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Baseball announces the Roberto Clemente Award nominees

Sep 18, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT


The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” David Ortiz won it last year.  The 2012 nominees — one per team — were just announced and are listed below.

One complaint first. It’s the same complaint I lodge every year. Baseball has set up a fan voting aspect to this. Which makes no sense because (a) I can see no way which your average fan can gauge a player’s community involvement, either quantitatively or qualitatively; and (b) if they can’t, it’s just a fan popularity vote, which shouldn’t be a part of an award that is about something like community involvement.

All we can hope is that baseball makes the fan voting component a tiny, tiny part of it. Anyway:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Willie Bloomquist
Atlanta Braves – Tim Hudson
Baltimore Orioles – Jim Johnson
Boston Red Sox – Jon Lester
Chicago Cubs – David DeJesus
Chicago White Sox – Jake Peavy
Cincinnati Reds – Todd Frazier
Cleveland Indians – Jason Kipnis
Colorado Rockies – Michael Cuddyer
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros – Wesley Wright
Kansas City Royals – Alex Gordon
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – C.J. Wilson
Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw
Miami Marlins – Logan Morrison
Milwaukee Brewers – Rickie Weeks
Minnesota Twins – Justin Morneau
New York Mets – Johan Santana
New York Yankees – Mark Teixeira
Oakland Athletics – Brandon McCarthy
Philadelphia Phillies – Jimmy Rollins
Pittsburgh Pirates – Chris Resop
St. Louis Cardinals – Matt Holliday
San Diego Padres – Luke Gregerson
San Francisco Giants – Matt Cain
Seattle Mariners – Felix Hernandez
Tampa Bay Rays – David Price
Texas Rangers – Michael Young
Toronto Blue Jays – Ricky Romero
Washington Nationals – Ryan Zimmerman

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I love Johan Santana, but how is R.A. Dickey not the Mets’ nominee here?

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      I imagine the thumbs downers think I might be insulting Santana or something, but Dickey just won the Branch Rickey award, which “honors individuals in baseball who contribute to their communities and are strong role models for young people.”

      Perhaps the two awards are too similar, so teams nominate different players for them, but it just seems odd to me, that’s all.

    • mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      R.A. Dickey shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

  2. cur68 - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    How did LoMo earn the Feesh nomination? For services to child nourishment out the line of his sight? Jeez.

    • jashton11 - Sep 18, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      His views on breastfeeding aside, LoMo does a lot to raise money for lung cancer research in memory of his father.

  3. The Common Man - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    This is Michael Young’s award to lose, isn’t it?

    • mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      ALL awards are Michael Young’s to lose.

    • nukeladouche - Sep 18, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      This is one of those “intangibles” that MY brings to the game.

  4. natslady - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    In my opinion, community involvement is probably one aspect the “average” non-nerd fan does know about and is able to evaluate more than baseball stats. Everyone in DC knows Ryan Zimmerman’s story, his MS foundation because of his mother, the fact that he has it in his contract to use Nats Park one night a year for fundraising, etc. A player can go to hospitals, food kitchens, etc., on his off-day and have photographers there, yes, but unless it’s photoshopped, you do actually have to go to the hospital. If players compete for this award, more power to ’em!

    • natstowngreg - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Non-Nats fans see only Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. But Ryan Zimmerman’s is still the face of the Washington Nationals. Congrats to Ryan and all the other nominees.

    • mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      But unless you are familiar with the charitable efforts of the other 29 players on the list, aren’t you essentially just guessing? How do you know that, say, C.J. Wilson doesn’t give twice as much money and time as Zimmerman? Not saying he does, just that you are likely only familiar with one player’s case for the award, at best.

      • natslady - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Well, that’s true, I don’t. I did have to “”unfollow” Logan Morrison on Twitter because it was grossing me out (and I’m well over 21).

        I see they post a blurb on each player’s charity and his activities. So if you don’t vote for your team’s nominee, I guess you look at the blurbs and see which charities are in line with your interests. Sort of like how you decide which United Way charity you want to support, or even which School Board member you want to vote for when you haven’t the slighted knowledge of any of them except party affiliation.

        So I looked up Michael Young… Nice list. Probably won’t look up everyone, though. Will just go by party, er, I mean team affiliation and vote for RZ.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM

        True, you are guessing, even if you read all of the blurbs. I’m sure every candidate is worthy, but there are no criteria, no stats, to evaluate whether one guy is more worthy than another. After all, the award isn’t named after Roberto Clemente because he gave more money to charity, or made more public appearances, than others. It’s named after him because he risked — and lost — his life while doing good. Obviously, no one wants to hold that up as a standard for winning an award.

        IMHO, all of the candidates are winners. Choosing one, for the sake of having only one awardee, strikes me as unnecessary.

  5. rockthered1286 - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Just like the All Star voting process, this is nothing more than a glorified popularity contest. Except this has no effect on the WS home field advantage.


    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      No, but it certainly does prove that no one wants MLB to start using an instant replay system. Right Bud?

  6. umrguy42 - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    All right, be honest – hands up, all those (myself included) who immediately scrolled down to see if Yunel Escobar was, by some ironic twist of fate, the Blue Jays’ nominee…

    • cur68 - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM


    • chill1184 - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      (raises hand)

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      I was looking for Melky Cabrera, myself, but I like the way you think.

      And when I saw Miguel Cabrera’s name, I’ll admit I did a quick double take.

    • nbjays - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:08 AM

      Nope… but I DID scroll down to see if it would be anyone but Romero, whom I expected to be the Jays’ nominee.

  7. metalhead65 - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    what baseball award would be complete without craig complaining about something? and shockingly it has to do with the fans having a say in it. I mean how dare baseball involve average fans and not just saber metric expert geeks like craig?after all I am sure they have a stat for player involvment in the community right?

    • Reflex - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Um, the issue is that it is about community involvement, and by adding a fan component its instead a popularity contest. Quite frankly by the nature of the award I’d have given it to Jamie Moyer every year he was qualified for it, but thats based on living in Seattle and seeing all of his community work. It does not mean that objectively he really does the most for the community, and he certainly would not meet all of the other qualifications.

      Just seems odd that this would be a fan thing, I’d see it as more of a team thing, teams nominate who based on what they know of the guys in the clubhouse, and then vote on the 30 candidates.

    • mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      It is a damn shame that this is the only baseball blog in the world — indeed, the only blog of any sort in the world — and that you are therefore forced to read it.

  8. youngwomanscreek - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Setting up a fan vote for this raises the issue in the public eye earlier than if there were no fan vote and it was instead just announced at some point. Perhaps a few who vote will look into what at least some of the players have done to deserve being their team’s nominee. And if that happens, it carries the entire idea of the Roberto Clemente Award forward better.
    I think the fan vote serves the overall cause better, even if it does somewhat dilute who receives the award.
    Which do you think Roberto Clemente would appreciate better? Making sure the right person won, or promoting the idea of community involvement?

    • natslady - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      Exactly. Would be nice if I didn’t have to give Chevrolet my heart and soul and email address in order to vote, though.

  9. whooodeyyy - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Todd Frazier saved a man’s life this year.

  10. flavadave10 - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Very glad to see that Jim Johnson is getting the recognition he deserves. His contributions have always seemed to go unnoticed.

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