"In the spirit of Mr. Zeile, this award celebrates a player's commitment to the sport, his outstanding attendance, and the embodiment of the game's most important qualities: taking the field, giving it your all, and making new friends."Now the article goes on to say that this seasons recipients must have performed in 60% of his teams games, basically giving everyone in the majors this fictional award.
But what if this was a real award? Who would be eligible?
- Paul Quantrill: Started with the Yankees in 2005, then made a stop in San Diego where he saw the Padres almost tank the season...luckily for them they released him and he sabotaged the Marlins' hopes for a playoff berth. In the 50 games that Quantrill has pitched in, his teams' record is 13-37.
- Mike Stanton: Released from the Yankees the same day as Quantrill, then proceeded to jinx the Washington Nationals as he joined them just in time for their collapse, then was traded to the World Champion Boston Red Sox as he oversaw their being swept by the White Sox.
- Roberto Hernandez: Certainly has fallen under the heading of "making new friends". His successful 2005 campaign with the Mets is the seventh franchise he has pitched for.
- Tony Clark: The very tall first baseman has played for five franchises in the past five seasons. With Conor Jackson on the horizon, 2006 might see Clark in a new home.
- Shawn Estes: Estes has Clark beat...since 2001 Estes has pitched with the Giants, Mets, Reds, Cubs, Rockies, and Diamondbacks.
- Reggie Sanders: 2005 was the first season that Reggie has played with the same team as he did in the previous season. Since 1998, Reggie has played with the Reds, the Padres, the Braves, the Diamondbacks, the Giants, the Pirates, and St. Louis. That's a lot of friends.
- Eric Byrnes: Byrnes was wheeled from a pennant winner to a doormat, then wheeled to what everyone thought was a contender, but turned out to be a bigger doorman than the first doormat. Expect 2006 to see Byrnes with his fourth team since the spring of 2005.
- Ricky Bottalico: Once a can't miss prospect with the Phillies, since '98 Ricky has pitched for the Phillies, the Cards, the Royals, the Phillies again, the Diamondbacks, the Mets, and the Brewers last season.
- Rick Helling: Helling has also been well traveled, pitching for the Rangers, Marlins, the Rangers again, the Diamondbacks, the Orioles, the Marlins again, and the Brewers last year. He gets the sentimental vote for having also pitched in the minors for a lot of those franchises, and having to endure a half a bat impaling his arm while in the minors.
- Bruce Chen*: A late add thanks to someone who is paying attention. Chen has found a bit of stability with the Orioles the last two seasons, but before that has played with Atlanta, Philly, the Mets, Expos, Reds, Astros and Red Sox between 1998 and 2003. Maybe Leo Mazzone can make him...wait, he had him in 1998. Never mind.
*If you voted before the Bruce Chen add as eight or nine of you did, then please vote again.