As everyone knows, these midseason awards are a tremendous honor. Starting with their inception in 1907, our TGP Blog Lord forefathers have been giving them out to the most deserving players in a variety of categories. It's our way of saying "You keep doing what you're doing, kid, and you'll be fine." Or, alternately "Please stop what you're doing, you're killing the team and making small children cry all over the Delaware Valley."
Most Valuable Player: Carlos Ruiz I mean, who else could it be?.350/.412/.584 is by far the best line of anyone on the team. He catches a great game. His smile heals the sick and warms cold, empty hearts everywhere. He is full of joy and awesomeness. In the spot where his home runs land, a party springs up from nothing, complete with music, food, and sparkly lights.
Cy Young: Cole Hamels You think if we changed the name of the Cy Young Award to the Cole Hamels Award, he'd stay? Should we throw him a parade? Does he want a few unicorns? Or maybe a narwhal? What if we got someone to follow him around and play the Rocky theme all the time! Or Lifehouse. Or whatever music he likes. Perhaps if we built him his very own theme park. I'm running out of ideas. Suggestions?
Least Valuable Player: John Mayberry Perhaps we should have seen this coming. Taco Pal warned us. Last year's suddenly fantastic numbers made me suspicious, considering he'd played the majority of his seven year career in the minors with a line of .258/.328/.457. I didn't think 2011 John Mayberry was going to stick around, and by putting up disappointing numbers and being disappointing, he didn't disappoint me. Though it's a little disheartening to automatically concede the out as soon as you see him in the on-deck circle. Oh, John. If we had only found you a mermaid to call your very own.
The "You're Better Suited for Batting Practice" Award: Joe Blanton and Chad Qualls/Joe Savery/Antonio Bastardo Of Phillies starters, Joe Blanton has the highest HR/9 (1.6), so he will receive a giant, head sized baseball in the mail in 6-8 weeks. Of the bullpen, Chad Qualls wins with a HR/9 of 2.0 (!?!), which was far higher than anyone else. But he's the Yankees' problem now, so the massive baseballs will be transported via Pony Express to Antonio Bastardo and Joe Savery (HR/9 of 1.6 each).
Hard Luck Loser: Cliff Lee Oh my Lord, it seemed like he'd never get a win. Lee either pitched well and watched the rest of the team screw it up, or he pitched awfully and legitimately got the L. When he pitched 10 shutout innings against the Giants back in April (his third start of the season) and got a no decision, I kind of figured that's the way his season was going. Lee finally got his first win on July 4 -- his 14th start, and the team's 83rd game of the season.
Largest Head: Ty Wigginton This award is usually a lock for Placido Polanco, who has a head like a ripe pumpkin or one of those large, round theme park bouncy balloons that has a rubber string attached to the end. But Ty Wigginton's head and neck combined make it look like he's carrying a giant lump of unbaked bread dough on his shoulders.
Most Misunderstood: Hunter Pence Sure, he swings at nearly anything he's thrown, whether it's on the plate, off the plate, by his ears, in the dirt, or somewhere in Delaware. He is a terrible, terrible base runner. And his all-consuming awkwardness makes nearly every play in right field a terrifying adventure. But he's good! Because everybody says so! I mean, if Chris Wheeler thinks he's a great on the base paths, I guess that's that!
Most Anachronistic Old Timey Player: Juan Pierre Juan Pierre seems to play a brand of baseball from the pre-Babe Ruth years. He slaps the ball, he runs a lot, he wears billowy old timey baseball knickers, and if he hits a home run, it's almost certainly a bizarre accident. Of course, the irony is that in the time before Babe Ruth, Pierre wouldn't be able to play major league baseball. (Hint: It's not just because his first name is Juan.)
The "OH MY GOD PLEASE DON'T LEAVE US" Award Seriously, Cole. Please don't go. Please.
The "OH MY GOD PLEASE GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE" Award: Chad Qualls It was neck and neck between Chad Qualls and Ty Wigginton, two guys who represent a number of unpleasant aspects of the 2012 Phillies. Less than great offseason signings, mistakes in key situations, generally being annoying, no one's first choice. But Chad Qualls gets the award -- a tiny golden door, inscribed with "Don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out."
The Weirdest Dude Award: Jonathan Papelbon Has anyone actually looked at Jonathan Papelbon's face when he gets ready to pitch? When he's leaning in and getting the sign from Chooch? It's unbelievably weird. His mouth is in a scrunched up O. And this article about him just continues the weirdness. The guy has an imagined alter ego named Cinco Ocho. If you can get past how douchey that is, it's thoroughly weird.
The Frequent Flier Award: Erik Kratz "JUST TELL ME WHERE YOU WANT ME! I'LL GO ANYWHERE!! JUST SHOVE ME ON A BUS OR A PLANE OR A COVERED WAGON OR WHATEVER YOU GUYS DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT ME!!" Kratz yelled as he packed up his locker for the 78th time in 2012, once again heading to play with the injury plagued major league club. "It's not like I have plans or anything! I'll just drop everything and be ready whenever someone has a hangnail or runs into the wall or gets carried off by a giant bird."
The Freddy Galvis Award for Most Freddy Galvis-like Game Play: Freddy Galvis (This award replaces the Wilson Valdez Award for Most Wilson Valdez-like Game Play.) There is really no one else that Galvis can be. On the field he is thoroughly himself, all fresh faced and dewy eyed and bringing the average age of the club down 30 years or so. Flashing leather, grinning like an adorable kid, and doing strange things at the plate. In 58 games, he batted .226, but he hit 15 doubles. That's more than Pence, Victorino, and Polanco have, and they've all played in more games than Galvis (86 each for Pence and Victorino, and 73 for Polanco). That's so Galvis! (This fall on The Disney Channel!)