The Midseason A(‘s)wards Show
With the mid-summer classic coming to an end this week, let’s begin looking forward to the next half of what’s shaping up to be a very exciting year for A’s. That being said, let’s acknowledge this great first half and pass out awards for the A’s determined by a panel of judges consisting of myself. This awards ceremony is great for just the pure pageantry alone. What will Seth Smith be wearing you ask? Perhaps a Majestic jersey and a New Era hat if we’re lucky! Well I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to hear who these winners are. Let’s get started!
Most Dynamic (which can also include best hair): Hands down, without contest, Coco Crisp. Covelli Loyce Crisp is not only the A’s all around MVP but his influence is such that as Coco goes, the A’s go. I can’t think of another Athletic since Jason Giambi in the early 2000’s whose clutch performances sparked the entire team. Crips is actually a more dynamic player than Giambi was though. He can make plays happen on the base and definitely in the field. The guy is a center field vacuum where doubles go to die and can seemingly run down anything hit remotely his way. He’s got killer hair too and that’s never a bad deal. If Coco can stay healthy this second half and his bat begins to heat up in non-clutch situations, the A’s are green and golden the rest of the way!
Biggest Disappointment: After hitting 32 jimmy-jacks last year, Josh Reddick has only hit 4 this year. Now granted, he has dealt with a wrist injury that he tried to play through and has been kinda-sorta hitting better lately but that swing is way too big and if there are runners on, it’s almost a given that Reddick will ground into a double play or strike-out. Still lots of time to turn it around though so, you know, do it!
Most likely to be bizarrely and unnecessarily burned by this blogger without much context: Mike “Gags” Gallego. There’s just something about the former “A” and current third base coach that awakes in me a need to tease. It doesn’t hurt that my Dad has a theory focusing on when players run the bases they can’t pick up Mikey due to his smaller stature and as a result, the A’s are more prone to base running errors because of this. I really like that theory. But my teasing of “Gags” is something I can’t explain and I know it seems mean but the burns are mild ones and if I ever did run into “Gags” at a bar, you can rest assured I would have his first round.
Who I’d want besides “Gags” and I in a bar fight: It’s late on Friday night in Oakland when a gang of rouge, ill-mannered Giants fans (really, are there any other kind?) come walking into Ye Old Hut on College Ave. spouting profanities and harassing customers. “Gags” and I are enjoying ourselves and letting the insults by these foul-mouthed “fans” from across the bay roll off our backs but then they go too far. They refuse to acknowledge that Marco Scutaro was an Athletic first and then it’s on. Who do “Gags” and I need backing us to take these bandwagon fans down? The Raging Aussie himself, Grant Balfour. Well deserved, Grant and thanks for having our hypothetical backs!
Most Mysterious: Big, bad, Bartolo Colon. Where does he go after games? Does he have a lot of friends? What are they like? I don’t know how the 40 year old is having the best year of his career and rampant theories are suggesting I don’t want to know. The too-good-to-be-true season he’s having has been great though and watching the big fella throw strike after strike has been one of the most enjoyable parts about coming out to the Coliseum this year. My fingers are crossed that the only PED’s this man of mystery has been taking are Choco Tacos but something tells me that the veil of mystery surrounding Barty is a tough one to open. Watching this guy pitch never gets old though!
Most Dependable: Tough call on this one. There’s obvious choice Josh Donaldson who is killing it both offensively and defensively this year but there’s also the more understated but equally heroic Jed Lowrie. My hypothesis as to why doubles machine Lowrie gets less fanfare is due to the very un-cool and very AAA dual ear-flaps on his helmet but that’s for another discussion. Either way, these two have lead the team thus far and if the rest of the offense gets hot and these guys keep producing, the A’s may be headed to some games deep in October.
The “I’m sorry, I’m horrible with names. Tell me yours again” Award: Has to go to Brett Anderson who is always dependable in getting injured. Luckily for the A’s we’re chin deep in pitching and Dan Straily has been a nice fill-in for when an extra starter is needed. Inconsistent at times, sure, but look for him, A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker to have monster second halves on the mound. If Anderson does return hopefully he can do so effectively and contribute for at least one month.
The “You’re Killing Me, Smalls!” Award: Sean Doolittle and Jerry Blevins are struggling out of the bullpen and have been doing so for a while now. Not sure what Curt Young can do with their confidence or what Bob Melvin can do to put them in situations to succeed but this may be a larger, more crucial issue later on the second half if these guys are still having problems getting the job done. Luckily, the ballad of Jesse Chavez is a good one and Ryan Cook has also looked more locked in lately.
Most Desirable: Well in this case it’s actually a player to be named later in the sense that the A’s need some help at second base. Badly! Pretty sure that Jemile Weeks will get one more look but with the trade deadline coming up, how awesome would it be to see Chase Utley in the green and gold or former A’s killer Michael Young out at second. Being seventeen games over .500 has got to have Billy Beane knocking on Lew Wolff’s door asking for a little extra cash for some help to make a serious run into the post season. Knowing Wolff though, and his satanic treatment of the organization during his tenure over the last several seasons, it’s more likely we’ll get Weeks back and leave a gaping hole in the infield and in the lineup.
Most Hated: Well I just called the guy’s treatment of the team during his tenure “satanic” so I hope it’s clear that Lew Wolff is public enemy number one. What will be interesting in the second half though is if Lewy continues to hide behind the lies that the A’s can’t win in Oakland or be successful at the Coliseum. Um, Lew, in case you haven’t been told as we all know you’re rarely at games, the A’s attendance has had the biggest year-over-year increase and they also hold one of the best records in baseball right now. Going back to this time last season, they actually do have the best record. Check the facts, keep your mouth shut for a change and let us enjoy this, Wolffturd!
Most Beloved: All these guys! Thanks, Oakland Athletics, for what’s been one of the most entertaining half seasons to date. Can’t wait for the dog days of summer to be winning ones as the green stampede keeps running wild! Honorable Mention: Stomper. Just ‘cuz…