The Hank Aaron Award winners have been announced, and proved that fans can be even stupider than baseball writers when it comes to giving out awards.
The Hank Aaron Award is given out to the best offensive player in each league. How is it determined? Well...
The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home record (714) and was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 30 years. The voting this year was decided in three separate phases. From Aug. 1-31, fans voted at each club's Web site from among three players nominated by the respective club. The leading vote-getter from each club became one of 30 finalists, from which a panel consisting of MLB and MLB.com representatives selected six finalists. Fans did the rest, from Sept. 6-30.
So, from this hodge-podge process, it has been determined that the best offensive player in the A.L. this year is David Ortiz -- a very justifiable decision.
And the best offensive player in the N.L.?
What an absolute joke.
Andruw Jones had a .263/.347/.575 season for the Atlanta Braves.
He was 12th in the N.L. in OPS. He was 40th in the N.L. in OBP. He was only 5th in the N.L. in slugging, and the four players in front of him all had better OBPs.
Andruw Jones was 26th in the N.L. in EQA, which is a pure measurement of offensive performance. He trailed such household names as Jason Bay, Chase Utley and Chad Tracy in EQA this season. Tony Freaking Clark had an EQA 21 points higher than Andruw Jones.
Andruw Jones won for one reason -- he had 51 homers. And so Derrek Lee -- who had 99 extra base hits, including 46 homers, an OPS 158 points higher than Jones and an EQA almost 50 points higher -- got screwed over. So did Albert Pujols, who had an EQA almost as high as Lee. So did, for that matter, David Wright, and Bobby Abreu, and Brian Giles, and Morgan Ensberg, and a litany of other players who had better offensive seasons than Andruw Jones did.
Calling Andruw Jones the best offensive player in the N.L. is a travesty. It is an embarrassment to the league.
And you know, as pissed off as I am with the fans who voted for Jones, they aren't the ones primarily to blame.
No, the folks who are really to blame are the cadre and cabal of "MLB and mlb.com representatives" who, in winnowing down the list from 30 to 6, decided that Andruw Jones was one of the 6 best offensive players in baseball this year.
I haven't seen anything specifically identifying the collection of imbecilic asshats who made this call on behalf of baseball and mlb.com, which is too bad. I'd love to know who, specifically, working for these organizations -- people who are supposed to have a basic understanding of the game -- decided that Jones was so worthy.
What a joke.