[The 2015 MLB Turtle-Wax Awards]
These are the awards you DON'T want to win.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: The following award has been retired:
The "Joe West Level Of Incompetence" Award
Awarded to the umpire who made the biggest BS call(s) of the year
[Previous winners: 2011 Jerry Meals, 2012 Sam Holbrook, 2013 Fieldin Culbreth, 2014 Joe West]
I figure with instant replay, the worst of the worst replay decisions are moot, and thus singling out the remaining blown calls seems not as fun. And even if a blown call gets upheld by instant replay, then it's more than just the umpire at fault. So, away goes another award, and I figure it's fitting that Joe West, the worst umpire who ever lived, should go out as his own award namesakes champion.
The "Rays And Orioles Would Rather Play In This Division" Award
Awarded to the crappiest division in baseball
[Previous winners: 2009 AL Central, 2010 AL West, 2011 AL Central, 2012 AL Central, 2013 AL West, 2014 NL East]
---The National League East: Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Phillies---
1st of all, the bottom three AL East teams all did so-so against the other 2 AL divisions, but against the NL in general, all East teams beat down their NL opponents. Clearly the NL Central can't win this award, seeing how half their division had the best records in baseball. So it's down to the NL East and West. On one hand, we have a division that the Mets claimed after their only real rival, the Nationals, faded into crappiness. On the other, we have a division that wasn't won by the freakin' Mets. Seriously, when the other NY team wins a division, you had a soft group.
The "Steroid Accusation Rookie Of The Year" Award
Awarded to the slugger who is probably gonna get accused of steroids next, if not already
(I am NOT accusing the winner of steroids, just sayin...)
[Previous winners: 2009 Aaron Hill (TOR), 2010 Corey Hart (MIL), 2011 Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS), 2012 Edwin Encarnacion (TOR), 2013 Chris Davis (BAL), 2014 Victor Martinez (DET)]
---Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies---
2015 HR total: 41
Career Total Before: 28 over 244 games.
I really *really* wanted to give this to Josh Donaldson. He's got a boat load of homers, about as many as Arenado, and never hit more than 30 before (in more seasons). But you must realize that hitting in the Skydome (I will ALWAYS call it that) compared to hitting in the grand canyon that is the Oakland Coliseum is like night and day. Arenado doesn't have the luxury of that excuse. He's played his whole life in Colorado, where anything less than 30 homers a year in considered an off year.
The "What The Hell Happened To You?" Award
Awarded to the team that fell off the map when they were supposed to be contenders
[Previous winners: 2009 New York Mets, 2010 Seattle Mariners, 2011 Cincinnati Reds, 2012 Miami Marlins, 2013 California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 2014 Milwaukee Brewers]
---The Seattle Mariners ---
I was all set to name the Nationals as the winners of this particular award, but they at least made it to the All Star break in contention for October. The Mariners, meanwhile, were a lot of people's pick to win the AL and fight for a title. The M's didn't even make it to Summer before they were writing their eulogies.
The "Shut Your God Damn Mouth" Award
Awarded to whoever talked too much without backing it up
[Previous winners: 2009 Chicago Cubs, 2010 MLB Network, 2011 Carlos Zambrano (CHC), 2012 Boston Red Sox, 2013 Jordany Valdespin (NYM), 2014 Keith Olberman (ESPN)]
---The Boston Red Sox---
Oh my Gooooooood. Did anyone else tire of how the Red Sox and their fans (ESPN included) went on and on and on about how they were gonna turn things around this season. Yeah, they had a title recently, flanked on both sides by dead last finishes in the East. What I never get is how they get a free pass in everyone's mind for sucking like this as they cross the finish line at rock bottom AGAIN. The Yankees or Dodgers would be ripped to shreds by the media if they fail this hard with their payrolls. The Red Sox and their ballooned check book get a pass despite sucking hard for the third time in four years? Not on my watch. You idiots have proven you can't back up your spring training claims with actual regular season results, so stop claiming you're gonna finish above the Yankees year after year when you can barely keep up with 4th place.
The "This Years Miracle, Next Years Indians" Award
Awarded to the team that made a surprise playoff run this year, and will fall short next year
[Previous winners: 2009 Colorado Rockies, 2010 Tampa Bay Rays, 2011 Tampa Bay Rays, 2012 Baltimore Orioles, 2013 Cleveland Indians, 2014 Kansas City Royals]
---The Houston Astros ---
Quick, name three position players not named Altuve. I'll wait...
(I am 4-2 in making this prediction. My mistakes are because the 2011 Red Sox choked, allowing the Rays to make the cut, and the 2015 AL Central being dreadful...)
The "This Years Phillies, Next Years Miracle" Award
Awarded to a team that sucked this year, but can make a run next year
[Previous winners: 2009 Chicago White Sox, 2010 Chicago White Sox, 2011 Washington Nationals, 2012 Seattle Mariners, 2013 New York Yankees, 2014 Chicago Cubs]
---The Detroit Tigers---
What happened, guys? You let the Royals win your division? Was Scherzer really the key to your whole team? Is Verlander really healthy? Did your GM simply not care anymore?
A few key pieces are still in place. Dealing Price netted them a future the Blue Jays will regret. And they play in the AL Central. Watch out next season.
