As we all wonder who’s dining room table Omar Minaya will attempt to sit at on Thursday as he makes his plea for that player to come to Citi Field, let’s take a look back at the woeful 2009 season.
If you remember, back in early September we compiled a list of awards that we plan on handing out after every Mets season. Personally, I think it’s a lot easier to give out awards when a team wins 90-something games, so the fact we got as many votes as we did this year is a great first step!
The nominees were based on votes from the MMO staff, and then you the readers selected the winners per category!
Thank you to all who voted, and now let’s get to the winners!!!
I’ll reveal them in order of the biggest blow outs to the closest race!
Mike Piazza Award (Best moment of the season) – The 9/21 home run still remains one of the best Mets moments in recent memory. Voters were asked which moment was the best of the year. By an overwhelming margin, the winner is…
1. Omir Santos’ HR vs. Papelbon (84%)
2. Opening Day at Citi Field (8%)
3. Sheffield’s 500th HR (8%)
My thoughts: In all honesty, I thought Citi Field would have won this award. I’m more shocked at the margin of victory for Santos. I wonder if the Mets won their opener would Citi Field have gained more votes? David Wright’s HR that night could have been the winner had the Mets won the game.
Steve Phillips Award (Worst off the field move) – Voters were given the time frame of the end of 2008 regular season to the last pitch of the 2009 season, which off the field move was the worst. I’m surprised by the answer, once again!
1. Re-signing Oliver Perez (78%)
2. Shirtless VP/Adam Rubin incident (17%)
3. Acquiring J.J. Putz (5%)
My thoughts: I don’t think I ever realized just how much Mets fans despise Perez. Look, I get it, but signing Oliver Perez didn’t get us on CNN or any other non sports related news program. The Rubin/Tony B incident did. Signing Perez isn’t a black eye on the franchise, the Tony B stuff was.
Keith Hernandez Award (Worth the price of admission) – Readers were asked to vote on the player they felt was worth the price of admission.
1. Johan Santana (69%)
2. Carlos Beltran (17%)
3. David Wright (14%)
My thoughts: I think this result was dead-on. How many times do you look at the schedule ahead of time before the game you’re attending, just to see who the starting pitchers will be? I was in San Diego when the Mets were out there and we had not planned on going to the Sunday afternoon game, but because earlier in the rotation everybody got pushed back a start, we went to Sunday’s game. Just to see Santana pitch.
Kenny Rogers Award (Worst moment of the season) – This award goes to the absolute worst moment of the season on the field.
1. Luis Castillo’s drop against NYY (68%)
2. Phillies turn a Triple Play (17%)
3. Wright hit in the head by Matt Cain (15%)
My thoughts: Each play really in their own way put a bow on the 2009 season for the fans. I mean the Triple Play we were all jacked up thinking we were about to stick it to the Phillies, and then poof. The Wright beaning was just so symbolic of how the season has gone for the Mets. The Castillo drop though, it was just something that shouldn’t happen, and if it’s going to happen, you want it to occur against the Pirates or the Nationals.
Bob Murphy Award (Best Announcer) – The writers selected our 3 nominees, and it was pretty clear by the votes that the writers listen to the radio a whole lot more than our readers do!
1. Gary Cohen (67%)
2. Ron Darling (27%)
3. Howie Rose (6%)
My thoughts: The only surprise here was the lack of votes for Rose. I can’t really argue with the results though. Cohen does what few play-by-play announcers can do. He’s a fan, but he’s objective and passionate at the same time. He’s absolutely a homer, but he can tell it like it is which is hard to find in a homer PBP guy.
Bobby Ojeda Award (Biggest need in 2010) – In November of 1985, Frank Cashen acquired Bob Ojeda as the missing piece to the Mets rotation. No award is more relevant to “right now,” as this one. So readers were asked, what do the Mets need most?
