Results tagged ‘ Awards ’
As we look over the baseball season and all the stories that emerged, we also start putting the pieces together, trying to see what parts of the story are most important. This process often leads to discussions of who deserves which award and even when it’s a clear-cut race, that doesn’t mean that people won’t still yell long and hard about who they think should win.
So let me jump into the fray early on and start campaigning for a couple of my choices.
Let’s start with the American League where the manager of the year is obviously Jimmy
Leyland. Despite the whole “losing the division his team led for five
months on the last day of the regular season” thing, you have to admit
that it’s pretty impressive that he was even able to remain standing
for 162 games. Seriously, his lungs are like little tar flavored
prunes. If he’s an organ donor, the only person who could use his lungs
is a researcher at the Kingsford charcoal company trying to figure out
how to pack even more carbon into every little bricquet.
And on the NL side there are many people who think that Albert Pujols should win the MVP award. And despite his team’s ignominious crash out of the first round of the playoffs, the argument is a strong one. However, let me suggest another possibility. Rinku Singh. Ok, so he technically isn’t really eligible since he didn’t even play in the majors this season. But, think of this. In a nation of nearly 1.2 billion people, he is the first one of them to win a professional baseball game. That’s one small step for a man but one giant leap for, uh, India, I guess. And as if that wasn’t enough, he’s also the only reason that most Americans even realize the Pirates still play baseball. Those are pretty strong credentials, my friends.
So as you start debating the relative merits of the possible winners of this years’ awards, take a second and consider the RSBS inspired ticket of Leyland and Singh. They may not be winners in baseball but they sure are winners in life.
The only disappointing thing about Rickey Henderson being admitted to the Hall of Fame is the fact he’ll be going in alongside long-time Red Sox fan favorite Jim Rice. Don’t get me wrong, dear readers. I have absolutely nothing against Jim Rice, as a person or as a player; in fact, I would even say he deserves to be included in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.
Thing is: I feel sorry for him and the subsequent upstaging he’ll be forced to endure come July. I mean, Rickey Henderson is the “greatest of all-time”.
Okay, well, maybe he meant he was the greatest base-stealer of all-time. In any case, I think we all know how much swagger Henderson brings to any field, locker room, podium. The man has always been the cynosure of self-confidence, the quintessential self-promoter, the Barack Obama of baseball perhaps.
And that’s why I’m already salivating at the unscripted heroics of his forthcoming acceptance speech this summer.
Verily, I think we all have our favorite Rickey Henderson story. Whether it’s his persistent third person self-references, sliding into home plate after hitting a homerun or his penchant for talking to himself in the most supportive of ways like “Don’t worry, Rickey. You’re still the best”, I think we can all agree that his undying, unwavering, unparalleled belief in all-things Rickey Henderson made him the greatest lead-off hitter of all-time and an icon for baseball fans like myself.
I, too, have had the luxury of owning personal Rickey Henderson memories — memories that I will always hold dear to my heart. Henderson’s career started the same year my life did and I can’t ever remember not being mesmerized by his speed, his bat, his patience at the plate. For someone so fast, I never could get over how many pitches he was able to take in order to wear a pitcher down early. And though I had no affiliation to the teams with which Henderson played, I remember coveting his baseball cards and having the sudden need to check box scores of A’s (and later Yankees) games to see how many bases he’d stolen, how many homeruns he’d hit.
So when I finally had the chance to see Rickey Henderson play in person during the 2003 season while living in Los Angeles, I told my buddy before the home half of the first: “Wouldn’t it be something if Rickey led off with a homerun?”
And by golly he did it.
Watching him jog around the bases brought an indescribable chill up my spine and a few man-tears to my eye.
I said a few. Gimme a break. I love this friggin’ game.
But that wasn’t the end of my personal Henderson drama. Before a 2007 Saturday afternoon game at Wrigley pitting the Mets against the Cubs, I made it out to the left field wall for batting practice and was pleasantly surprised to see none other than Rickey himself shagging fly balls.
“Hey, Rickey, when ya gonna make another comeback?” I yelled from about 20 feet away.
