We'll release our hardware in conjunction with MLB this time around.
This year, the Angels had a postseason! It was brief and saddening, but it was a return to October nonetheless.
However, now that that is all said and done, and with a few quick offseason moves already (Hank Conger to Houston for Nick Tropeano and Carlos Perez; Mark Sappington to Tampa Bay for Cesar Ramos; signings of Jeremy McBryde and Vinnie Pestano to one-year MLB deals), let's turn our eyes to something different.
Ladies and gentlemen, the third annual Halos Heaven Awards, as conducted by the Halos Heaven Voting Board.
This season the awards were a bit more intimate--just six ballots turned in, although the overall turnout (appr. 15 voters contacted, as opposed to over 30 in years past) still looked good, around the one-third rate that it has been. However, that isn't as important as the awards themselves.
Let's look at the review of awards past:
Trout-Salmon Award: This award made its debut last season and is now BACK! This award honors the Angels' most outstanding rookie each season. The inaugural winner of this award was the polarizing J.B. Shuck, who managed to step up (albeit very low-key) in the midst of injuries and underwhelming play last year. Who wins this year?
David Eckstein Award: This award consistently causes the most noticeable stir and widespread vote. In both seasons, numerous players garnered votes, with 12 players earning votes last season. Shuck won this award last year as well, while in the inaugural honors, Erick Aybar garnered the hardware in 2012. Who was the most underrated now?
Buttercup Award: It's the one that nobody wants to win. The booby prize. You don't want this, but someone's got to take it home. The other award that made its debut last season, Josh Hamilton's underwhelming stuff earned him the "honors" in 2013. Who built us up and let us down this season?
Comeback Player of the Year Award: This one is new for 2014. This award honors the Angel who rebounded the best from their prior season. The season before needn't have come with the Angels, and their rebound can come from any source--a bad season before, an injured campaign, a season off altogether...who came back best this year?
First-Time Halo Award: Though similar in concept to the Trout-Salmon Award, this award goes to the player who had the best DEBUT season in an Angels uniform. This award is open to all qualifying Angels rookies, as well as all Angels who played their first-ever season as an Angel. The two winners of this award were Shuck last season, and Albert Pujols in 2012. Who debuted strongest in 2014?
Vladimir Guerrero Award: Affectionately referred to as "the Vladdy," this award honors the most outstanding Angels hitter of the season. Value is not part of this award (as it is for the one two doors down); the award simply goes to whoever the voters felt put on the greatest show of offensive prowess. It was Mike Trout both of the past two seasons. Who was that this year?
Dean Chance Award: Similarly, this award honors the most outstanding PITCHER for the Angels this season. Not to say that Dean Chance was the greatest Angels pitcher ever (sorry Gubi), but there's always one pitcher, each year, whose stuff is a cut above the rest. Last season, C.J. Wilson took the honor home, and the season prior, it was Jered Weaver. Who now?
Mr. Halo: This honor is bestowed upon whichever Angel had the most VALUABLE season. Value lies in the eyes and opinions of each individual voter, and can be determined tangibly, intangibly, or both. Mike Trout was the winner of this award each of the past two seasons. Does he retain the crown?
So now that you're familiar, let's go over when each award will be unveiled:
Tuesday, November 11: Trout-Salmon Award and Comeback Player of the Year Award
Wednesday, November 12: David Eckstein Award and Buttercup Award
Thursday, November 14: First-Time Halo Award and Vladimir Guerrero Award
Friday, November 15: Dean Chance Award and Mr. Halo
Make your conjectures, predictions and arguments below! Also, if you cast a vote this season, I ask that you do not reveal your ballots until each respective award has been revealed (i.e. you can reveal your Trout-Salmon and Comeback ballots after they have been revealed tomorrow, if you voted).