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The Sidney Awards for March 2014 April 4, 2014

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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Even this picture is disappointing.

Even this picture is disappointing. Credit: Mretalli on Wikipedia

It’s time again1 for the Sidney Ponson Memorial Awards for Disappointing Performance in Baseball, better known as the Sidneys! The awards commemorate the major league performance of Sir Sidney Ponson of Aruba, the first Aruban Major Leaguer and a knight of the Netherlands who had multiple brushes with the law, was in general a disappointing pitcher, and was banned from European baseball after the 2009 World Baseball Classic because he tested positive for diet pills.

The Sidney for Team Performance goes unanimously to the New York Mets. Though officially these are the March 2014 Sidneys, it’s fair to say that the Mets have been disappointing throughout and are already frontrunners for the April Sidney as well. From Bobby Parnell blowing his first save of the season and promptly going on the disabled list to their baffling continued employment of three first basemen, including two left-handers, and culminating in GM Sandy Alderson’s challenge that the team could win 90 games this year, the Mets seem bent on sweeping the Team Performance Sidneys for this season (at least until the playoffs start.)

The Sidney for Bullpen Performance goes to the New York Mets! In their only March 2014 game, six Mets relievers combined for 3 1/3 innings, including Scott Rice and Carlos Torres each walking their only batter. The pen’s line was 3.3 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 4 walks, and, yes, 5 strikeouts – but three of those were earned by Jose Valverde, and another by alleged closer Bobby Parnell.

Finally, three Pitching Sidneys need to be awarded. The first two go to the pitchers with the cheapest cheap win and the toughest tough loss of the month. On the 31st, Cliff Lee pitched the lousiest game thus far this year, pitching 5 innings and allowing 11 hits, 8 runs, all earned, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, and 1 home run. This adds up to a game score of 13; a quality start would be 50 or more. Lee actually added -.449 win probability, meaning he could have taken an average 50-50 game and made it 95% certain his team would lose. Fortunately, Lee’s run support was solid enough to get him 9 runs and let him leave, eventually winning 14-10.

The toughest loss of the month goes to Hyun-jin Ryu of the Dodgers, who pitched seven scoreless innings on March 30th, allowing only 3 hits, walking three but striking out seven. His game score, 75, would ordinarily be recorded as a gem of a win. However, the Sidney for Individual Performance by a Reliever goes to Brian Wilson, who entered the game and promptly blew a save by allowing two hits and three runs, two earned, as well as walking one batter and allowing one home run. Wilson’s epic meltdown was in all likelihood due to nerve irritation in his arm, which put him on the disabled list for at least 15 days. Hopefully, the Dodgers can tap some of their talented relievers to keep themselves out of the April 2014 Sidneys.

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1Not a guarantee; may be the first time these have been awarded.

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