“Hey, Rickey, you’re the greatest of all-time!”
“Hey, Rickey, you’re a first ballot Hall of Famer!”
After ten minutes of relentless hollers, Rickey finally acknowledged my existence with a simple yet earnestly eloquent: “Rickey fine!”
Indeed, Rickey fine.
So, so fine.
So don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Venerable MLBlogocrat and de facto Dear Leader, Mark Newman, announced yesterday that Red State Blue State sits atop the 2008 MLBlogosphere as the number one fan blog in the… well… in the entire universe. With that, I’d like to say that Kanye West is full of crap.
It ain’t lonely at the top.
Because this honor would not have been possible without you, Dear Readers. Ravenously hungry for the special RSBS blend of baseball and politics only available through the uncensored blabberings of me and my colleague, the oft jaded Mr. Allen Krause, we humbly tip our hats to you for making this dream a reality.
In lieu of this special occasion, I, personally, would like to take a moment and sincerely thank each and every one of you in the MLBlogosphere: the bloggers, the commentors, the administrators, the techie nerds behind the curtain and of course MLB.com.
Any regular RSBS patron knows that our unique brand of blasphemy and argumentative analysis would simply not be possible without all of the above.
In addition, I would also like to thank:
Mom — for birthing me and everything else ;-)
The St. Louis Cardinals — for giving me a reason to live every spring
The Chicago Whitesox — for being in my neighborhood and luring me in with Connie’s pizza
Dad — for teaching me that I didn’t have to become a Major Leaguer to be successful (though it would’ve certainly helped)
The Chicago Cubs — for dreaming the impossible dream and providing blog fodder galore
Barack Obama — for convincing people that “Yes, We Can”
2007 Ms. Teen South Carolina — for being my US American muse
The Prince of New York — for being my must-read blog of the day, every day
Allison Stokke — for being hot
Mr. Allen Krause — for being a dear friend willing to take my hyperbolic haymakers and verbal vanquishings without being too much of a baby about it.
But you don’t have to worry about us… we’re just a couple of twelve-year olds trapped in thirty-year old bodies who don’t have the know-how to wield power or even consider being corrupt.
We love baseball.
And when you really think about it, isn’t that enough?
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
That’s right, dear readers, Albert Pujols is the National League MVP — again — and most deservedly, as this is the A.P. whom the critics said wouldn’t make it through 2008 without having season-ending surgery. This is the A.P. who, without much protection, rarely saw good pitches — ever. This is the A.P. who was forced to bear the enormous weight of a subpar bullpen with a penchant for blowing big leads late and an organization run by a pompous penny-pinching pariah pleasantly pleased with mediocrity.
While I am ecstatic for my man-crush’s crowning achievement, the nihilist in me cannot stop seeing this as yet another detrimental development in John Mozeliak’s quiet quest to do nothing in the way of spending dollars to put together a true contender in 2009.
But what do I know?
I certainly didn’t know that Nate McLouth had any business getting MVP votes, but some writer (most probably a pissed off Pittsburghian with a propensity for pot-smoking) thought it’d be a funny afterthought to include him in the big picture.
I found it… um… awkward.
Speaking of awkward, never before have I seen two grown men sit down together with such unease as I did today when the president-elect met with Sen. McCain for what appeared to be a publicity stunt meant to mend the dissonance between the two camps. Sure. Sounds good. But McCain had to go and bring up what is quickly becoming known as the Annhilation of the Bears, which immediately put Obama (and subsequently me) in a very, very uncomfortable place. I was sorta hoping that Barack would have had the good sense to remind the senator from Arizona about Dennis Green’s post-game meltdown a couple years ago after that torrid Monday Night game in which we all found out:
Well, the Bears still are who we thought they were: not good enough; but you didn’t have to go and bring it up, John McCain. You see, I thought this meeting was supposed to be about healing and planning and bipartisanship. But since you decided it wasn’t, how ’bout those ’08 Diamondbacks?
Regardless, I’m not going to let another Republican rain on my parade of good feelings abound.
Albert Pujols — the most fascinating man in sports — is the NL MVP.
So eat it!
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.