On a serious note, I would like to dedicate the de-facto "Best Beat Writer" award to the late Paul C. Smith, the former DevilRays.com beat writer who passed away in February of last year. Smith was a beacon of journalistic excellence, a man not afraid to write what he felt even though he worked for the official site. His ability to produce the well-thought-out columns that every day graced our computer screens at DevilRays.com was something that perhaps I took for granted, which is why the past year and a half without his name on the story byline has been so saddening. Mr. Smith was truly a journalist to be proud of, and his loss made the world a worse place. It is with my sincerest condolences that I dedicate the award for journalistic excellence to the man who set the standard for it.
This award is for the best Devil Rays beat writer among the Tampa Bay area newspapers and DevilRays.com. Vote for your choice in this thread and discuss it; the winner will be crowned in the series' conclusion piece on Sunday, November the 19th.