The Pujols Awards: Week 4

(taps microphone)

Hello? (echo)

Helloooooo? (echooooooo)

C’mon people, this is your chance to rant, rave and vent your spleen (not to mention making your favorite baseball writer sitting in this chair’s job a little easier). This week (alas) all the nominations have to come from yours truly. When we are done here, I want both of you to march straight up to your room and think about what you have done.

Haven’t done. Haven’t—that’s what I meant. Mean, what I mean (John Burnson’s head explodes). I lose more editors that way (carves another notch onto desk … rubs back of head after wife wallops me a good one for scratching the furniture).

The Alberts

Josh Hamilton

Hamilton went from a No. 1 draft pick in 1999 to a tragedy caused by substance abuse. When you see so many players with half the talent try so hard to succeed only to see ‘a natural’ simply fritter away (or in the case of Mo Vaughn, apple fritter it away) so much raw ability—it’s hard not to wonder ‘where’s the justice?’

However, it appears than Hamilton has slain the demon within (or is at least keeping it at bay) and started to capitalize on his athletic gifts. Part of being human is the tendency to screw up. It has been said that humans are the only animals that spend the first 20 years of life making sure that the subsequent 60 are as miserable as possible. It’s all too true that the mistakes made during youth are the ones we carry to our grave. Being athletic doesn’t grant immunity from this phenomenon.

Too many who fall into the trap never extract themselves. Whenever somebody fights back to reclaim his or her life, it should be celebrated. We all make terrible mistakes in life, but not all bounce back—we should always celebrate those who fight the fine fight. For fighting the fine fight, we’ll award Mr. Hamilton an “Albert” and best wishes on a successful 2008, both off the field and on.

Bernie Williams

For reacting with class after being dissed by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman (see below for more details) Williams earns an “Albert.”

The Luis

Brian Cashman

Rule No. 1 Sparky—you don’t dis the crown jewels. Bernie Williams was a major part of four World Series championships for the club that signs your paychecks. He owns like a gazillion postseason records and may well end up in the Hall of Fame. In an era of Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Albert Belle and Elijah Dukes, Williams stands out as a true class act. To question his commitment, his desire, his work ethic is flat-out disgusting. If you have an issue, you deal with it in private and not blab it around like the alpha female in a high school sophomore class.

Jose Canseco

O.K. raisin groin, your little vendetta against MLB did some good. Anything that makes juicing a riskier career proposition is helpful. Since that’s gone straight to your head, you’re going to have to hope that flatulence won’t blow it back out. Attempting to blackmail Magglio Ordonez is the sort of stunt I expect out of the one guy who actually needs HGH—David Samson. Your next book (Green Eggs and Vindication … or something like that) required a change in co-author/ghost writer/guy-to-spell-the-big-words-for-you since he finds your evidence regarding some players as vacuous as that thing you keep your hair on.

If Ordonez is guilty and you have the goods, then stand and deliver. You don’t use that information to do what Bud Selig does to get regions to cough up a half billion dollars of free money. Here’s a suggestion: why don’t you ask Paris Hilton on a date over an active volcano and give natural selection a little help on your way out?

Jim Pohlad

The Twins’ CEO said regarding signing Johan Santana, “We have to do what we feel is realistic for the player and for us,” Pohlad said. “It’s about what each party wants, and it’s different in some cases. There’s loyalty and wanting to stay in Minnesota, and it varies from player to player.”

Oh, so the player is the one that should show loyalty to the Minnesota Twins. Excuse me? Didn’t you and your family spend well over a decade threatening the Twins with relocation and contraction unless your billionaire daddy received several hundred million dollars of free money from folks who don’t make in a year what you do in an hour? Aren’t you the same people who will charge the fans who paid for your new stadium higher prices across the board to watch their team?

Let see if I understand your (and I use the term loosely) thinking. Carl Pohlad is a billionaire. This billionaire threatened the team’s very existence. This billionaire received hundreds of millions of dollar worth of free money. This billionaire received massive amounts of revenue sharing. After getting these windfalls, this billionaire will receive yet another ungodly windfall from new revenue streams and higher prices from parking to premium seating.

Moreover, you’re asking Johan Santana to show loyalty (read: take less money) just so this purulent welfare leech can keep even more money that he never did anything to earn? The Pohlads deserve to be forced to engage in an auto-erotic/anatomically impossible exercise while engaging in coprophagy until they expire from their efforts. Then, as a kindness to maggots and worms, they should be cremated and their ashes dumped in a sewer where they’d be among their own kind for eternity. Sadly, a “Luis” will have to suffice although if you come across one of them (the stench of greed will give away any disguise) feel free to give them a loogy (and I ain’t talkin’ about a pitcher) and tell ‘em it’s from me.

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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