Congratulations, Royals. You'll always be our champions of 2014! Three weeks ago we asked our MLB team blogs to begin whittling down their favorite moments of the 2014 season and to tell us who the team of the year truly is. After a series of team nominations and a national vote, we have our answers.
The Royals narrowly got by the Giants to earn our inaugural top prize. Mike Moustakas took home an award of his own for the best fielding play of the year. But don't feel bad for the Giants (who have three World Series rings in five years and don't care what you think anyway). In the most lopsided vote of them all, Madison Bumgarner earned our pitching performance of the year title for his Game 7 performance in the World Series.
Thanks to everyone who participated. Here are the winners and final vote totals:
Most regrettable moment - Rockies owner can't put down the iPad
Bud Selig couldn't pull off one final victory. Rockies owner Dick Monfort sneaked out the win by just two votes in the end by telling his own fans they may as well stay home. (This same tactic worked a bit worse for former University of Michigan AD Dave Brandon.) Congrats, Rockies fans!
Funniest moment - Phillies fans imitate Craig Kimbrel
There wasn't much to enjoy in Philadelphia this year, but Phillies fans had a good time showing Braves closer Craig Kimbrel just what he looked like between every pitch this year.
Fielding play of the year- Mike Moustakas' ALCS dive
"Moose" overcame a no-hitter saving dive and a key double play in the World Series to bring home the fielding play of the year award. All he had to do was go over the railing into a dugout of fans in the third game of the ALCS.
Hit of the year- Derek Jeter
Let's face it. This wasn't the most important hit of the year. It wasn't the farthest. It wasn't the most aesthetic. It didn't turn a sure loss into a walk-off victory. And maybe you're even sick of all the talk about Derek Jeter that went on all year. But Jeter's walk-off hit in his final home game at Yankee Stadium really is one of those magical moments that most people can enjoy -- and so they did.
Pitching performance of the year - Madison Bumgarner
Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Of course not. Clayton Kershaw's 15-strikeout no-hitter was great, but Madison Bumgarner going five innings of relief in Game 7 of the World Series -- on just two days rest! -- helping the Giants win a third championship in five years was the "moment" of the 2014 postseason. We're going to be talking about it as much as people talk about Jack Morris' 10-inning, 1-0 complete game in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
Team of the Year - Royals
They may not have gotten past Madison Bumgarner's Game 7 performance, but they won our hearts and our vote. This time the Royals pulled it out in the end. The Giants were winning our poll for team of the year pretty much from the moment it went up. But a late surge by Kansas City was all it took. They didn't win their division, but they played the game well in the postseason and came up with memorable moment after memorable moment as they marched to the World Series.