So every now and then I think that it’s good to write up some Blue Jays baseball buzz feed trash. And now that the season of dogshit is finally behind us all, I figured it would be fun to hand out some awards in good ol’ Jays Droppings couture.
The some kind of thing is, I’m not about to hand out (even though I’m not really handing out anything) traditional awards like MVP – or the Cy Young because that’s a bit boring and I want to make this entertaining, for you, the reader.
I need to make note to all of you that a number of polls were conducted in order to properly do this dumbass thing I’m doing. I spent hours cold calling Canadians to find out what Blue Jay you all thought was deserving of each Jays Droppings award. I know that awards are subjective, and to be honest, pretty lame too, especially in the arts, but I hired a team of experts and pollsters to analyze and collect as much data as possible for each category, so here we go in Labatt Blue fashion.
Note to the reader: Each Blue Jay who wins a Jays Droppings award will be receiving a random coupon from the pile of junk mail that I receive, as I will make sure to mail something good to each winner. Also, the Blue Jay who wins the KFC Bucket of Chicken Award will be receiving a stack of special KFC coupons to be used as freely as that person feels.
The 2017 Jays Droppings Awards
The Fan Choice Award
(Or as the millennials would call it – The Dope AF Award)
He’s the grand slam, RISP, and hidden ball trick machine that has won the hearts of so many fans this season. And as much as all the Go Go maniacs out there want to believe that he is awesome and should be the everyday shortstop or second baseman, the high and inside truth is – no he shouldn’t. His numbers are, well, a big millennial meh, as he slashed a line of .237/.285/.349 with a wRC+ 69, and was worth -0.3 WAR. Geez. So, ahh, yeah, I will take that pass – sorry Go Go fans.
The Remember Me (I prefer not to) Award
Remember him? The Blue Jays called him up on April 8th this season, where he made his big debut in the show at the Trop, as he walked in the winning run in the 11th inning. He turned a few heads during spring training and then, ahh, that was about it. The Mariners claimed him off waivers and that’s all I got. Godspeed, Casey. And thank cuss the 2017 season is done.
Runner up for the award: Mat Latos
The Unicorn Award
There were tiny little sprinkles of magic throughout this season and the most colourful moment may have been the unicorn leap. When Marco Estrada was asked about the holy-are-you-kidding-me moment, he said it was like he had seen a unicorn or something. Now, that’s something, don’t you think?
The WTF Are You Kidding Me Award
What the hell are the chances that we will see another Blue Jay hit two walk-off grand slams in four days in our lifetime? No, really? What are the chances? In a season that had plenty of shitty moments, it sure is easy to remember the few good ones that came on the good ol’ diamond this year, isn’t it?
Steve ‘I look like a bouncer’ Pearce made a little ol’ school WWF ‘Greg The Hammer Valentine’ kind of noise by putting the figure four leg lock on that sunny weekend in Toronto with his two power slams, as he became one of just three players in the damn history of the MLB to do so in the same bat flippin’ season. Believe it or not, I remember reading that his former hitting coach, Jim Presley, did it back in 1986 when people were probably singing along to Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”, and Cy Williams, did it before the great depression hit the world in the 1930’s. So the chance of us not seeing this anytime soon are pretty good. I bet the Birds win a third World Series before we see that kind of magic happen again. I'd take a World Series over that anyway.
The Wham-O Slip And Slide Pogo Ball Award
Are you old enough to remember the Wham-O Slip and Slide? I sure as hell am. Oh, growing up as a child in the 80s, it sure was a blast. We all rode our BMX bikes around the neighborhood, played with toys while we used our imaginations to make the plastic little whatever’s come to life, computers weren’t really a thing yet (but the Commodore 64’s Spy Vs. Spy was the greatest thing ever), no Internet, and Saturday morning cartoons were the best part of the weekend. The good ol’ days of Zap It, 1980s Wrestling, Star Wars pajamas, E.T., The Goonies, and Pogo Balls.
It’s also the same decade that Darwin Barney entered the Earth’s hemisphere too, as the ‘always looks so sleepy one’ was born in 1985, so he may have had a few turns running and jumping onto the ol’ Wham-O Slip and Slide back in the day, which he could have been reliving in his famous 2017 slide to third. Some fans may use an adjective like adorable to describe it, other’s might use a superlative like least elegant slide you’ll see, but it wins Darwin the Jays Droppings Wham-O Slip and Slide Pogo Ball Award for 2017. He will receive an A & W coupon book courtesy of me for this ‘HEY YOU GUYS!’ moment.
The Porcelain Award
It breaks my fuckin’ heart to type this (this pun may or may not have been intended), but Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki take home the Porcelain Award. And I’m not trying to be a sarcastic dipshit here because, believe me, the last thing I want are these two to get injured so often, but it might just be the reality that us Blue Jays fans have to accept – or have already accepted.
It most definitely won’t hurt the FO this offseason to address the fact that the porcelain twins Tulo and Travis will probably get injured next season too. It’s really important in life (and in baseball) to have a plan for the worst possible scenario, and if there is no plan for the fact that shitty things happen, well, that shit’s on you. And who the hell wants that. So the FO needs to make sure to sort out the 'who' is going in when one of either Tulo or Travis goes down next season.
Now, what’s really upsetting about this shitty storyline is the fact that Travis is only 26 years old and seems so deserving of being able to do what he loves best and be great at it too. So made-of-steel fingers crossed that this young man can stay healthy (even though recent news suggests otherwise) and compete day-in-and-day-out doing what he loves to do.
