Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Daily Dish Blue Plate Special Awards

With the last weekend of the season here, it is time to give the Daily Dish Blue Plate Special Awards to the best performers in various baseball categories during the 2002 season.

The Deep Dish Pizza Award goes to the Rookies of the Year in the American and National League.

Eric Hinske of Toronto started hitting the first day of the season and hasn’t stopped yet. He endured a managerial change when the forgettable career of Buck Martinez came to an end and he picked up his game under the more organized Carlos Tosca.

Hinske needss work with the glove, but what a hitter he is. The third baseman had 48 multi hit games, 23 homers, 82 RBI, scored 97 runs, and hit 38 doubles, all on a Blue Jays team going no where. He even stole 13 bases.

Hinske will be an all star and will make the Toronto fans forget Billy Koch, who he was traded for, for years to come.

In the National League, I give the nod to Brad Wilkerson in Montreal. Wilkerson played for a manager, Frank Robinson, who buries young players as quickly as he used to cream a Don Drysdale fastball.

Wilkerson scored 90 runs, hit 19 homers, hit 27 doubles, had 8 triples, and played flawlessly in the outfield (13 assists). He showed real plate discipline with an on base percentage of .368 and a good eye with 78 walks.

Click below for other awards.

The Sushi Award for Most Valuable Player goes to Barry Bonds in the National League and Miguel Tejada in the American.

Bonds needs very little discussion. He carried his team to the playoffs (it will be official soon) and is, in my opinion, the most dominant player I have ever seen in the game. He walks, leads the league in average, has 40 plus homers, runs the bases, plays great left field, and absolutely defines the game for the Giants.

Tejada plays both sides of the ball. His defense sets the tone for the A’s who otherwise would have very ordinary infield defense. Tejada makes all the plays, makes Eric Chavez and Mark Ellis better fielders. He throws accurately and is the rock in the field.

On offense, he has led his team in everything, a team that won over 100 games. He replaced Jason Giambi when everyone said Giambi was irreplaceable. He hit in the clutch. He banged out over 200 hits, he hit third when no one else on the team had the skill to hit in the hottest spot in the order. He is the heart of the A’s team.

He simply had a fabulous year in every facet of the game. Without Tejada, the A’s wouldn’t have been a playoff team.

Special recognition goes to Alfonso Soriano, who gets one order of Maguro (tuna sushi). He has done things no other second baseman has ever done and is a major part of the Yankee juggernaut. Throw an order of ebi (shrimp sushi) A Rod’s way in recognition of his 57 home runs.

The Angel Hair Pasta Pitcher of the Year awards go to Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson.

Neither pitcher is as delicate as the award they recieve, but both are the best in the game.

Johnson wins the big games time after time for his team. He sets strike out records virtually every time he pitches. He lead the NL with a 2.32 ERA, 24 wins, 260 innings pitched, 334 strikeouts, and an .828 winning percentage.

He is clutch, intimidating, and is the best pitcher in the league, without a doubt in my mind.

Pedro Martinez had an amazing year. He won 20 and lost 4. He dominates a game like no other pitcher in the league can. Opponents are hitting .198 against him, first in the league. His .833 winning percentage is first. His ERA 2.26 is number one. In road games his ERA is 1.89.

Barry Zito gets an order of clams casino, but not the main course. Pedro is still the main entree in this league. Derek Lowe deserves to be mentioned as well and will receive a nice order of special garlic bread for his table.

The Mu Shu Pork Manager of the Year Awards go to Art Howe and Tony La Russa.

Howe took a team that lost its leadoff hitter, MVP, and closer and brought them in with over 100 wins for the second consecutive year. What made his year special was the fact that the replacements he was given were dismal failures until he reworked his lineup.

The GM gave him Scott Hatteberg as his three hitter and David Justice as the clean up man.

Once Howe realized that neither could fill that role, he moved Tejada to the three spot and eventually turned the clean up job over to Eric Chavez. He lost Mark Mulder to an arm injury in May, yet manuvered his staff to a .700 winning percentage after May 20th. He stayed with Cory Lidle until the righty turned his season around. His set up men were a mess. He had three worthless lefties in the bull pen, yet got the ball to Billy Koch for 43 saves. Somehow he endured having the worst defensive center fielder in the league and kept the team on its course to the Western Division Championship.

Plus, he has a GM who refuses to share the spotlight or the credit with the manager, further magnifying the concentration of Art Howe on the job at hand, which is winning baseball games and ignoring the BS.

2002 was Art Howe’s best season as a manager.

Special orders of fried won ton go to Ron Gardenhire and Mike Scoscia, who did excellent jobs getting their teams to the playoffs.

La Russa balanced a pitching staff that had more injuries than any other staff that I can remember. He fought off the challenge of Houston. He guided the team through the tragic loss of Darryl Kile. He is a leader of men and a wonderful manager, who showed his true mettle as a human being in the toughest season of his career.

La Russa’s team is a real threat to go deep into the playoffs.

Dusty Baker can’t leave the awards without an order of Egg Rolls and he must share them with Jim Tracy, these are two fine men who brought flawed teams into late September fighting for a playoff spot.

There they are the first annual Daily Dish Blue Plate Award Winners.

Eat well guys, you deserve it.

The check’s on me.


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.