Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MARINERS: Giving out the Mariners midseason awards

The most improved player: Erik Bedard
With the All-Star break ending and the Mariners set to take on Texas in a crucial four game series this Thursday, it’s a good time to take a look at the first half of the season and hand out the awards.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Michael Pineda (8-6, 3.03 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 113 K, 113.0 IP)

Pineda barely beats Felix on this one. Felix has more innings pitched (144.0), more strikeouts (140), but I put Pineda slightly above Felix because of his better WHIP (1.04 to 1.17), ERA (3.03 to 3.19), and opponent average (.197 to .226).

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If I told anyone that Michael Pineda was going to have the best first half out of any of the Mariners’ players and receive an All-Star spot, I would have been laughed at. Last March, before the season started, there was some debate on whether Pineda should have even gotten a spot out of spring training! Pineda started a meager 12 games in AAA, so there were some skeptics saying Pineda wouldn’t have the maturity to handle big league hitters.

Well, he’s proven everyone wrong. Pineda has befuddled hitters, holding them to a .197 average with his 97-MPH fastball and ever developing slider.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Erik Bedard (4-6, 3.03 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 85 K, 90 IP)

Could I choose anyone else? After being injured all of the 2010 season, people wondered whether Erik Bedard could even come back to baseball. The Mariners decided to give Erik one last chance, signing him to a low risk contract almost all based on incentives.

All he’s done is put up the best ERA out of any of the Mariners’ starters, hold his opponents to a .221 AVG, and reassured baseball that the former Baltimore Oriole has something left in him.

Despite coming off a huge injury and the Mariners stating they will watch Bedard’s pitch count, Erik has posted a solid 6 innings per start.

BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Adam Kennedy (.259 AVG, 30 RBI, 26 Runs, 6 HR, 6 SB)
Because there was no one else.

I’m not going to spend any more time on how bad this Mariners offense is. That horse has already been beaten too many times.

But having Adam Kennedy as your best offensive player tells you a lot about the team. The only other person who could vie for this award would be Ichiro, who is experiencing career low numbers (.270 AVG, 23 RBI, 46 Runs, 0 HR, 23 SB) and hasn’t played much better than Kennedy.

Justin Smoak at one point was the leading candidate for this award, hitting .284 in April, but has since cooled off, hitting .230 and struggling to find any consistency at the plate.

LEAST VALUABLE PLAYER: Donkey from Shrek (.183 AVG, 14 RBI, 21 Runs, 1 HR, 9 SB)

(Remember, I refuse to spell out C**** F******’s name until his batting average is above .220. Instead, I will call him by his alter ego, the Donkey from Shrek.)

This overpaid, underperforming waste of space gets the lofty award known as the LVP.

And I’m actually not giving Donkey this award solely based on his putrid performance. Yes, his numbers are worse than they’ve ever been, but he largely gets this award for being overpaid and being very unlikeable guy.

Think about it. Franklin Gutierrez has almost identical numbers (.187 AVG, 8 RBI, 10 Runs, 1 HR, 4 SB), but do you hear fans yelling obscenities at Guti the way they do at Donkey? What it really comes down to is Franklin is a nice, likeable guy who has won us over with amazing over-the-wall catches while C****is a jerk who commits an error every other game.

Listen to Donkey be a jerk here.

Word, yo.

Reach Nathan Parsons at