With This Year in Baseball's awards announced this weekend, Jaime decided she needed to hand out some of her own.
I spent last weekend in one of baseball’s greatest towns, New York City, home of the Yankees with the Mets across the way. My trip coincidentally corresponded with the announcement of the This Year in Baseball’s awards, the Gibbys, and it got me thinking about my favorite baseball moments from last season.
Then I got to thinking that there is no way I’m going to be outdone by This Year in Baseball; I decided I needed my own form of recognition, my own awards to hand out at the end of the season to honor the things I think are important to the game. And so I give you the “Jibby’s,” Jaime’s Inaugural Best Baseball (moments of the) Year.
Now my criteria is a little different from say, everyone else’s. What I love about baseball is that on a regular basis you get to see the human side of athletes, not just the freak competitive one. You get an idea of a baseball player's sense of humor and personality that you just don’t see very much in other sports (with careful exception granted to Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Shaq). I don’t know if it’s the free time they have between innings or the laid-back atmosphere of the game, but something about baseball brings out the best in these guys and we’re going to honor a few today.
The Brian Wilson’s Beard Award
Named after the most recognizable facial hair in sports, the Brian Wilson’s Beard Award honors the player who has the best (or arguably worst) facial hair in baseball. This year’s winner? John Axford. There is just so much happening on one face. Sometimes its handle bars, sometimes the ole’ Rollie Fingers curls. Sometimes he’s got crazy sideburns and a mullet to go along. I just…I don’t know. Brian Wilson’s beard looks like something is living inside it but The Ax-Man’s is something else.
The No Junk in the Trunk Award
As a girl watching sports, I am inclined to notice certain things and one of them is the notoriously firm butts of baseball. They’re everywhere but one place there was a notable lack was on the backside of Cy Young, triple crown winner Justin Verlander. No offense, he’s a great ball player, but it looks like he left his ass at home. Standing out there on the mound with his pants hiked up and tapered down he looks like a frog standing upright. Like the one that sings show tunes on Bugs Bunny.
The Welcome Home Rookie Award
No one does rookie hazing like the Nationals. Dressing the incoming class up like the Smurfs and marching them through some of the country’s largest international airports is priceless. What I really love about this is how they made it a team effort. No one got singled out, no costume was better or worse or more embarrassing then another. Just good clean fun. Although I did notice one thing: what is going on with the bulges? Do the Nationals have a policy of only recruiting very well endowed players? Maybe someone on the team can get back to me about that…I’d like to know.
The Hot & Sexy Homer Award
This is the MVP of the Jibby’s. This is the award everyone should aspire to attain and this year’s winner is none other than Evan Longoria’s last blast of the season to advance the Rays to the playoffs. Seriously guys, there is nothing hotter than hitting a walk-off. I love it when I guy can step up to the plate whether it’s on the field or asking me out to dinner. I love that confidence as if he just walked out there said “gimme that bat, I’m doing this,” and did it. So hot! Now I know why they say all the ladies love Longo.
The I’m Old and Don’t Care Award
Marlins interim manager Jack McKeon ran away with this one. At 80 years old he triples the average age of his team and he comes from an era when smoking just wasn’t that big a deal. So it was no surprise to find him in the dugout firing up cigars and talking shop with his base coaches. If a Joe Girardi or Terry Francona tried something like that there might be words and frantic calls from the front office but who is going to tell a legend like Jack McKeon that he can’t smoke anywhere he wants? Not me.
Finally I leave you with this, maybe one of the best gags of the season from my Miami Marlins and Logan Morrison: