The Clem Report’s 2014 New York Mets Midseason Awards: Seinfeld Edition

Posted: July 16, 2014 in Baseball, Mets, Sports, Uncategorized
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Every year the teams in my fantasy baseball league are all named after a certain theme.  In years past, the themes have been Simpsons characters, pro wrestlers and TV show names.  This year’s theme was anything Seinfeld related.  The name could be a character, a saying, or ANYTHING else that existed in the Seinfeld universe.  Everyone quickly had a list of about ten team names they had to decide between without having to put any real thought into the matter.

So in honor of this wonderful show, as well as the greatest minor league promotion ever and the new Seinfeld emojis that will be released soon, I have decided to use Seinfeld for my 2014 New York Mets midseason awards blog.  Plus, can you really get more New York than if you talk about Seinfeld and baseball?

The Junior Mint Award Goes To: Wally Backman, George Greer, and Frank Viola.  The trio of AAA managers/coaches get this award for sitting down with Travis d’Arnaud and ironing out whatever flaws he had in his swing that caused him to hit worse than any position player not named Chris Young.  d’Arnaud was a key to the lineup at the beginning of the season and it shouldn’t be seen as a coincidence that the offense took off once he started hitting.  Whether those adjustments were real and necessary or just a matter of timing isn’t all that important.  As long as d’Arnaud keeps hitting, the R.A. Dickey trade just becomes a bigger win for the Mets regardless of Noah Syndergaard’s timeline.

The Kramer Hair On Fire Award Goes To: Jacob deGrom.  Duh.  deGrom has he best hair on the Mets, in baseball, and probably in the entire sports universe.  Plus the 3.18 ERA and 72:28 strikeout-to-walk ratio aren’t too shabby, either..

The Man Hands Award Goes To: Lucas Duda.  Ever since Duda put on those orange batting gloves, he looks like a legit power hitting first baseman.  Has an accessory ever improved a player this much, other than the old steroids/needle combo?  And I completely co-sign nicknaming The Dude as The Big Lebowski.  It is definitely better than L-Dud.

The George Costanza I Had Sex With Your Wife Award Goes To: Sandy Alderson.  I like Sandy’s straightforward personality and think he actually can be a pretty funny guy.  But he has an odd gift of being able to offend the entire fanbase with a comment that was likely meant as a harmless joke.

The Maestro Award Goes To: Dan Wharthen.  Whether it is the ballpark, the players, or the coaching, Dan Wharthen has been able to stick around the Mets as their pitching maestro.  I am not sure how good he truly is as a coach, but what he has gotten out of some of the young, inexperienced pitchers has been impressive (not to mention turning a knuckleballer into a Cy Young winner).  Juggling lots of fresh faces in a short amount of time can’t be easy for any coach, let alone the pitching coach.  Give this guy a house is Tuscany.

The Tractor Story Award Goes To: Daniel Murphy.  A second baseman who bats .300 and has a decent enough glove should make any group of fans happy.  But Murphy just has that one flaw.  Instead of gonorrrhea (at least as far as we know), it is making a bonehead play in the field or on the basepaths at the worst possible time.  Murphy is a good player to have on your team in theory, but I don’t think he is a player that has a place on a World Series contender.  Those plays always come back to haunt you in big games.

The Pez Dispenser Award Goes To: Bartolo Colon’s At Bats.  There has been nothing funnier this season than Fat Bart taking healthy cuts at the dish.  And when he does connect with the ball, the entertainment has still been off the charts.  If/when the Mets trade him, there will be a void in my soul that my never be filled again.

The Yada Yada Yada Award Goes To: David Wright.  The Captain has had a pretty nondescript season thus far, his first healthy season non-All-Star season since 2005.  Wright is still due for a few weeks of putting the offense on his back.  But thus far, the lobster bisque has been more exciting than his 2014 stats.

The George Costanza I Never Quit Award Goes To: Ruben Tejada. No matter how many times the team rips him in the media, how many people begged for Stephen Drew, or how much the fans booed him, Ruben Tejada keeps coming back for more.    There is something honorable in that and something truly depressing in that.  I am starting to feel like Ruben Tejada will still be playing shortstop for the Mets when I have kids and grandkids, regardless of his performance on the field.  He has the survival skills of a cockroach.

The Serenity Now Award Goes To: Chris Young.  Young has been one of (if not the) biggest free agent busts of 2014.  But whenever the Mets start whispering about cutting him, he comes through with big home runs.  This is more of an award for the fans that have to watch him, but I couldn’t think of a better marriage than Chris Young and the craziness that Serenity Now causes.

The Teri Hatcher Real And Spectacular Award Goes To: Curtis Granderson.  A lot of fans, media members, and haters said that Granderson’s power was just a mirage created by the generous dimensions of Yankee Stadium.  After an absolutely miserable April, many of these people felt like they were right.  But April Showers brought May flowers.  And we know what Mayflowers bring: Granderson bombs.  The Grandyman’s contract may be an albatross in the last year or so, but for now he is producing real power just like many fans hoped he would.

