The Clay Rush Memorial Tin Glove Awards
Sometimes your fielding is so bad that it deserves recognition. All of the guys on this list tried, but they still were not very good. Give them a pat on the back next time you see them though, because they need it after this long year.
C – Jeff Green (AUS) led the way for this award with a -5.2 ZR from behind the plate. No one else was even that close.
1B – We had a hotly contested race here, but winning out was Todd Blake (ACKC) with a -10.4 ZR. Al Anderson (GRE) and Bart Lewis (FTW) were close with -9.8 and -9.0 ZR respectively.
2B – This race was another that wasn’t close. Not because there were not worthy candidates, but because one player showed the lack of ability to play his position even more than those around him. Roland Deschain (PORT) didn’t even log the most innings for his team at 2B, but his -13.9 ZR laps the competition. Honorable Mention: Noel Ballard (CHG) -7.3, Travis Newsome (ATL) -6.9 and John Allen (FTW) -6.3.
3B – We saw some truly masterful performances at the hot corner, but Vernon Caw (FTW) could not be outdone when it was all said and done with a -17.5 ZR. Chia-ch’ing Dodman (RM) gave him a run for his money before getting injured amassing -13.9, Felipe Trujilio (CHH) was at -8.1 in very little work and Herman Hayes (PC) put up a respectable -7.5 ZR on a very good team.
SS – One of the hardest positions to field had no shortage of dreadful performances led by Cristo Gonzalez (DC) at -12.1 ZR. The PL also had two other impressive performances with We Le (WIZ) at -9.1 ZR and Layton Templeman (ATL) at -6.5 ZR.
LF – We go from the hardest position to field to one of the easiest. Yet, some players are still dreadful at it. Juan Gonzalez (DET) ran away with the award here at -18.3 ZR. Some other notable performances include Armando Esparza (BUC) – 10.1, Jose Alonso (LV) -9.3 and David Henderson (ACKC) – 8.0 ZR.
CF – Clay Rush (KT/MON) is going to get the award one last time by racking up a -17.3 ZR while still with KT. Sadly, he has moved to LF for Montana and is passable there. We salute him though with his career -87.3 ZR in CF. You do you, Clay Rush, you do you. Jeffery Campbell (KT) at -13.5 ZR, Emilo Seanz (LV) -13.4 and Eric D’Angle (DET) at -9.3 deserve a tip of the cap.
RF – Another close race here, but in the end John Burton (NA) won out with a -13.9 ZR. Honorable Mentions: Enrique Marroquin (FTW) -12.0, Robbie Roach (CHH) at -11.9 and Leonard O’Connor (THB/DC) at -7.9.
Team – The award for worst team defensively overall was actually not even close. Fort Worth ran away with the award by amassing a -62.3 ZR. SS is the only position they managed a positive ZR at 0.67. The next closest team was Detroit with a -36.8.
The Wiffle Bat
Hitting is half the game, but maybe these guys wish they didn’t have to do it. Just like the Tin Glove, Award winners, give these guys a pat on the back as well.
C – Catcher is one of the hardest positions to find good hitters at, so we won’t make fun of these guys too much. One guy did hit worse than everyone else though, so give a hand to Tony Martinez (BUC) who ended the year with a 53.9 wRC+
1B – Everyone thinks that these guys should hit well, but Jeff Rutherford (CHH) and his 85.0 wRC+ did his best to show that not everyone can hit well.
2B – Middle Infielders have a tough time hitting, and USBA has a lot of competition as teams try to find the best hitting guy for the job. We can safely say Pedro Longoria (CHH) and his 54.3 wRC+ is not going to be seen a great hitter.
3B – While this player played at the hot corner, his bat was far from hot. Gabriel Rodriguez (BUC) 41.54 wRC+.
SS – Dave King (BUC) 54.9 wRC+ has a storied career, but winning a Wiffle Bat is not going to be something he thinks of first when he wants to tell his kids about his playing exploits.
LF – When you think of LF, you think of power hitters who excite the crowd. Hank Scorpio (VAN) 55 wRC+ is not exciting anyone though.
CF – This is the most painful one to write, but facts can’t be ignored. Marc Talamente (PC) 70.7 wRC+ is not muy caliente this year.
RF – While he might have played right field, he was doing the wrong things while hitting. Miguel Moran (AUS) takes home the award with a 60.7 wRC+.
DH – You had one job to do, and you didn’t do it well. Ramon Souza (ACKC) 47.27 wRC+.
Worst Trainer Award
Sometimes it feels like the guys you paid are being paid more by outside forces to make sure your players aren’t able to help you. This year it really wasn’t even close with one team having 656 days lost to injury compared to the 441 for the next closest team. The Las Vegas Flamingos Trainer is literally the worst at his job this year in the USBA. Rounding out the top 5 was: PHI, ACKC, NoVa and HOU.
The Jorge Rosa Least Valuable Player Award
Going into the last day of the year this looked like it was Ramon Souza’s award to lose, but then Martin Martinez (PHX) came through with a clutch performance and stole the award with -2.31 WAR overall. Martin Martinez is this year’s least valuable player, even though he didn’t win a Tin Glove or a Wiffle Bat. Lucky for him though, he will get to go home with this award and the complimentary 1971 Ford Pinto.