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Updated: August 11th, 2013 11:59am
Reusse's Reality: This is all you need know about the BHTO Award

Reusse's Reality: This is all you need know about the BHTO Award

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by Patrick Reusse
1500ESPN.com

I've been awarding the Turkey of the Year in my newspaper columns on Thanksgiving Day since 1978. For the first decade, these appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and since 1988 in the Star Tribune.

I'm not sure when we started blaming all controversies on the "Turkey Committee,'' rather than on the individual who was writing the words.

Whatever the actual history of "the Committee,'' I stole that idea when starting the BHTO Player of the Game award for the 2013 Twins. BHTO stands for Battled His Tail Off and is being used in honor of manager Ron Gardenhire's favorite tribute to his team after a difficult loss.

Those have piled up non-stop lately, and I figured a daily award for battling said tails off might boost the lads' spirits in what we all assumed (correctly) would be a third straight lost season.

OK, it actually was done to get some conversation on going Twitter, the best medium for byplay, instant information and wackiness in Internet history. The winner can be found on my main Twitter feed -- @1500espn_reusse - within a few minutes of game's end on most days.

What "The Committee'' soon discovered was that some days it was absolutely impossible to honor a Twins player with a BHTO. So, we wound up with minor leaguers, opposing players, other athletes, friends, relatives, people to admire and Twitter folks willing to play along.

The BHTO became such a burden as the dog days of August arrived for the Twins, that the duty of naming the Player of the Game was passed along to followers a number of times.

My method of maintaining a list of the BHTO awards was to post the standings on my Twitter feed every month or so, which proved really stupid on my part. First of all, going backwards to find the last accounting of winners is a pain in the posterior. And then you have to go forward to make sure you didn't miss anyone.

Plus, providing the list to loyal BHTO fans went from requiring a series of three Tweets after the first month, to who knows how many today.

Also: Every time we send out notification of the winner, here come the replies, "What does BHTO stand for?''

Listen, if you don't know by now, leave us alone.

The BHTO basked in its glory early-on, for sure. Gardenhire mentioned it a couple of times in his post-game news conferences. And then @glen_perkins responded sadly on Twitter that he had not yet received a BHTO by late May, even as he was building an All-Star resume.

The BHTO is awarded on a daily basis, which creates the odd circumstance of Vance Worley having as many such honors today as Perkins (2). The standings have been shaken up since the last accounting at the All-Star break, with Brian Dozier, Justin Morneau and Oswaldo Arcia surging past Joe Mauer.

Joe has remained stagnant at 5 BHTOs, although his wife Maddie was the recipient a couple of weeks ago for delivering the twins.

One major surprise: The Committee was of the belief that Sam Deduno had won on several occasions, but going back in time, only two BHTOs could be found for Sad Sam.

Here is the accounting of BHTOs through Aug. 10.

TWINS: 8-Dozier. 7-Morneau. 6-Arcia. 5-Mauer. 4-Hicks, Florimon. 3-Correia, Doumit, Swarzak, Diamond, Parmelee. 2-Deduno, Herrmann, Thomas, Colabello, Carroll, Thielbar, Plouffe, Pelfrey, Willingham, Worley, Escobar, Mgr. Gardenhire and PERKINS.*

Singles-Roenicke, Gibson, Albers, Bernier, Pressly, Walters, Tonkin and Joe Vavra.**

*The Committee always capitalizes PERKINS, so Perk doesn't miss it. **Third base coach Vavra was honored retroactively for his work as batting coach in previous seasons, as 2013 Twins turned into a flailing disaster.

MINOR LEAGUERS: Byron Buxton, Kohl Stewart (for dealing with diabetes and becoming No. 4 overall draft choice), Hudson Boyd (for weight loss), Tanner Vavra (for getting draft despite having vision in only one eye).

OTHER BIG LEAGUERS: Evan Gattis, Marwin Gonzalez (for breaking up perfect game), Torii Hunter, Ben Revere, David Lough, Zoilo Almonte (for being MLB's second-ever Zoilo), Mariano Rivera, Mark Buehrle, Wilson Ramos, Prince Fielder (for triple in All-Star Game).

OTHER BALLPLAYERS: Kent Koch (fancy-fielding shortstop and mayor of Loretto) and Joe Driscoll (finally, a MN Amateur Baseball Hall of Famer).

OTHER ATHLETES: Phil Mickelson (The Open), Tony Kanaas (Indy 500), Orb (Kentucky Derby), Pascal Dupuis (Stanley Cup playoffs), Josh Harding (vs. Blackhawks in playoffs), Angel Cabrera (The Masters), Pete Dye (for designing TPC), Ken Duke (golf).

OTHERS: Maddie Mauer, Ryan Dillon (for catching giant tarpon), Abby Dillon (for turning a feisty 4), Phil Mackey, Tom Pelissero, Kathy the Salted Nut Roll Girl (at 3M Championship), Dave Chappelle (Gardy wanted fun), creators of Pig Ate My Pizza (downtown Robbinsdale), Al the Dog (nominated by Swampton) and @SteveWalsh3 (nominated by himself).

THE COMMITTEE: @1500espn_reusse, @jakelovesgolf, @TrentRadke, @mskyfshntchr, @Leah_Olson14, @57Gaughan, @BillToulouse, @Brandon_Tyrell. Canadian representative: @JohnSharkman.

Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He co-hosts SportsTalk from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and hosts The Ride with Reusse from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. He also co-hosts "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Patrick | @1500ESPN_reusse | The Ride with Reusse
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