Sox TYIB nominees need your help

Sox TYIB nominees need your help

CHICAGO -- Dewayne Wise agreed to a Minor League deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, after electing to become a free agent as opposed to accepting an outright assignment to Charlotte, the White Sox Triple-A affiliate.

Wise also leaves the 2009 season behind as a permanent part of South Siders history and quite possible Major League Baseball lore. It was Wise's amazing leaping catch on the dead run as a defensive replacement that took away Gabe Kapler's bid for a leadoff home run in the ninth inning of a home victory over Tampa Bay on July 23.

This particular play just happened to preserve Mark Buehrle's perfect game, which the left-hander finished off for baseball's 18th such accomplishment. Wise's play also has him in line for a 2009 This Year in Baseball Award.

The ballot boxes will close at 6:59 p.m. CT on Dec. 11. In 2008, a record 12 million votes were cast for the TYIB Awards, and that figure could be surpassed this time around as fans weigh in on the year's top hitter, pitcher, moments and more. The results of the voting will be revealed during the week of Dec. 14-18.

Fourteen categories are selected by the fans, with Wise's herculean effort falling into Play of the Year. Eric Bruntlett's unassisted triple play, Curtis Granderson's game-saving catch in the ninth inning against Cleveland and Joe Mauer's diving play at home at Yankee Stadium figure to be Wise's biggest competition.

Buehrle, meanwhile, should be the favorite for Performance of the Year. The second perfect game in franchise history does have tough competition from Jonathan Sanchez's 11-strikeout, no-hit effort on July 10 against the Padres, not to mention Chris Carpenter's five shutout innings, grand slam and six RBIs for the Cardinals on Oct. 1.

Paul Konerko also earned a nomination in this category. The White Sox first baseman launched three home runs and drove in seven during a July 7 game against the Indians.

Gordon Beckham stands among the 10 choices for Rookie of the Year. Beckham won the American League honors from the Sporting News and the Players Choice, as voted on by the players, as did J.A. Happ in the National League. Chris Coghlan and Andrew Bailey earned the official Rookie of the Year nods from the BBWAA, and now all four are nominated for the fans' approval.

The White Sox candidates close out with Matt Thornton at Setup Man of the Year. The Cubs' Carlos Marmol, the Yankees' Phil Hughes and the Twins' Matt Guerrier are Thornton's biggest challengers.

Previous TYIB winners for the White Sox are Ozzie Guillen, who captured the 2005 Manager of the Year, and Neal Cotts as 2005's top setup man. Orlando Cabrera was the surprise TYIB winner as the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.