Mariano Rivera Award
Given to the player with the most pathetic farewell tour
This is a tough one. When I thought of this award Paul Konerko was the first person to pop into my mind but I felt like I was missing someone. Maybe a Yankees shortstop who still hits second and plays short despite slugging .314 and covering enough ground to be measured in inches. Oh yeah, that's him. To make the entire process even more sickening, the Yankees turned it into one big money grab, with three "last days" and selling as much merchandise as possible. That's the one thing I won't miss about baseball this winter.
Ty Cobb Award
Given to the biggest a-hole of the season
This was a slow year for jerks, considering last year we had A-Rod, Braun and McCann. So I'll take Colby Lewis for calling out Colby Rasmus after bunting with a 2-0 score against the shift to try to get on and give his team a better chance of winning.
Nolan Ryan Award
Given to the best season by an old man
This goes to Albert Pujols, putting up career lows (not counting last year when he was injured) in homers (28) batting average (.272) and on base percentage (.324) while posting a 125 OPS+. Not bad for a guy in his 14th full season coming off of a year when he only played 99 games.
1929 Stock Market Award
Given to the team with the biggest collapse
We have a two horse race for this one with the Brewers and the A's. We'll start with the Brewers. Jonathan Lucroy's stats went down in every form from the first half to the second, while the rest of the team followed suit, sputtering to the finish line with a team OBP of .303 in September.
When you think of the A's collapse, the first guy you have to talk about is Brandon Moss. The first baseman hit four of his 25 homers this season in the second half. There's also Derek Norris, who rode a sky high BABIP early in the year before coming crashing down in the second half, hitting .245 in the after the all star break. Sonny Gray hit the young pitchers' innings wall and fell off the face of the earth.
All those imply lots of things happened for the A's collapse over a long course of time. That's why I'm going with the Brewers for this one. You could see the A's coming since the all star break. Milwaukee's was all during one 1-13 stretch in early September that knocked them out of contention. A truly bizarre season.
Matt Bush Award
Given to the player who was the biggest disappointment this year
Our nominees for this one: Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. That's how karma works, guys. You could've stayed with your respective teams, but you had to chase the money. These Yankees have batting averages of 24 and 63 points below their averages last year despite getting paid until 2016 for Beltran and 2019 for McCann. I'll go with McCann because he's younger, had slightly worse stats and is a bigger jerk.
Sixth Sense Award
Given to the most surprising ending of the season
To the Twins, for going out of their comfort zone firing Gardy. I would say either Molitor or Stienbach are the next in line, given the Twins history of staying in house, but we're in uncharted territory already, the last time the Twins fired a manager was 1986, despite going through 15 losing seasons. I think it was a good move to make a change. Gardy was always a little too small ball. He bunted at weird times, like when Santana was up and there was a man on first, but I think this one's Ryan just trying to shake it up, do something to try to change the outlook of the franchise. It's worth a shot.