Welcome everyone to the The inaugural “One Minute Sports Best of the Year in New York Sports Awards Ceremony”, I’m your host, and your author, Owen “Odawg” Condon. It’s been quite the year in New York sports. This time last year New York was a dark, cold desolate region with no signs of sports life outside of the Rangers. Now, just 365 short days later, the weather is always warm, the Mets are making the World Series, and five teams made the playoffs in 2015 (Yankees, Mets, Nets, Isles, Rangers). This was a year that fans of every team will remember (well, except you Nets and Devils fans, you’re seasons were kinda boring and crappy like they always are), so without further ado, let’s get to the awards! Up first we’ll go hot out of the gates!
Player of the year nominees:
Odell Beckham Jr.
Winner: Yoenis Cespedes
I don’t care if he was only on the Mets for three months out of the year. Longevity may count in the MVP race, but all bets are off when Odawg casts his ballot. Yoenis Cespedes and Jonathan Papelbon are the two biggest reasons the Mets took control of the NL East race down the stretch, and because Papelbon can’t get my vote, I guess it goes to Yo.
But seriously, from the second Cespedes landed in New York, the Mets were a different team. 17 home runs, 14 doubles, 44 RBI, and a .287/337/.604 batting line in 57 regular season games? Yea, I feel okay giving Ces this honor.
runner up: Odell Beckham Jr.
We saw what he could do in 2014 in the 12 games he played as a rookie, but outside of his tantrum against Carolina, ODB was literally the only reason you would even think about watching the Giants this year. He was electric. Nothing outside of his catch radius.
Two hands, one hand, no hands, ODB can do it all. It’s going to be really exciting watching this guy play in New York, especially since the Jets only have to worry about him once every four years.
I mean come on? Is this even legal?
Comeback player of the year nominees:
Winner: Alex Rodriguez
Coming back from the dead is usually reserved for movies or TV shows, but we saw a real life resurrection in the Bronx this season. A-rod went from public enemy #1 to……..a fan favorite? Yep, Alex Rodriguez had quite the 2015 and it’s all thanks to one thing.
Runner up: Matt Harvey
It’s amazing, looking at Harvey’s statline for 2015, that he got as much shit as he got with how good he pitched. Coming off Tommy John surgery, Harvey posted a 2.71 ERA and a 13-8 record and finished the playoffs with 216 innings pitched, the most ever for a pitcher returning from TJ surgery. Although, we all wish that 216th inning went a little different.
Coach of the year nominees:
Winner: Terry Collins
Cripes man, if you want me to explain to you how the hell Terry Collins did what he did this season, you’re gonna have to find another blog. Keeping his whole locker room together despite all of the injuries, suspensions, rumors, trades, trades that didn’t happen, crying players in the dugout, Matt Harvey stories, bullpen debacles, inept offensive showings and still not only making the playoffs, not only winning the division, but making the friggin World Series? That’s why TC gets this award.
runner up: Jack Capuano
Although the Isles have yet to make a dent in the Stanley Cup playoffs yet, Capuano spent 2015 making this team into one that is going to be a thorn in the side for the rest of the league for the better half of the next decade. The talent is there, the coaching is there, now it’s just time to get over that hump and win that playoff series. They lost in game 7 of the first round to the Washington Capitals in 2015, so you can see just how close Capuano has his guys.
Executive of the year Nominees:
Winner: Sandy Alderson
Who else but my good friend, and baseball maverick, Sandy Alderson. Even though he did put a team out for half the year that featured the likes of John Mayberry, Eric Campbell, and Michael Cuddyer, the maverick had a plan. And like all plans, it required time. Maybe it took a little longer than we would’ve liked, but at the end of July, Sandy’s plan all started coming together. All six years of it.
runner up: Phil Jackson
Two words for why big Phil wins runner up. Kristaps. Porzingus. The world told him not to do it, not to take the tall skinny weird looking Latvian dude. Trade back and take an established, college star. A safe guy. Somebody who would help now, not three years from now. Well, now that tall, skinny, weird looking Latvian dude is putting the NBA on notice, and with new surrouding pieces like Robin Lopez, Aaron Afflalo, and Jerian Grant, the Knicks are sorta fun to watch again. All hail the zen master
Rookie of the Year Nominees:
Winner: Kristaps Porzingus
runner up: Noah Syndergaard
Bust of the Year nominees:
Winner: Michael Cuddyer
I feel bad, because Michael Cuddyer is such a professional, and such a rare good guy in today’s sports world. It’s just that he was sooooooo bad. And he was making sooooooo much money. He’s going to be a great hitting coach/manager/analyst, whatever he decides to do in his post playing life, but he just couldn’t hack the lumber in 2015.
runner up: Geno Smith
It’s tough to call this one a bust because, how much did we really expect from Geno this year? Well, whatever you were expecting, you got none of it. After maybe, just maybe, giving you a glimmer of hope with his perfect passer rating in the final game of the 2014 season against the Dolphins, Geno shut the book on his Jets career this year, with the help of IK Enemkpali, who broke Smith’s jaw with a locker room sucker punch during training camp this season.