The Seat Filler Award Goes To: Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde.  Remember these misfits?  Both relievers were brought in to hopefully catch lightning in a bottle and give the Mets some cheap veteran options in the bullpen.  Once it became apparent that they would not perform as hoped, the Mets kept them around until the franchise was ready to turn the keys over to their younger bullpen pitchers and they lost their seats.  Mets fans couldn’t be happier.

The JFK Jr. Award Goes To: Juan Lagares.  The object of every Mets fan’s affection, just like JFK Jr. was the apple of every straight woman’s eye in the 90s.  A gold-glove centerfielder with a knack for getting big hits is the perfect dreamboat for any baseball fan.

The Festivus Award Goes To: Mets Fans.  Mets fans love airing their grievances, especially when the team or certain players are struggling.  During the 50 Cent concert, the fans decided to display The Feats of Strengths against each other in the stands.  And putting money into the Mets franchise is like donating to the Human Fund (which really goes directly to the Wilpons’ debt collectors)

The George Costanza I Want To Get Fired Award Goes To: Terry Collins.  Let me start off by saying that Collins has had very little support from the roster during his time here with the Mets.  The front office has given him marginal talent at best to work with and it must drive him insane.  However, he has made some uncharacteristically bad decisions this season.  If he actually wants to get fired, I don’t know if I could blame him.  And as unfair as it may be, I think most of the people involved with the Mets wouldn’t mind seeing a new manager in there once the team is ready to compete.

The George Costanza Exploding Wallet Award Goes To: The Mets Starting Pitching.  Between the Minors and the Big Leagues, the Mets starting pitching has a lot of options right now.  Not many staffs have the type of depth and young arms that the Mets are able to throw out there.  The younger players have been up and down, but have shown glimpses of real talent.  And veterans like Jonathan Niese, Dillon Gee, and Bartolo Colon have for the most part delivered what most Mets fans were hoping for.

The Kenny Rogers Roaster Award Goes To: The Mets Relief Pitching.  When your bullpen is dead last in the Majors in WAR, it is a very bad thing.  The Mets relief pitching has given their fans a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights.  However, players like Jennry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and Vic Black have been the potential tasty rewards to all these bad memories.

The Mandelbaum Family Award Goes To: The Wilpons.  A family that always tries to impress others and just completely ruins everything in the process?  Yup, that’s the Wilpons.  How can we ship the whole family to Del Boca Vista (Phase II)?

The Hitting Genius George Costanza Award Goes To: Lamar Johnson.  Whenever a hitting coach gets fired, the fans and the media talk about how it is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.  But can it be pure coincidence that the Mets have clearly started hitting better since Lamar Johnson became the hitting coach?  Instead of emphasizing home runs, Johnson has focused on the team to try to hit doubles.  And the final result is more home runs.  I don’t know whether that is a product of Johnson or just the typical weirdness of baseball.  I do know I don’t want it to end.

The Sponge Worthy Award Goes To: Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Giancarlo Stanton, and a select few other players.  I realize that the lack of impact free agents this winter is going to force the Mets to trade some of their impressive young arms for at least one bat.  However, I think the front office needs to be very selective who they pick.  There does not seem to be a great selection of legit hitters on the trade market, so Sandy will have to get creative.  I doubt any of the players above would actually be available for trade, but the Mets need to get back a player with similar talent, even if they have warts either on the field or off the field.  Just because the Mets have a surplus of young pitchers means they should take back anything less than an All-Star type player.  Whatever player(s) Sandy decides to trade for will go a long way in deciding if the Mets will be able to take the next steps toward contending in the foreseeable future.

The Car Rental Reservation Award Goes To: The Mets PR Department.  If you are a big Mets fan, you have heard just how lovable Mets PR head Jay Horowitz is.  But things like the loyalty letter and the Mr. Mets twitter account are two examples of an organization doing a bad job with it’s PR department.  The Mets know what PR is, they just don’t know how PR works.

The You Gotta See The Baby Award Goes To: The Mets For The Next Three Years.  After hearing about the young players developing in the minors the last few seasons, we are finally being treated to seeing some of these players arrive in Queens.  Granted, not everyone has worked out perfectly, but at least we are watching our young players sink/swim and not veteran retreads.  How these player perform or what they can fetch on the trade market will ultimately decide the Mets fate.  I can’t wait to see all of the young players come to Queens and I hope they are all “breathtaking”.

TL; DR- The Mets are in prettayyyyyy, prettayyyyyyy, prettayyyyyyyy good shape for the future. (you don’t get a Seinfeld clip for skipping ahead).

  1. […] d’ArYES, am I right?  (I’m sorry).  I gave the AAA coaches The Junior Mint award in my Seinfeld Midseason Awards blog because his improvement is soooo important to this team becoming a contender.  Having a good […]

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