A cookie also goes to my personal front-runner for Man of the Year, Umpire Joe West, who has suffered ridicule and chastising for pointing out that the Emperors Have No Clothes (or at least they're too slow putting the clothes on). I have long whined about how the Red Sox and Yankees can play as slow as they want. My mother and I have a theory that their slow play is designed for maximum potential face-time...we call it Ego Lag time.
If everyone was allowed to get away with such pokey play, that'd be one thing. (I'd probably stop watching most games...but at least it'd be fair.) But remember this day? Brendan Harris called for time, was denied without knowing it, and a pitch sailed a little too close for comfort to his unsuspecting head. Gardenhire complained, and was fined for a Pace of Game violation. The ump in that game was more than willing to compromise the safety of our player to keep the game moving, but regular 9-inning games between the Red Sox and Yankees are considered short if they last 4 hours? Gimme a break.
Papelbon made some comment about how their games are like a movie that's so good you wish it could last forever. Excuse me while I barf a little. First of all, there is no such thing as a movie that is so good you want it to last 4 hours. There are movies that are so good, you tolerate a 3.5 hour runtime...but they are few and far between. Secondly, that's a pretty generous self-assessment. You're no Gone With the Wind, Jonathan. Great long movies are chock full of interesting plot, not watching pitchers and catchers chitchat, or Derek Jeter call time before every single pitch.
So, kudos to you Joe West. Selig may not be happy with you right now, but welcome to my Christmas Card List!