Monday, September 29, 2008

Why are media people always so easily surprised?

Tony Kornheiser (fish in a barrel, etc.) is on Monday Night Football talking about how surprising the Ravens would be tonight if they go to 3-0 with three division wins.

Now, see, if I head over to Football Outsiders I see their pre-season projections, and their system -- which I'm sure is more accurate than Tony Kornheiser's bunion -- projected. . .

What's this? The Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC North? My goodness! How shocking!

FO works closely with ESPN. This is a major publication with a well noted NFL projection system. They projected the Ravens to win the the division. Agree with that projection or not, if your job is to follow and comment on football, especially if you work for ESPN -- again, a partner of Football Outsiders -- then you have only two excuses for being surprised by the concept of the Ravens perhaps leading their division:

1) You are a brain-dead clueless idiot who doesn't pay any attention to anything about the NFL or any quality source for discussing the NFL, yet somehow you keep your job.

2) You are Tony Kornheiser.

Yeah, I fooled you. They're the same thing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Coolest Thing I Have Ever Seen

Ladies and gentlement, I give you: the A-11 Offense.

Is this not awesome? It's always bothered me that there's so much flexibility in football, but some teams choose to play every game in some basic formation with no originality. Every revolution in football starts in high school or with low tier college programs. I would be so happy if an evolution of this made it to the top levels of the game some day.

Seriously. I'm in awe of the genius of what I'm seeing. This, for me, is the best "yes!" moment I've had in sports since reading Moneyball.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not ANOTHER one!

Just heard Jim Deshaies refer to Bill Bray as a "punter for the Cornhuskers."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Citing Sample Size = Esoteric

On today's PTI, Wilbon and Le Batard were discussing the White Sox/Twins series and Ozzie's comments about tonight's starting pitcher Javier Vazquez from Chicago Sun-Times:
Guillen's response, two days before he puts the ball in Vazquez's hand for the critical series opener against the Minnesota Twins: ''He hasn't been [a big-game pitcher], that's the bottom line.''

Presumably, Guillen is referring to his less than stellar '04 postseason with the Yankees (3 games, 11.1 IP, 25 baserunners, 4 home runs, 12:9 K:BB ratio, 9.53 ERA).

In light of this, Le Batard wonders whether Ozzie is making too much of a big deal about a small sample size. He also notes how other players with bad postseason reps (Kenny Rogers, the Manning bros.) debunked that with a good postseason. Wilbon dismisses that as being "esoteric".

I never knew that realizing that it's folly to make general statements about a couple of games is secret knowledge that few know.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

NFL Week 3 Live Blog

This may be a live blog, it may not. I'll see how I feel. But for now, here's Terry Bradshaw's top five QBs under the age of 30 in the NFL:

5. Jay Cutler
4. Phillip Rivers
3. Tony Romo
2. Eli Manning
1. Ben Roethlisberger

He also claims Cutler wouldn't be on the list, but his producer told him to put him there. That doesn't explain what makes him believe Eli Manning or Phillip Rivers have done anything better than Drew Brees, who doesn't even make this awful list.

Seriously. Bad. Very, very bad.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Manny 4 VP!

Had enough MVP talk yet? Cool, me neither. If you read the Press-Enterprise, you undoubtedly have heard of column-writer Gregg Patton. For those of you who have not, you're in for a treat.

Manny Ramirez is in LA now, so it figures he'd get movie star-style hype.

But he deserves the Most Valuable Player Award about as much as he deserves an Oscar.

Cute analogy. LA, Movie Star, Oscar--classic. But yeah, I pretty much agree here. Manny for MVP = Dumbass Decision

Putting the Dodgers left fielder in the MVP discussion is just silly talk. He's been a difference-maker only slightly longer than Sarah Palin.

Another great analogy. Spot on. Although, if we're going to put the impact of Manny on the same level as Palin, I think it'd be safe to say that Manny deserves the MVP.

Anyway, me and Gregg are still pretty much in agreement at this point.

Two months does not an MVP make, no matter his statistics or the effect on the team. It wouldn't be an issue if the league had a clear-cut candidate. But if Ryan Howard gets Philadelphia past the New York Mets or into the wild-card spot, it suddenly has one.


