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The Slammy Awards: Recapping the 2010 MLB Season and Handing Out the Awards

Michael AkelsonCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2016

The Slammy Awards: Recapping The 2010 MLB Season and Handing Out Slammy Awards

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    The 2010 MLB season was most certainly one of the strangest in recent memory.

    With only two players topping 40 home runs, and five no-hitters, you could also say it was a transitional one, as we now leave the steroid era and enter the next era in baseball.

    You could also call it one of the craziest MLB seasons with the ridiculous ways a lot of injuries were suffered.

    However, I'm willing to just stick with one word to describe this season: Insane. Some of the things we saw this year we may never be so lucky (or unlucky) to see again.

    So here's your recap of the season that was, as Mike A. presents the first annual Slammy Awards. Enjoy!

    Note: All stats are as of Oct. 2, 2010

Best Player In a Leading Role

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    This award will be given to the player who played best as the clear leader and most important player on his team.

    And the nominees are...

    Josh Hamilton: The Texas Rangers surprised many people this season with their total annihilation of the AL West this season, and that success can be attributed to one person: Josh Hamilton.

    Hamilton was in play for the Triple Crown until injuries shortened his season, but in just 131 games, Hamilton homered 37 times, drove in 97 runs, and kept his average head and shoulders better than everyone else at .359.

    Josh has a legitimate case for this award as he was the clear key to the Rangers first playoff berth in years.

    Carlos Gonzalez: Who would have thought coming into this year that Carlos Gonzalez would come so close to the Triple Crown? Not only that, but he helped keep the Colorado Rockies just in contention all season so they could make a late season surge for the NL West crown.

    The Rockies may have fell short in their quest to make the playoffs, but that's not at all the fault of Carlos Gonzalez.

    Carlos carried the Rockies when Troy Tulowitzki was off his game and he led the NL in hits and batting average. He also had 34 home runs to go along with 26 steals and 117 RBI.

    Gonzalez definitely makes a compelling case for this award with his consistent excellence all season.

    Joey Votto: Oh boy, what a year Joey Votto had. He played stellar defense as usual at first base, and led a shocking Cincinnati Reds team to the NL Central division crown after years of being cellar-dwellers.

    Votto hit .323 with an NL-leading .423 OBP, he homered 37 times, drove in 112 runs, and stole 26 bases.

    Joey had a HUGE affect on the Reds this season, which gives him a great case for this award.

    Albert Pujols: What can you say about Albert Pujols?

    He posted his usual stats, he hit .313 with 42 home runs, 118 RBI, and even 14 steals.

    Unfortunately, his team fell short of the Joey Votto-led Reds for the NL Central, but did Albert have a good enough season to claim the Slammy? Let's find out...

    And the Slammy Goes to... Joey Votto

Best Player In a Supporting Role

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    This award will be given to the player who may not have been the leader or best player on their own team, but was the perfect Batman to the leader's Robin.

    And the nominees are...

    Robinson Cano: Some people believe that Cano may be the best hitter in the Yankees lineup, but even if that's the case (I don't believe it is), he's clearly not the leader for that team.

    With that being said, Cano is one hell of a player to have as your No. 2. And boy did he prove that this season. Cano carried the team while other Yankee sluggers struggled at different points in the season.

    His stat line was a .314 average, 29 dingers, 106 RBI, and a .374 OBP. Cano was one hell of a player all season, and has a legit case for this Slammy.

    Troy Tulowitzki: Now that we've established that Carlos Gonzalez played the lead role in Colorado, it's clear who was cast as his top supporter: Troy Tulowitzki.

    Tulo struggled for stretches in the beginning of the season, but he came on really strong towards the end of the season.

    In the thick of a playoff race in September, Troy hit 14 homers in 15 games, and almost carried the Rockies into the playoffs with another magical September.

    His .317 average with 27 home runs and 95 RBI were very good, but when you consider how well Tulowitzki played in the late stages of the season, it's really incredible.

    Matt Cain: Matt Cain has quietly become one of the best pitchers in baseball, and this season he was the perfect sidekick to Tim Lincecum for the Giants.

    Cain tossed 223 innings and four complete games with a 3.14 ERA. It's safe to say that most teams would take that from their second starter.

    Clay Buchholz: Clay Buchholz came on this year and became a Cy Young candidate, but Jon Lester remained the ace of that staff according to the Red Sox.

    However, Clay Buchholz was one hell of a No. 2 starter. He went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA, and gave Red Sox fans some serious hope for the future with a possible Lester-Buchholz 1-2 punch.

    With an ERA that low, and that many wins on a non-playoff team Clay has a legitimate claim to this award, but will he get it? Let's find out...

    And the Slammy Goes to... Troy Tulowitzki

Best Manager

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    This award will go to the manager who did the best job with the talent on the roster, and got the most out of all his players.

    And the nominees are...

    Bud Black: How many people had the San Diego Padres as the worst team in the National League going into this season? Probably about 75 percent of people.

    But, San Diego shocked the world, and even if they don't make the playoffs, that's in no part to Bud Black.

    Black got the most out of his young pitching staff, and led the Padres, who were supposed to challenge 100 losses, to an 90-plus-win season.

    Ron Gardenhire: Ron Gardenhire could be a candidate for this award every year.

    Every season everybody writes off the Twins saying they don't have enough talent, and they always end up in the playoffs, don't they?

    This year they were favored by some people to win the AL Central, but the fact that they won it without Justin Morneau can be attributed right to the managing abilities of Ron Gardenhire.

    Ron Washington: What a year it's been for Ron Washington; it all began with him spilling his demons.

    He admitted that he was a former avid cocaine and marijuana user, and the Rangers chose to stick by their guy despite that.

    I'd say they made the right choice.

    Ron has taken a talented Rangers team that was never quite able to get their heads on straight, and he has finally helped them put it all together.

    Dusty Baker: I won't lie, I'm not a big Dusty Baker fan, but I couldn't possibly talk down what he's done this year for the Reds, even if I wanted to.

    Dusty has taken a team filled with young players who weren't playing together like a winning team, and he has honed their skills and made them all play like seasoned veterans.

    The Reds wouldn't be where they are right now without Dusty, but is that enough to make Dusty the winner of this Slammy? Let's find out...

    And the Slammy goes to... Dusty Baker

Best Performance Under Pressure

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    This award is given to the player who performed extremely well when the pressure was on and his team needed him most.

    And the nominees are...

    Troy Tulowitzki: He came on in a huge way down the stretch when his team needed him most.

    In August he hit .351 with 16 RBI, and his September was one of the better months by a player in MLB history. He hit 15 home runs and drove in 40 runs, including a stretch where he hit a mind-boggling 14 homers in 15 games.

    The only thing working against Tulo here is that his last 15 games or so weren't as good and his team didn't make the playoffs.

    Roy Oswalt: After being traded to the Phillies mid-season, Roy Oswalt went absolutely insane, and without him they would not have made the playoffs.

    He was 7-1 with a 1.65 ERA as a Phillie. In games he started in August and September the Phillies were 10-1. That's the type of dominance that you love to see from your pitchers down the stretch in a pennant race.

    Tim Lincecum: After a dreadful August, Tim Lincecum bounced back in a big way in September, winning some big games and helping the Giants into the playoffs.

    He went 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 41.2 September innings. He went at least seven innings in all but one start and never had a start where he allowed more than three runs.

    It's safe to say that the Giants would not be playing playoff baseball if not for Tim Lincecum's September resurgence.

    Kerry Wood: It's tough to justify having a setup man as a nominee for a clutch performance award, but the Yankees desperately needed him to be good, and he desperately needed to re-invent himself.

    He was under so much pressure to succeed, this might have been his last chance with an MLB team, and he aced the test.

    In 23 appearances as a Yankee he has had an astonishing ERA of 0.36, and has given the Yankees the setup man they desperately needed. But is that enough to grant him the Slammy? Let's find out...

    And the Slammy Goes to... Roy Oswalt

Most Memorable Moment

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    This award will be given to the players involved in the moment from this season that will never be forgotten.

    And the nominees are...

    Jason Heyward homers in his first career at-bat: Jason Heyward came into this season with so much hype it was ridiculous. People were already calling this kid the Jay-Hey Kid.

    He had that much promise. And he delivered right away, on his first at-bat he took a pitch down in the strike zone and he unloaded on it lifting it into the right-field bleachers. An unforgettable moment.

    John McDonald hits a home run for dad: John McDonald is regarded to as one of the game's good guys, a Sean Casey-esque player if you will.

    McDonald's father was extremely ill, and John missed almost a month of the season to spend time with him.

    So when his father passed, McDonald decided to play four days later on Father's Day because he thought his dad would want it that way.

    McDonald rarely plays for Toronto, but his guardian angel was clearly watching out for him on that day, because Cito Gaston gave him the call to pinch-hit in the ninth inning of that blowout Father's Day game.

