The Pujols Award: Week 2

We are getting nominations in; not many, but it’s a start. It does give us an opportunity to catch up on more of 2007’s ‘heroes and zeros’—in fact one of the nominations is based on last season.

The Alberts

Pat Gillick

I’m reprinting the submission in its entirety:

“I nominate Pat Gillick for an Albert award. His track record is amazing. As GM of the Blue Jays, he led them to four postseason berths (narrowly missing a fifth) and two World Series. Since he left in 1993, the Jays have not sniffed the playoffs.

From there he went to Baltimore where he led the team to two postseason berths. Since he left the O’s have not sniffed the playoffs. (Getting redundant)

After this, he went to Seattle where he led the team to three postseason berths (including a 116-win season). Since he left the M’s have not sniffed the playoffs. (OK, OK you get the point.)

Now Mr. Gillick is in the City of Brotherly Love, where believe it or not, he led the Phils to the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

Coincidence…I think not!!! Props for “Stand” Pat Gillick a deserved Albert winner.

Rob Brattain
London, Ont

For those of you wondering, the answer is yes—Rob is my brother. If you’re wondering if nepotism is occurring here, all I can say is you betcha! However, it isn’t nepotism because I’m running his nomination, it’s because he reads my stuff and I have to grovel to get him to do it. I’m guessing he’s increased my readership by at least 20 percent. I’d like to pass along a hello to his three sons (who, by some odd coincidence, double as my three nephews) Sean, Tyler and Peter. I hope that they’ll read this, thereby giving me another massive increase in readership.

John Gibbons

I was pretty rough on John Gibbons’ managerial performance in 2007. I don’t think my criticisms were unwarranted. However, by the end of the 2007 season I came away very impressed with how he handled the team in September. The Jays were out of it before they were truly mathematically eliminated, yet the team played with the intensity of a pennant race.

It’s easy for teams to pack it in when nothing is riding on it, but the fans and teams involved in a run for the postseason deserve a full effort from teams not in it. Clubs that are eliminated can and do have a major effect on who plays in October and those who do not. All too often we hear about teams complaining that certain clubs didn’t give their best effort when playing a team they’re up against in a race.

The Jays were not guilty of that in 2007. My only quibble was overworking the fragile A.J. Burnett whom they will need healthy this season. Burnett tossed 697 pitches in the season’s final month (six starts) after a similar six-start stretch in May and June (696 pitches) ended limiting the righty to two starts between June 7-August 12.

Regardless, it’s the manager’s job to set the tone for the club he manages and Gibbons clearly insisted on the very best from his troops down the stretch.

The Luis

J.P. Ricciardi

Pete Toms, the owner of the blog A BASEBALL GEEK and on staff at Baseball Digest along with fellow Blue Jays fans and bloggers Jonathan Hale (who is also an occasional contributor to THT as well as his own site The Mockingbird) and David Rouleau (who you may remember from The Jays Nest and Flying Through The Farm) made the following submission:

JP screwed up on the Rolen deal.

I think Rolen is more of a physical wreck than Glaus. Predictions for the upcoming season. 1. Scutaro plays more than Rolen @ 3rd—due to health not performance. 2. Glaus plays more than Rolen.

The Jays are stuck with Rolen’s deal for three years, JP will be gone before it expires anyway and it will be somebody else’s problem.

Is the Jays PED soap opera part of this? Glaus, Zaun, McNamee, Clemens & Thomas, there will be a lot of media scrutiny around this subject come Jays’ spring training. I suspect Glaus wanted a clean start. His ties to Signature won’t be as big a deal in St. Louis.

Very disappointing.

I nominate Ricciardi for a Luis Pujols award.

While it’s too early to judge this trade, it makes me nervous as well. The Jays may have upgraded the defense but that wasn’t the Jays’ problem in 2007. I wonder how Rolen will hit against the behemoths in the AL East after seeing a lot of NL Central pitching the last while—especially with his surgically repaired shoulder being a big question mark.

