Josh Donaldson owes it all to Barry Zito, and other reasons to watch the BBWAA Awards Celebration
While most of New York City spent the past weekend just praying for the snow to stop, some of MLB's biggest stars braved the weather in their finest tuxedos at the Baseball Writers' Association of America's Awards Celebration.
While there's no higher honor than being named to Barry Zito's All-Dreamy Team, plenty of other hardware was handed out to past and present players alike. The event, presented by Esurance, will air at 10 p.m. ET on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com. And if, for some reason, you were on the fence about watching the ceremony, this should convince you.
Josh Donaldson credits his MVP performance to ... Barry Zito
Donaldson was arguably the best player in baseball in 2015, slashing .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers in his first season in Toronto. But back in 2012, he was a little-known 26-year-old with the A's, struggling to adjust to the Major Leagues. So what helped turn Donaldson's career around? The hitting expertise of one Barry Zito:
"He's one of the big reasons why I'm here today, because I looked up at the scoreboard in 2012 and he was hitting about 40 points higher than I was. It made me realize I needed to change a few things."
Not content with roasting merely one former member of the Oakland rotation, though, he also took some shots at ageless wonder Tim Hudson:
It's OK, Tommy John, "Keuchel" really is pretty hard to pronounce
Admit it -- the first time you saw that last name, you weren't quite sure what to do with it either. And, if we're being honest, John made a pretty solid attempt while presenting the Astros lefty with his A.L. Cy Young Award:
Bryce Harper thanks his mom and dad
Bryce Harper took home N.L. MVP honors this season while hitting an impossible amount of dingers and having a magazine cover dedicated to his body, but his acceptance speech had nothing to do with any of that. Instead, Harper gave thanks to his mom, his dad and the Funyuns they shared:
We're not crying, you're crying.
Sandy Alderson wonders if Matt Harvey got stuck in the snow
The Mets rotation won big during the ceremony, with both Steven Matz and Jacob DeGrom taking home the "Toast of the Town" Award. One member was missing, however -- Matt Harvey, who lives just a short subway ride away in SoHo. His GM has a theory, though: His flight from SoHo to the New York Hilton had been canceled.
Fergie Jenkins tells us where that famous black cat really came from
The story is well-known: In mid-August of 1969, the Cubs seemingly had a stranglehold on the National League pennant, leading the Mets by 9 1/2 games with just over a month to play. But then, with the two teams in the middle of a crucial game at Shea Stadium, a black cat suddenly appeared near Ron Santo in the on-deck circle. Chicago lost the game, collapsed down the stretch, and the Mets went on to win the World Series.
According to former Cubs ace Fergie Jenkins, though, the cat might have had some help getting onto the field in the first place:
You can catch all of these moments and then some on Friday night at 10 p.m. ET, when the full celebration will air on MLB Network.