| It was early June and we stood in line waiting to suffer the fetid men's room at---hmmm, what do idiots call it? Ah yes: beautiful Wrigley Field. The Yankees were leading the Cubs halfway through the first game of a three game inter-league series. We overheard two nearby Cub fans discussing the game:
"This sucks," said a khaki man wearing an In Dusty We Trusty t-shirt. "This totally sucks. We're gonna get swept. We're being totally out-managed."
"Totally out-managed," said his friend.
"Dude, we're gonna get slaughtered."
The Cubs took two of three games from the Yankees. Dusty managed capably, despite being saddled with a wildly inept bullpen. But standing in the gray, wet squalor of Wrigley Field, we knew that a mid-season awards column was in order, just so we could properly condemn Cub fans as The Dumbest Fuckers In Baseball. Clearly Cub-fan fatalism is earned, but not on June 6. That's when they should enjoy the Old Style and the randomness of success; the fatalism is warranted when, say, the team fills its gaping hole in centerfield with Tom Goodwin.
All winners of the SportsHole mid-season baseball awards will receive chrome statuettes depicting Randall Simon in his finest moment, for which we honor him as....
The Most Pleasant Surprise Of The First Half. We've said it repeatedly to ourselves. We mutter it in quiet moments, letting the words hang in the air and settle over us like bacon mist at Denny's:
"Randall Simon hit a girl with his bat. She was in a sausage suit."
And the moment was better, somehow, because Randall was decked out in a retro, school bus yellow Pirate uniform. We don't care why he did it. He doesn't know. The lady sausage doesn't know. It was just a gift, a decree from the baseball gods. "Randall, hit the wiener with your bat," said a voice. And he did.
Best First Half From A Player Who Can't Possibly Repeat It. Javy Lopez. And Mike Lowell. And Esteban Loaiza.
But you knew those, right? Let's consider freakish phenom Dontrelle Willis and his 9-1 record, too. Those nine wins include victories over the Padres, Devil Rays, Brewers, Reds (twice) and Mets (twice.) We're guessing that once the slightly bigger guns in the N.L. see Dontrelle's act for the second and third time, it's going to take more than his 19th century delivery to get them out. (Naturally, if the guy who has Dontrelle in our fantasy league wanted to trade the over-hyped Willis for...oh, let's say Rocky Biddle just to throw out a name...well, we might consider such a trade.)
Most Inane Thing We've Heard On Baseball Tonight. Bobby Valentine declared the Arizona Diamondbacks were "out of it" with 115 games left to play. Um...they weren't out of it then, and they certainly aren't now. They're in second place in their division, nine games above .500, and only two games behind the Phillies in the excruciatingly dull NL Wild Card race.
But it's no fun giving this award to Valentine, a veritable fountain of dumb. Better to acknowledge Harold Reynolds for....
The Second Most Inane Thing We've Heard On Baseball Tonight. After the White Sox dealt a half dozen minor league prospects for Roberto Alomar (gasp!) and Carl Everett (snicker!), Reynolds lauded the move, suggesting that the pair of declining stars brought "a lot of character" to the Sox. Naturally, all things are relative. But that's like saying that Strom Thurmond brings "a lot of character" to hell.
Is hell a brighter place with ol' Strom? Undoubtedly. But do imps still poke your eyes and chew your flesh? We reckon so.
Big Foam Finger