It's that time of year for the DIBS awards! The list of Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes has fluctuated and most of all grown, and this year we changed our list of categories to make things a little more interesting. DIBS was created in 2005, for non-traditional coverage of Detroit sports by fans and writers online. Our own Kurt Mensching handled the vote tallying again this year, and props to him for suggesting we try some new fun categories along with more typical ones. Samara of Roar of the Tigers suggested several of them, so thanks go out to her for that.
Best On-Field Celebration: Jose Valverde
Did you really think this would go to anyone else? Personally, I couldn't come up with anyone to put for second place on this one, but Joel Zumaya was a distant runner up.
Best Hair, Facial or Otherwise: Phil Coke
Phil Coke ran away with this one, from his crazy sideburns to the mullet to the mohawk -- if you remember, he was one of two players that held onto the 'hawk after the others shaved it off or grew it out. Johnny Damon was the other 'hawk keeper, and he rightfully came in second.
Best Pitching Face: Justin Verlander
We know better than anyone that JV's death stare is fearsome, and we aren't even standing 60 feet, 6 inches away from him. The Big Potato also garnered a few votes for this one, I assume for completely different reasons - his, uh, amusing expression after throwing a pitch or striking someone out.
Best Use of Social Media: Will Rhymes
From the minute Rhymes appeared on Twitter and Facebook, he seemed to take them over, and not just among Tigers players. Fans definitely appreciate his efforts to connect. Casper Wells earned a decent amount of votes as well; who could forget his famous auto-tuned song about the Tigers using the T-Pain iPhone app?
Biggest Surprise: Brennan Boesch
Even those who kept an eye on Boesch's incredible start with Toledo could not be prepared for his assault on major league pitching once he entered the big leagues. It may not have lasted, but it was fun while it did. Austin Jackson was the runner-up surprise for living up to some pretty hefty expectations.
Best Value: Austin Jackson
He almost won Rookie of the Year and makes league minimum. Need I say more? Other good deals we appreciate: Max Scherzer, Miguel Cabrera (Think about it! He's worth a LOT!), Phil Coke.
Most Valuable: Miguel Cabrera
Unanimous vote. Duh. Justin Verlander got the most second place votes.
If you're interested in who makes up the DIBS, please see below for links to their respective blogs. If you aren't already reading them in addition to BYB, get on it!
Kurt Mensching, Allison Hagen, Matt Wallace, David Tokarz, Al Beaton – Bless You Boys
Mike Rogers – Tigers by the Numbers and Bless You Boys
Ian Casselberry – Mlive.com and SB Nation Detroit
James Schmehl, Matt Sussman – Mlive.com
John Parent, Matt Snyder, Zac Snyder, Chris Hannum – Motor City Bengals
Jennifer Cosey – Old English D
Scott Rogowski – DesigNate Robertson
Bill Ferris – Detroit Tigers Weblog and TigsTown
Austin Drake – Detroit Tigers Scorecard
Greg Eno – Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb?
Samara Pearlstein – Roar of the Tigers
Lee Panas – Detroit Tigers Tales
Erin Saelzler – Tigers Amateur Analysis
Brian Borawski – TigerBlog
Mike McClary – The Daily Fungo