio-hazard bags and a voucher for the nearest landfill to his residence. Don't forget to empty the ashtrays of...
...nevermind. Just pray that this guy keeps a low profile and thank your deity of choice that Johnny Dickshot wasn't named in the Mitchell Report or it would've blown out our server.
Red Sox front office (Submitted by Sam Breen)
What is the matter here? They have one of the largest payrolls in the game and they want to stiff the manager that has seen them to two World Series in four years? I'm not calling for Torre money, and I'm sure neither is Tito. But, for crying out loud, there is no reason to be so callous. Is something like three at three too much for one of the richest franchises out there? It's clear Tito is a company man. Pay him accordingly.
The Pittsburgh Pirates
How do you know when you’re at the end of the line? The Pittsburgh Pirates scout you and think about making a contract offer. It’s staggering the number of players in recent years that they have signed when nobody else really wanted them and Pittsburgh was their last stop (or very close to it). Roll call (courtesy of a Baseball Think Factory poster): Benito Santiago, Mike Benjamin, Raul Mondesi, Joe Randa, Jeromy Burnitz, Doug Strange, Jeff Reboulet, Derek Bell, Chris Stynes, Jose Hernandez and Mike Williams.
The Pirates have become the Grim Reaper of major league careers. If you catch their attention then consider yourself dead, sinking down to Derek Bell's Locker where Operation Shutdown is entering its appropriately/approximately numbered 86th month with no (ahem) end in sight.
Well, the Bucs are down in the Dominican Republic looking at Bartolo Colon (arches eyebrow ... notices editor is still pointing firearm in general direction and decides discretion is the better part of valor) and just inked Doug Mientkiewicz to a contract. Sorry guys, but it's official—your careers can now be discussed in the past tense.
For this record of recognizing and investing in ineptitude and letting the results speak for themselves (no playoff berths since 1992), the Bucs get a Luis.
Toronto Blue Jays
I can’t put it any better than the Tao of Stieb* did:
“And as much as Godfrey and Kevin Elster's brother are going to come out in the next day or so and spin this and say how much they love the Blue Jays fans, they don't get it. They don't get the fact that this makes Blue Jays fans and Toronto look like second-class citizens. They don't understand that this makes us feel like we're not pretty enough for them, and they don't understand why we're getting so worked up about them catting around with that skank down the road.”
This is the sort of arrogance that cost the Jays after their back-to-back World Series titles. During their glory years, you could not come in early to watch Robbie, Devo, Joe, Molly, Johnny O etc. take batting practice. It could only be watched from the Hard Rock Café, where you had to pay a cover charge. Back then, the Blue Jays acted like the snooty maitre d' of a fancy restaurant. They would decide whether you were worthy enough to patronize their place and deign to accept your money.
Make no mistake about this—while some fans were bandwagoners, a lot of Toronto's post-strike attendance woes were due to fans remembering how crappily the Jays treated us when they were on top. They blew a lot of goodwill from when the SkyDome first opened through 1993. The low post-strike attendance in part was the check for that arrogance coming due.
For treating their loyal followers like second-class citizens again the Blue Jays get a Luis.
*FYI I submitted a long list of favorite Blue Jays blogs for the THT spring preview, but space allowed for only five. Unfortunately Tao of Stieb, Flying Through the Farm, Maldonado Over Everything, The 500 Level and Jaybird's Jottings were edited out. That being the case, when you read the spring preview, mentally add these five blogs to the required reading list for Blue Jays fans online. Since space didn't allow for props in the book, I'm passing along the props here. Keep up the great work, guys!
If you have a nomination for the “The Pujols Award” let us know! 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.
References and Resources
Pssst. Bartolo Colon (huh huh huh huh huh)
Ummmmmmm ... g'bye now!
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.