There are, to invoke A's first baseman Scott Hatteberg, Cy Youngs ( Barry Zito) and Cy Olds ( Roger Clemens), most valuable players and least valuable ones (hello, Cesar Izturis!). Here is SI's list of dishonorifics, a.k.a. the annual awards for the Most Ridiculous Performances (MRPs) of 2003.
?LITTLE OFF THE TOP AWARD
To then Mets shortstop Rey Sanchez, who allegedly retired to the clubhouse to get a trim during a 13-4 loss to the Cardinals in April.
? SAMSONITE AGONISTES AWARD
To Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, who spent two months on the disabled list with fractured ribs after falling on his suitcase.
?CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN AWARD
To Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, who decreed that his players wear dress pants to home games, explaining, "You're a major league player. You get paid like a major league player. At least resemble one when you get to the ballpark."
?HEDGING HIS BETS AWARD
To Orioles manager Mike Hargrove, who told reporters after righthander Sidney Ponson had been traded to the San Francisco Giants, "I've got a special feeling for Sidney, and I will in 20 years—unless he blows up my house or something."
?PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES AWARD
To Giants outfielder Tony Torcato, who, after being promoted from Triple A Fresno, arrived in New York City to join the team on Aug. 14—the day of the blackout in the Northeast. Torcato slept on the floor at JFK International Airport before driving to Hartford, then catching a plane to meet the club in Montreal. Torcato went 0 for 3 in two games against the Expos and was sent back to the minors.
?GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN AWARD
To the Reds, who on Aug. 15 gave fans promotional card sets featuring fired manager Bob Boone, fired coaches Tim Foli and Tom Robson, and five traded players.
?I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY ATE THE WHOLE THING AWARD
To the Angels for cutting pitcher Kevin Appier (owed $15.6 million), the Tigers for cutting infielder Damion Easley ($14.3 million) and the Devil Rays for cutting designated hitter Greg Vaughn ($9.25 million). Those are the three largest contractual obligations to released players in baseball history.
?BEAT THE TRAFFIC AWARD
To Rangers outfielder Juan Gonzalez, out for the season with a torn calf muscle, who cleaned out his locker with two weeks left in the season and left the team to return to his off-season home in Puerto Rico.
?NEVER LET 'EM SEE YOU SWEAT AWARD
To A's reliever Mike Neu, who earned his first career save by pitching three scoreless innings against the Blue Jays. When he entered the game, Oakland was ahead 16-2.