Quarter-Pole Awards in Major League Baseball

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SARATOGA, NY–With 162 games in a Major Leage Baseball season, many feel that the early months of the season are pointless and the important baseball games aren’t played until after the All-Star Break. Well… They’re wrong. While a team can’t win the World Series in April or May, they can certainly lose it. Therefore… Here are the MLB Quarterly Awards:

The Red Sox season to this point.

The Red Sox season to this point.

Best Team: There are a few teams in the conversation for the top spot in baseball at the quarter-pole, but none are more deserving than the Detroit Tigers. At 26-12, the Tigers sit with the best record in baseball while playing in one of the toughest divisions in the game. Wait, what? The AL Central is one of the toughest divisions in baseball? Yup. The Al Central holds three teams with a winning percentage of .500 or better, which is better than the AL West and NL Central. The Tigers are playing dominant baseball with one of the best starting rotations in the game and an extremely potent lineup; a winning recipe for success.

Biggest Disappointment: Through the first quarter of the MLB season, no team has been more of a disappointment than the Boston Red Sox. Before you jump down my throat and call me a Yankees homer with this decision, hear me out. Sure Boston only sits 2.5 games behind the AL East leading New York Yankees, which is an extremely small margin compared to both the Pittsburgh Pirates (8.5 games back) and the Cincinnati Reds (7 games back,) but we’re talking about the team who won the World Series last year. The Red Sox were entering the season with a similar lineup from last year and shouldn’t have skipped a beat. But wait, “Isn’t losing Jacoby Ellsbury a big loss?” You ask. Yeah, you would think so, but if you ask most Red Sox fans, they’d say that they don’t miss him too much because his “personality” didn’t fit the culture of the clubhouse. Either way, the Sox are in the middle of a four-game losing streak and it’s not looking too pretty.

Not only can Masahiro Tanaka pitch, but he can hit too!

Not only can Masahiro Tanaka pitch, but he can hit too!

Most Potent Bat: One could make an argument for Los Angeles Angels young gun Mike Trout as the winner of this award, but no one is swinging a more potent bat than Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Not only does Tulo lead the National League in batting average, but leads the NL in home runs too. It’s nice to see Tulo swinging a nice bat this season considering he only played in 126 games last year. If Tulo can keep this up or stay close to this pace for the entire season, he’s well on his way to his fist NL MVP.

Mr. Unhittable: Many were very cautious of how Yankees new arm Masahiro Tanaka would fair in the States, and so-far, so-good! Tanaka ranks in the top five in both wins and ERA in the American League at this point, and that’s not even his most impressive stat. Tanaka is one of four pitchers in the AL with a Wins Above Replacement score at 2.0 or higher. Considering Tanaka is facing major league hitters for the first time in his career, his impressive numbers are even more eye-popping.

Biggest Splash: It’s a shame that Jose Abreu went on the 15-Day DL Sunday, because the Chicago White Sox rookie was making a HUGE name for himself in the majors. Abreu has been one of the few bright spots for this AL Central team, leading the AL in home runs and RBIs. The big question will be if the first baseman can keep up his hot bat wen he comes of the disabled list from his tendinitis in his left ankle. If he can, a rookie of the year award may be coming his way.

Yup, this was one of Yasiel Puig's bat flips.

Yup, this was one of Yasiel Puig’s bat flips.

Best Bat Flip: Bat flips may rub some people the wrong way, but when someone crushes a ball out of the park, why can’t they flip their bat and admire what they have done? Los Angels Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has definitely earned this award. What makes Puig’s bat flips so amazing, is that the next bat flip is always better than the previous. You may feel indifferent about the Cuba slugger’s game, but you have to respect his bat flip.

Mr. Unlucky: It’s extremely hard not to feel bad for Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija. Smaradzija, who currently has the second best ERA in all of baseball is yet to win a game. Samardzija has pitched four shutouts and two games of one-run baseball which is only good for a record of 0-4 (it’s unbelievable, I know.) One can only hope that this unlucky ball player will be traded in the near future so his 1.62 ERA can be put to good use.

Feel free to comment below and come back for Walter “The Grinding Ax” Hynes, tomorrow. You can also follow us on Twitter at @Ebstide52 and @MeetTheMatts.

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About the Author ()

D.J. Eberle: The youngest of our team, D.J. is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native is playing OT for Western New England University - right now. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @Ebstide52
  • GrindingAxWalter

    The Bengals have added some relief and base running to that formidable line-up . They look like they are hitting their stride as displayed by their sweeping the “Sawx”

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      The Tiggers look good but it’s May, GAW. Those arms have a lot of innings on them. Tell you what, we’ll broker a deal that frees up much needed cash: Verlander for Dice, K, Scott Rice and Valverde – in his triumphant return to Motown!

      • GrindingAxWalter

        Ah…..NO….The Detroit GM is No Dumb-browski….they learned that lil Cecil was an Arodlike playoff disaster and put up cash to grab a better Fielder, runner and clutch player . You can keep the opponents best weapon in Valkery Valverde.

  • Toby12

    The biggest disappointment for me has been CC. I thought the lost weight meant that he would be stronger, fit and better. Right now he has looked like he should hang up his cleats.

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      How’s about his lost fastball?

    • DJ Eberle

      While CC has been a disappointment so far, I actually believe this DL stint is good for him. If they can get his knee straight, then maybe everything else will come together.

      • GrindingAxWalter

        They are secretly putting him on the Bartolo Colon diet in the hopes of retaining is mojo

    • GrindingAxWalter

      It means he has something wrong with him.

  • AngryWard

    In case you haven’t checked in on him in a while, Mike Trout is not swinging a good bat, far from it. It’s not too late for Samardzija to go back to playing football. I’m sure the Bears could use him.

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      Trout will end up 30-30-30 and have it considered an off-year.

    • Cookies Corner

      ‘Trout, trout, pretty little trout. Dunk ‘em in the water and come right out!’

  • Cheesybruin

    Mendoza Award: Curtis Granderson.
    Lady Byng: David Wright

    • GrindingAxWalter

      Well done

      • FakeSandyAlderson

        I like your selections. Though Tulowitski is definitely aided by 81 games a year in mile high Coors.
        How about these Quarter pole awards:
        Most Bat Speed Lost: David Wright
        Worst FA contract: Jacoby Ellsbury

  • WestCoastCraig

    Next time one of the kids on my coach-pitch team gets called out for throwing the bat, I’m going to say he’s just being Puig.

  • Cookies Corner

    Tanaka has been great to watch… and shutting up the nay-sayers. Red Sox fans have been poo-pooing Ellsbury since like two injuries ago.. and then it’s been ‘well if he can stay healthy.’ Surely they’ll hate on him for doing well with the Yankees. That is standard.

    My kid has taken to doing the bat casual swirl when at bat.. as well as the bat fling and admiration when he hits a ball.. tho he does run pretty quick because in Little League at this point.. they’re not going out of the park.. yet.

  • SAF

    RIP Gordon “The Prince of Darkness” Willis.

  • Junoir Blaber

    Tanaka will be solved by next year. It is a rookie season sensation. I would bet my mortgage.

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