Ryan Howard
.337 OBP-- 51st in NL
.874 OPS-- 20th in NL
31.6 VORP-- 33rd in NL
4.6 WARP1-- Bad

Manny Ramirez
4.6 WARP1-- In 467 less plate appearances

I would seriously give the MVP to Manny Ramirez over Ryan Howard at this point (neither one even comes close to deserving it, though). It puzzles me how Howard can be considered for MVP despite having an OBP ten points below league average. Also, Carlos Delgado > Ryan Howard. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

The fact that the Dreaded One
lol... Clever.
has been averaging about an RBI per game and a home run every three games, and that his batting average is pushing .400, makes a pretty good case -- for a second consecutive Player of the Month citation, but not the big trophy.

How he manages to go from insane to sane in a matter of sentences is a mystery to me.

And now let's move on to the AL:

As good as the Angels are, they have only one MVP candidate, and he's a dubious choice because he's a relief pitcher.

Oh boy... I think we all see where this is going.

I'm not a big fan of pitchers winning the MVP anyway -- since they have their own Cy Young Award to put on the mantle -- but Francisco Rodriguez will get votes and deserve them.

Yes, he will get votes. No, he will not deserve them.

Interestingly, while it's a foregone conclusion that Cleveland's Cliff Lee will get the Cy Young, K-Rod and his record-breaking number of saves made the Angels the best team in the league.

That right there sums up the absurdity of the interpretation of the MVP award. Cliff Lee will be deemed the superior pitcher, while K-Rod will be deemed as being more valuable to his team. So basically, less production equals greater value. I know, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Also, while it's still very debatable as to whether or not the Angels are the best team in the league, I think it's safe to say that if they were to claim that spot it would be largely in part to the addition of Mark Teixeira, who has a 179 OPS+ with them in 43 games. Francisco Rodriguez does not make them the best team in the league.

Sounds like an MVP in a league that really doesn't have a standout candidate.

I just have one thing to say to this.




And one lonely tidbit on football before we go.

After the Chargers lost their first game to Carolina on the last play of the game, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said that blowout wins were nice, but the most fun he has in football is playing in tight games that come down to the wire. Maybe so, but I'm guessing he'd be more than thrilled with one of those blowout wins right about now.

Some things, Capt. Obvious, just go without saying.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

60+ Saves = Best Pitcher in Baseball

The guys at FJM do a much better job of tearing Joe Morgan's chats apart than I could ever do, so I'll refrain from trying to tackle the whole thing. However, this single quote from today is just so good that it simply can't be overlooked.

Joe Morgan: But I do want to add that I believe K-Rod should win the American League Cy Young. He's going to have over 60 saves, which no pitcher in baseball has ever done. When you do something like that, it seperates you and makes you the best in the league that year.

Holy Shit. This is extremely short-sighted, even for Morgan. How can anyone, with a straight face, say that K-Rod deserves the Cy Young over Cliff Lee? K-Rod has a worse ERA, ERA+, WHIP, OPS Against, etc. and he's a RELIEVER! Cliff Lee has literally thrown three times the amount of innings that Rodriguez has, while being better in practically every facet of the game.

You know what separates you and makes you the best in the league, Joe? Being the best in the league. Saves do not accomplish that. By your childish, naive logic, Joe Borowski was the best reliever in baseball last year despite having a 1.34 WHIP and an ERA over five. K-Rod is not even the best closer in the American League. Joe Nathan, Mariano Rivera, and Joakim Soria (just to name a few) are each having seasons that are drastically superior.

I would much rather have Carlos Delgado win the MVP award than see Francisco Rodriguez win the Cy Young. I think that pretty much sums up the absurdity of the proposal right there.

Hell Has Official Frozen Over

Juan Pierre homered today for the first time in over 1,150 plate appearances. I'm guessing this will do wonders for his SLG percentage (.309), especially considering he had a whole ELEVEN extra base hits prior to that point-- in over 350 at bats.

Man, this guy is good. Andre who? Juan Pierre knows how to win!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The More Important the Play, the More Important Your Gut

With under two minutes go go and San Francisco inside the 10 yard line trailing 17-6 game, Seattle's Deion Grant picked off a J.T. O'Sullivan pass to seemingly end the scoring threat.

BUT WAIT! There was a flag for pass interference, and the play was eventually overturned.