    McDonald stepped to the plate in a state of mind clustered with sadness, and he unloaded all that emotion on the second pitch of that at-bat, as he crushed it out of the park.

    When he crossed home plate he pointed to the sky, because he knew that someplace, somewhere, his dad was up their smiling.

    Armando Gallaraga is robbed of a perfect game, but forgives Jim Joyce: On June 1, 2010, Tigers' pitcher Armando Gallaraga pitched a perfect game. Unfortunately, history will never remember it that way.

    On what would have been the final out of the game, first-base umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe on a little dribbler down the first base line, despite the fact that he was clearly out.

    This robbed Armando Galarraga of a chance he'll never get again in his life, it robbed him of a chance to do something that has only happened 20 times in the almost 200-year history of baseball, it robbed him of a perfect game.

    Galarraga had every right to be mad, nobody would have blamed him, but he played it cool. Then the next day when they met to exchange lineup cards Joyce's eyes were filled with tears, he felt really, really bad.

    He apologized to Galarraga, and Armando did something that maybe two percent of Americans would have done in that situation: he gave Joyce a pat on the back and went on with his life.

    Two unforgettable moments lodged into one play, something that will certainly be tough to beat.

    John Lindsey Debuts: After 16 years of giving his all in the minors, John Lindsey was called up to the Major Leagues for the first time in his career.

    At age 33, he was the youngest non-Asian player to make his debut since 2002, and it was memorable to say the least, but was it memorable enough to win the Slammy? Let's find out...

    And the Slammy goes to... Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce.

Biggest Idiot Award

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    This award goes to the player who made the stupidest decision or just had the stupidest moment of the season.

    And the nominees are...

    Chris Coghlan: After an 11-inning thriller with the Braves ended with a walk-off win, Marlins' Chris Coghlan attempted to smash a shaving cream pie in the face of Wes Helms, but somehow, someway, found a way to tear a meniscus in his knee and he was out for the season.

    Russell Branyan: When you hurt yourself going to the pizza parlor and closing curtains, you must be a pretty big idiot.

    Jim Edmonds: On what was likely the last at-bat of his storied career, Jim Edmonds homered against the Brewers.

    What a feel-good story... until he popped his Achilles rounding third, which will most likely be the last moment of his career. What a way to go out.

    Ricky Nolasco: When you hurt yourself tying your shoe, a task that a second grader could perform flawlessly, you must be a pretty big idiot. But is that idiotic enough to get Ricky this Slammy? Let's find out...

    And the Slammy goes to... Jim Edmonds

Most Obscure Box Score

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    This award goes to the most unusual box score or box score sequence found all season.

    And the nominees are...

    Edwin Jackson: This season Edwin Jackson became the first player in the live-ball era to throw a no-hitter, 13-hitter, and give up 10 runs in a game in the same season. Here's the three box scores from Jackson's unusual year:

    April 27 vs. Rockies: 2 1/3-11-10-10-2-2
    June 25 vs. Rays: 9-0-0-0-8-6
    Sept. 11 vs. Royals: 5-13-6-6-1-3

    What a month for Milwaukee: This season, the Brewers became the first team since the 1936 A's to have four different pitchers give up at least 10 runs in a game in the same month. Here's the box scores from those games:

    July 7: Chris Narveson vs. Giants: 3 1/3-9-10-9-2-3
    July 18: Manny Parra vs. Braves: 5 1/3-10-10-10-2-4
    July 20: David Bush vs. Pirates: 4-9-10-5-2-2
    July 21: Randy Wolf vs. Pirates: 5 2/3-13-12-12-2-4

    At least they have rotation depth!

    Mets-Cardinals Marathon: Back on April 17, the Mets and Cardinals competed in a 20-inning game. If that's not weird enough for you, how 'bout the fact that nobody scored a run until the 18th inning.

    Still need more proof about how crazy this box score looks?

    Two position players combined for nine outs, a closer got the win, a position player got the loss, and a starter got the save.

    And yes, in case you were wondering, that is the first time that ever happened in MLB history.

    Jason Marquis: Jason Marquis started just two games this season, or as some would like to say: he got one out this season. But on a positive note, he did give up 13 runs. Here's his stat lines for those two nights:

    April 18 vs. Brewers: 0-4-7-7-1-0 

    Sept. 17 vs. Phillies: 1/3-6-6-6-1-0

    And the Slammy goes to... The Milwaukee Pitchers

Best Game

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    This award goes to the best game of the season.

