The Blue Jays won last offseason, dealing several prospects for virtually the entire 2012 Miami Marlins. Like their football equivalent, this “Dream Team” played a lot more like the 2012 Miami Marlins, than a contender in the AL East. Seriously, Jose Reyes spent more time on the DL than “Blurred Lines” spent at the top of the charts. Do not get me started on that pitching staff, either. Where is Josh Johnson? Oh, there you are. He is sort of a non-descript guy, but if ERAs could talk, his would sound a lot like Gilbert Gottfried. Here is a fun fact: Johsnon’s ERA would have been the worst on the Astros. Better luck next year, fellas.
The Yankees started the season without A-Rod, Jeter, Tex, Grandy, Posada, Hope or Jobs. However, when you sell your pinstripes to the devil, even a team led by Lyle Overbay, Eduardo Nunez and
Brett Gardner is good for 85 wins in the toughest division in the game.
Not every team face planted in 2013. Look at those darling Pirates! Everyone’s favorite underdog coach, Clint Hurdle, was able to coach up a pitching staff led by AJ Burnett, Francisco Liriano and
Gerrit Cole, who was a junior in high school the last time Burnett or Liriano were quality starters. Andrew McCutchen is a two-run bomb away from a Head & Shoulders commercial, Justin Morneau cannot stop talking about how beautiful Pittsburgh is this time of year and Russell Martin ranked 4th among catchers in WAR.
In 2013, we saw a full season of Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado. We were introduced to the overwhelming promise of Starling Marte, the fielding prowess of Andrelton Simmons and the best Cuban import of all-time, Yasiel Puig.
We said goodbye to Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Todd Helton. We also said good bye to the notion of shutdown closers, a dozen players that decided to use PEDs and any hope for the 2014 New York Mets.
All in all, it was a wonderful season. Without further ado, let’s get started with the trophies...
Skyler White has become a household name in the past few years. Everyone’s least favorite Breaking Bad star, Skyler is synonymous with being a buzz-kill. While her terminally ill husband just wanted to cook and distribute crystal methamphetamine, amass a large fortune and blow up nursing homes, she did everything in her power to stop him. What a bitch. The SWA Manny goes to the player with the least endearing qualities, the player that we hate more than anyone else in the game. This year’s nominees are:
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
AJ Pierzynski, Texas Rangers
Nick Swisher, Cleveland Indians
Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
And the Manny goes to… David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox! Big Papi clinched this award after beating up a dugout phone in Camden Yards. His on-field antics, particularly style-jobbing warning track pop-ups, made him an easy candidate for this award.
Sal: David, congratulations, is there anything you would like to say to the audience?
Ortiz: Thank you, Joe Pa.
Sal: Actually, David, I’m Sal. Joe Pa is over there…
Ortiz: To my fans in Boston, this is our FU**ING award!!
Alright, moving right along…
The Surprise Team Award
In 2012, the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics were able to take the baseball world by storm. Led by amazing bullpens, clutch hitting and their fine managers, they were able to make the
playoffs despite losing a combined 181 games in 2011. Those teams were the
inspiration for the Surprise Team Manny. This year’s nominees are:
The Cleveland Indians
The Boston Red Sox
The Pittsburgh Pirates
The Toronto Blue Jays
And the Manny goes to… man, this envelope is hard to open… The Boston Red Sox! The Sox lost 93 games in 2012, still hungover from the beer and chicken in 2011. Bobby Valentine torpedoed the team in Spring Training, and by the time he was fired, the team was in shambles. Despite playing without Clay Buccholz for much of the season, the Red Sox were able to lead the league in
wins, with 97 (28 more than last season). Here to accept the award, is… damnit… David Ortiz.
Sal: Ok, congrats. Let’s try and limit the f-bombs, Ortiz. This is a family program…
Ortiz: Well, Joe Pa, the fans love Big Papi. The fans love the Red Sox. The fans love Boston. I love this FU**ING city!
Sal: Damn it, Ortiz! What did I tell you? Just accept your award and get the hell out of here,
Gosh, I cannot stand that guy! Geez, now I’m all worked up. I need a commercial break. In the meantime, check out a word from our sponsors.
The Robin Award
Welcome back to the first annual, Manny Awards! I’m your host, Sal
Rinaudo. What a great night for baseball, and we are just warming up. Let’s give
out some more bling…
There can only be one Batman, but would Batman be as awesome without his scantily-clad teenage boyfriend, Robin? Wait, that came off wrong. Let me start again. There can only be one Batman, but would Batman be as awesome without his trusty sidekick, Robin? Absolutely not. Without Robin, Batman is just a rich dude in tights with a belt full of illegal weapons. The Robin Manny goes to the
player that had a great season, but was overshadowed by a teammate’s even better campaign. The nominees are:
Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays
Russell Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates
Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
And the Manny goes to… Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles! If it hadn’t been for Chris Davis, Jones would have won another consecutive Most Valuable Oriole Award. Instead, his .285 BA, 33 HR
and 108 RBI (third in the American League) earned him a Manny Award. Unfortunately Adam Jones could not be here to accept this award, so he sent his friend ‘Dave’ to accept it on his behalf. Dave, come on out!
