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Continuing the BBLVPAs after an unfortunate delay, today we are proud to bring you the Allan Travers Awards. As we said in the opener, if you don't know why these awards (the BBLVPA version of the Cy Young Awards), a glance at the entries for Al Travers on Baseball-Reference or the Baseball Library should clue you in.


Batter's Box 2003 Least Valuable Player Awards
2003 BBLVPAs : Mismanagers of the Year
2003 BBLVPAs : The Batter's Box Schadenfreude Awards

We are please to announce that the 2003 Batter's Box Allan Travers Award winners are Jeff Weaver in the American League, and Shawn Estes in the National League. Weaver won a close decision over Texas Rangers Chan Ho Park (it has been suggested that the award be renamed after the redoubtable Chan Ho) and Colby Lewis. Estes took the NL race by the closest possible margin (one point) over Glendon Rusch of the Brewers. When people judge you to be a worse pitcher than a guy who went 1-12 with a 6.42 ERA, you've accomplished something truly magnificent.

Jeff Weaver - New York Yankees

It was a noteworthy year for Jeff Weaver of the New York Yankees, culminating in being added to the Yankees' playoff roster for the World Series... and losing Game 4 on a 12th-inning sayonara home run by Alex Gonzalez.

Heck, that performance - since it had included a three-up, three-down 11th inning - was a good one for Weaver in 2003. A struggle from start to finish, Weaver managed to punch in with final numbers of 7-9 and a 5.99 ERA in 32 games (24 starts).

Finally, the regular season ended with Weaver accepting a demotion to the minor leagues. But not to AAA Columbus. Or to AA Trenton. No, Weaver was sent all the way down to A-ball, to Tampa of the Florida State League, a level Weaver has never actually played at (after being a first-round draft pick out of Fresno State in 1998, Weaver went to the NYP league and then the low-A Midwest League, before vaulting straight into AA for one start in 1999 - then it was straight to the bigs).

Weaver, of course, is well-known as a bad actor... accusations of drug use on the Tigers' team plane, a harrassment case against an airline hostess, a memorable punch-up with Mike Sweeney after Weaver called him an unpleasant name (following a request to move the rosin bag off the front of the mound), and a reputation as a horrible teammate with a tendency to show up teammates on the field. There was more than a little pleasure, I think, in watching Weaver fail so disastrously in the high-pressure New York environment.

Jeff Weaver's Seven Greatest Hits

April 27 versus Texas - 4.0 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. The Yanks lost the game 10-7.
May 9 versus Oakland - 7.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. The Yanks lost the game 7-2.
May 20 versus Boston - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. The Yanks lost the game 10-7.
May 25 versus Toronto - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. The Yanks lost the game 5-3.
June 17 versus Tampa Bay - 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The Yanks lost the game 11-2.
July 21 versus Toronto - 4.1 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. The Yanks lost the game 8-0.
August 13 versus KC - 6.1 IP, 13 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. The Yanks lost the game 11-0.


Shawn Estes - Chicago Cubs

Without the protective, nurturing embrace of Dusty Baker, Shawn Estes might never have made it to clam the 2003 NL Allan Travers Award. It takes a considerable amount of gumption to give a regular rotation place to a pitcher who winds up with final numbers of 8-11 and a 5.73 ERA (allowing a nifty 6.68 runs per nine innings).

Estes eventually repaid Dusty's faith by posting a magnificent complete-game, four-hit shutout of the Cincinnati Reds. Of course, his ERA in 27 starts before that Sept. 24 game was 6.09... so it wasn't exactly triumph after triumph. Estes doesn't have the bad-boy rep of Jeff Weaver (anyone gets a pass from me for throwing behind Roger Clemens's Giant White Ass, especially when he homered off Clemens later in that strangely memorable game), so it's harder to gloat at his failures, but trotting him out time after time in the thick of a summer pennant race has to count as a bizarre sort of obsessive-compulsive behaviour by a manager who does great things with veteran players, but couldn't work any magic with Estes in 2003.

Jay Mariotti may be an idiot, but the veteran columnist and unabashed Cubs rooter said it best in August...

"Shawn Estes scares me more than Division Street at 3:30 a.m."

Shawn Estes's Eight Greatest Hits

April 4 versus Cincinnati - 4.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K. The Cubs lost the game 10-9.
April 20 versus Pittsburgh - 3.0 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K. The Cubs lost the game 8-2.
April 26 versus Colorado - 2.0 IP, 12 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The Cubs lost the game 13-2
May 30 versus Houston - 4.1 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 0 K. The Cubs lost the game 9-1.
June 20 versus the White Sox - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. The Cubs lost the game 12-3.
July 10 versus Atlanta - 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. The Cubs lost the game 13-3.
August 23 versus Arizona - 4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. The Cubs lost the game 13-2.
August 30 versus Milwaukee - 2.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. The Cubs lost the game 9-5.


Allan Travers Voting

Only the top 7 in each league are shown here. Nine votes were received; each voter was asked to rank three choices, points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.



