Those poor Dodgers, now even MLB is taking a shot at them
When your season has been a crashing disappointment, it’s not like you need offseason reminders.
Alas, that’s part of the deal. A not-so-sweet package. Darts and barbs and cynicism everywhere. Constant reminders of failures and shortcomings, from media and fans.
And did I mention … Major League Baseball?
Yep, good ol' MLB has given the Boys in Blue one little extra slap in the kisser.
Not intentionally, of course, but with the release of its This Year in Baseball Awards, the Dodgers have taken yet another blow.
This is the ninth year it’s sponsored a polling of fans to determine winners in 19 different categories. Because, you know, there can just never be enough fan-driven awards.
There are 10 nominations in each category -- which besides best hitter and closer, include such nifty awards as X-factor and oddity -- meaning, there are 190 nominations in all.
And out of 190 nominations, there is exactly one current Dodger nominated. Unless you count the ball boy who was nominated for best fan moment. Still awaiting word on whether the Dodgers are going to pick up his option.
The Dodgers received three total nominations, including Hong-Chih Kuo for best setup man, ex-Dodger Ronnie Belliard for best play and ball boy Francisco Herrera for best fan moment.
I’m pretty sure Dennis Mannion was going to nab a nomination for executive of the year, until Frank McCourt let it slip he was canning the team president. Sadly for McCourt, whom you may have heard also suffered a rough season, there is no award for owner of the year. I mean, they’d probably just have to name it after him anyway.
This Internet poll does earn a following. MLB claims more than 12 million people voted last season.
Kuo won the setup man award in 2008 and had an even better 2010, though the Dodgers are sort of fudging to nominate him here since he spent almost the final two months as their closer.
Belliard was nominated for making a play May 2 against Pittsburgh. Playing third base he made a running, over-the-shoulder catch in left field of a Bobby Crosby popup, then spun and made a strong throw to first baseman James Loney, who stretched out to make the catch and double up Andy LaRoche.
Otherwise, Belliard hit .216 and was released by the Dodgers Sept. 7.
Somehow four ball boys were nominated for best fan moment, including the Dodgers’ Herrera. Sitting in foul territory outside left field, he made a terrific backhanded catch of a slicing drive into the stands by Met Ike Davis. Then he handed the ball to a toddler.
And you thought the Dodgers had no highlights in 2010. Forgot all about the ball boy, and probably Belliard.
Nineteen different awards, 190 nominations, and that’s the best the Dodgers could do. If MLB was just a bit more creative, maybe the Dodgers could have scored a few more nominations.
Best first six weeks of the season (Andre Ethier), most creative hair use (Manny Ramirez), most creative use of a hair product (Vicente Padilla), best performance by a really small person (Jamey Carroll), best Matthew McConaughey look-a-like (John Ely), best performance by a 300-pound reliever, first-half division (Jonathan Broxton).
As it is, the award nominations are what they are, much like the Dodgers’ season.
-- Steve Dilbeck