First, however, the referees got together to firmly make sure this most impactful of calls was made correctly. Makes sense, right? This is a game-changing situation, it's good that the refs make sure they get it right. Correct?

Not according to Darryl Johnson, who cried out that, "this is too much discussion for a play this critical!"

Wait. . .

. . . HUH?!

No, Moose. That's exactly why there should be MORE discussion. Because the play was INCREDIBLY critical. If it's MORE critical than it's LESS important to get it right?

Too many concussions, big boy?

Bobby Who? Fifty What???

It is official: with 58 saves Francisco Rodriguez has surpassed Bobby Thigpen as the all-time single season saves leader. Let the madness begin. Let the MVP talk commence (if it hasn't already). Let it be known that mediocrity can be held in such high esteem as long as one meaningless statistic is attached to it. Who said you had to average an inning per appearance to be seen as a valuable closer? Who said a 1.263 WHIP for a closer was bad? Who cares if Joe Nathan's Adjusted ERA is literally 222 points higher? SAVES ARE WHAT MATTER PEOPLE!

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to purchase a "K-ROD 58" license plate and sell it on eBay.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Update on Ike

Minute Maid Park suffered minor water damage.

Arlington will not be the site of make-up games, since Ike is heading up their way. Looks like they're talking about MIL as the site for the Cubs-Astros PPD games.

Reliant lost part of its roof -- Monday game off.

I don't really care about football all that much, so. I just Ryan Sweeney'd that sentence.

Speaking of Ryan Sweeney, you should check out the new Zito-Urban interview up on Zito takes some "98 under the chin" and "99 behind the head" questions via e-mail from "fans". If you've never heard Zito upset, you have to listen.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ESPN Poll Stupidity: Part I

Outside the Lines asks: Who is your pick for NL MVP?

Lance Berkman
Carlos Delgado
Albert Pujols
Manny Ramirez
C.C. Sabathia

Wow... What's even more depressing are the results. Sabathia is currently leading, with Pujols close behind and Delgado in third--and Lance Berkman in last! Obviously this could soon change, but as of the first 14,500 votes that's where we stand.

How much you wanna bet that almost every single person that voted for Sabathia believes that he should win the MVP but not the Cy Young? I'd say 99%

Why does the MLB even play the first three months of the season? Because according to this poll--as well as an increasingly large number of media outlets--it is completely unnecessary.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Someone explain this to me.

These people look like the exact same person to me. They're both under-sized, scrappy, over achievers full of heart and grit. They go from one team to another and fulfill a role. They are both clearly albinos and have high pitched voices.

What's weird to me is that one is constantly overrated and adulated to a nauseating degree. The other is consistently underrated and people can't wait to replace him.

What's going on here? Are they not the same person? Why aren't they treated the same?


No SNB live blog tonight. Due to circumstances beyond my control (iffy internet connection of late, a certain someone with the remote), I will not be able to provide commentary on tonight's Phillies-Mets game. The Hamels-Santana is a great matchup and I'm betting that the word "changeup" will be said 50 times through the game. If anyone can keep count, that would be great. :) I may be able to do a delayed one if I feel like it but there are no guarantees and if it does happen, it will be much briefer than usual.

For some reason, the "I need to write this fast and get dough" nature of AP articles give me a little chuckle. For the most part, expecting the same in-depth detail about the subject of an AP article one would in a typical column is a bit of a fool's errand given the different nature of each. That said, I would guess that one would expect more than this found via
Helio Castroneves won today’s PEAK Indy 300 race in Joliet, Ill., but New Zealander Scott Dixon won the season’s IRL championship.

Dixon also won this year’s Indianapolis 500 in May.

In the first 16 races this season, Dixon had a record-tying six victories and 13 finishes of fifth or better. But he had three finishes of 11th or worse, too.

Other racers in the 28-car field included Danica Patrick and Milka Duno.

That's it. The whole race summed up by info I could find on Wikipedia. Money well spent! Then you add the token mention of drivers who were previously involved in an overly publicized spat and you get a deep look into the abyss. If you're going to mention them, why not add where they finished? Why does poor Sarah Fisher get left out? Don't leave me hanging!
Fine! Just for that, I shall subject you to this:

I am still embarassed that he's associated with the series.

NFL Week 1 Live Blog

All week I was trying to think of some creative prose to write in this space yesterday. I couldn't think of any, so I thought it best not to try.

