Bizarro Clemente Award
In the continued spirit of making fun of year end articles proclaiming the Best and Worst of everything, I have created the Bizarro Clemente Award. The Roberto Clemente Award is annually handed out to baseball’s finest sportsman. Past Winners of the Roberto Clemente Award include such d-bags, cheaters, and weirdos as Steve Garvey, Pete Rose, and Sammy Sosa. The Bizarro Clemente is an opportunity to forego honoring somebody who we think is good, but might be a jerk. Instead honoring a player who we made out to be a jerk, but who is actually a decent guy.
Presenting the 1st Annual Bizarro Clemente Award
Let us not hold up what we already know is good. And let us not proliferate a culture that focuses attention on idiots. Carl Everett believes in demons, but not dinosaurs. Does he really deserve space in the public forum? No. Let us dig through some jerks to find the wrongly accused, and salvage a good…well, mediocre name.
People forget that Miguel Cabrera was caught driving drunk before the season began. He is not this year’s Bizarro recepient. This is because salvaged his reputation on his own, with a Triple Crown season and an American League Pennant.
On the other hand, Melky Cabrera tried, and failed, to fully salvage his image. His team disowned him, won the World Series without him. Dropping out of the NL Batting Title race after cheating and trying to cover it up with an elaborate internet charade was not enough to win him this finest of awarded thingies.
And as for the hotheaded Alfredo Aceves, he is on the Red Sox, so we don’t talk about him here.
And the Winner is…
This year I am proud to present the Bizarro Clemente award to Indians closer, Chris Perez. I don’t pay much attention to overblown sound bite pusher sites, but even I heard tell of Perez’ supposedly awful remarks about fans, the Indians organization and his teammates.
However, upon revisiting the tape available to me, his remarks seemed harmless. Once again the terms tirade and rant had been ejaculated across the empty, attention starved pages of so many traffic obsessed pseudo news sites, with nothing to back up the headline.
Chris Perez did what a player should be able to do. He told the fans not to boo a first place team at home. He told them to come to the park and show support for a franchise heading in the right direction. He pointed to the fact that the Tigers spend money and that the Indians don’t, which is why Detroit has been able to acquire talent and finish strong the last two seasons, while the Indians fade, their roster unaltered. And Perez never bashed his teammates. In fact, he said that he wanted to be in Cleveland. His reason: his teammates were good.
I am sure he will barf upon completion of this redemptive victory, I hope somebody quickly fetches him a glass of sparkling water. It is well deserved. While most of the country is so self unaware, they dismiss criticism of all kinds with their motto “haters gonna hate,” Perez has demonstrated to us a great lesson: When somebody tells you something you don’t want to hear, listen even more intently to what they are saying, and consider it carefully. Do not dismiss it.
Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Perez: Your 2012 Bizarro Clemente Award Winner!