    And the nominees are...

    Mets vs. Cardinals, April 17: As I stated earlier this was a 20-inning marathon where position players combined for nine outs, a position player got the lost, a closer got the win, and a starter got the save.

    What else could you ask for?

    Rockies vs. Cardinals, July 6: This was a game dominated by the Cardinals; they took a 9-3 lead into the ninth inning in a game that was all but over.

    Until the Rockies decided to score nine runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the game 12-9. Talk about a rally.

    Astros vs. Phillies, Aug. 24: The Astros looked to have this game won, just one out away from victory in the ninth. That was until Jimmy Rollins belted a game-tying home run, sending the game to extras.

    Fast forward to the 14th inning, Ryan Howard gets ejected for arguing balls and strikes, and Roy Oswalt is forced to bat cleanup and play left field.

    Luckily he caught the only fly ball hit to him, but with two outs and two runners on, in the bottom of the 16th, Roy Oswalt was forced to bat representing the winning run.

    The stadium erupted with "Let's go Oswalt!" chants, but the Philadelphia crowd were no magicians, as Roy couldn't pull off the miracle. But were his efforts good enough for the Slammy? Let's find out...

    And the Slammy goes to... Mets vs. Cardinals, April 17

Worst Player In a Leading Role

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    This award goes to the worst player who was the best player or leader on his team.

    And the nominees are...

    Derek Jeter: As an avid Yankee fan, it pains me to say this, but Derek Jeter played absolutely horribly as the leader of the Yankees this season. And yes, of course, he was still the team leader despite his horrible play.

    He hit .268 with 10 homers and 66 RBI. He was also a liability to the team by remaining at No. 1 in the batting order despite the fact that Brett Gardner was a much better fit.

    He struggled so much at one point that he faked getting hit by a pitch.

    Manny Ramirez: Looking at the stats, Manny's 2010 season doesn't look that bad, but the numbers are deceiving.

    The Dodgers gave this guy $20 million and built their lineup around him, and he just wasn't an asset to the team.

    He was selfish, lazy, and just plain "Manny being Manny." They couldn't rely on him on a daily basis and that's why he makes this list.

    Mark Reynolds: Reynolds had an excellent season last year hitting a respectable .260 with 40 homers and 20 steals.

    He was supposed to lead this team to at least a respectable season, but he couldn't even do that, as he was arguably one of the worst hitters in the big leagues.

    He had just 99 hits in 499 at-bats; 32 of those 99 hits were home runs. He also struck out 211 times with a .198 average and just 85 RBI. A pathetic season.

    Josh Beckett: Josh Beckett was supposed to anchor the best rotation in baseball, but it seemed more like anchor dropped on his throwing arm because he pitched the worst he has pitched in his entire career.

    In 21 starts, he went 6-6 with a 5.78 ERA. Not good at all for one of the league's top pitchers.

    And the Slammy goes to... Mark Reynolds

Worst Player In a Supporting Role

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    This award will be given to the player who wasn't the leader or best player on their own team, but could have played a pivotal role in their teams success, but played terribly.

    And the nominees are...

    Jason Bay: Jason Bay was supposed to elevate the Mets to the next level, but all he did was bring them down.

    In 95 games, Bay hit just .259 with 6 HR and 47 RBI. He also added himself to the list of Met signings that never panned out.

    Chone Figgins: Chone Figgins and Ichiro were supposed to be the best one-two punch since Lethal Weapons 1 and 2.

    However, Figgins crushed that dream. The Mariners were the AL West favorite going into the year but finished last in the division, thanks in large part to Chone Figgins, who hit just .261 with one home run and 35 RBI.

    He did manage to steal 42 bases but he was caught 15 times.

    Matt Kemp: He was supposed to be the MLB's next great 30-30 man, but certainly didn't look the part for a disappointing Dodgers team this season.

    Kemp has hit just .249 with 26 homers and 85 RBI. He's also been a terror on the base paths... for the Dodgers.

    He has 19 steals to go along with 15 caught stealings. Not very good at all.

    AJ Burnett: I could have gone with Javier Vazquez here, but in my mind Burnett both played worse and had higher expectations.

    In his second season in the Bronx, Burnett has gone 10-15 with a 5.33 ERA. Not the type of numbers the Yankees were looking for when they gave him $80 million to be their second starter.

    And the Slammy goes to... Matt Kemp

Best Breakout Performer

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    This award goes to the player who went from being an average player to a great one, or a young player who burst on the scene.