The "AAA Team In Disguise" Award
Awarded to a team that might have better luck in AAA
[Previous winners: 2009 Washington Nationals, 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates, 2011 Boston Red Sox, 2012 Houston Astros, 2013 Miami Marlins, 2014 Texas Rangers]
---The Philadelphia Phillies---
Bad season all around. But it's funny when your lone highlight is your best pitcher pitching the game of his life and then leaving for a better team...kinda like when a AAA ace pitches so good that the parent club calls him up and he never looks back.
Your second best highlight was clearly getting rid of the idiot, Papelbon.
The "Dull Knife In The Drawer" Award
Awarded to the biggest mental error this year
[Previous winners: 2009 Washington Nati(o)nals, 2010 Barak Obama, 2011 Brian Sabean (SF), 2012 Derek Norris (OAK), Mark Pagnozzi (HOU), Michael Pineda (NYY)]
---Arte Moreno of the Los Angeles Angels---
Josh Hamilton isn't the most sober person in baseball. When he had a relapse, Moran-o here decided that Hamilton needed to go away. In an ugly saga, he ultimately did just that, sending the man back to the only organization that ever wanted to deal with addicts (just ask Ron Washington).
The Texas Rangers then proceeded to blow past the Angels in the standings, ultimately winning the West Division and laying down an embarrassing smackdown on the Angels on the final game of the season to eliminate them from the postseason. Morano made such a fuss over getting rid of the guy who would end up helping to eliminate your team from the playoffs, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to sign this guy in the first place...just a thought.
Guy can't stay sober when he signed a huge contract and promised to clean up his act? I'd be the first to send him off. But Arte Moreno, the classy way you went about sending Hamilton away and the karma punch your team endured earn you the award this year.
The "Results May Vary" Award
Awarded to a player/team that didn't live up to the hype
[Previous winners: 2010 Stephen Strasburg (WAS), 2011 Carl Crawford (BOS), 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013 Toronto Blue Jays, 2014 Boston Red Sox]
---Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners ---
He admitted that for the better part of his time in Seattle, he's been playing with some sort of stomach ailment....that would be the diagnosis for anyone who passes up the chance to be a cornerstone Yankee to instead go play for a sub-par Seattle team. The realization of such a poor decision in hindsight would make anyone sick. Every season lately, the Mariners look like playoff contenders going into spring training, but reality sets in once April gets going...Cano at this point must want to kick himself for signing any deal with Seattle. Hope the money was worth it.
The "Ozzie Kind Of Crazy" Award
Awarded to the manager who had the most entertaining season to watch
[Previous winners: 2012 Bobby Valentine (BOS), 2013 Joe Girardi (NYY), 2014 Kirk Gibson (ARI)]
---Matt Williams of the Washington Nationals---
This guy was a mistake the second he got hired. A ball of insanity, and not in a good way. On one hand you have your Billy Martins, Lou Piniellas, and your Ozzie Guillens, all crazy but can manage a winning team.....and then you have your Kirk Gibson or your Matt Williams, former players who have no idea how to run a team. We all knew this guy was getting fired, it was just a matter of what it would be to capstone his season. Letting one of your players choke your only superstar, then being oblivious to it as you let that guy go pitch and lose you another game. Yeah, that might've been the final straw.
The "Go Stand in the Corner!" Award
Awarded to the most standout suspension of the season
[Previous winners: 2013 Ryan Braun (MIL), 2014 Alex Rodriguez (NYY)]
---Jonathan Papelbon of the Washington Nationals---
Crime: Choking his own teammate
Time: 4 games (added onto an existing suspension MLB wanted him to serve) A.K.A. The remainder of the 2015 season
So...Let me get this straight. You piss and moan about being on a crappy Philadelphia team. But when you get dealt to a team with playoff aspirations and they proceed to choke, you take it upon yourself to choke out the only player on your team who doesn't suck? I called this years and years ago when he was an unwashed member of the Boston Red Sox, but it still holds true today: Papelbum is just that-a BUM.
The "They'll Let Anybody Pitch" Award
Awarded to the pitcher who should never have been allowed near a mound
[Previous winner: 2014 Kevin Correia (LAD)]
---Rick Procello of the Boston Red Sox---
9-15...4.92 ERA...1.36 WHIP...25 home runs allowed...and a .287 batting average against.
Yes, there were pitchers all with more losses, worse ERAs, more homers allowed, and some with an even worse BAA, but Porcello was just bad across the board. Yeah, someone allowed more homers, but their record and ERA were much better. Porcello is a perfect representation of the 2015 Red Sox: there were AL teams with worse stats in certain categories, but the Red Sox were the worst overall product in the league.
The "Just Retire Already!" Award
Awarded to the player on the wrong side of 35 that still thinks he can play
---Bartolo Colon of the New York Mets---
Colon had a fantastic swan song of a season in 2013. So yeah, maybe you can give him playing in 2014 a pass since he obviously felt there was something left in the tank. 2015 however was painful to watch. No, he wasn't the worst, but a barely .500 record with an ERA over 4 isn't something to be proud of. The clincher for Bartolo is the fact that for 2015, he was known more for his bat than his pitching, which for a PITCHER isn't a good thing. Hang em up now, Bart, while you still have a choice.