5 Dubious MLB Awards. Who is the 2011 Ball Magnet?

Joe ProcopioContributor ISeptember 20, 2011

5 Dubious MLB Awards. Who is the 2011 Ball Magnet?

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    As the season winds down, we start to speculate on individual achievements like the MVP, the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year. But look, any hack can waste pages analyzing that kind of thing.

    Justin Verlander. Boom. There you go.

    What about the unsung, the infamous and the notorious? They deserve end-of-season love too, don't they?  

Ball Magnet

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    Carlos Quentin

    Hit by a Pitch 23 Times

    Ask yourself if you can lean into the strike zone and take a 100 mph fastball upside your melon for the good of the team.

    And what do you get for your trouble? A free ride to first, something you could have achieved if the pitcher had just thrown four lazy ones outside without ringing your bell.

    Would you give up critical thinking and the ability to tie your shoes for 90 feet? Yeah, I didn't think so. Well, Carlos Quentin is 23 times braver than you. 

    He doesn't care if it's lack of sportsmanship or lack of marksmanship that gets him plunked. Chances are, he's not going to remember it happening anyway.

    With the next closest batter at only 18, Carlos is running away with it...in a really dizzy, zig-zag fashion. 






    2011 MLB Player Leaders for Hit By Pitch
    HBP Player Team G
    23 Carlos Quentin Chicago White Sox 118
    18 Danny Espinosa Washington Nationals 148
    18 Justin Upton Arizona Diamondbacks 153
    16 Sean Rodriguez Tampa Bay Rays 121
    14 Nyjer Morgan Milwaukee Brewers 112
    14 Kevin Youkilis Boston Red Sox 120
    13 Chase Utley Philadelphia Phillies 94
    12 Gordon Beckham Chicago White Sox 140
    12 Robinson Cano New York Yankees 151
    12 Michael Morse Washington Nationals 137
    12 Curtis Granderson New York Yankees 148

Straight-Up Jerk

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    Alfredo Aceves

    Hit 13 Batters With a Pitch

    Don't piss Alfredo off. 

    Sure, teammate John Lackey leads the league in thumping batters with 18, but John's 11 wild pitches serves as kind of an excuse.

    He gets a little crazy sometimes, but he's just as likely to hit your bat (6.49 ERA) as your hand. He's getting close to the strike zoneso cut him some slack.

    Alfredo has tagged 13 guys in only 102 innings. That's one dead man walking every 7.8 innings, so you know if he stays on the mound for any extended period, someone's getting their face broke.

    And whenever Alfredo Aceves pitches to Carlos Quentin, the telecast immediately goes pay-per-view.




    2011 MLB Player Leaders for Batters Hit
    HB Player Team IP ERA WP
    18 John Lackey Boston Red Sox 154 6.49 11
    14 Tim Hudson Atlanta Braves 203 3.19 10
    14 Dillon Gee New York Mets 154.2 4.48 6
    13 Randy Wolf Milwaukee Brewers 200.2 3.45 4
    13 Alfredo Aceves Boston Red Sox 102.1 2.81 1
    13 Fausto Carmona Cleveland Indians 176.1 5.36 2
    12 Ricky Romero Toronto Blue Jays 217.1 2.98 8
    11 Gavin Floyd Chicago White Sox 179 4.42 11
    11 Charlie Morton Pittsburgh Pirates 160.2 3.81 8
    11 Doug Fister Seattle Mariners 205.1 2.98 3
    11 Brandon Morrow Toronto Blue Jays 166.1 4.98 10






Smooth Criminal

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    Juan Pierre

    Picked Off Stealing 15 Times in 42 Attempts

    In the first of two awards that will put a terrible song in your head for the rest of the day, Juan Pierre has been caught stealing more than a third of the time, which is worse than the Hamburglar and Jane's Addiction combined. 

    You can always tell who Juan's base coach is, he's the one screaming "Don't go! Stay put! DO NOT MOVE!"

    But Juan doesn't listen to reason, Juan looks reason in the eye, then looks away all nonchalant, then makes a break for it.







    2011 MLB Player Leaders for Caught Stealing
    CS Player Team SB SBP
    15 Juan Pierre Chicago White Sox 27 64.3%
    14 Jacoby Ellsbury Boston Red Sox 37 72.5%
    13 Brett Gardner New York Yankees 45 77.6%
    12 Michael Bourn Houston Astros 55 82.1%
    11 Elvis Andrus Texas Rangers 35 76.1%
    11 Rajai Davis Toronto Blue Jays 34 75.6%
    11 B.J. Upton Tampa Bay Rays 30 73.2%
    10 Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates 22 68.8%
    10 Emilio Bonifacio Florida Marlins 38 79.2%
    10 Matt Kemp Los Angeles Dodgers 40 80.0%

Wild Thing

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    A.J. Burnett

    25 Wild Pitches

    I wanted to give this to Henry Rodriguez so bad. Roughly every four innings, Henry will put one in the stands or in the opposing team's dugout or in the parking lot. It's awesome.

    But dude! Burnett! Twenty-five wild pitches over the course of a season is just domination. At least five of them have to be either Burnett getting confused and pitching to the guy on deck or on purpose because putting one over the plate is exactly what they expect him to do.

    It's gotten so bad that the cashier at Starbucks ducks when Burnett pulls out his wallet.








    2011 MLB Player Leaders for Wild Pitches
    WP Player Team IP
    25 A.J. Burnett New York Yankees 182.1
    15 Tim Wakefield Boston Red Sox 150.2
    15 Trevor Cahill Oakland Athletics 194
    14 Henry Rodriguez Washington Nationals 61
    12 Yovani Gallardo Milwaukee Brewers 200
    12 Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners 230.1
    12 Hiroki Kuroda Los Angeles Dodgers 189
    11 Gavin Floyd Chicago White Sox 179
    11 John Lackey Boston Red Sox 154
    11 Ivan Nova New York Yankees 151.1



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    Ryan Madison

    8 Intentional Walks

    Another situation where it was a tough call, this time between Madison and Shawn Camp. 

    But in the true spirit of generosity, look at how many of Madison's walks were intentional. HALF! Eight out of 16. He's also got decent stats.

    So what does this tell you? It means, every once in a while, a batter steps into the box, and Ryan thinks to himself, "You know what? He seems like a nice guy. I'll bet he likes rainy days and kittens. I'm just gonna let him have first base."

    It's like pay it forward. I bet that guy Madison intentionally walks then does something equally as kind.

    Like not throw a fastball at Carlos Quentin's head next time.

    2011 MLB Player Leaders for Intentional Bases On Balls Pitching
    IBB Player Team BB
    8 Ricky Nolasco Florida Marlins 44
    8 Chris Resop Pittsburgh Pirates 29
    8 Shawn Camp Toronto Blue Jays 21
    8 Ryan Madson Philadelphia Phillies 16
    8 Ted Lilly Los Angeles Dodgers 48
    7 Eric O`Flaherty Atlanta Braves 21
    7 Wandy Rodriguez Houston Astros 64
    7 Javier Vazquez Florida Marlins 49
    7 Steve Cishek Florida Marlins 18
    7 Bud Norris Houston Astros 68