Ortiz: Thanks, guys!
Sal: Oh Fu** no! Get the fu** out of here, Ortiz. Nobody wants you here. I’m not letting you take Jones’ award. Go fu** yourself! Seriously, don’t make me call the cops. You’re lucky the government is shutdown, or I would get a zoo keeper to come shoot your giant ass full of tranquilizers! Leave!!!
We will hold onto the Manny for Adam Jones, and deliver it personally.
Frazee was the man that sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for a pack of Pokemon cards, an expired condom and tickets to a matinée of Bend it Like Beckham. Each year, the HFA will be presented to the league’s worst front office executive. We had a very tough time limiting our nominees, but here
Jerry Dipoto, Los Angeles Angels
Ruben Amaro Jr., Philadelphia Phillies
Ken Williams, Chicago White Sox
Alex Anthopoulos, Toronto BlueJays
And the Manny goes to… Jerry Dipoto, Los Angeles Angels! Dipoto started working towards this award when he signed Albert Pujols to an albatross deal for 10 years and $240 million dollars. Pujols has been a tremendous disappointment, and he is under contract through 2021. Next, Dipoto traded away arguably the best young shortstop in baseball, Jean Segura, for a rental of Zach Greinke. Segura hit .294, stole 44 bases and accumulated 42 extra base hits. Greinke had a 2.63 ERA and won 15 games for the OTHER team in Los Angeles. To overcompensate for losing his staff’s ace, Dipoto decided to replace that front end starter with a 32-year old outfielder with diminishing range and a history of substance abuse problems. Oh, and he gave him 5-years and $125 million dollars. Dipoto spent a lot of time writing checks, but the team bounced, finishing six games under .500.
Sal: Congrats, Jerry!
Jerry Dipoto: Thanks, I guess. I still have Mike Trout…
The Tony D’Amato Award
After an injury to his fictional starting quarterback, D’Amato plugs “Steamin’” Willie Beamen into the lineup. Played by Pacino, D’Amato was able to coach a team with LL Cool J, Dennis Quaid, Bill Bellamy and Jamie Foxx to the playoffs. Talk about dealing with egos… In addition to a core of divas, D’Amato also had to operate under an owner that moonlighted as one of Charlie’s Angels.
With the season on the line, D’Amato delivers the best locker room speech in history. The team responds well, and D’Amato’s goes down as one of the best fake coaches in football history. The
Tony D. Award goes to the best manager in Major League Baseball. The nominees are:
Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates
Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians
Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals
John Ferrell, Boston Red Sox
And the Manny goes to… Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians! After the Red Sox monumental collapse in 2011, Tito took a year off. After spending what I imagine was way too much time with John Kruk, Francona returned to the ranks to help the Cleveland Indians reach the postseason. With their new manager, the Indians won 24 games more than they had the previous season. I am going to mail the award to him, because I have a weird feeling that David Ortiz is lurking somewhere backstage, waiting for his chanceto sabotage the Mannys...
And now, I’d like to welcome our next presenter, Mr. Joe Papparotto!
The Lindsay Bluth-Funke Award
Thanks, Sal. Wow, the mood is electric! What an awesome occasion. I’m honored to be a presenter here, at the 1st Annual Manny Awards. The award is named after Manny Machado, the young do-it-all infielder for our beloved Orioles. Machado had the 10th highest WAR in baseball, and that is my favorite stat in baseball. We here at OBP Apparel are wishing Manny a safe and speedy recovery, and we are looking forward to seeing him in 2014.
The most attractive offspring of George Bluth Sr., Lindsay lacks many other accomplishments. Her claim to fame, was winning the senior superlative for “Best Hair”, in high school. The Lindsay Manny goes to the player with the best hair in the MLB. Here are this year’s nominees:
Coco Crisp, Oakland Athletics
Brian Wilson, Los Angeles Dodgers
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
Nate McLouth, Baltimore Orioles
And the Manny goes to… Coco Crisp, Oakland Athletics. One game he has corn rows, the next, a 1970’s afro. This versatility makes Moneyball’s leadoff hitter the first recipient of the Lindsay Bluth Manny Award. Unfortunately, Coco’s team is still participating in the 2013 Postseason,
so he was unable to join us tonight. Congrats to all the nominees, and enjoy the
rest of your evening. Here’s OBP founder/designer/editor, Cal Renner!