This is the part of the awards ceremony where we look back at those who left us in 2015. I figured I’d let Newsday take this one, so here is the link to the article to see notable sports legends who we lost in 2015.
But while you’re doing it, I encourage you to get the real awards ceremony feel, play this music in the background while reading.
Game of the year: Game 5, NLDS, Mets vs. Dodgers “The Steal” Mets 3 – Dodgers 2
After the Mets couldn’t finish off the Dodgers in Queens, they went back out west to face Zack Greinke once again. Jacob deGrom, coming off an all-time performance in game one, struggled out of the gates in game five, giving up two runs right off the bat and putting the Mets in a 2-1 hole. However, deGrom battled through every inning, and even though the Dodgers were able to get a runner into scoring position every inning, deGrom never wavered. He buckled down and never let the next man in. Then came “The Steal”.
Down 2-1 in the 4th, Daniel Murphy singled. Lucas Duda then drew a walk, but with the defense shifted all the way to the right side of the infield for Duda, and nobody covering third base, Murphy made a brake for it and got into third base safely.
Travis d’arnaud hit a sac fly to bring Murphy in to tie the game. Finally in the 6th, it was….yep, you guessed it. Daniel Murphy. With nobody on, Murphy cranked his second home run of the series off of Zack Greinke and gave the Mets a lead they’d never give back. Jeury’s Familia closed the door in the 9th and the Mets were on to face the Cubbies in the NLCS. F$#K you Chase Utley.
runner up: Rangers vs. Islanders February 16th- Rangers 6 – Islanders 5
This was one of the best hockey games of the year, and it came on a random Monday in February. The Islanders, up 2-0 in the season series, held home ice for the second to last time these two would ever play at the barn. The Rangers overcame three separate two goal deficits to win this game late in the third period on a Kevin Klein slap-shot. It was as exciting a regular season hockey game as you’ll ever see, and sent these two teams heading in drastically different directions after.
Team of the Year Nominees:
New York Mets- (90-72, NL Champions, NL East Champions)
New York Rangers- (53-22-7, 113 points, President’s Trophy, Metropolitan Division Champs)
New York Islanders- (47–28–7, 101 points, 5th place in Eastern Conference)
New York Yankees- (87-75, Wild card birth)
Brooklyn Nets- (38-44, 8th place in Eastern Conference)
Runner up: New York Rangers
A President’s Trophy and an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs highlighted the New York Rangers 2014-2015 campaign, however all of that still is considered a failure in Rangerstown, coming off the season before where the Rangers made a Stanley Cup appearance, 2015 was Stanley Cup or bust. The Rangers were a better team in 2015 than they were in 2014 when they made it to the Stanley Cup, however, the expectation was to bring home the cup. Things are a little rocky right now for the 2015-2016 Rangers, but remember, this time last year the Rangers were still in the bottom half of the East and Henrik Lundqvist just took a puck to the jugular.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO…….
Team of the Year: New York Mets
This one is a no brainer. A World Series appearance, an NL East title, 90 wins, and the most dominant pitching staff in baseball. The Mets came out of absolutely nowhere, all starting with the aquisition of Yoenis Cespedes with 15 minutes to go on July 31st. The Mets played a type of baseball from August-October that I don’t know if we’ll ever see again. Not just the wins, not just the titles. The Mets were the most fun team to watch and the most fun team to root for this year in New York, and with the talent they have, they may win this prestigious award next year too.
Have a merry 2016 everyone! It’s been so much fun writing this blog this year, and if you’ve even read just one of them, I thank you, and I hope you liked reading it as much as I liked writing it. One Minute Sports will return in 2016, and I’ll be back after the calendar turns to give you all the opinion on sports fact that you want.
Follow me, @Trojan_Condon on twitter, to read my hilarious take on sports and life and to get blogs the second they’re published. Follow @HomestandNY for everything Mets and Islanders, and come see Pitch Talks: Mets on January 13th, to buy tickets, go to pitchtalksbaseball.com. I’ll be there if you wanna tell me how much the blog stinks.