The First Annual YCPB Awards

The approaching end of the baseball season means a lot of things: colorful foliage, start of the new school year, football season and those few weeks when it’s too cold for air conditioning and too warm for heat (ie, bliss). It also means that it’s time for baseball awards, and we here at YCPB love to get in on the fun–and would love to invite you all in on it as well.

Here’s the thing, though: YCPB awards aren’t awarded to the best players, teams, moments and plays, but to the most unpredictable ones.

For example, your YCPB AL MVP won’t be Miguel Cabrera or Robinson Canó; it’s going to be Jose Bautista, probably.

So, here are the categories we’d like to award; we’ll give you one week to post your nominations (and any reason why) in the comments, and then next week we will come back with a poll so that you can vote for the winners. We’ll supplement any short category with our own picks–but if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll probably have it covered.

The Categories are:

AL and NL MVP: The most unpredictable player in each league. Note: Unpredictable can be good OR bad, so feel free to nominate someone who’s been beyond horribly bad, if that suits your fancy, as long as it’s unpredictable! Oh, and please, if you would, make it clear if the player you’re nominating is in the NL or AL (you can nominate a player from each league).

AL and NL Cy Young: Same as above, except with pitchers.

Game of the year: Most unpredictable, craziest, weirdest game of the year.

Play of the year: Craziest, wildest single play of the year (think, Bengie Molina’s triple or Jose Molina’s stolen base, for example).

Team of the year: Team that totally surprised us this year, good or bad.

YCPB-ness of the Year: This can be anything, but the single most, craziest, wildest, you-really-can’t-predict-baseball moment of the year. It could be a player, like Bautista, an accomplishment, like Dallas Braden’s perfect game, a part of a team, like Arizona’s bullpen or Seattle’s offense…and feel free to nominate more than one, if you wish!

The winners of the poll will have posts written about themselves during the off-season, so choose wisely

We now open the floor for your nominations….

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21 Responses to The First Annual YCPB Awards

  1. Chad says:

    YCPB AL MVP: As tempting as it is to give it to Bautista, I’ve got to go with the man he replaced as Toronto’s right fielder, one Mr. Álexis Rios. Once a promising young outfielder, the Jays signed him to a huge contract, only for him to disappoint so much that the Jays were willing to eat the majority of his salary and let the White Sox simply claim him on waivers. Now that he’s no longer a teammate of Vernon Wells, he moved over to center field, and is currently the most productive offensive centerfielder in the American League.

    YCPB NL MVP: I don’t follow the NL as closely as the AL, so I’m not really sure if I can give an accurate analysis. I do, however, play a lot of fantasy games on ESPN.com, and on a whim, I decided to chart who had the most points for “Baseball Challenge” each day. So far, four players have led all batters for the day five times–Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn, and the aforementioned Bautista and Rios. A few others have done it four times. And among those who have done it three times is…Drew Stubbs? What? Something tells me that’s a fluke.

    YCPB AL Cy Young: Seems odd that an actual former Cy Young award winner would be in here, but Cliff Lee is an obvious choice. Consider this: Backed by the worst-in-the-majors Seattle offense, Lee was 8-3; backed by the potent offense of the division-leading Rangers, he’s been just 3-5. Then again, his ERA was 2.34 with Seattle and 4.36 with Texas. I know that the Rangers play in a hitters’ ballpark, but that type of jump midseason is just too weird to believe.

    YCPB NL Cy Young: Again, I don’t follow the NL as closely as I follow the AL, so…pass.

    Game of the year: There are so many great choices, but how could you not go with Armando Galarraga’s imperfect game? Here we have a complete unknown pitch a perfect game in just 83 pitches, except first base umpire Jim Joyce blows the call on the 27th out and he has to throw five more–still just 88 pitches, an incredible show of economy. The losing pitcher, Fausto Carmona, also threw a complete game, and he too had a double-digit pitch count (96), resulting in a game that ended in just an hour and 44 minutes. And on the subject of the missed call, Joyce actually went to see a replay after the game was over, realized he blew it, and apologized profusely, cursing himself out. And Galarraga never got angry at Joyce once.

    Play of the year: It’s a tough choice between Josh Willingham’s grand slam against the Mets on April 11, which was initially ruled in play and temporarily resulted in him getting tagged out at home plate after the ball got away from Rod Barajas following a collision with the runner who had started on first, and Will Venable’s “steal” of home plate against the Cubs on August 19, catching the Cubs not paying attention. There are a number of others that could work, too, but those two stand out the most. I’m going to go with the Hammer’s slam.

    Team of the year: It’s got to be the Padres. The NL West was supposed to be a three- or four-team race. The Padres? The sure bet for last. Instead, they’re in a tight race with the Giants and Rockies for the division.

