The Weirdest Award Winners Ever
This is absolutely true — last night I had this dream that I was writing about the weirdest award winners in American sports history. And now I’m writing about the weirdest award winners in American sports history. I feel certain that I have crossed some sort of sanity Rubicon.
Before we get to it … I did want to give you a little preview of some stuff coming up. On Wednesday, I’ll be making a couple of cool announcements about my upcoming book, WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL. On Thursday, my massive story about baseball’s rules changes in Esquire will come out, and I’ll have a couple of extra things here to add to that. I’m putting together a couple more “fun” teams, and of course, we’ll soon have the third class of our JoeBlogs Hall of Fame.
In fact, you can see the entire JoeBlogs Hall of Fame at my new personal website.
All of which I say to give me an excuse to put up a couple of subscribe buttons:
All right! Let’s get to it — the weirdest sports award choices! I wish I could remember which players I chose in my dream … but I only remember No. 1.
No. 10: Steve Bedrosian wins Cy Young Award, 1987.
As you will see throughout this list, there was a time when baseball writers went a little bit nutso celebrating relief pitchers. Actually, more than a little bit nutso. I have a theory about it: I think baseball writers were so entirely smitten by the relatively new save statistic (invented by baseball writer Jerome Holtzman!) that they simply lost all sense of perspective about it.
This is, actually, not an uncommon thing. Through the years, baseball writers and fans have attached way too much meaning to various statistics, such as pitcher wins, RBIs, saves and batting average. There’s an argument to be made that writers — and I definitely include myself in this — are falling for the same trap by putting too much stock in Wins Above Replacement.
Bedrosian in 1987 did not have a particularly great season. He gave up 11 homers in 89 innings, he had a 3.79 FIP; I’d say all things considered he was probably the third- or fourth-best RELIEVER in the National League, and it was probably his third- or fourth-best season in the big leagues. There had to be 20 starters in the league who were better than Bedrock in 1987.