The legend of the scrappy, hustling, get-yer-uniform-dirty utility player holds a special place in baseball lore, probably because no sport more values its ... well, no sport has more white people. It's a sacred role on a team: White guy who's not that skilled but is popular because he's "gritty." It's one of baseball's uglier underbellys; David Ecksteins will always be more popular than Ronnie Belliards. It's wrong, but it is.
But just because it exists doesn't mean you have to make an award for it. Sure enough, though, Holiday Inn — the hotel chain that has decided you can inspire people to rent rooms with you by showing a bunch of idiots harassing Joe Buck — is sponsoring the Look Again Player Of The Year Award, which goes to "the role players who sacrifice for their team in often unrecognized effort."
Each team has a nominee — the Cardinals', obviously, is Eckstein — and when you look at the nominees, it's kind of shocking how blatant they really are. Every single one of them is a white guy. (You could make an exception for Jose Valentin, but we think the mustache makes up for it.) Seriously: It is, without question, a poll to choose your favorite white guy. Scott Proctor is a role player? Woody Williams?
We can't believe they went through with this. We're hoping for another poll, later this week, where fans can vote on their favorite lethargic Latino player, their favorite math-problem-solving Asian player and their favorite disinterested black player.
Look Again Player Of The Year Award [MLB.com]
(UPDATE: We hadn't seen this, but Fire Joe Morgan had a great take on this as well.)