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Sullivan: Michael Young was jobbed for the Clemente Award

Oct 29, 2012, 10:36 AM EDT

Michael Young dugout

We argue about every possible award around here because, heck, what else is there to do when there are no baseball games going on?  But while it’s easy to come up with any kind of argument for one guy over another for the MVP or the Cy Young or whatever, it’s not easy — and most folks don’t even try — to argue about who wins humanitarian awards.

Stuff  like the Clemente Award, which goes to “the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement.” Most of us have no way of measuring even one player’s level of community involvement, let alone compare him to 29 other nominees, all of whom have clearly shown great sportsmanship and have made humanitarian efforts or else they wouldn’t have been nominated. Which is one of the reasons why the fact that the Clemente Award has a fan vote component makes little sense.

But that doesn’t stop T.R. Sullivan of from saying that Michael Young was jobbed when Clayton Kershaw won it the other day:

Young has been the Rangers nominee for four straight years. He has yet to win it, unlike Pete Rose , Sammy Sosa or Curt Schilling …

It is one that Young richly deserves. If Young doesn’t represent everything that Clemente Award embodies then they might as well stop giving it because their standards are way too high.

I appreciate that Sullivan sees Young and his charitable work up close and has a greater appreciation for it than any of us do, but I really don’t know how one can talk about this sort of thing like a gold glove or something. To say, as he implicitly does, that Kershaw is somehow not as deserving seems, well, kind of rude given that we’re talking about humanitarian things here and not objective baseball value. And when Sullivan throws in Young’s “day-to-day accountability with the media,” — which is not something the Clemente Award is designed to reward — one wonders what the heck the motivation is for this in the first place.

I’m sure Michael Young is a good guy and embodies the things the Clemente Award values and honors. But to argue about the Clemente Award as if it’s like any other award seems rather awkward.

  1. Old Gator - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Not awkward. Assinine.

    • thekcubrats - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      Or asinine. The braying’s baked in, no need to work the single entendre peanut gallery.

      • Old Gator - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        You’re probably right. I ignored my spellchecker for metaphorical reasons. Also, I hadn’t had my cup of liquid pacemaker yet.

        Now, since the season’s over, I think I’m gonna go watch my DVD of Au husard Balthazar….

  2. stex52 - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I doubt that any individual who is nominated doesn’t deserve it. There are a lot to choose from; I imagine every team in the league has two or three players running personal charitable efforts. Just a very mean-spirited article.

  3. geoknows - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Susan Lucci understands.

  4. beefytrout - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Sound like Sullivan wants to job Young.

  5. indaburg - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    The popularity component makes little sense. Sullivan’s argument is equally nonsensical.

    The players who display high levels of community involvement and sportsmanship are not doing this for some award. It sounds incredibly corny, but the high that comes from giving is its own reward. (Shit, I sound like a Hallmark card.)

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Here you go Sally:

      • indaburg - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        Very cute–love me some Snoopy–but this is more my taste:

        There. Hallmark feeling obliterated.

  6. icanspeel - Oct 29, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    I think it is an honor in itself to be nominated for it. But it comes down to fan voting after nomination, so one has to wonder if the fans vote for their favorite player or they have the facts to see who is more deserving with their charitable work. I would put my money on fans voting for their favorite player.

    • madhatternalice - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      No, it doesn’t. Fan voting counts for 1/31 of all the votes.

      Teams nominate one player.

      30 “baseball dignitaries” each vote for one of those 30.
      Fans vote. Player with the most fan votes gets one additional vote.

      So, no, it doesn’t come down to fan voting at all. But hey, thanks for playing!

  7. cur68 - Oct 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    I’m having a hard time summoning the snark for Mike Young this AM: he really seems to be a leader with the charity work. Its a shame that T.R. Sullivan had to go and drag it down to the level of counting stats. I just hope Young himself doesn’t do anything to make himself look worse because he didn’t win the award. Sometimes a guy can believe his own press and start doing some really doofus things.

  8. crankyfrankie - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    His charitable measures are the type that don’t show on the fundraising books. He is charitable in a scrappy and gritty way that non-Texan can never ever hope to appreciate.

    • davidpom50 - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Eh, I’m with cur68, directly above you. Let’s mock Sullivan’s dumb blog post, not Young’s charity work.

  9. tacklemeelmo - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Pretty sure Sullivan is the guy who gave Young a first place MVP vote last year. Eagerly anticipating the article complaining about Young not winning ROY this year.

    • lucas66 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      That vote was cast by Evan Grant.

      • davidpom50 - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        … and Grant is currently writing an article opining that the award should be re-named the Michael Young Award.

  10. hardballtalkusername - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    The real shock is that Jeter didn’t win. Gift baskets AND autographs. Helluva humanitarian.

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