Armando Verdugo - Cobb Times Herald
For the second year in a row there was chaos in the commissioner's office when the AL awards were announced. The MVP was the closest race in AL history as Helena Hellraiser Thomas Hill's nine votes were barely enough to beat second place finishers Ken Puffer of the Scranton Dragons and Samuel Kennedy of the Charlotte Dogs eight votes. Kip Zeile of the Chicago Sabercats finished 4th with four votes, and Alfredo Cruz of the Dragons had three. In the other awards Olmedo Contreras of the Anaheim Sharks dominated the Cy Young voting, Kory Arnold of the Sharks was the Rookie of the Year, and Randall Harvey of the Sharks was the Fireman of the Year.
Although Hill was very happy to have won, the other contenders weren't as gracious. "If I weren't on a media boycott I would say this is Bull****," said Sabercat Kip Zeile. Kennedy was also blunt, "Heck man, I was great this year, and glad I won. But what the heck was up with Cruz even being on the ballot? He's not in my league. My man Orber Olivo should have been on the ballot, not that one dimensional base stealer!"
Olivo, who was at the ceremony with his teammate Hill, was quite frustrated. "I get Lil' John to be on my posse and play my songs. I bring national attention to the otherwise forgotten Helena metro-statistical area. I even hit 46 HR's in an OFF YEAR. I'm filing a discrimination suit!" voiced an obviously irritated Olivo. Scranton Dragon Puffer chimed in on the matter, saying, "I think I was hurt because those damn Boston fans started calling me 'Puffer the Magic Dragon,' which is totally a girlie name. If I had a more manly nickname I would have won, I know it." Finally Samuel Kennedy had to get his two cents in when he said, "Dude, I didn't win? Bogus!"
Contreras celebrated his first Cy Young award with a bottle of champagne, which some think was responsible for his performance in game 1 of the World Series. "This award goes out to all of my family, my friends, my teammates, my lawn keeper, my kids nanny, my shoe shiner, my personal theme musician, and my 3rd grade school teacher, Sister Francesca Quivaldes, who always believed in me, even when I was having my knuckles rapped by her ruler," said a jubilant Contreras. Second place finisher Albert Franco of the Pawtucket G-Maniacs congratulated the winner, "Perhaps if I hadn't have choked in the playoffs again I would be the winner. But it is what it is. Congratulations to Contreras."
In the Rookie of the Year competition Anaheim Shark Kory Arnold was thrilled to have won his first major award. "I had 42 HR's, played on a great team, and am now in the World Series, eat that Kip Zeile! Booyah!," screamed an ecstatic Arnold. Brace Davey of the Kansas City KILL finished second with 8 votes to Arnold's 12. "Maybe if I played on a world series team I would get some pub," he said, continuing, "and that was a low blow to Kip, the man is nice enough to refer me to some very nice doctors and car dealers, that was a low blow by Arnold."
In the fireman of the year competition veteran Shark closer Harvey finished off a fine season where he converted 38 of 43 saves. "This is a great cap to my career," said the aging Harvey, "I will put this award in a place of honor on my mantelpiece."