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The Sidney Awards for April 2014 May 4, 2014

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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That sleeveless shirt is so disappointing.

That sleeveless shirt is so disappointing.

Once again, it’s time for the World’s Worst Sports Blog’s favorite monthly recognition: the Sidney Ponson Memorial Awards for Disappointing Performance in Baseball! The awards commemorate the Major League Baseball career of Sir Sidney Ponson, Knight of the Netherlands, who has made many bad choices in the realm of behavior, clothing, and hairstyle.

The most prestigious Sidney is the coveted Cheapest Win of the Month, which goes this month to the Twins’ Ricky Nolasco. Ricky pitched an April 24th game against the Tampa Bay Rays and nailed a game score of 27 with 6 innings pitched, 10 hits, 6 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 1 strikeout, and one home run given up to David DeJesus. Nolasco is still in competition with Cliff Lee and his pace-setting game score of 13.

On the other end of the line, Atlanta’s Alex Wood takes home the award for Toughest Loss of the Month. On April 22, Wood pitched 8 innings, allowing only one run on four hits, walking none and striking out eleven for a game score of 81. The Braves’ run support was nonexistent; only three Braves even got on base. As good as Wood was, Jose Fernandez was better, pitching 8, allowing no runs on three hits, and striking out 14 for a game score of 90.

The Sidney for Disappointing Starting Pitching goes to Felipe Paulino of the White Sox for his dazzling April 18th performance. In only 3 2/3 innings, Paulino allowed an incredible 10 earned runs on 13 hits, walking 3 and striking out 3; this led him to the first negative game score (-5) of the season, although that may have had something to do with the rotator cuff inflammation that landed him on the disabled list a few days later.

Grant Balfour is the proud1 recipient of the April Sidney for Disappointing Performance in Relief following his April 25th blown save against the White Sox. Though several pitchers blew more saves than Balfour during the month of April, Balfour managed to give up a grand slam after walking three batters in the process of allowing five earned runs for the biggest blown save of the month.

The Sidney for Disappointment by a Batter goes undoubtedly to Greg Dobbs of the Marlins, who managed to avoid getting on base at all during the month of April. His last time on base was March 31, and he managed to avoid walking, hitting, being hit by a pitch, or even reaching on an error in twelve at-bats as a pinch hitter. He hasn’t played since April 26th and was designated for assignment on April 29.

Finally, the special Sidney for Disappointing Statisticians goes to Albert Pujols. Although the World’s Worst Sports Blog was excited about the prospect of reviving the Choke Index for Albert’s 499th to 500th home runs, Albert managed to hit his 500th home run only two plate appearances after #499. This blogger didn’t even have time to crunch the numbers before Pujols, who paused only to strike out in the second inning before taking Taylor Jordan deep on his second home run of the game, had managed the milestone. Congratulations, Albert!

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1Not a guarantee

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.