    YCPB-ness of the year: Again, so many moments. There are the no-hitters and perfect games–three of the latter in under a month if you include Galarraga’s. There’s Adrian Beltre, who signed with the Red Sox and became exactly the type of offensive force Seattle expected when they signed him to that huge deal, but was also responsible for putting two Boston left fielders on the disabled list. There’s the Diamondbacks hitting four homers in a row, just the seventh time that’s happened in Major League history, but the third time that it involved one of the Drew brothers. There’s that 20-inning game between the Mets and the Cardinals back in April, which was scoreless through 18, only to see both teams score in the 19th, as well as featuring two position players pitching for St. Louis and one pitcher playing left field–and making two putouts. But the ultimate YCPB-ness of the year has to be Kendry Morales suffering a season-ending injury…jumping on home plate to celebrate a walk-off home run. Nothing can beat that, not even the Mariners’ anemic offense managing to score five runs in the ninth inning to send a game against the Red Sox to extras after being no-hit for 7.2 innings by John Lackey. Well, okay, maybe that game does deserve a mention, if only because the Mariners actually had a 1-0 lead after two innings despite being no-hit. And because the Mariners were again held hitless for 5.1 innings later in that series…and won that game 5-1. Speaking of weird no-hitter tricks, Matt Joyce broke up Max Scherzer’s no-hit bid in the sixth inning with a grand slam, thanks to the bases having been walked loaded. In a game where Matt Garza got a no-hitter.

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  4. DNOMN8R says:

    Wow….very good summary, Chad. I’d just like to throw in, as an idea, Jim Thome’s two triples this season, when he hadn’t had a season with multiple triples since 2003 and a season with any triples since 2004. Also, Chris Nelson’s stealing home for the go-ahead run, and the amazing power antics of JP Arencibia and Danny Espinosa.

  5. glp says:

    Just a couple of quick ones off the top of my head. NL Cy Young: Carlos Silva. Who saw that coming? Certainly not the Mariners, or their fans, who had to be banging their heads against walls.

    And speaking of the Mariners, they certainly had the mother of all Midas-in-Reverse touch seasons with everything they did, didn’t they? Absolutely everything backfired, starting the already-mentioned Carlos Silva and continuing on to Chone Figgins and Brandon Morrow and the continued outcry over the Cliff Lee trade…etc. etc. Nobody has ever gone from hero to goat quite as quickly as Jack Zduriencik. Could be Team of the Year, or YCPB-ness, either way.

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  7. Bruce Bernfeld says:

    MVP AL The Big four 2nd Basemen: Kinsler, Pedroia, Zobrist,Roberts…so much expected from so many. Thank G-d for Cano
    2nd place: Konerko. The consummate Paul

    MVP NL The big One 2nd Baseman. Utley
    2nd Place Huff. The consummate Aubrey

    Cy

    AL. Pavano. Who else?
    2nd Place Vazquez. Yahoo ranked 77th ML player at start of year. 777 th today!

    NL. Latos. 166 innings 0.99 WHIP

    All other categories: The Joyce Game. See, I don’t even remember the pitchers name!

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  9. M.C. says:

    MVP
    AL. Vizquel
    NL. Stairs (2 SB sealed the deal)

    Cy
    AL Wakefield
    NL Moyer

    Those young whippersnappers sure don’t hold a candle to the wiley vets

    Hon Mention Ole man Trevor

    Top moment: Al Gionfriedo’s catch off the bat of Brett Gardner

    Top Game. Gil Hodges scoring in every inning for the Brooklyn Bums in April vs. David Price’s Tampa Bay Rays…. I think

    What makes baseball the greatest game?? Constant change and keeping up with the Times!! (The Times….get it?)

  10. Dick Whitman says:

    AL and NL MVP: Jose Bautista and Andres Torres

    AL and NL Cy Young: Dan Haren and Brett Myers

    Game of the year: Armando Galarraga 1 hitter

    Play of the year: Buehrle opening day play

    Team of the year: San Diego Padres

    YCPB-ness of the Year: Everything Mariners

  11. oldjacket says:

    SF Giant nominees: Andres Torres and Aubrey Huff.

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  14. Total Dominication says:

    almpv- Gardner
    nlmpv- Huff
    ALCY- Pavano
    NLCY- Rowland-SMith (-3.7 WAR)!!!!!!
    Game- the Colorado 10 run rally (something like that, included Giambi HR)
    Team- SDP
    Play- Mariano Rivera hitting Frankie

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  17. Mike R says:

    AL MVP – Bautista

    NL MVP – Hunter Pence

    AL Cy – C.J. Wilson – from shaky reliever to solid #2 starter

    NL Cy – Moyer – older than yoda

    Game – the all star game (jk), i’ll go thome’s walk off game against CHW

    Play – McCann’s reviewed walk-off

    Moment – Oswalt fielding left!

  18. Mike R says:

    Team – Padres – you shouldn’t even poll this one

  19. Bruce says:

    MVT ( Most Valuable Tweeter) : The_Adam_Jones

  20. Bruce says:

    NYNJECSKJD Award : C. J. Nitkowski

    Also known as The Jack Dorsey Award

    Best Pitcher from NY who went to high school in NJ and became an Evangelical Christian and pitches and tweets from South Korea.

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