Holy cow, how awful was that opening monologue by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin? It was almost like they were Carlos Delgado and the Academy Awards producer was Willie Randolph.

In all, I thought the telecast was profoundly boring until the tail end, when Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock and Kathryn Bigelow brought some grace to the proceedings. I guess what I'm saying is, if you missed the first 13 minutes, you didn't miss much.

But I dutifully watched, to maintain the tradition we've established here and then here in offering our baseball equivalents of the Oscars.

As always, our awards follow the order that the honors were actually distributed in the previous night's broadcast. I'm also acknowledging the Academy's decision to switch back to "And the winner is..." from "And the Oscar goes to..." I guess this way is more honest.

Supporting actor: Tony Bernazard, who easily was the best villain of the year.

Animated feature: A.J. Burnett's walk-off pies had a certain cartoon-ish quality to them, and were a big enough hit among the team's faithful that they became expected whenever the Yankees won the game while batting.

Original song: No, "Empire State of Mind" wasn't written for the 2009 Yankees, but it grew to define them. I confess, I haven't gotten sick of it yet.

Original screenplay: The meltdown of the 2009 Mets. So many plot twists and characters! Just think, one of the game's all-time performers and personalities, Gary Sheffield, wouldn't even rank among the 10 most interesting Mets last year.

Animated short: You know what gets people animated? And I know this will shock you: Politics. At last year's All-Star Game in St. Louis, this public service announcement aired. When George W. Bush appeared on the big screen, his image drew a huge ovation. And then, when Barack Obama appeared in person to throw out the first pitch, he received just a smattering of applause and an undercurrent of boos, at a time when his approval ratings were still somewhat decent.

I reported this for Newsday, and the next thing I knew, I received a barrage of e-mails from liberals accusing me of having a right-wing bias.

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Of course, when I wrote a few months back that I would vote for Roberto Alomar on my Hall of Fame ballot, a Long Island reader informed me that I was clearly a liberal.

(Let's honor tradition and skip the documentaries.)

Live-action short: Carlos Delgado's 2009 season. It's easy to forget, but Delgado was off to an excellent start last year, following up on the sublime ending to his '08 campaign, before he suffered his season-ending injury.

Makeup: Alex Cora. Who else has makeup worth $2 million?

Adapted screenplay: The 2009 Red Sox, for reworking their 2005 storyline with a little more pitching, a little less hitting and the same number of postseason victories.


Supporting actress: Kate Hudson, who became a perceived force of good for Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees.

Art direction: The Twins, who did an amazing job building Target Field, a ballpark that doesn't neglect its own history or offend the senses with its largesse. Not that I can think of any local ballparks that committed such offenses.

Costume design: I've always been a fan of the Padres' camouflage jerseys.

Sound editing: Did you see the George Steinbrenner "Yankeeography" last year on YES? Rudy Giuliani spoke of the thunderous ovation that Steinbrenner received at the 2008 All-Star game, when Steinbrenner rode around the ballpark in a golf cart as part of the first-pitch ceremony.

But the truth, as we discussed at the time, was that Steinbrenner didn't get much of a reception. Probably because not enough people were aware that Steinbrenner was down on the field.

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Sound mixing: The poor fans of Toronto had to bid farewell to Roy Halladay last year not once, but twice. And even then, they weren't sure whether they were actually saying goodbye to him (but they were, the second time). Talk about mixed emotions.

Cinematography: Ari Fleischer, for helping to position Mark McGwire as...sorry, but very much still in denial.

Original scoreYankees 20, Red Sox 11 was different.

Visual effects: By appearing on the now dead "Jay Leno Show" and guaranteeing a Phillies World Series victory, Jimmy Rollins managed to make Leno appear hip and relevant.

Film editing: The Rockies changed their season by simply putting someone else in the manager's office. Or so it seemed, at least.

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Foreign LanguageHideki Matsui ended his Yankees career (for now, at least) with a World Series MVP performance.

Actor: Alex Rodriguez, yet again. What can we say? The guy knows how to create drama.

Actress: We gave it to Jamie McCourt two years ago more as a symbolic nod to her stature in the game, and as a wish for more women to gain such power. Now, though? She earns it with A-Rod-like drama. Yeesh.

Director: Brian Cashman. Yes, the 2009 Yankees were very much a big-budget production. But Cashman spent his dollars wisely, after not doing so for years prior.

Film: I didn't get out much this past year, but "Fantastic Mr. Fox" features such baseball-related elements as stealing, father-and-son relationships and Cubs fan Bill Murray.

--Erik Boland wrote a good piece on Brett Gardner. It's required reading for Islander505, as Gardner's bunting is mentioned.

--The Mets' camp is hardly going perfectly, but there have been encouraging performances from the likes of Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia. And an older rookie, Hisanori Takahashi, shined yesterday.

--Joe Nathan, whom we discussed yesterday, is undergoing more tests on his right elbow. And in Arizona, Russell Martin will miss the start of the season with a pulled groin muscle. At this point, I don't see how Joe Torre extends his playoff appearance streak into a 16th straight season.

The lowly Royals, meanwhile, suffered another setback with Alex Gordon's injury.