1. #2 Starting Pitcher (67%)
2. Cleanup hitter at 1B or LF (33%)
3. Setup man (0%)
My thoughts: From this poll, it seems clear to me that Mets fans want a legitimate #2 pitcher behind Santana before anybody else is acquired. I have to agree with the votes. I think the offense can score runs as is, now granted I do not think the lineup should stay the way it is by any means. However, I feel like the stadium was built to win games on the mound. This team isn’t built to out slug teams like Philadelphia or Los Angeles, they need to be built to out pitch them.
Field of Dreams Award - It may take the Mets two years, but we hope they can get Citi Field right in 2010! Readers were asked which item would you like to see fixed prior to opening day in 2010.
1. More Mets theme (65%)
2. Bring in the Walls/Lower the Fences (35%)
My thoughts: If it doesn’t feel like home, then it never will be. Citi Field needs to look like our stadium, and not everybody else’s. I frankly hope the walls are never brought in, and I don’t want to see the fences lowered. Teams are built to play in their home park. It’s an advantage to the Mets if they can build a team that can play to that stadium’s dimensions and be successful at it. Hey, what about the urinals? Does anybody else hate the urinals being an open bowl with no barriers between them?
Frank Cashen Award (Best off the field move) – Not every move Minaya makes is one that leads you to rant for 48 hours straight. Even if he doesn’t get credit, he has made some good moves. Readers were asked to vote on which was the best move.
1. Jeff Francoeur for Ryan Church (61%)
2. Signing Frankie Rodriguez (31%)
3. Signing Gary Sheffield (8%)
My thoughts: I was surprised so many people voted for Frenchy here. When that trade occurred, there was a group of fans that were unhappy with him. I thought it was a great trade, just by age of the players involved alone. I think K-Rod gets more votes if Minaya was in a bidding war, but it seemed clear K-Rod was coming here from the start.
Len Dykstra Award (Player who shows the most hustle) – You were asked to vote on the player that no matter the score, standings, or the situation more time than others they left it all on the field.
1. Jeff Francoeur (60%)
2. David Wright (30%)
3. Daniel Murphy (10%)
My thoughts: I’m blown away by this one. It says a lot about the 2009 Mets that a guy who was on the roster for less than half the season was our pick for the player with the most hustle. If I voted, I would have voted for Murphy because he’s less talented than Frenchy and Wright, but I think he puts it all out on the field no matter what. I was surprised Fernando Tatis was not nominated by the way.
Rey Ordonez Award (The Mets Gold Glove) – No, this award doesn’t go to the worst hitter on the team. It goes to the best defensive player.
1. Carlos Beltran (60%)
2. David Wright (30%)
3. Jeff Francoeur (10%)
My thoughts: There are few players in the sport that can field the position as well as Beltran can. With his bat and his offensive ability, I still think he’s the best overall CF in the game today. If David Wright is our 2nd best defensive player (which I agree with,) then why do some people want to move him to 1B? You don’t move a gold glove caliber 3B to 1B at his age.
Aaron Heilman Award (Oh no not him) – What is the over/under on Heilman getting traded before he ends up in the minors? For a guy who wants to be a starting pitcher, he sure is being handed around the league a lot. Anyway, this award goes to the guy that when Manuel comes out of the dugout and signals to the bullpen, you think, “Oh no… not him.”
1. Sean Green (59%)
2. Tim Redding (28%)
3. Ken Takahashi (13%)
My thoughts: I have no idea how our writers didn’t nominate Bobby Parnell, or Elmer Dessens. Ken Takahashi inherited 23 runners, and allowed only 5 to score. That’s not bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong he isn’t somebody I want to rely on, but he wasn’t awful. Sean Green is the new Aaron Heilman though. Whether it’s fair or not, he’s going to be that guy for the Mets fans until he proves he’s better than the comparison. Green came into the game with 34 men on base, and allowed 14 of them to score.
Gary Carter Award (Team MVP) – Pretty simple stuff here, who was the Mets MVP in 2009?
1. David Wright (54%)
2. Johan Santana (25%)
3. Carlos Beltran (21%)
My thoughts: It’s almost by default that Wright gets this award in 2009. He was in a way the last man standing for this battered and bruised team. He had it the toughest though because everybody was dropping around him, and he was out there everyday until fate had it’s way with his helmet.