Runner up for the award: Aaron Sanchez
Side note: Can Aaron Sanchez’s blister and finger issues please fuck off for 2018 and beyond. Okay, let’s continue …
The KFC Bucket of Chicken Award
Pillar had a tough year at the plate, said a dumb thing, but was awesome in the field and sacrificed his body making some pretty damn excellent - said like Wayne Campbell in Wayne's World - catches in center field. So Mr. Pillar, you are the winner of the KFC Bucket of Chicken Award, so, ahh, yeah, why not – I dunno.
Side note: KFC is the proud sponsor of these Jays Droppings awards, so here is a message from the finger lickin’ good company whose money made all this possible:
The Get Your Ray-Bans Award
The future is damn bright and we all should get a pair of Ray-Bans, and not just because they are cool, but because holy-are-you-kidding-me-thank-God these two were around to produce exciting headlines during this 2017 season.
I could write up so much about Bo and Vlad like how awesome they were in Lansing, how even more awesome they were in Dunedin, how every scouting report about the two seems to just get better and better - but what’s the point. I’m just gonna sit here with my Ray-Bans and stare at the future. And wait. And. Wait. And … Damn! I hate waiting. Okay, patience. Patience. Alright, fuck it, ya know what, I’m gonna take off these damn Ray-Bans and accept that I have to wait just a bit longer until I see these two play at the Dome, but man when that day happens it’s gonna be like Christmas.
TV Dad Award
Obviously, it’s John Gibbons. It’s John fuckin’ Gibbons y’all.
Runner up: Tim Leiper
The Tiger Style Award
Marcus Stroman is another key piece to this future and everything about his 2017 season was tiger style awesome. Actually, it was more like: Bam! Aw, man! He, slam, jam, and screamed like Tarzan. Okay, I’m done with the Wu-Tang references to the 36 Chambers, but the Stro Stopper ain’t nuttin ta fuck wit if you get where I’m going with this.
Sure some ol’ school minds out there this season had a whole lot to say about how he carries himself on the mound, and that’s fine. I think the HDMH Kid is exactly what makes the new era of MLB so damn exciting. The thing is, he knows that he be tossing and flossing, because his style is awesome – okay, that’s the last Wu-Tang reference, but it’s true. And let’s not forget that home run that he hit off of Julio Teheran in Atlanta too.
Stroman made it to the 200 mile by clocking 201 IP this year and he finds himself in an elite class, as the ninth best pitcher in the MLB when you do a standard analytics search for the leading pitchers in Fangraphs. When you hit the ol’ Princeton advanced math-search-of-metrics on the same nerd site, Stroman doesn’t sit so high on the leaderboard, but that’s okay. He averaged a 19.7% K rate compared to a 7.4% BB, which isn’t too bad at all. His 1.31 WHIP is respectable and, I believe, that he can improve his WHIP because of his raw talent, repertoire of pitches, and his age. It would be nice to see his WHIP dip below (or closer to) 1.00, as he pitches his way to becoming a true ace like, let’s say - a Kluber. His 3.58 xFIP isn’t something to be overlooked and I think Stroman could improve this and push it closer to the 2 mark, as well. Why not? The kid doesn’t even know what the hell the word limit means, which is what makes his future MLB career so damn intriguing, to me, at least.
When it comes to a pitcher like Stroman, analytics can’t measure the attitude and heart that this young man has. I think he is going to be a major part of the Blue Jays rotation for years to come and that is ‘tiger style’ awesome. Marcus Stroman wins the Jays Droppings Tiger Style Award. There is no Tiger Style Award runner up here folks.
The Balls of Steel Award
When I was in University, my Victorian Lit. professor, John Crick, used to remind us everyday that you need balls of steel in this world. He was probably my favorite prof. and the reason I have read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness a bunch of times. And Kierkegaard back in my ‘up in smoke’ days too. The man sure had a fundamental antipathy to all words that ended with the suffix – ism.
Anyway, Roberto Osuna is this year’s Jays Droppings Balls of Steel winner. The young man came to the media about his anxiety and mental health and that takes a lot of courage and strength. Now, of course, there were bozos out there who said dumbass things like ‘man up’ or ‘it’s only mental’, but that’s just because they are goofs and only a goof listens to goofs. Osuna like Stroman is another key piece in the future, and people can say what they will about the blown saves this year, but the young man finished out the season with 39 saves, 11.67 K/9, 2.57 xFIP, and 2.4 WAR. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, and he’s only 22.
The Don’t Doubt Me M**haf**ka Award
Justin ‘Smash’ Smoak
Do you remember last offseason? I sure do. A whole hell of a lot of fans (including me) and writers were making the argument that Steve Pearce should start at first base because Justin Smoak sucks shit – or the ol’ #SmoakStrikesOut kind of stuff.
I even wrote a piece, I think, called ‘Who’s On First?’ where I did some lame Abbott & Costello bit as my intro into the some kind of thing that I wrote up.
The hard-hitting fact of awesome is that Justin Smoak smashed all of us naysayers who doubted him this season. I could go on about his awesome slash line of are/your/kidding/me, but what’s the point we all know he was something fun to watch this season. Justin Smoak you are this years ‘Don’t Doubt Me M**thaf**ka’ champion.
The WAR Machine Award
The first half of the season completely sucked for JD. He was injured and it plagued him longer than any of us thought it would. And then he returned with a face shield that screwed up his timing at the plate. And then he said and I’m not quoting him, but I’m sure his inner monologue was something like this, ‘fuck this goddamn face shield’ – I think, I dunno.
So the Bringer of Rain took it off and became the WAR machine that we all know him to be. He ended the season with 5.0 WAR, 2016 7.6 WAR, and 2015 8.8 WAR, for a total of 21.4 WAR in 3 seasons with the Birds. And some people out there don’t want the Blue Jays to sign him? I dunno, but I like him, and he likes our team. Personally, I’d be tickled pink if he signed an extension with the Birds – just sayin’.
The Level of Excellence Award
The Thank You For Trying Award