The 2010 season is finally over. Now it’s time to reflect on the players who deserve special recognition. Introducing the 1st annual Diehard Cubs’ Fan Attaboy Awards.
While my choices may not reflect the opinion of all Cubs’ fans, here are my selections nonetheless. Feel free to leave comments regarding your choices. It’s a free country.
The Ernie Banks Award goes to the player who exemplifies the heart and soul of the team. The player who demonstrated heart, determination, and who led by example.
Numbers aside, it goes to the player who contributed to the team in tangible and intangible ways.
The Ernie Banks Award goes to… Marlon Byrd.
His hustle and determination made him an all-star in 2010. Marlon batted .293, with 12 homeruns and 66 RBI’s. Byrd had a .346 OBP and defensively shined in centerfield. He brought a winning attitude to the club. Attaboy, Marlon!
Rookie Of The Year Award goes to Starlin Castro AND Tyler Colvin.
While Castro would be most fans’ choice for the award, Tyler Colvin has proven to be a valuable part of the team as well. Starlin Castro batted .300, with 3 homeruns and 41 RBI’s. Castro led the team with 10 stolen bases. Meanwhile, prior to having his season end prematurely due to the broken bat incident, Tyler Colvin hit .254, with 20 homeruns and 56 RBI’s. Both youngsters did a tremendous job in 2010. While both players have room for improvement, Castro and Colvin had an excellent rookie season. Attaboy, you guys! Good job!
Most Dominant Pitcher Award goes to… Carlos Marmol.
Carlos Marmol has been one of the most dominant closers in the game today.
Marmol has become one of the most feared pitchers for batters to face. He has a NASTY slider that when Carlos is on top of his game, is unhittable. He has been lights out this year. Marmol surpassed Bruce Sutter’s single-season record for strikeouts by a closer with 138 K’s. Carlos finished the year with a 2.55 ERA and 38 SAVES. Attaboy, Carlos! Excellent work!
Comeback Player Award goes to… Carlos Zambrano.
Big Z was on the verge of being finished in Chicago following his infamous tirade in the dugout after Derek Lee failed to dive after a ball driven down the first base line. His outburst landed him on the Restricted List where Carlos was forced to undergo Anger Management classes. Upon his return to the starting rotation, Big Z was resurrected and given new life. Zambrano made the best of his second chance as he calmly returned and was better than ever. Big Z made a statement to silence the critics, not with his mouth, but with masterful pitching performances. Since the all-star break, Big Z proved that he is one of the best in the business as he went 8-0, with a 1.41 ERA in his last 11 starts. Zambrano finished the season 11-6, with a 3.33 ERA. Big Z is back, better than ever! Attaboy, Carlos! Keep up the good work, and don’t forget to stay calm!
The Mr. Consistency Award goes to… Sean Marshall. Sean is a true team player. He would rather be in the starting rotation but the team needed his services in the bullpen where Sean has quietly turned into one heck of a reliever.
He has been the premiere set up man. Marshall finished the season with a 7-5 record and a 2.65 ERA in 80 appearances. Sean has proven to be one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Attaboy, Sean! Nice job!
Special Award goes to… Mike Quade. Since Lou Piniella retired, Mike Quade assumed managerial duties to finish out the season. No one had Mike Quade on Jim Hendry’s ShortList but, Quade didn’t waste any time opening people’s eyes.
He quickly turned the Cubs around. Under Mike, the team finished 24-13. Quade deserves a ton of credit for the turnaround. No one expected that he would emerge as one of the front runners to win the 2011 managerial position, but here he is. The players have endorsed him and have played their hearts out to finish the season strong. The Cubs looked like playoff contenders the last month and a half, a huge accomplishment since there wasn’t anything to play for at that point. In any event, the strong finish will undoubtedly carry over into next season. I tip my hat to Mike Quade for making the end of the season enjoyable to watch. Attaboy, Mike! Good luck on the interview process! You have proven your ability to manage and manage well!
The Diehard Award goes to… THE ENTIRE CUBS’ TEAM for not giving up when all was lost, for having the heart to play hard and finish strong.
I salute you, Cubs! This team has given me a new ray of hope as next season draws near. I can’t wait till next year! It should prove to be a different story, one with a happier ending! ATTABOY, CUBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See you next Spring! Get some rest, work hard in the offseason and come back healthy and ready to play! We shall embark on a journey together, a quest for a World Series Championship! BELIEVE!!! What the mind can conceive and believe, the Cubs can achieve! Believe it!