Tom Seaver Award (Best Pitcher) – Which Mets pitcher (starter or reliever) was the best in 2009?
1. Johan Santana (53%)
2. Pedro Feliciano (37%)
3. Frankie Rodriguez (10%)
My thoughts: During the voting, I actually thought Feliciano was going to win. There was a point in which he and Santana were neck and neck, and then Johan pulled off a string of consecutive votes and pulled away with the award. It says a lot about Feliciano’s season that he garnered this much attention for this award.
Gregg Jefferies Award (Next big thing) – There is so much going on this off-season regarding the youth of this franchise. Do we trade them? Are they ready to step in? This award goes to the player the readers feel is the next big thing in 2010.
1. Josh Thole (52%)
2. Jon Niese (31%)
3. Fernando Martinez (17%)
My thoughts: I think in a way Mets fans fell in love with just the idea of Josh Thole. I’m not even certain he’s on the Opening Day roster in 2010, so the fact he won this award does surprise me. I think he and Ike Davis are the most protected young players on the Mets, and coincidentally play C/1B (two holes for the Mets.) I think if the Mets make a trade for a solid veteran pitcher, Niese will be involved in that deal.
It’s Not Shea! (The best that Citi Field has to offer) – Alright, so they need more Mets stuff right? That doesn’t mean they got it all wrong. Readers were asked to select the feature that they enjoy MOST about Citi Field.
1. Walking the concourse and seeing from everywhere (46%)
2. The Food (41%)
3. The Rotunda (13%)
My thoughts: Something tells me that the Mets Hall of Fame will win this award next year. However, I would have voted for the food honestly. I have a friend who is a Chef and he happens to be a Yankees fan. He told me that the food options for the public at Citi Field blow the competition away. I have to agree. It’s awesome that you can see the game from anywhere, but to me that was going to be a given. The fact it will take me 10 years to try every food item offered is just amazing!
Roger McDowell Award (Best personality) – This award goes to the player who has the best personality on the team. An interesting result…
1. Johan Santana (44%)
2. Frankie Rodriguez (31%)
3. Jose Reyes (25%)
My thoughts: So what is the difference between Santana’s personality and Reyes’? Answer, one is all about winning, the other is all about the fun. It seems clear to me now that Mets fans want their players to be focused on winning, and worry about fun later. I think Reyes gets this award 3 years ago, but the fact he hasn’t backed it up pushes him down the list. (It also doesn’t help he barely played in 2009.) If the Mets win, nobody worries about Reyes’ antics so long as winning is the reason for celebration.
Ray Knight Award (Least like to get in a fist fight with) – Somebody told me I shouldn’t have this award. C’mon, have a little fun! This award goes to the player who you’d least like to get in a fight with. On the flip-side you can think of it as the guy you want running out of the dugout first to protect David Wright!
1. Gary Sheffield (44%)
2. Mike Pelfrey (28%)
3. Frankie Rodriguez (28%)
My thoughts: One guy needed a mystery cream to get over 200 pounds, the other is 6-7, 230 pounds on his own. I’ll take the guy built like a tree over the 41 year old, sorry Sheff.
Jose Lima Award (Most overhyped pitcher) – The last award goes to the player that was the most over-hyped, and performed the worst in 2009.
1. Oliver Perez (44%)
2. Mike Pelfrey (28%)
3. J.J. Putz (28%)
My thoughts: I think this goes back to a strong dislike for Oliver Perez. I don’t think he was hyped at all to be honest. I think Mets fans knew what to expect, and the bar was set low. For Pelfrey, he was pegged as a #2 starter. How he didn’t get this award is beyond me. Last year the Mets said Pelfrey was our #2, now they are looking at guys like John Lackey to be their #2. Why do you think that is?
Well, there are the first ever MMO Awards! Hopefully next year we’ll be voting on off-season moves that put a twinkle in our eyes around the holidays, and on the field performances that woke up the fan base, rather than put us all to sleep!
Thank you to all who voted!