This blog is primarily baseball interest, but for me, this day largely kills the MLB season until October. It doesn't help that the Rangers have been done for a while. The first Sunday of the NFL season has become, to me, though, what Christmas Day was when I was little. I want to get up early and take it all in, I can't wait for it to come, and all day Saturday has that feeling of a magic event coming when the calendar turns. I get Sunday Ticket, and some time in August the channels for the games start appearing, and it's like when the presents started being placed under the tree when I was younger.

And just like when I was a kid on Christmas Eve, I have trouble sleeping. Though now it's more because I'm used to staying up late, the effect is now that I'm tired.

I was hoping to live blog through the pre game shows, but I might need to catch another hour or two of shut eye before the games start. I'll definitely be in here and blogging the events I catch by then, though.

-- I have to say something that will probably make 99% of our target audience hate me: I like Chris Berman's nicknames. I certainly don't like Boomer, but I think his nicknames are catchy, harmless and they've become a part of the NFL to me.


-- The return of NFL commercials is such a great feeling.

-- Berman is lauding Vince Young for his "clutch" and some such crap, treating his 2:1 INT:TD ratio was just a cosmetic problem. I do not get the love affair with Vince Young. 74 Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement last season was 29th in the NFL. -8.4% DVOA was 31st. Certainly he does some things that don't show up on that line, he's better than the 29th best QB in the NFL, but still. . . he wasn't very good. Get over it.

-- The NFL Network does almost everything better than everyone else. So why don't they have a pre game show? This concerns me greatly. I'm stuck with the overblown human interest stories and empty rhetoric of ESPN, the over-stylization of FOX or the all-around bad of CBS.

-- Michael Strahan just picked the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl. Allow my fan boyishness to show for a minute: that just made my ****ing day.


For the morning, I'll primarily be watching the Red Zone channel and the Seahawks @ Bills.

-- Gettin' antzy.

-- Marshawn Lynch is a full grown man. The Seattle front seven is. . . full grown. . . er. . .

-- Walter Jones is closer to perfect at what he does than any other human on the face of the planet. I'm not positive off the top of my head who the weakside end on Buffalo is, but he just got destroyed on consecutive plays.

-- I have trouble with the media obsession with Brett Favre. For instance, right now the Red Zone Channel is showing me the Jets playing (terribly) from about the 30 yard line. I know there are better games elsewhere. And I know this is because of Brett Favre.

-- It's completely unfair that someone as massive as Ben Rroeiwnsdoignsboiburger can run. He just scrambled for a first and I swear the Texans were afraid of him.

-- So Brett Favre just threw a 157 yard touchdown to Jerricho Cotchery. Maybe I was wrong about him having trouble getting in to form this year.

-- It's been more than eight minutes now and New England hasn't scored. This is very strange to me.

Brady just got taken out. Matt Cassel is warming up.

-- Consecutive sacks of Matt Schaub via the Pittsburgh front seven. I have to assume they're having their way with that Texans young line.

Touchdown McNabb to L.J. Smith as I watch.

-- Baltimore just scored the touchdown of the day. A double reverse to Mark Clayton, with Joe Flacco and Ray Rice lead-blocking. 40 yards. Awesome.

Also, Michael Turner just scored again. I believe he's already over 100 yards. 21-0 Atlanta. I got him for a 10th the price of LaDainian Tomlinson in my salary cap league for the week.

Hines Ward just had an 80-ish yard touchdown erased due to PI.

-- A full quarter has been played and the Patriots haven't scored on the Chiefs. What on earth? BUT, Matt Cassell just completed a beautiful bomb to Randy Moss, so all may be well. Or at least okay.

Randy Moss also already has his 56th career 100 yard game.

-- I know he's in a better situation, but if Matt Cassell has a good season while Matt Leinart sits on the bench, many lols will be had.

Touchdown, 7-0 New England.

-- I have a strong disagreement with the new face mask rule. Accidentally touching the face mask should not make such a game changing result as a 15-yard penalty.

Also, I disagree with how they went about eliminating the gray area of the force out. I think having safeties camp on the side line to shove an ariel receiver out instead of defending the ball is going to be ridiculous. I would have gone the other way: if you push someone out, it's a completion whether they would have come in or not.

-- People who look awesome: Lamar Woodley.

