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Consolation Prizes

Sports Illustrated staff writer Stephen Cannella offers his award alternatives. Click here to check out the selections of SI baseball scribes Tom Verducci and Jeff Pearlman in some less-than-major awards categories.

Much attention rightly will be paid the recipients of baseball's major awards, but there are others who won't come close to winning an MVP or Cy Young but deserve recognition nonetheless. Here are the winners of our dubious honors:

Injury of the Year Award: To Red Sox righthander Paxton Crawford, who missed a scheduled July call-up from Triple A Pawtucket when he fell out of bed, landed on a drinking glass and needed eight stitches to close the resulting gash on his lower back. Honorable mention: Marlins righty Ricky Bones, who missed a start after straining his back climbing out of a clubhouse recliner while watching TV.

Hannibal Lecter Trophy: To Indians righty Dave Burba, who, after being ripped for three hits by Darin Erstad in a loss to the Angels, announced, "I'd like to shoot him, cut him up into pieces, stab him, or whatever, so I don't have to face him again."

The Streisand Farewell Award for False Advertising: To the Devil Rays, who launched a "Hit Show" ad campaign last winter to attract fans to watch a beer-league lineup that featured aging sluggers Jose Canseco, Vinny Castilla, Fred McGriff and Greg Vaughn. Tampa Bay ended up last in the American League in runs, second to last in attendance.

Dud Trade Award: The deal that sent outfielder Shawn Green from the Blue Jays to the Dodgers for outfielder Raul Mondesi. Green hit 40 points lower and smacked 18 fewer homers than he did last year. Mondesi had elbow surgery in July and played only 96 games. Neither team made the playoffs.

Fittest Catchers Medal: To the Reds' backstops, who had to run down a major-league-record 96 wild pitches uncorked by the Cincinnati staff.

Best-in-Show for the Oldest Dog with the Newest Trick: To Rockies catcher Brent Mayne, who in August pitched a scoreless 12th inning -- and got Chipper Jones to ground out with two men on -- for a win over the Braves. It was the first time, including Little League, that Mayne, 32, had thrown off a mound.

Meatiest Performance of the Year: ToTigers righthander Hideo Nomo, who wore the Italian-sausage suit, for beating the bratwurst and kielbasa to win the nightly sausage race at Milwaukee's County Stadium in July.

Looking on the Bright Side Award: To Astros righty Jose Lima, who finished a miserable season with a 6.65 ERA while allowing a National League-record 48 homers. Said he, "I have the National League record. So what? At least I'm in the book for something -- and it's not for stealing or drugs."

Stephen Cannella will be contributing regularly to CNNSI.com throughout the playoffs


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