Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that it will now be awarding the annual Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year and Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year awards. The new awards replace the annual Delivery Man of the Year Award, which went to only one relief pitcher across both leagues. So there will be an extra plaque or trophy or whatever handed out at the end of every season now. Because obviously, we don't have enough awards already.
Let's see. We have the MVP for the most valuable players in each league, the Cy Young Awards for the best pitcher in each league, the Jackie Robinson Awards for the best rookie in each league, and the Edgar Martinez Award for the best designated hitter. We have the manager of the year award, the comeback player of the year and the Gold Glove Awards. We have the Frick and the Spink awards for broadcasters and writers.
And you just know that to honor him after his retirement, we soon will have the Derek Jeter American League Shortstop of the Year Award, which means we'll also need a National League Shortstop of the Year Award. (I'm picking Ozzie Smith over Jose Offerman for the name of that one.)
So what's left in this award-saturated age of non-ending ceremonies where, like Little Leaguers receiving snow cones and postseason certificates, absolutely everyone must receive an honor for whatever it is they did? Where does it all end? Here are some possibilities:
• The Nick Punto Oscar For Best Supporting Player in a Utility Role: Nominees must play at least four positions in a season, with bonus points for not starting any games. Related awards: The Herb Washington Pinch-Runner of the Year and the Matt Stairs Pinch-hitter of the Year Golden Globes.
• The Mike Stanton Middle Reliever Man Silver Mop: Given annually to the reliever who cleans up the most messes without ever having closer music played during his entrance from the bullpen.
• The Mendoza Trophy for Lifetime Non-Achievement: This annual 5-inch-high award for the least performance over the longest career is voted on by two-person panels of the players' parents. (Winner also receives orange slices after accepting the trophy.)
• The Tim McClelland Emmy for Best Umpire Video Review Editing and Cinematography: Awarded to the umpire whose calls are reviewed the most often and overturned the least.
• The George S. Patton Purple Heart: Presented annually by sabermetric bloggers to Mike Trout for having a higher WAR than Miguel Cabrera.