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Bump and Stacy present the 1st Annual ‘Bumpies’ Awards

Jun 30, 2023, 11:35 AM | Updated: Jul 2, 2023, 10:05 am

Seattle Mariners Jarred Kelenic...

Jarred Kelenic of the Seattle Mariners during a June 13, 2023 game. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Achieve enough in this life and you could find yourself the recipient of one of the country’s most prestigious awards: a Bumpy. The first thing you need to understand is that the 1st Annual Bumpies Award show, named for Bump and Stacy host Michael Bumpus, is very serious program and not an effort to waste time on radio during a slow summer. Those are baseless allegations.

The second thing you need to understand is that the 2nd Annual Bumpies Award Show will be held before year’s end — obviously — and will focus on season’s end for the Mariners and early beginnings for the Seahawks.

The third and final thing you need to know is that the exercise was primarily meant to look at highlights from the first half of the Mariners’ season — though it’s not limited to the M’s — so let’s get to it:

Most annoying sports personality

Nominees:

• Stephen A. Smith
• Joe Buck
• Aaron Rodgers
• Influencer-turned-boxer Jake Paul
• Baby Gronk’s dad

Winner: Baby Gronk’s dad

Full disclosure: I really don’t think Joe Buck and Stephen A. Smith are annoying – they’re good at what they do. But we went with popular opinion here on the nominees. Sorry to Rodgers and Paul, but the award goes to the far less famous father of a viral sensation.

Baby Gronk might be a talented 10-year-old player, but we can’t get over his dad (real name Jake San Miguel) and his shameless attempts to garner attention at all costs. The moment that sealed the win? A cringeworthy interview with the “Bring the Juice” podcast, where San Miguel feeds his son answers to questions throughout.

Best play

Nominees:
• Jarred Kelenic’s Wrigley record
• Julio’s home run robbery
• Mike Ford becomes one of just three to homer off Bautista
• Jordan Eberle nets the game winner in OT for the Kraken’s first playoff win at home

Winner: Julio’s home run robbery

Kelenic gets well-deserved points for making history with his 482-foot bomb, the longest home run by any Mariner in the Statcast era (since 2015) and the second-longest of any player at Wrigley in the Statcast era. Eberle was a close second for the history he made, giving the Kraken their very first home playoff game (in overtime no less!).

So how does a home run robbery beat an actual home run or goal? It’s kind of like asking why DK Metcalf chasing down an interception is better than a touchdown: because sometimes freaky athleticism is really cool, and Julio’s catch was a spectacular display.

Did the Mariners go on to win the game? Facts don’t matter here! Only cool plays, and Julio’s tops the list.

You know who agrees with this decision? Who would never tell us it’s the wrong choice? Mariners pitcher Ty Adcock, who left a gift for Rodriguez as a thank you for saving him an earned run.

Breakout player

Nominees:
• Jarred Kelenic
• Bryce Miller

Winner: Jarred Kelenic

What Miller did in his debut was phenomenal. He carried a perfect game into the sixth against the A’s. He struck out 10 and allowed just one run on two hits. Vote on this same award again and Miller might take it.

But Kelenic wins because his breakout season was preceded by years of anticipation, disappointment, frustration, and questions. Kelenic’s ceiling was always sky high as one of the top prospects in baseball, but he struggled to find the same success at the big league level that he found in the minors.

That was until April of this year. Just when fans and critics alike wondered whether Kelenic would have to find success elsewhere, he took off with a red hot April. He slashed .310/.372/.631 with an OPS of 1.003 and seven home runs. He was the best player on the team and it wasn’t particularly close given the slow start for just about everyone else. He’s since cooled in June (.167/.307/.278) but did just enough early to make you think he can pull himself out of a slump this time. Time will tell.

Howard Schultz Award for Poor Sports Team Ownership

Nominees:
• Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher
• Former Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder
• New York Knicks owner James Dolan
• PGA Golf owner Saudi Arabia

Winner: Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher

The PGA-LIV Golf merger was messy and controversial and Dan Snyder leaves a legacy in Washington absolutely no one should want to claim, but Fisher is the man of the hour for all the wrong reasons.

It’s easy to say A’s fans didn’t show up for their team — who among us hasn’t made fun of that crowd size? — and the city didn’t shell out for a new stadium. But it’s worse than that, all thanks to Fisher. Why would fans show up to watch a team intentionally stripped of its best players to lighten payroll? Why would they show up when ticket prices after said team changes reportedly increased? https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/09/24/as-fans-balk-at-season-ticket-price-increases-for-2022/

Fisher can try to argue the city didn’t want to fund a new stadium and he was forced to relocate, sentiment echoed by MLB commissioner and overall expert on optics Rob Manfred. But the mayor of Oakland, Sheng Thao, shot back, claiming A’s ownership insisted on a multi-billion dollar, 55-acre project but settled for a 9-acre project in Vegas (essentially implying Fisher insisted on a proposal he knew the city would never be able to match).

Fans showed up with an inspiring protest, with chants to sell the team (among more colorful chants). But the relocation is happening. And for that, Fisher goes from “bad team owner” to straight villain and wins this award by no small margin.

The Oppenheimer/Barbie Award for Best Sports Rivalry

Nominees:
• New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox
• LA Dodgers and San Diego Padres
• Oakland A’s fans and John Fisher
• The 2023 Mariners and consistency

Winner: The 2023 Mariners and consistency

A rivalry isn’t as fun when one half is losing, which stalls a bit of national interest between LA and San Diego. Meanwhile no one in Seattle wants to give an award to the Yankees, and Fisher is unfortunately the bigger half of that very lopsided power balance in Oakland.

The Mariners taking home this win doesn’t feel like a win should, but is it wrong? This is a team that entered the season with enough talent to push for the playoffs, but their offense has been as frustrating to watch as any can. They’re not awful enough to give up on, nor are they good enough to trust. They’ll put up double-digit runs in back-to-back games and strikeout 18 times in another. They’ll squeeze out a thrilling walk-off in extras against New York and then squander a bases loaded opportunity against a far worse team.

The only way the Mariners get to the playoffs this year is by making their win for this award feel undeserved — that is, to find more offensive consistency. Once that happens, it’s congratulations again to Fisher.

Surprise of the Year

Nominees:
• Jarred Kelenic’s hot April
• Devon Witherspoon is the Seahawks’ pick at No. 5
• The Kraken beat the Avs to advance to the second round of the playoffs

Winner: The Kraken advance to the second round

You knew Kelenic had it in him and saw questions about a potential pick of Jalen Carter at No. 5 for Seattle, but few saw the kind of improvement the Kraken made in season two.

Dave Hakstol didn’t end up winning Coach of the Year at this month’s NHL Awards, but he was a deserving nominee. Seattle’s turnaround from its inaugural season to the version of the team fans saw in its second was monumental. In fact, it made NHL history with the largest points improvement for an expansion team from year one to year two.

Even better, it was topped off by a playoff appearance. Few experts predicted the Kraken to advance past the defending Stanley Cup champs, but they did it. And they took the Stars to seven in a second-round fight.

Listen to the full Bumpies Awards Show from Bump and Stacy at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. 

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Bump and Stacy present the 1st Annual ‘Bumpies’ Awards