The year 2014 is upon us, so now it's time to cast an eye back upon the year that is soon to be buried in a shallow grave. That would be 2013. For our noble purposes, that means handing out fake, vaporous hardware for the best "bloggable" moments and characters of the 2013 MLB season.
We'll reveal the nominees for each championship category and also reveal how each of your Eye On Baseball bloggers -- Mike Axisa, Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder -- voted in each of those categories. You, in turn, should feel free to pronounce your own selections and otherwise cast personal aspersions at us in the comments section. Whatever.
Without further throat-clearing ...
•The Pirates make the playoffs. It had been since 1992 that the Pirates notched a winning season and also since 1992 that they made the postseason. In 2013, Andrew McCutchen and company barged to 94 wins, a wild-card berth and to within one game of the NLCS. Who among us saw that coming?
•"Puigmania." The Dodgers' firebrand import rookie announced his presence in a big way and never stopped sucking up the bandwidth. For good or ill.
•Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte take the ball from Mariano Rivera. It was Mo's final appearance in Yankee Stadium, and even those who loathe the pinstripes had to appreciate the moment. Let's roll tape on this one:
•Boston Strong. After the Boston Marathon bombings, civic pride and defiance was on display at Fenway. David Ortiz's choice words to the crowd summed things up quite fittingly.
•The Rangers' Yu Darvish comes within one out of tossing an opening night perfect game against the Astros.
•Homer Bailey throws another no-no. In fact, Bailey spun a no-hitter on July 2, and at that time he had thrown the last no-hitter, which came on Sept. 28, 2012.
Mike Axisa: Mariano
Dayn Perry: Pirates
Matt Snyder: Pirates
•All things Biogenesis. Tiresome storyline distracts from the game, entails ugliness on all sides and leads to soul-crushingly bad "opinionating" from far too many quarters. Go away already.
•Matt Harvey blows out his elbow. For much of the season, the Mets' young phenom looked like a serious Cy Young contender, but then his UCL pulled up lame. After worst-case scenarios came to pass, he's now on ice for all of 2014. Even if you're not a Mets fan, it's never good to see such a promising young hurler go down with a serious injury.
•Tim Hudson's season-ending injury. The Braves' veteran stalwart saw his 2013 season end in gruesome fashion in late July when Eric Young Jr. of the Mets accidentally stepped on and fractured his leg during a play at first base. The only positive was the classy and genuine display of concern by Young.
•Bobby Valentine's 9/11 comments. To hear Valentine harrumph it, the Mets did more in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks than did the crosstown Yankees. Of course, some thoughts are better left unsaid. Or never thought in the first place.
•The Dodgers-Diamondbacks "bean brawl." Although it was in some ways nifty to see so many All-Stars from 25 years ago grabbing one another by the collars, there's no excuse for headhunting. Ever. Talking to you, Ian Kennedy.
•Game 3 of the World Series. What game was this? This one ...
And it was then that the obstruction rule entered the national consciousness.
•Game 1, NLCS. High stakes baseball between the Cardinals and Dodgers, and it took 13 innings to arrive at a 3-2 verdict in favor of St. Louis. The Cardinal bullpen was the hero, as six relievers combined to toss seven scoreless frames.
•Henderson Alvarez's "walk-off" no-hitter. Yes, it really was a walk-off no-hitter.
•Athletics and Angels go 19 innings. Three center fielders got injured running to first base. Sort of says it all about this oddball game.
•Game 4, NLDS, Braves-Dodgers. This was the Juan Uribe homer game, and it sent L.A. to the NLCS. Craig Kimbrel may still be warming up.
Axisa: Game 1, NLCS
Perry: Game 1, NLCS
Snyder: Game 1, NLCS
•Ichiro's 4,000th hit. Yes, that tally includes his NPB hits, but it also speaks to the breadth of his career.
•Raul Ibanez's home run on Sept. 21 was the 300th of his career, and it also tied Ted Williams's 1960 record for most homers in a season by a player age 41 or older (29).
•Andy Pettitte earns win no. 250. On June 8, Pettitte topped the Mariners by a score of 3-1 and became just the 47th pitcher ever to win 250 or more in his career.
•Bruce Bochy earns win no 1,500. In the dugout, we're talking. Just 20 other managers have reached that benchmark.
•Juan Pierre becomes just the 18th player ever to steal 600 or more bases in his career.
Jones is notable because he on occasion threatens a loaf of meat with bodily harm:
Bout to smash some meatloaf— Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10) July 28, 2013
Best Viral Video/GIF
•Yu Darvish throws all the the pitches. All of them ...
Best Catch (Outfield)
•Will Venable lays out for a clutch, 12-inning job ...
Best Throw (Outfield)
Best Infield Play
•Jose Iglesias takes the laws of gravity and uses them to smash the space-time continuum. Or something like that ...
Best Sacrifice of Body
•So, yeah, we're nominating J.B. Shuck of the Angels (see "Best Outfield Catch" above) for this one, too. See it again for the first time.
•Alex Gordon fears not the wall.
•Josh Donaldson of the Fightin' Athletics is very often glimpsed fightin' with the tarp ...
Coming Wednesday: Bloggies, Part II