photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Patiently you have waited, and now your patience has been rewarded. DIBS has spoken.
In case, in your patience, you have forgotten what DIBS is (other than what you call on a particularly good seat or delicious-looking piece of food), I’ll refresh you. The Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes are a group of Tigers bloggers, cobbled together in 2005 by Billfer and Ryan and Brian, for the primary purpose of rejoicing together in the special joys that come with Tigers blogging. Front row seats to the reemergence of Jim Leyland in MLB? Yes. Prime tickets to the viewing of Kyle Farnsworth going all pro wrestling on the Kansas City Royals? Yes. Backstage pass to the growth and on-scene explosion of Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya? Heavens yes.
Close enough to get our grubby little paws on Brandon Inge? We’re working on it.
The DIBS Awards are a special time in this sea of specialness where all the DIBS writers look deep inside their hearts, their souls, and their stat books to choose winners in three categories: Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, and Breakout Player of the Year. These are roughly analogous to the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year awards, with obvious exceptions (only Tigers are considered, stats are not the hard and final line when it comes to decision-making, the Breakout Player doesn’t have to be a rookie, DIBS is not MLB, etc).
Know your DIBS! The voting members of DIBS are, in alphabetical blog order so as to be fair to everyone:
Bless You Boys (Ian is a SportsBlog Network pawn, burn him at the stake!)
the Daily Fungo (mmmm, fungo)
the Detroit Tigers Weblog (Billfer just posted the entire press release of this, WEAK)
the Fanhouse (AOL, you are ruining the Dugout :( )
From the Copa (wow, someone whose offseason updating habits make ME look good! hee hee)
Grandy Report (Deaner’s not obsessed at all, no sir, not a bit of it…)
Leelanau Sports Guy (covering everything in Michigan ever)
Mack Avenue Tigers (Kurt has a cold. Feel better soon, Kurt! Drink orange juice!)
Motown Sports Revival (more words than you can shake a stick at, even if that stick is Andrew Miller)
Take 75 North (MVN 4 EVAH. You just can’t beat the MVN Tigers bloggin’ conglomerate, kids and kittens. 100% of FACT.)
TigerBlog (I want that color scheme. Why can’t I have that color scheme? Eh, MVN, eh?)
Tiger Tales (Lee’s numbers, let him show you them.)
the Wayne Fontes Experience (Big Al. Do you need to know more? No.)
Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb? (the baseball cog in the Greg Eno internet empire)
And Roar of the Tigers, of course. Now that you know your DIBS, let us sally forth unto the Awards! (As I mentioned above, there IS an actual press release for these puppies, which you can see at DTW and other sites. I consider posting the press release to be cheating you lovely readers out of… well, out of whatever it is that makes you stop by here to read what I’ve written. So if you want the official word, which has all sorts of fun facts and so on, make sure to check out someone else’s post too.)
Pitcher of the Year
Like you have to ask. Of course it is Justin Verlander, boy wonder. DIBS had no trouble at all deciding on this one– it was the only vote that was decided unanimously. With his 1.23 WHIP and his drool-worthy Youth (hence Potential) and his ability to pitch in the first inning (unlike SOME Tigers starters) and his ability to resist the siren call of Guitar Hero (unlike SOME Tigers relievers), oh, and THE NO-HITTER THAT HE THREW, Verlander was obviously the Pitcher of the Year. You wanna fight about it?
Coming in second place was Rollercoaster Jones, and coming in third was Bobby Seay. I want to see Bondo on this list next year, and it’s a sad statement that he wasn’t. Get your freakin’ kitty litter in order, Bondo!
Breakout Player of the Year
This one went to Curtis Granderson. It makes a lot of sense: he had his personal best year, by far, coupled with the fact that even in the context of the rest of the league his season was good enough to throw him into the MVP discussion. That’s a Breakout, for sure. Shock and awe for everyone in the league except for Tigers and Tigers fans who, as I have said often enough, already recognized and embraced the incarnated awesome that is Curtis Granderson.
Second place went to Ryan Raburn (who was my first place vote, on the basis that his short-service prowess was even MORE unexpected), and third went to Jair Jurrjens (may the NL treat him kindly).
Player of the Year
Dun dun dunnnhhh!! Magglio Ordonez! Zero surprise here too. We’re nothing if not predictable.
Magglio was the batting champ and the MVP runner-up. He did things with his bat that made everyone else look like small weeny men playing T-ball. He pulled off hair that 99.8% of the league would not have a prayer of ever pulling off. It is impossible to argue this, unless you’re a spacker like me who voted Granderson #1 here and put Maggs at #2.
Granderson did come in second, with 2 first place votes, so I wasn’t alone. Rounding us out in third was Placido Polanco, who got relegated to the bottom of the pile after the kind of year that, most other places, would have him gilded and stuck up in the place of honor on the mantle with gaudy spotlights on him 24-7. I know I keep harping on it, but MAN did we in some ways have a loaded team this year.
Just goes to show, kids, stockpile your pitchers, because without them you are nothing.
Read something interesting re: Granderson recently (well, it actually wasn’t about Granderson, but about another Tigers rookie from years long, long gone by):
“[Youngster] continued to hit, though, and so frequently that, when [injured veteran RF-er] was ready to play again, [Tigers manager] put [Youngster] in center and benched [Opening Day CF-er]. [Youngster] was plainly weak against lefthanders, but he slammed righthanders as well as anybody in the league. [Tigers manager] moved him up to the lead-off spot in the batting order to take advantage of his speed. By mid-May, [national baseball writer] was describing [Youngster] as ‘a beardless boy of 20 [sic
If I burn at the stake, I will haunt your dreams, Samela. Consider yourself warned.
Jeff, insert joke about what Cobb would have thought about a comparison between himself and Granderson here. Oh my. Still, if Curtis turns out half as good as a ballplayer (I reckon he’s already surpassed Cobb in, uh, personality), we shall be most happy fans.
Ian, what’s that you say? I’m sorry, all I can hear is a low hissing noise, like the sound made by a POISONOUS SPORTSBLOGS VIPER. :D
Thanks, Sam. Feeling a bit better today. I will be healthy again someday, I swear. Though I was beginning to wonder…
Must be the OJ!
It’s colored tiger orange. Therefore it will make you strong. FACT.