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Here they are! Your 2017 Clonie Awards

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This season was unequivocally the worst in Brooklyn Cyclones history. The 24–52 record speaks for itself, and the 14-game losing streak was the lowlight in a season that was filled with them. So much went wrong for the Clones that they had their lowest attendance numbers since the New York-Penn League started keeping track in 2005.

The Cyclones may have had the lowest total attendance with 186,853, but that still was the highest total in the league, proving that no matter how bad things can be, the Cyclones are still Brooklyn’s Boys of the Summer.

So, without any further ado, here’s your 17th Annual Clonie Awards!

The “Man Amongst Boys” award goes to Walter Rasquin. The Rabbi was one of the very few positives this season. Besides having one pretty kick-ass nickname, Rasquin put up one of the finest all-around performances at the plate in Cyclones history, placing in the top five in several categories in the New York-Penn League, including hits, runs, and total bases while leading the league in doubles and stolen bases. If anyone can move up in the organization, it’s him.

The “At Least They Did Something Right!” award goes to the Cyclones base runners: Despite Rasquin’s impressive play at the plate, the Cyclones were among the cellar dwellers across the board in pretty much every big category — hits, runs, home runs, batting average, slugging percentage, you name it. But the Cyclones were flat-out dominant in one area: Stealing bases. Rasquin broke a team record with 32 stolen bases, and the team led the New York-Penn League with 100 stolen bases, which is the first time they’ve reached that plateau since they stole 107 in 2005.

The “Anti-Theft” award goes to the whole team as well. Sure, they stole a lot of bases — because they had so many attempts. Clones’ base runners were caught stealing 38 times this season.

The “Oh, No You Didn’t” award goes Jose Miquel “Funky Cold” Medina and Ricardo Cespedes for leaving the base to soon when tagging up from third — two nights in a row. On July 17th, the Cyclones were down 4–0 with Medina thought he scored from third on a Rasquin fly out to left, but the umpire called him out for leaving the base before the left fielder caught the ball. The next night, it was deja vu all over again when Cespedes did the same thing!

The “Cool and the Gang” award goes to manager Edgardo Alfonzo: During the worst season ever, no one stayed cooler than Fonzie, who always kept his game face during a season in which his team finished with a .316 winning percentage. But he’ll be happy to know that the manager of the team with the worst winning percentage in the New York-Penn League’s history — Brooklyn-born Matt Galante, who led the 1973 Newark Co-Pilots to an atrocious 15–55 record (.214!) — went on to have a great career as a Major League Baseball coach, working for the Houston Astros from 1985–2001, and with the Mets from 2002–2004. Galante was even the interim manager of the Astros for 27 games in 1999, and managed Team Italy in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. So Fonzie, as Yogi might say, your future is ahead of you.

The “Ending a Slow Start With a Bang” award goes to Carl Stajduhar, who couldn’t get one hit through his first 16 at-bats as a Cyclone, but ended the drought on July 3, when he connected for a home run. He never really got out of the slump, though, finishing the season with an average below the Mendoza Line, but did knock two more homers, drive in 15, and leg-out six two-baggers.

The “Not-So Independent” award goes to pitchers Gunnar Kines and Marty Anderson, both of whom were picked up off professional baseball’s scrap heap (in their case, the independent Frontier League) and were successful with the Cyclones. Kines’ first start was awful, allowing 11 hits and six runs, but in his next six games, he allowed 17 hits and five runs while striking out 27 combined in 27 innings before getting hurt. And Anderson drew Brooklyn’s attention from the start. In his first game as a Cyclone, he whiffed 10 while allowing just one hit in four innings of relief. In his next three starts, he allowed 10 hits and five runs while striking out 13 in 14 innings. Anderson was so impressive that he was called up to the Columbia Fireflies.

The “Wish You Were Here” award goes to Tim Tebow, who we wished the Mets let play in Brooklyn, where he belonged. Instead, he ended up first in Columbia, where he batted .220, drove in 23 runs, and knocked three homers (including one in his first professional at bat), and St. Lucie, where he batted and even better .231, knocked five homers and drove in 29. Not bad for a quarterback.

The “Steve Cohen Executive of the Year” award goes, once again, to Cyclones Vice President Steve Cohen, who has won the award nearly every year since it was named for him back in 2001. He even won it in 2000, when he was general manager of the Queens Kings. Next year, we hope the Mets make him president of the Cyclones.

Posted 12:00 am, September 14, 2017
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