This is my first non-cookie cutter award. By that, I mean an original award, unique to this franchise. I thought long and hard about what awards to choose, and which, if any, I could name after people. Two prerequisites...
- The person could not be still playing for the Rays
- They had to have been good
So I turned towards the mound, and with option #2 painfully excluding Esteban Yan from the candidate pool, I decided to name the award after one of the few good pitchers we have ever had as a franchise that excelled here in the early years. That would be Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez set a standard as the closer for the first three years of the franchise that was probably an impossible standard to keep up. He was actually good, making the All-Star team in 1999. However in Chuck LaMar's eternal brilliance, he was dealt to Kansas City before the 2001 season for Ben Grieve, and Hernandez never quite meshed with the Royals closing out ballgames. So in honor of the best reliever in team history, I present to you the Roberto Hernandez Award.
In keeping with the great traditions that Roberto set, this award is for the top performer in the 2006 bullpen, and I know that is a hard thing, to recognize one individual among others in this excellent unit. 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.