The First Annual Closer Awards: Part II

The Closer AwardsICYMI – Catch up on part I of the Closer Awards.

Thank you very much and welcome back to the Closer Awards. We apologize for the actions of Goose Gossage. His views are his own and do not reflect the views of

Moving on, we are now going to present the Worst Bullpen Manager award, and we have a very special guest here to help present this award. The manager of the Kansas City Royals, Ned Yost!

“Thank you for inviting me here, Michael. I do appreciate it. You know, I know a little bit about bullpens. Having guys like Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland, it’s tough for even me to screw that up, right?”

Haha, now now Mr. Yost, there’s no need for false modesty. You led your Royals to the AL pennant last year and this year they’ve won the AL Central. You obviously know what you’re doing.

“Oh, I know what I’m doing now, is that right? It’s funny, but up until October of last year you couldn’t get anyone in your fancy stat community to say I knew what I was doing about anything. Every time I brought in a pitcher, any time I had someone lay down a bunt, all of you had something to say about what a lousy manager I was. Then we won and kept winning this year, and all of you moved on to picking on the Twins or saying that the Red Sox starting rotation is good. How is that going?

“So why am I here, giving this award? I respect all three nominees. They are good baseball men. They know the game. They’ve played the game . Do you think they just lucked into these jobs? There are only thirty of them. On the other hand, it seems like there’s no end to the number of people with a pen and an opinion to lob insults in their direction. And you may be mocking these managers now, but who knows what will happen next year. They might be successful and you will be scurrying off throwing pathetic little jabs that no one will care to notice.

“Stay strong fellas, you never know which way the wind is gonna blow. And these hipsters with a pencil don’t know much of anything at all, that’s for darn sure.

“And the nominees for Worst Bullpen Manager are:

  • Brad Ausmus, Detroit Tigers
  • Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs
  • Matt Williams, Washington Nationals

“And the winner is Matt Williams. Congratulations, Matt. I’m sure these guys who insult you will be kissing your ass when you bring home a pennant one day.”

Thank you, Ned Yost! I guess we in the fantasy community are the ones who were Yosted tonight. Whatever you may feel, Matt Williams was a disaster in the dugout due to his reluctance to use his best relievers in key situations. With a bullpen like Detroit’s, it was tough for Ausmus to look good no matter what buttons he pushed, and Maddon could not stop pushing buttons for most of the year. While things worked out for him most of the time, it got pretty frustrating for fantasy owners.

Before we move on, we will announce a few awards that were given out before we went on the air.

Best Draft Day Value Award: Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles

You’re Still a Total Douchebag Jonathan Papelbon Award: Jonathan Papelbon, Washington Nationals

Quit Jerkin’ Me Around, Will Ya Award?”: Hector Rondon, Chicago Cubs

Biggest Loser Award for the first Closer to Lose His Job, 2016: Santiago Casilla, San Francisco Giants

Futures Award for the surprise Top 5 closer in 2016: Ken Giles, Philadelphia Phillies

Man, what an impressive run for Jonathan Papelbon. He’s won the “You’re Still a Total Douchebag Jonathan Papelbon” award for ten years running. And from what we’ve seen of late he’s not slowing down any time soon, at least as far as being a douchebag.

I don’t want the mood to turn too somber now, but this is the point where we recognize those pitchers that will no longer be with us in the seasons ahead. Not because of any sort of incident or tragedy, but simply because they have lost their job as closer in 2015 and are unlikely to get another chance in the future. And so, the nominees of our In Memoriam Award are:

  • Steve Cishek, who began the season with Miami Marlins
  • Addison Reed, who began the season with the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Fernando Rodney, who began the season with the Seattle Mariners

Three deserving nominees, that’s for sure. And the winner is  . . .  Steve Cishek!

Congratulations Steve. On draft day Cishek was considered a solid second-tier closing option, but he quickly stunk up the joint with poor control and frequent gopher balls. After a stint in the minors he was shipped to the Cardinals. Reed was similarly ineffective, but his draft-day price tag was not nearly as high. As for Rodney, this really should be the end of him in the late innings, but as he has more proven closer stench on him, you never know if he might ….. Excuse me…Kanye West…what are you doing here?

*Kanye grabs mic* I just want to say that I’m happy for Steve Cishek – but Rodney has one of the worst seasons of all time…….One of the worst seasons of all time. *drops mic and walks off*

Hmm, OK – where was I before that interruption.  Oh yea, speaking of proven closers, we are going to be bringing one out here to give out our most important award. Presenting the Closer of the Year, former member of the Chicago White Sox Bobby Thigpen!

“Thank you, Michael. It is great to be here. What makes the legends of baseball so important in our minds? Is it their personalities? Is it the way they play the game? If you ask me, it’s the landmark numbers. When we think of Ted Williams, we think of .406. When we think of Babe Ruth, we think of 714. 61? That’s Roger Maris. And 57. Whose name is synonymous with 57? Anyone?

“Believe it or not, it’s me. I held the single-season record for saves, and for a long time too. Mariano Rivera never got to 57. Trevor Hoffman never got to 57. But I did. And does that tell you I’m better than them? What are you people, nuts? It tells me that this saves stat is a bunch of B.S. I mean, is a record really worth anything if I was the one holding it?!? I was out of the league by the time I was 30.

“So guys, congratulations on some great seasons, but you fantasy owners out there, don’t get married to these guys. I had a fine year once too, and I was barely heard from again. The nominees for Closer of the Year are:

  • Juerys Familia, New York Mets
  • Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals

“And the winner is . . . Mark Melancon.

Thank you Bobby, and thank you for those inspiring words. Mark Melancon cracked the 50 save mark himself this year so who knows what the future holds, but for 2015 he had himself a great season after a rocky start. Between the very good rations and prodigious saves total, he is a deserving winner.

And that wraps up the Closer Awards. Thanks so much to Mike Francesa, Goose Gossage, Ned Yost, and Bobby Thigpen for joining us. And most important, congratulations to all our winners. It’s been a great year and we are looking forward to 2016. Good night everybody!

Closer Awards Part I

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Michael Zakhar

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Michael lives in New Jersey with his beautiful wife Virginia and his adorable son Johnny. We enjoy going to see the Lakewood BlueClaws, who play 20 minutes from home. In addition to baseball, Mike loves reading, music and professional wrestling.