Jeffrey Loria and David Samson

Despite this being just the second edition of this (dis)honor, this duo is bucking for a Lifetime Achievement Award (as well as making Marlins fans bucking angry). In another era, they may well have ended up modeling the latest tar and feathers ensemble. The are a binary destructive force in MLB, working on their second scorched-earth policy in their lame attempts at maximizing the levels of free money/corporate welfare they hope to steal from South Florida. They are Pinky and the Brain (minus the brains) in scheming ways of extorting their region.

Although I could spend a lot of time (cough cough) dissecting their modus operandi since joining MLB’s House of Lords as court jesters, we’ll narrow our focus to 2007’s shenanigans. I can’t cover all of them today—there are just too many—so we’ll have to feature them several times until we receive enough nominations from my reader.

First, a little context—there is a current article in the Detroit News where the Tigers have a rather pleasant problem. This problem is whether to halt season tickets sales, because the demand for them is through the roof. Why do they have this situation? They recently traded for two Marlins players—Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.

You see, it appears that those silly Tabbies fans have the unmitigated gall to be excited about the coming season. The Tigers have a nice collection of talent and the deal with the Fish have Tigers fans in a frenzy. This particular frenzy has come about because Dave Dombrowski landed a superstar bat and possibly a solid—and entertaining—starting pitcher.

In other words, the Tigers’ front office understand that players are an investment and not an expense. Dombrowski invested in his enterprise and now cannot stop customers from wanting to give them money.

Of course, this is lost on Loria and Samson who feel that the taxpayers of South Florida should give them close to a half billion dollars in free money while baseball fans should flock to their place of business (a place they consistently badmouth as being a place folks should avoid) and pay major league prices before they’ll put out a major league product on a consistent basis.

Simply put, they wish for the tax base and baseball fans to invest money before they deign to do so.

Which brings up to the reason for this week’s “Luis Award.”

Last summer, the Seattle Mariners made an investment. They invested about $90 million to keep the exciting fan-favorite Ichiro Suzuki in the Pacific Northwest for five more years. Samson’s opinion of this investment?

“It’ll take the sport down, that contract. Right back to the ridiculous contracts. It can’t be … Well, sign Ichiro to a 20 million a year for five years it’s a joke, it’s inexcusable, it’s complete mismanagement. It can’t be true.”

Major league baseball is pulling in record revenues due to players like Ichiro. Rather than taking the sport down, it’s on the verge of overtaking the NFL in annual revenues. A portion of these revenues flow freely to the chiselers in South Florida who do not invest but rather trade their investments to teams trying to build up, rather than take down their marketplace.

Further, after enduring the poor fortunes of the post-Harvey’s Wallbangers Milwaukee Brewers; new owner Mark Attanasio, realizing that—on top of years of mediocre baseball—the citizenry were swindled out of their tax dollars by former owner and current commissioner Bud Selig, decided to invest in some goodwill in his particular market. When the Brewers finally reached .500 awhile back, Attanasio threw the doors open gratis for the good burghers of Wisconsin. How did shrewd investment adviser and future NBA Hall of Fame center Samson react to this?

“Can you believe those (expletive) guys? Celebrating mediocrity. Throwing the doors open for reaching .500?”

Well, in 2007 ‘those (expletive) guys’ drew almost 3 million fans (2,869,144) while the Fish drew just an obviously exaggerated 1,370,511. However the Jeffrey Loria/David Samson fan club were regularly in attendance wearing their official fan club color orange shirts (the Canadian chapter of the Jeffrey Loria/David Samson fan club wore yellow or blue).

That picture isn’t a comment on Marlins fans; it is a referendum on Marlins ownership.

I wish I could do more to help Marlins fans. How about putting this sign just outside the team’s front offices.

Elijah Dukes

Where to start? Find a nice girl, have children by her, threaten nice girl and own children with death, repeat as necessary. Of course, we know all about his message sent to the mother of some of his children:

“It’s on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain’t even bulls——-. Your kids too, dawg. It don’t even matter to me who is in the car with you. N—–, all I know is, n—–, when I see your m—–f——- a– riding, dawg, it’s on. As a matter of fact, I’m coming to your m—– f—— house.”

Nice eh? Dukes is the reason certain parties have violent reactions to Darwinism. I’d be offended as well.

For what it’s worth, if you’re ever on Babelfish (or any online translator), run the name “Elijah Dukes” through it. Here’s what came up when I did it.

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.

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