It's week 24 already?
If you are new to the awards, see Week 1's column to see the award definitions.
This Week's Proof That Assigning Wins and Losses to a Pitcher is a Silly Practice that Must Stop
Bad Luck Division
Curt Schilling has had a tough time of things recently. He hasn't pitched as well as we're used to. On Monday night he allowed 1 run in 6 innings, but got the loss because Scott Kazmir and a pair of relievers shut out the powerful BoSox offense.
Good Luck Division
Kelvim Escobar had none of Schill's bad luck as he allowed 6 runs in 5 and a third against the Orioles. He got bailed out by Daniel Cabrera, who allowed 10 and 3 O's relievers, who allowed 2+ runs each. As long as he reached 5 innings, there was pretty much no way that Escobar could blow that lead.
On Tuesday night, Matt Lindstrom of the Marlins allowed Ryan Zimmerman to score on a Dmitri Young double in the 7th, tying the game. The Fish promptly tallied 3 runs in the next frame and Lindstrom got the W.
The Wes Littleton They Call that a Save? Award
Takashi Saito had 3 run saves on two consecutive nights. On Thursday, he faced the Padres with Marcus Giles, Mike Cameron, and Adrian Gonzalez scheduled up and on Friday it was Jeff Salazar, Emiliano Bonifacio, and Justin Upton. One inning, 3 run saves are a horrific waste of a pitcher as good as Saito, especially when you're facing batters like Salazar and Bonifacio.
The Rico Brogna Award
Pudge Rodriguez drove in 6 runs in 19 at bats on the week, but hit a meager .263/.286/.368.
Season to Date:
Raul Ibanez has 95 RBI in his 524 at bats, but is at best an average left fielder at .282/.343/.462.
The Harmon Killebrew Batting Average is for Wussies Award
Mark Reynolds of the Snakes hit .211, but secondary skills were at play and his line ended up being .211/.400/.526.
Season as a whole: Jim Thome deserves some credit in this lost season for the White Sox. He's hitting .268, but with 87 walks and 28 home runs he's sporting a .402 OBP and a .520 SLG.
The Rey Sanchez Batting Average is all I've Got Award
Delmon Young hit .300/.323/.367. Drawing walks has been a problem all season and he hasn't hit for nearly the kind of power anybody expected of him. Things will improve next year, but you have to hope that he learns that he doesn't have to swing at everything white that floats by him.
Season: Pudge Rodriguez with his .282/.296/.427 line. He has 468 at bats and 9 walks.
The Steve Balboni Award
Ryan Howard demonstrated some secondary skills with his two doubles, one home run, and four walks in 28 at bats, but his 11 K's killed his week at .179/.281/.357.
Leader: Josh Fields has the classic Balboni skill set with 19 home runs in 332 at bats, a fair 25 walks, and an ugly 114 whiffs. All of that combines for a .232/.285/.446 line.
3 True Outcomes Alert!!!
I mentioned Mark Reynolds in the `Brew Award. He hit a pair of home runs, drew six free passes, and struck out 6 times in 25 plate appearances.
Leader: Ryan Howard leads baseball with 184 K's, is 5th in homers with 38, and is 11th in walks with 91.
This Week's Dumbest Thing Ever
I remember seeing the Kansas City Chiefs getting flagged for 2 illegal blocks in the back and a hold on the same kickoff return and still not manage to get the ball across their own 20 yard line this Sunday.
But really there was no contest. This kind of ineptitude is really one in a million.
This Week's Completely Made Up Award
I've been asked to talk about the Mariners abrupt fall from contention. The thing is, it's a truly remarkable thing to behold, but I don't have an awful lot to say about it. They were dramatically overachieving. When you look at their batting and pitching numbers, it's hard to believe that they were relevant in the race for the playoffs. When you give the roster the eyeball test, it's hard to believe that they were relevant in the race for the playoffs. They really didn't belong in the first place and they're about where I thought they'd be when the season started. Count me in as a believer in the theory that a premium relief ace like JJ Putz can help a team with unremarkable runs scored/runs allowed figures to overachieve, but it doesn't make a 75ish win team into an 88ish win team.
I find it also remarkable that the Cardinals have followed them on the spiral staircase out of the playoff race and they too had no business ever entertaining the notion of being a playoff team. There are too many gaping holes in that roster with the old guard of Rolen and Edmonds decaying, a rotation that is currently anchored by two guys I figured would be decent middle relievers.
This Week's MVP
AL: David Ortiz hit .450/.577/1.000 with 5 extra base hits and 6 walks in 26 plate appearances.
Season: Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez
NL: Matt Holliday hit .407/.500/1.148 with 6 homers on the week. I really didn't buy into the purported Holliday dark horse MVP candidacy until recently because of the Coors Field effect. However, with a .334/.396/.594 line and a lack of any candidates running away from the pack the way that ARod is doing in the AL, he might just be a valid option for voters. He's certainly in the pack.
Season: Speaking of the pack, I still think that David Wright leads that pack with his .313/.411/.547 line and excellent third base glove. But it's a shame that Chase Utley missed that month with a broken hand because he likely would have run away with this thing. Utley is hitting .333/.414/.565, but in 476 at bats against Wright's 543 at bats. With his above average glove at a premium defensive position AND a bat like that, he's an insanely valuable player. His VORP of 62.9 is right there in that pack behind Wright (69.7) with Pujols, Holliday, Fielder (63.4, 64.0, 63.1) and a few others.
Here's Where You Come In
I need your help. Please drop me a line nominate players for awards maybe entire team for awards. Make up your own award. Point out something stupid that your local color commentator said during a recent game. I can only watch so much baseball in a week, even with the miracle of MLB.TV. I have to use you as a crutch.