Thank you, Joe. It’s great to be here. Thanks to my cousin, Sal for putting on such a wonderful show. Sal is the heart and soul, and without him our podcast would suck- Really, Sal? Hacking the
teleprompter, what are we, twelve? You know I read anything written on a teleprompter! Anyway, I will be presenting the first of three Orioles-themed Manny Awards.
A Slapdick is defined as, “one for who even the simplest task represents a monumental challenge. One who is forced to re-learn all tasks on a daily basis due to exceedingly low intellect” (UrbanDictionary). Despite a third place finish and many more positive moments, there were a few slapdicks on the 2013 Orioles. Here are this year’s nominees:
Ryan Flaherty, Second Baseman
Jim Johnson, Closer
Michael Morse, Designated Hitter
Taylor Teagarden, Catcher
And the Manny goes to…Michael Morse, DH! In late August, Duquette traded away Xavier Avery to the Mariners for Morse. Ideally, he would have solved the problem at DH, and provided the O’s
with some needed pop down the stretch. Instead, he was a huge slapdick. His hitting approach was weaker than Flaherty’s, and the Orioles had to leave him on the bench, so he couldn’t trip over his shoelaces during the game.
Cal: Congrats, Morse. You won the Slapdick Manny!
Morse: I’d like to thank everyone that made this possible (accidentally drops award). Uh, um, I am looking forward to winning this award next season, if Duquette would like to bring me back.
Congrats to Mike, and the other nominees. Here’s Joe Pa!
The Date Award
Thanks, Calum. The Date Manny goes to the Orioles’ player you would most-like to date your proverbial daughter. This player must be a positive force, on and off the field. He also has to be fairly good looking. Sorry, Manny. Without further ado, here are the nominees:
Matt Wieters, Catcher
JJ Hardy, Shortstop
Miguel Gonzalez, Starting Pitcher
Danny Valencia, Designated Hitter
And the Manny goes to… Danny Valencia! Since he left the University of Miami, Valencia has been the best looking player in baseball. I love him. I mean, my daughter would love him. Not that I have a daughter… But if I did, I would want him. I mean, I would want her to date him. Oh shut up! Valencia is the man. He hit .304, 8 home runs and drove in 23 RBIs in just 52 games! His clutch bat kept the Orioles alive in September.
Joe: Mr. Valencia, can I have a hug?
Danny: Uh, sure haha, why not?
*Man on Man embrace*
Danny: Ok, that’s good. Thanks, OBP guys. I’m glad you value you my contributions to the team. Maybe you should tell Duquette to trade Hardy for pitching and outfield prospects, move Manny to
shortstop and play me every day at third base!
Joe: You got it! Here’s Sal to present the final award….
Despite the implications, this is not about touching another guy, sorry Joe. It also isn’t about marijuana, sorry Ricky Williams. This Manny goes to the Orioles’ player you would want to have a beer with. In April, Cal and I were lucky enough to have a drink with an Orioles’ all-star, so that was the inspiration for this award. This Manny is our highest honor. Here are the nominees:
TJ McFarland: Chicago Accent, Mustache and Left-handed Pitcher
Troy Patton: Awesome nickname, Prankster and Left-handed Pticher
Tommy Hunter: Says ‘Boom’, Jiu Jitsu Champion, Prankster and Setup Man
Bud Norris: His name is actually, “Bud”, Played for the Astros and Starting Pitcher
And the Manny goes to… BOOM! Tommy Hunter, Setup Man! Tommy just looks like he enjoys playing the game. This newlywed is the quirky, energetic and hilarious guy every bullpen needs. Not to mention, he pitched his ass off in 2013. Tommy threw more innings than anyone in the pen, recorded a 0.98 WHIP and managed 6 wins, 4 saves and 21 holds.
Sal: Tommy, congrats on a great season, and your first Manny Award!
Sal: I had a feeling you would say that.
Sal: Yup, well, anytime you want to grab a beer, hit us up. The first three rounds are on us!
Thank you to the fans, coaches, players and front offices that made this year’s Manny Awards a huge success. 2013 didn’t have the ending we wanted, but it definitely had the ending we deserved. For the last time, congratulations to all the nominees and winners tonight, except David Ortiz. Fu** you AND your stupid city, Ortiz!
Enjoy your pigskin, hockey, basketball, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and long-sleeved shirts (Nick Markakis nods), and we will see you next season!
Like what you read? Make sure to follow Sal on twitter, @SalTeamSix or @OBPPodcast, and give him some feedback! Follow Cal (@OBPApparel) and Joe Pa (@JoePappa), while you're at it.