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And the Oscars go to...
By the time I arrived at Sky Harbor International Airport, checked my bag, went through securtiy and planted myself at a restaurant with a TV, the Oscars were already well under way - about an hour and a half into it, I'd say. So I can't offer much of a personal review, but it seemed like there was a lot of Twitter hating of the telecast going on. Too bad.
Now let's do our fourth annual baseball Oscars from the past year. Here's last year's, and 2009, and 2008. I always like to give these out in the actual order they were rewarded, but since I missed the beginning, I had to guess on some of these. Please forgive me if sound editing came after sound mixing, rather than the other way around.
Oh, and we always skip the documentaries. Just because.
Here we go:
Cinematography: The Yankees, for their fine handling of the deaths of both Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner in their July 16 home game. They put on a pre-game ceremony that managed to be both dignified and respectful. And for good measure, they won an exciting game in the bottom of the ninth when Ohio State product Nick Swisher delivered the game-winning hit, a fitting tribute to The Boss, who was a huge Buckeyes supporter.
Animated short: How many of you have attended a Yankees game the past few years? How many of you are familiar with the Zales Fan Marquee? Mid-game, this incredibly obnoxious announcer delivers messages like "Happy birthday!" or "Will you marry me?" or "Anyone want to buy 25 percent of the Mets?"
I find it annoying, but for some reason, I tolerate it more than my Newsday teammate Erik Boland and my friend and mentor at The Bergen Record, Bob Klapisch. I often sit between the two of them in the press box, and boy, you should see how animated they get during the Zales segment.
Animated feature: Sure, Oliver Perez is technically neither animated nor a movie, but has anyone in baseball led more of a cartoon-ish existence than Ollie these past couple of years?
Supporting actress: Kristen Lee, Cliff Lee's wife, made herself known when she said she had a bad interaction with Yankees fans during the ALCS. Much of Cliff Lee's subsequent free agency, accurately or inaccurately, would be viewed through the prism of, "Does he not want to come to New York?"
Supporting actor: Bernie Madoff. He's still getting honored for old work, if you will, but he is the most important person in the Mets' universe right now. Crazy.
Foreign Language: Hank Steinbrenner, for his accomplishments in gibberish.
Art direction: Just in time, the Diamondbacks' and Rockies' new spring-training complex. Beautiful.
Sound editing: Tigers manager Jim Leyland sounded like an insensitive jerk when he first addressed Miguel Cabrera's arrest earlier this month. Thankfully, Leyland realized the next day how bad he sounded and emphasized that he understood the severity of Cabrera's alleged transgression.
Sound mixing: Cincinnait's Brandon Phillips ensured that his team and the Cardinals would mix it up good when, via the sound of his own voice, he ripped into the Cards.
Original score: Mets 2, Cardinals 1, 20 innings. Scoreless through 18 innings. A very memorable game.
Adapted screenplay: The Giants' World Series title, an adaption of their 1954 championship, proved that, while waiting for a remake can be painful, the payoff is much sweeter.
Original screenplay: Lee fooled everybody by saying no to both the Yankes and Texas and returning to Philadelphia instead. We had grown so accustomed to superstar free agents chasing every last dollar, and Lee didn't do that - although we should reiterate that he'll make more in his five years with the Phillies than he would've in his first five years with the Yankees.
Costume design: I happened to like the Mets' new home uniforms last year. I know that not everyone agreed.
Live action short: The coolest aspect of the Mets' 1-0 victory over the Braves on April 25 was that Mike Pelfrey recorded all 15 of the Braves outs and faced all 23 of their official batters, yet he didn't get credit for a complete game. That's because Raul Valdes threw one pitch to Jason Heyward to start the top of the sixth before a downpour began. They eventually called the rain-shortened affair, with Valdes charged with one batter faced and nothing else.
Visual effects: Thanks to the Rangers' success last year, the Dallas-Fort Worth area transformed into a baseball town. It was great to see the fans get so into it. Of course, the Cowboys' ineptitude probably helped, too.
Editing: The Mets took what should have been a wonderful day - nearly the entire team visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center - and managed to put a negative spin on it because Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Perez didn't attend. Who cares? It was their loss, not the Mets'.
Original song: How about "Love the Way You Lie?" Eminem, with Jay-Z, performed at Yankee Stadium and Comerica Park. Rihanna dated Matt Kemp. And the Mets' ownership has been less than truthful with us, but in a lovable way. No?
Director: Rangers GM Jon Daniels, his team strapped for cash, used his rich farm system as currency to complete trades for Lee and Bengie Molina, among others. By giving up talented youngsters, he induced Seattle and San Francisco to pay a good amount of the freight on their veterans.
Actress: Cameron Diaz. Who else could feed popcorn like that?
Actor: Derek Jeter. We saw some range (no, not that sort of range, his Gold Glove notwithstanding) from him this past year, as he experienced new turbulence both on the field and off the field. He didn't always conduct himself tremendously, but he stood strong and got what he wanted - a return deal to the Yankees. Ironically, Hank Steinbrenner's foolish comments helped put Jeter back in his standard protagonist role.
Picture: "The Other Guys." Not only because Jeter has a funny cameo. Most of all, because Michael Keaton's police chief character is named "Gene Mauch." I guess Will Ferrell is an Angels fan and wanted to tribute the former skipper.
--OK, so I'm back in New York. What do we have this week? Morning blog posts, and then afternoon giveaways, starting tomorrow.
Tags: George Steinbrenner , Bob Sheppard , Oliver Perez , Cliff Lee , Kristen Lee , Hank Steinbrenner , Jim Leyland , Miguel Cabrera , Brandon Phillips , Brian Wilson , Mike Pelfrey , Raul Valdes , Carlos Beltran , Luis Castillo , Jon Daniels , Cameron Diaz , Derek Jeter