    And the nominees are...

    Jose Bautista: 29-year old Jose Bautista went into the 2010 MLB season never hitting more than 16 home runs in a season, he left it with one of the greatest home run seasons in recent MLB memory.

    Out of literally nowhere, Bautista cracked 54 home runs. Talk about a breakout...

    Buster Posey: Buster Posey burst onto the scene this year as a mid-season call-up.

    In his 106-game stint in the Major Leagues he made a legit case for the MVP and elevated the Giants' offense to a respectable level.

    He hit 17 home runs, drove in 66 runs, and hit .309. He's been called the National League's Joe Mauer already, and that's right on.

    Carlos Gonzalez: The player the Rockies got in the Matt Holliday trade turned out to be arguably better.

    Gonzalez came close to the Triple Crown. He led the NL with a .336 average and 197 hits, he also added 34 homers, 117 RBI's, 26 steals, and excellent defense.

    He is the definition of a five-tool player.

    Clay Buchholz: With Buchholz, the potential was always there, but in parts of three Major League seasons, he never quite put it together.

    That changed in a big way this season. Buchholz went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA, and some serious Cy Young consideration.

    And the Slammy goes to... Carlos Gonzalez

Biggest Choke Job

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    This award is given to the player or team that choked the worst.

    And the nominees are...

    San Diego Padres: On July 1, the Padres had the best record in the National League and had a 5.5-game lead on the current division-leading Giants.

    As of today, Oct. 2, 2010 they trail the Giants by one game for the division with one game to play. 'Nuff said.

    Jim Joyce: I don't think we need to go over the whole Jim Joyce-Armando Galarraga situation again. The fact is, Joyce cracked under pressure and blew the call.

    Scott Kazmir: The man who once nearly got the entire Mets front office fired for trading him has almost faded to oblivion after being one of the league's top pitchers just a season and a half ago.

    He completed the choke this year with 5.94 ERA.

    And the Slammy goes to... Jim Joyce

Web Gem Of The Year

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    This award is given to the player who performed the best defensive play of the season.

    This award is a no-contest, Mark Buehrle takes the cake with his between-the-legs play on opening day.

    You can watch it here:

Best Record-Breaking Performance

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    This award is given to the player who broke the most records and/or most impressive ones.

    The nominees are...

    Ichiro Suzuki: This year Ichiro accomplished a feat that would have impressed Tony Gwynn and Pete Rose.

    He became the first, and probably the last player in baseball history to record 200 hits in each of his first 10 seasons.

    Aroldis Chapman: Aroldis Chapman made the radar guns shake this year when he broke the record for fastest pitch ever recorded in a Major League game when he clocked in at 105.

    Troy Tulowitzki: Tulowitzki tied a record this September with 14 home runs in 15 games. Absolutely unbelievable.

    And the Slammy goes to... Aroldis Chapman.

Best Comeback

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    This award goes to the player who made the best comeback, whether it be from injury or just a career slump that they had previously been in.

    And the nominees are...

    Tim Hudson: Hudson was never quite the same since he left Oakland, and coming into this year he had not pitched a full season of baseball since 2008.

    While many people thought he'd be good, nobody expected this. Hudson went 16-9 this year with a 2.76 ERA. Talk about a career resurgence.

    Chris Young: As a rookie Chris Young looked like the next big thing, he hit 34 home runs and stole 27 bases.

    However, over the next two seasons he struggled mightily, and his inability to hit for average became a bigger deal as his base-stealing and power-hitting numbers declined. He was sent to the minors last season, and everyone cast him off.

    This year, his average was a career high at .259, to go alongside new career highs of 91 RBI, 28 steals, and 28 home runs (not a career high, but still good).

    Francisco Liriano: As a rookie, Liriano was touted as Johan Santana lite. He was 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA, until he blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery.

    In two seasons after surgery, Liriano struggled big time, at one point being sent to the minors and bullpen. People thought he'd never be the same.

    Until he regained his dominance this season going 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 201 strikeouts.

    Adrian Beltre: Way back in 2004, Adrian Beltre finished second in MVP voting and may have been the best hitter in baseball with 48 homers and a .334 average.

    The Mariners then gave him a big contract, and he played pretty damn bad.

    People thought he was a one-year wonder, but the Red Sox took a chance on him. And it paid off.

    Her hit .321 with 49 doubles, 28 homers and 102 RBI's.

    And the Slammy goes to... Tim Hudson

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