The Pujols Awards: Week 5

You’re only hurting yourselves here. My boss here at THT wanted me to develop a “beat” of sorts since he wasn’t sure whether our readers could handle me going off half-cocked (not in the John Kruk sense) twice per week. If this doesn’t take off, he may assume it’s a mandate from all of you that you do want wish me to rant twice a week.

I’m gonna be charitable this week and assume part of it is SHS (Superbowl Hangover Syndrome) and the rest is the fact that, other than the Johan Santana trade, things have been quiet.

Of course I could decide to be realistic this week and acknowledge that my readership consists of mom, the editors (Carolina drew the short straw this week) and myself—on those rare occasions when I deign to proofread (uh oh … somebody get the smelling salts, she’s passed out).

Sheesh.

Well, I know there are some others who read this space. After all, people rubberneck at traffic accidents and attend public hangings and those type of people will also check in here since they enjoy watching suffering and trauma (Hey Carolina, how about a video blog of you editing my column? Do you think it would be too gruesome to watch what I put you through?)

I’ll wait until she’s returned to full consciousness. In the meantime, we’ll look at what a couple of hearty souls brave enough to view this (insert scatological adjective here) and submit nominations. This week…

The Alberts

Brian Bannister (Submitted by Dave Rutt)

While Shea Stadium is not long for this world, cliché stadium is where athletes play their games with the media and it will never have a date with your friendly neighborhood wrecking ball. That being the case, a truly candid interview from somebody on the inside is always a refreshing change of pace. On MLB Trade Rumors Royals pitcher Brian Bannister gives us his take on a myriad of topics. If you haven’t read it, be sure to check it out: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Juan Gonzalez

W.C. Fields once said “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again—then quit … there’s no sense being a damn fool about it.” It’s hard to believe that at one time it looked like Juan Gone was on a Hall of Fame trajectory. He was a fearsome slugger with five seasons of 40-plus home runs, enjoyed eight 100 RBI seasons and was once offered an eight-year, $140 million contract from the Detroit Tigers—which he declined.

Nevertheless, instead of wallowing in the Jody Reed/Matt Harrington mud-hole of self-loathing, he has decided to give the big leagues another shot, and the St. Louis Cardinals have invited him to camp to see if he can even be a shadow of his former self.

While his injuries, failed marriages, obsession over his personal stats and financial acumen have given him the air of buffoonery, people forget how this guy could once mash (two MVP nods, eight postseason home runs in just 62 at-bats). Did he have chemical assistance? Who knows? We all have our opinions and I’m not going to get into it here but the man had legit talent. For not giving up on the dream, while everybody else has plain given up on him I’m awarding the no longer Gone Juan an Albert.

The Luis

a href=”http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/smithbi01.shtml” class=”player” target=”new”>Bill Smith (Submitted by Greg Simons)

New Twins GM Bill Smith blew the Johan Santana deal completely. The offers from the Red Sox and Yankees—assuming they were constructed as reported—were far superior to what the Mets ponied up. Heck, the package the Mariners reportedly are offering for Bedard is much better than the four decent players Minnesota is getting for the best pitcher in the game. This was a massive, inexcusable blunder by the Twins.
—Greg Simons

Willy Aybar

This one is conditional since he is only charged and not convicted at this point. However, domestic assault is about as cowardly as a man can get. A phrase I like to use about such knuckle-dragging sacks of sour manure is “testiculacking.” If somebody is not man enough to control their emotions so as not to harm someone weaker than themselves then that person may be in possession of a male member, but has no balls of which to speak. Right now, Julio Mateo, Brett Myers, Julio Lugo and Elijah D Pukes are among this lower-than-Samson crowd.

Jim Bunning

Wants you off his lawn!!

Not only that, he wants all statistics of steroid users stricken from the record, Roger Clemens to “prove his innocence,” Matlock back on the air, to have someone pull his finger, for Depends to go on sale and to tell you that after World War II, it got kinda quiet, ’till Superman challenged FDR to a race around the world. FDR beat him by a furlong, or so the comic books would have you believe. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Yes, drugs in baseball are bad. Greenies are drugs too—ever pop one of those senator? If you answered “yes” then siddown and shaddup. If you answered “no” then we want you to prove you’re innocent of doing so—it’s only fair … right? If you can’t, your Hall of Fame plaque is taken down, your page at Baseball Reference deleted and you’ll be forced to spend the rest of your life wearing headphones listening to your drivel on this subject until adipocere do you fart.

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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