Saturday, October 01, 2005

And Now for the Other Side
By Ben Valentine

Okay so now it’s time for the fun part of awards; the part where I get to rip people. Actually, I realized I left out an important good award yesterday; manager of the year. So before we get started on the negative, let’s again focus on the positive:

NL Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox
Record wise, Frank Robinson did the most with the least. But we all know what I think of the Nats and their miserable run differential. So I guess I have little choice but to hail Cox as the genius that he is, overcoming all of those injuries to win the NL East for the 10th straight season. That’s right 10 straight years, not 14. 1994 counts people. Give the Expos their division crown.

AL Manger of the Year: Tie: Ken Macha, Oakland A’s, Eric Wedge, Cleveland Indians
His team is about to choke away a golden opportunity at the postseason, but the Indians deserve credit for making it this far. Wedge naturally gets that. Meanwhile, the A’s missed the postseason, but Macha deserves a great deal of respect for keeping his young team together after their disastrous start. Considering what the payroll of both teams were compared to teams they were up against and the large amount of raw youth on the squads, kudos should be passed out to both men.

Being upbeat is fun isn’t it? Nah, didn’t think so. Especially when it comes to being nice to Bobby Cox.

Now then, like a defensive end on third and long, I’ve got my ears pinned back and I’m ready to go. Time to throw lay out some big hits. We head to the nation’s capital first, where they don’t need anymore bad news.

NL Waste of Space of the Year: Christian Guzman, Washington Nationals
I wanted to put Carlos Beltran in this spot. I really did. But the fact Guzman started this entire season for the Nationals is enough to compensate for Beltran’s huge contract and make the Nats shortstop an even bigger waste of space. I mean his splits were .217/.259/.314/.573. Those numbers are terrible for any major league regular and he’s been on fire the last month just to get them there. Seriously has there been a worse regular in the last five years than Guzman was this year?

AL Waste of Space of the Year: Scott Spiezio, Formerly of the Mariners
I know he only got 47 ABs but he went .064/.137/.149/.286. That’s just awful. He also managed just two extra base hits in that span. Miserable. Seriously, if the Mariners filled that roster spot randomly with any player from AAA, AA or High A, they’d probably get better results. That automatically qualifies him as the biggest waste of space in the majors this year. Think Jack McKeon would bat Dontrelle ahead of Spiezio?

NL Belly-itcher of the Year- Mark Mulder, Currently killing the Cardinals
There were worse pitchers in the NL, but I’m nominating Mulder for this because of the phenomenal disappointment he was in St. Louis. Don’t let his respectable 3.64 ERA fool you. He posted a poor 1.34 WHIP. By comparison, Dan Haren posted a 3.73 ERA in the AL, along with a 1.22 WHIP. Oh yeah Haren also struck out more batters per nine (6.73 to 4.90!) and had almost twice the K/BB ratio (3.08 to 1.66!!) I’m sorry but when you get completely out pitched by the guy who were traded for, who is also younger and much cheaper, you’re the biggest pitching disappointment in the league.

AL Belly-itcher of the Year- Sidney Ponson, Formerly of the Orioles, Currently eating his weight in Orioles Money
I won’t use curses on this blog but he is the definition of Fat #&$@! Figure out what that means for yourself kiddies. Now for some stats: 6.21 ERA, 1.73 WHIP. And the Orioles sent him out there 23 times. Wouldn’t they have been better using Hayden Penn? Can you believe somebody once traded for Ponson? Can you believe the Padres almost did so again? And I bet he gets signed to a deal this off season that pays him at least 5 million bucks. The Yankees will probably be the team to do it too… I think he had a habit of pitching well against them. Hey, maybe he could be the new George Constanza.

By the way, his K per nine of 4.70 and K/BB of 1.42 look remarkably similar to Mark Mulder’s. And I bet you thought I was crazy when I said Mulder was terrible.

NL Bust of the Year- Carlos Beltran, New York Mets
I had to rip him somewhere here, even if I had to make up a separate category aside from “waste of space” to do it. Posting splits of .268/.332/.416/.748, he, much like Mark Mulder, was outplayed by the guy he replaced in Mike Cameron (.273/.342/.477/.819). Unlike Mulder, he took care of that problem personally. Tasteless jokes aside, Beltran was awful in his first year with the Mets, playing mediocre defense and not contributing much with the bat. I knew he’d be worse than what he had been, but not that bad. Hopefully he turns it around next year. Or maybe those Manny for Beltran rumors will turn out to be true… I’d do it. At least then Cameron would be back in center.

AL Bust of the Year: Adrian Beltre, Seattle Mariners
Hate to say it, but much like Beltran, I saw this slide coming for Beltre. And what a slide it was, posting splits of .256/.305/.415/.720. Incredibly he did worse than Beltran offensively at a more premium offensive position. If it wasn’t for the fact his deal isn’t as terrible, the Mariners third baseman would have been the unquestioned worst acquisition of the 2005 off season.

NL mis- Manager of the Year- Charlie Manuel, Phillies
I really believe he’s the worst manager in baseball not in Kansas City. Every time the Phillies played the Mets he always did something that made me scratch my head. Walking Doug Mientkiewicz intentionally to face David Wright? Is this team better off without Larry Bowa? They seem to be doing the same thing they always did; win 85 games while proving themselves to be slightly above mediocre. That means if Bowa was a bad manager, then so is Manuel.

AL mis-Manager of the Year- Whoever’s running the Royals these days.
The Royals aren’t just one joke. They’re a series of punch lines. Unfortunately much like television comedies these days, they’re a series of bad jokes. Whoever is currently running this team… is it Buddy Bell, at one point this season batted Terrance Long 3rd in the order. Yeah, that Terrance Long. Somehow he also didn’t play Justin Huber everyday after his call up, despite him being arguably the third best hitter on the team. Got to love the Royals. Except unlike Joey, they can’t be canceled.


Anonymous Merlin Denker said...

really enjoyed it. Thanks!

2:51 PM  

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