The Pujols Awards: Week 8

Just a quick note—I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about why I bestowed awards on given candidates. The thing is, for the time being I run all nominations unfiltered. It’s a policy I will try to keep up since this is the fans’ forum where they can pass out props or vent their spleen. I’m just here to organize them and make my usual pitiable attempt at injecting some levity (which can get you hauled in front of government committees nowadays. I did not leave my participle dangling when I related whether I should give Brian McNamee a Luis N. Skee during our week 6 edition) into them.

If you find a recipient that you vehemently disagree with and you get the urge to smarten me up (a pointless task, as many will inform you) be sure to check whether it’s a reader submission or one of my own.

Of course, the obvious solution is to send in your own nominations, thereby requiring that I pick and choose (hint hint). Don’t misunderstand me, I enjoy hearing from everyone, it’s just that I can get into trouble all by myself thank-you-very-much without getting tagged with the perceived misdeeds of others. By the way, if you feel that I really shouldn’t have run a certain entry, feel free to nominate yours truly for a Luis. There’s one condition: You have to make me laugh with your reasons why I deserved it. If it’s funny, it’ll run.

A note to bloggers: If you’ve made a blog post about somebody that has distinguished themselves for better or worse, feel free to pass the relevant snippet from it along with a link as your nomination. Another goal I have for this feature is to give bloggers some publicity. I can guarantee close to a dozen people will see it here!

The Alberts

Gary Sheffield (Submitted by

C’mon, a guy butting heads with Scott Boras? It’s the media marriage made south of heaven. On the one hand we’ve got an man who was thrown out of Sunday School for answering the question “What was Judas Iscariot’s greatest sin?” with “He only got 30 pieces of silver for the Son of God—I could’ve gotten 50 times that!” On the other hand, we’ve got a ballplayer whose grasp on reality is matched only by the likes of Paris Hilton. The way he talks, you’d think that the major leagues were created for his personal happiness and aggrandizement. On the one hand, he whines in the middle of long-term contracts about being underpaid and then grouses about clubs that don’t offer him long term deals. Sheffield also once said in an interview that anabolic steroids are “Something you shoot in your ass—period.” It’s nice to know where we can go for information about chemistry or pharmacology—to think we’ve wasted all this time on doctors and chemists.

At any rate, he gets an Albert for getting in a dustup with Scott Boras.

The Luis

John McLaren

Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run.

Look, I’m a bit of a sabermetric heretic because I do believe in trying to disrupt and distract the opposition’s defense. I think it’s important to mix things up and attempt to make it difficult for the other team to simply concentrate on the guy in the batter’s box. I saw Rickey, I saw Rock Raines, and I saw Kenny Lofton and they made the other team’s life miserable. Rickey Henderson had the Blue Jays so psyched out in the 1989 ALCS I expect to see some of them appear on Dr. Phil one day.

However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. McLaren said about Ichiro: “He has done everything so well in his career, winning batting battles and Gold Gloves, that the bar is set high for him … he’s a numbers guy, and I just like him and others to think, ‘I am capable of doing this.’ That [80] was a number I pulled out of a hat. As much as he gets on base, and as fast as he is, there’s no telling how many bases he could steal in a season … but we don’t want him running just to run. There has to be a purpose behind it.”

It sure sounds like he wants Ichiro to be “running just to run.” The fact of the matter is, Ichiro already has a purpose to his running. He is the best judge of when that is and how many times he attempts it. To try to take him out of his comfort zone sounds an awful lot like trying to fix something that really isn’t broken. As I mentioned, I like the idea of disrupting the other team’s defense. Ichiro does that right now. The opposing team knows he’s a threat to run and that he’s still lightning fast.

I do agree with my sabre-brethren in that unless you’re successful in a very high percentage of your attempts it’s best to stay put. I remember the 1975 California Angels (I think that’s what they were called at the time)–they ran all the time and pilfered 220 bases. They also were caught 108 times and finished last in their division and were next-to-last in the AL in run scoring.

For messing with a good thing (Ichiro) to no point and purpose, McLaren gets a Luis.

Scott Boras (Submitted by

There are a lot of unsigned free agents out there. A number of them, not surprisingly, are Scott Boras’ clients. Kyle Lohse, Rodrigo Lopez, Corey Patterson and Jeff Weaver are four of them. Granted there may be some other issues at play. However, after the Alex Rodriguez opt-out disaster, the dispute with Sheffield and being fired by Kenny Rogers one has to wonder if Boras is becoming a liability to his clients. Why Lohse is still unemployed is a mystery but it’s not hard to imagine that Boras’ demands are part of it. It’s been a rough offseason for Boras although he did land Manny Ramirez as a client. I hope he doesn’t turn him into a corporate-bot as he did Rodriguez.

Mental Health and the CBA
A particular bit of language in the latest CBA could have negative consequences for some players.

Like David Samson, Scott Boras can earn a Luis just by being himself.

Scott Spiezio

Let’s see, where to start? According to Sports Illustrated…

An arrest warrant has been issued by the Irvine Police Department for St. Louis Cardinals utilityman Scott Spiezio on six charges stemming from a crash in late December.

The warrant alleges driving under influence, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, hit and run, aggravated assault, assault and battery.

…Officers found a 2004 BMW registered to Spiezio had crashed into a curb and fence. The driver was seen running from the crash site, according to Lt. Rick Handfield.

Police located a neighbor of Spiezio who told officers that he was assaulted by Spiezio at their condo complex a short distance from the crash site, Handfield said.

The neighbor said Spiezio had arrived home appearing disheveled and apparently injured. Spiezio vomited in his condo and then allegedly assaulted the neighbor, causing significant injuries, Handfield said.

For delivering a fatal blow to the concept of natural selection, we’re awarding Spiezio a Luis to go with his Albert he won in Week 3 of this segment.


Tony LaRussa (Submitted by Luigi Tollis)

Tried to persuade management to sign Barry Bonds. Here’s a manager who managed the careers of the Bash Brothers, made infamous not for their mammoth home run shots, but rather their numerous extracurricular shots of what was definitely not B-12. LaRussa should be trying to distance himself from the smear and stink of PED, rather than welcoming those players on his respective teams. LaRussa is a good manager, but should not shroud his team in the shadow of PED; especially when one of the game’s elite players is currently, and has been, hampered by various injuries (elbow, hamstring, knee etc.).

South Florida/Miami politicians

Well, despite holding all leverage because the Marlins had no viable relocation threat, they finally gave in and are giving Jeffrey Loria and David Samson oodles of free money (for my post mortem on this, click here) for a stadium. Granted, I’m happy for Marlins fans who have dealt with the worst string of ownership groups in their Samson short history: Wayne Huizenga, John Henry and Jeffrey Loria) they can finally put this issue to rest. And with the new digs we should be seeing a lot less of David Samson (although there ain’t much there to begin with). For giving in to the fiscal succubi terrorists of MLB, Miami politicians get a Luis.

If you have a nomination for the “The Pujols Award,” let us know! who deserves to be honored this week. If you wish to have your blog credited with the submission, we’ll post the link along with your candidate. Let us know why you feel he deserves an Albert or a Luis.

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