Last week, we ran Banished to the Pen’s first yearly award polls to select the best of MLB and Effectively Wild in 2015, as voted on by BttP readers and members of the EW Facebook group. 15 choices were available in each category, with voters selecting their top 5. Results were initially announced on episode 43 of the Banished to the Pen Podcast, but if you just can’t wait to find out the winners, here are the full final vote totals (calculated using five points for a first place vote, four for second etc.).

You can find videos and links relevant to the poll options in the original poll post. Thank you to all who participated!


The Best of MLB

2015-wobbly-ew 1st: Seventh inning in Toronto (feat. Bautista’s batflip) –
points / 36 first place votes

2nd: Empty stadium game in Baltimore – 152 / 8
3rd: Bryce Harper turns the corner – 149 / 12
4th: Max Scherzer’s almost-perfect games – 89 / 2
5th: Wilmer Flores cries – 80 / 5

6th: Bartolo Colon – 77 / 5
7th: Jon Lester’s pick-off attempts – 65 / 2
8th: Kansas City Royals vs everyone – 61 / 3
9th: A-Rod’s comeback – 59 / 1
10th: Papelbon vs Harper – 41 / 2
11th: Pat Venditte’s big-league debut – 34 / 0
12th: Kevin Kiermaier’s incredible defense – 26 / 1
13th: Bumgarner homers off Kershaw – 24 / 1
14th: Sean Rodriguez vs the Gatorade cooler – 21 / 0
15th: Josh Donaldson’s diving catch in the stands – 10/  0


A crushing victory for Joey Bats, the Jays and Rangers as they flipped the competition out of the park, with 36 of 80 voters selecting this remarkable sequence of events as the best thing to happen in MLB in 2015. The surreal scenes of an empty Camden Yards just pipped the new NL MVP to second place, as Harper seemed to be more polarising: he got four more first place votes and two more second place votes than the Baltimore game, but gave that big advantage back with 13 fewer 3rd-5th place votes.


The Best of Effectively Wild

2015-wobbly-mlb1st: Cold calling Ned Garver (ep 722) –
257 points /
38 first place votes

2nd: Gonny Jomes email question (720) – 119 / 9
3rd: Burning the ships (704) – 105 / 2
4th: “The Best Barry Bonds Facts” episode (762) – 104 / 6
5th: Sam meets Ben in California for the Stompers, tells Russell about burrito-eating techniques (635) – 84 / 3

6th: Sam’s Dark Analogy (744) – 81 / 4
7th: Ben interviews Webb and Albers (717) – 60 / 1
8th: The Market Diner saga – 57 / 1
9th: Mike Trout Twitter punctuation !!! (655) – 39 / 1
10th: Tree in the Infield (675) – 35 / 0
11th: Billy Beane fan fiction (598) – 34 / 0
12th: Future episode in the year 2017 (1184) – 33 / 3
13th: “Triple Shy of the Cycle” At Bat notifications – 27 / 1
14th: Ben in The Force Awakens8 / 1
15th: Ben doesn’t like Weezer (730) – 7 / 0


The wonderful Ned Garver dominated by an even wider margin than the seventh inning in Toronto. Gonny Jomes took second by what was ultimately a comfortable amount, but it took a late surge for the mythical clubhouse presence to defeat Hernan Cortes’ oft-repeated (and mangled) strategy and the all-time home run leader.


Position players pitching and Mike Trout’s interest in weather were also suggested by our voters as choices that should have been included. Here’s a selection of comments from our voters about their responses:

“It wasn’t until just now that I realized that was a future episode. Must not have been 100% paying attention. But it is GENIUS!!!”

“Cold call Weezer or Chipotle CEO next.”

“Best of EW order really goes: Ned Garver/Gonny Jomes, then everything else is tied.”

“This was the year Dark Analogies went mainstream.”

“Gonny Jomes was the best moment in the history of EW.”


Finally, here’s a wonderful slideshow recap of the year from BttP’s very own Billy Joel, if Billy Joel preferred to communicate through the medium of pictures.

[slideshow_deploy id=’9606′]

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  1.  Best of 2015 Polls | Banished to the Pen
  2.  2016 Wild Four Tournament: Rd 1, Pt 1 | Banished to the Pen

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