2013 Edition: Baseball’s best of the worst player awards
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What an incredible season for Major League Baseball! There were so many great moments throughout the year and if I could remember any one of them I might not be secretly terrified that I have early-onset dementia.
I do remember seeing the Pirates make the playoffs for the first time since a normal-sized head Barry Bonds roamed their outfield. The Dodgers prove that money can buy success even with one of the worst managers in the league. Alex Rodriguez proved that no matter how much a player is despised, he can still find ways to make it worse.
I don’t know about the rest of you –mainly because we haven’t been formally introduced – but I actually had a heck of a year myself. I wrote and directed my first feature film. I’m currently working on a comedy/variety show for the television. Also, my sportswriting readership has grown exponentially and with it countless thousands who think I am an idiot. Sorry, folks, you’re going to have to get in line behind my ex-girlfriends.
One of the easiest ways to feel good about what’s happening in your life is seeing others do terribly – especially your enemies – but also just anyone. Maybe that makes me a bad person. Maybe it doesn’t. But probably it does.
So, here we are in the post-season and as other writers are preparing their articles for who should win the major awards in baseball, let’s take a moment and revel in the awfulness of the past year together. Enjoy!
Worst manager: Ron Washington
The National League was loaded with possibilities for this award – including almost every playoff team. Those managers have teams that succeeded in spite of the manager. Washington gets credit for two choke jobs two years in a row after an epic World Series choke job. And that’s enough to win the Jim Tracy Award of Awfulness. Dusty Baker tried like heck to win, but all he got was fired.
Worst pitcher: Barry Zito
Baseball is an odd sport. While Barry was one of the best players in the league, he never even made it to the World Series. He would then become one of the worst and over-paid pitchers in the league – and of course win two World Series titles with the Giants. This season he continued his terribleness while being paid almost $20 million. It’s a rough way to finish his career. Oh wait it isn’t? Of course not – not with folks like Brian Sabean and Ruben Amaro, Jr. still running teams.
Worst batter: Ichiro Suzuki
Actually the worst hitter and overall player was the Marlins’ Adeiny Hechavarria. But he’s a rookie and a lot of what being the worst is about is what kind of performance was expected. One thing you can say about Ichiro’s batting is that he’s a solid defender. Maybe they could make up a position like the pitcher where they play defense and never bat. And we could call it the “Designated Ichiro.”
Worst fielder: Miguel Cabrera
Most teams who have a defensive nightmare like Cabrera on their team find some way to get him off the field. The problem for the Tigers is that first base is already at maximum capacity with Price Fielder and the DH is Victor Martinez, another defensive black hole. In my Internet exploits this year I have found out that some Tigers fans actually think Cabrera (the worst-fielding third baseman in the last 20 years) is good. Maybe compared to the city of Detroit as a whole?
Worst umpire: Unsure
If you Google “Bad Umpire Calls 2013” there are “About 1,570,000 results.” That seems about right. I don’t get why we can’t be using some sort of technology with these guys. I mean, come on! We put George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in outer space but we can’t give an umpire a simple yes/no device utilizing the technology that’s already in place.
Worst beard: Brian Wilson
Last year it was Wilson’s Giants’ teammate Sergio Romo. This year Wilson regains the title – with authority! Really, really spectacularly disgusting stuff growing off their faces. These guys just need to grab one of the Red Sox players and then they’ve got a ZZ Top cover band.
Worst mustache: Joba Chamberlain
Joba’s mustache was short-lived. But you know what they say: “Bright stars burn out fast.” He says he shaved off his stache because “it wasn’t doing us any good” – translation: SVU kept busting into the clubhouse to interrogate him. A close second here is Carlos Villanueva and his “beardstache” – a really solid effort at making everyone everywhere uncomfortable.
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