American 1 2 3 Total


Jeff Weaver 3 0 0 15
Chan Ho Park 2 1 0 13
Colby Lewis 2 1 0 13
Mike Maroth 1 0 1 6
Cory Lidle 0 1 2 5
Chris George 1 0 0 5
Billy Koch 0 1 1 4


National 1 2 3 Total


Shawn Estes 3 1 0 18
Glendon Rusch 1 4 0 17
Ryan Dempster 1 1 1 9
Jimmy Haynes 1 0 2 7
Tom Glavine 1 0 0 5
Jose Mesa 1 0 0 5
Denny Neagle 1 0 0 5
2003 BBLVPAs : Allan Travers Awards | 15 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Cory Lidle - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 11:23 AM EST (#41670) #
Phew... Dodged a bullet that time.
Mike Green - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 11:55 AM EST (#41671) #
When the Yankees acquired Weaver in July 2002, the press was full of comment on how Weaver would have been the ace on many pitching staffs. I found it bizarre then.

Actually Weaver's career path is a good demonstration in how not to handle a young pitcher. He had 5 overpowering A ball starts, 1 good AA start and then was summoned to the majors. His numbers in Detroit 1999-2001 were, bearing in mind Comerica, that of an average pitcher (not as good as Cory Lidle's say). He did have a good half of 2002, but on balance, ace would not have been my word for him. Improving young pitcher would be the optimistic side.

Jeremy Bonderman, watch out.
_Mick - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 01:27 PM EST (#41672) #
Voting for Maroth to win the award is sort of the flip side of voting for the pitcher with the most wins for the Cy Young, hey?
_tangotiger - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 02:08 PM EST (#41673) #
I believe that Weaver was sent to A ball for logistics reasons only. There was some other players that were being reactivated, Weaver had an option, etc, etc.
Mike Green - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 02:34 PM EST (#41674) #
Tango,

I believe that there's a misunderstanding. Weaver was drafted in 98, and had 5 A ball starts that year, and 1 double A start in 99 before getting the call to the Show. Pitchers need more time at higher levels to establish their readiness.

Even Roger Clemens had 13 dominating double A and triple A starts before getting the call.
Mike D - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 03:28 PM EST (#41675) #
Damn that vote-splitting. The American League Travers Award should undoubtedly be displayed in a trophy case in Arlington, TX.

Admittedly, though, it's hard to choose among the many gas-can Rangers.
Gitz - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 05:21 PM EST (#41676) #
One difference between Bonderman and Weaver is that Weaver pitched three (four?) years in college, while Jeremy was drafted out of high school.
_Scott Lucas - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 07:09 PM EST (#41677) #
I watched Park and Lewis all season long. Do I get an award?

In all seriousness, Lewis just turned 24 and has the ability to become a respectable pitcher. He had a solid first month (4.55 ERA) before completely falling apart and earning a bus ticket to Oklahoma City. He pitched pretty well in September also (4.45 ERA). (Keep in mind that descriptions like "solid" and "pretty well" are in the context of typical Ranger pitching.) The Rangers are still high on him and plan for him to be part of the rotation in 2004.

I would also point out that Mr. Travers' average-against on balls in play was well over .500. His DIPS ERA is probably around 10.00.
_mathesond - Monday, October 27 2003 @ 07:23 PM EST (#41678) #
"Shawn Estes scares me more than Division Street at 3:30 a.m."

As a Chicago resident, I can tell you there are certain parts of Division Street that I would avoid at 3:30 p.m. Especially Kirby Puckett's native Cabrini Green.
_Catch-22 - Tuesday, October 28 2003 @ 01:29 PM EST (#41679) #
After looking at the score books for Weaverís games, his season is all the more amazing. Iíll wager no other pitcher gave-up more runs after retiring the first hitters in an inning than Jeff Weaver. Whenever there is an error, a close call, or a cheap hit, Weaver seemed to completely fall apart. A typical inning might go like this:

Strike out
Ground out
E6
Hit by pitch
BB/WP
Double
Home run
_tangotiger - Tuesday, October 28 2003 @ 02:37 PM EST (#41680) #
Mike,

I was responding to

Finally, the regular season ended with Weaver accepting a demotion to the minor leagues. But not to AAA Columbus. Or to AA Trenton. No, Weaver was sent all the way down to A-ball

Weaver was sent down to single A ball on Aug 29, 2003 or something, and called back Aug 31 or something, because they were getting players from DL back, and yada yada yada. He was sent down not because they wanted to keep him there, but just as a way to set their playoff rosters the way they wanted.
Craig B - Tuesday, October 28 2003 @ 03:08 PM EST (#41681) #
Tango is right, of course, but I loved the way it sounded. I knew he really didn't go to Tampa, but it was so perfect...
_jessie c. - Monday, May 31 2004 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#41682) #
I think we can all see the same thing going on with Jeff Weaver. He's a consistant pitcher, but he never has the back up he needs to get a win. Jeff is my favorite pitcher and always will be, but he needs more people backing him up on the field, and less David Wells.
_Ben NS - Tuesday, August 17 2004 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#41683) #
jessie c, did you read the article? Ummm, if he can't pitch and is a rotten individual, what makes him your favourite player? (Unless you were being sarcastic?)
_Ben NS - Tuesday, August 17 2004 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#41684) #
jessie c, did you read the article? Ummm, if he can't pitch and is a rotten individual, what makes him your favourite player? (Unless you were being sarcastic?)
2003 BBLVPAs : Allan Travers Awards | 15 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.