-- I expected young Matt Ryan to absolutely suck. The Lions so far are making me an idiot: 5 for 5, 82 yards, 16.4 YPA, 1 TD.

-- Q: What is the Seahawks special teams made of?

A: Fail. Roscoe Parrish just made 27 different players miss a tackle.

-- Why is it the Seahawks seem to always have so much trouble catching passes. Is it organizational? Is it something weird about Hasselbeck's passes?

-- Donavan McNabb: 14/20, 274 yards, 3 TD

-- Willie Parker might just beat the curse of 370 following a year that also included an injury. He's now surprassed his 2007 TD total in only one game.

-- Parker only had 331 carries in 2007. My bad. Still. . .

-- Andrew Siciliano, the Red Zone Channel host: "You have to wonder, if Tatum Bell really did steal Rudi Johnson's wallet, how did he have his ID to make the flight to Atlanta?"

-- So. . . two rookie QBs could win their first start in week 1 at the same time?

-- The Bengals couldn't tackle Dom DeLuise in a phone booth. Joe Flacco just ran 38 yards to make it 17-3.

-- The Patriots just escaped after playing their most embarassing game in well over a calendar year. 17-10.

-- Remember the Christmas presents analogy? It holds true this time of day. It's so bitter-sweet when the first crop of games is ending. It's like when all the presents have been opened and you look around and realize, after a year of waiting, the fun part is over. Sure, you got cool stuff/watched awesome games, but still. . . it's over.

At least for a few months there's Christmas every week.

I apologize to anyone who may actually be reading this, because in a few minutes this writer will pretty much only be watching the Cowboys.

-- Terrell Owens has now tied Cris Carter for third all-time in touchdown receptions. And immediately after was penalized for the lamest celebration ever.

If you're going to get a flag, make it worth it.

-- Well, day one is over seemingly as soon as it began. Only a night game to go. So sad. Only 16 more weeks to go.

-- One game is still going. The Panthers have fallen behind to the Chargers and are now down 24-19 and driving. A seeming catch for a first down is being reviewed. A minute three left.

-- The Panthers are now making epic catches for first downs like they're going out of style. Now at the 23.

-- Overthrow in the end zone, and 6 seconds left for Jake Delhomme to work his magic.

-- Two seconds left. Here we go. . . IT'S CAUGHT! I'll be back, watch your highlights!

-- If you didn't watch the end of the Panthers' game, I feel bad for you.

-- Time to watch Football Night in America. If I hear anything stupid, it will be written here.

-- As someone who grew up watchin The Big Show, you can imagine I geeked out when I changed the channel and heard Dan Patrick's voice. Putting him together with Keith Olberman again is awesome. Throw Dan Patrick in to that lineup and you have rare sports-panel awesome.

And Peter King has good insight, just don't let him talk about baseball.

-- One. Game. Has. Been. Played. I have the panel of ex-players telling me already that the Bills are one of the best teams in the league and the Seahawks are falling apart.

After one game. My goodness.

-- Hey, where did I see these teams again? Oh yeah, in the worst Super Bowl ever.

-- I have so very little to say about this game. Even John Madden has yet to be entertaining.

-- I'd forgotten how much I hate watching the Colts on offense.

-- Once upon a time, John Madden was not Captain Obvious. Now that's all he does. He just states what everyone understands 20 times.

-- "If the Colts want to win, they're going to have to get physical."
~ John Madden

-- John Madden has continually expressed amazement at how well a rookie runningback is playing. First off, it's one game. Second, I'm pretty sure everyone and their mothers know that runningbacks adjust to the NFL easily. How is Madden so blown away by this?

Also, I can't wait to hear someone claim this is revenge for the Bears.

-- Well, Sunday Night Football has been a failure tonight. Not enough interesting has happened to blog about.

If anyone actually read this and found it worth their while, let me know. It's hard to concentrate on football AND live blog on it at the same time. This was a trial run, if you will.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Since We're on the Subject

It seems that recently there's been a lot of MVP/Cy Young award talk going on, which makes sense as the season starts winding down; so I thought it'd be good to just let it be known what a few of ATH's picks are at this point. I'm fairly confident we all share the same opinions (having discussed this quite a few times), but I'm sure anyone who disagrees will let it be known soon enough. Here we go!

A.L. Cy Young

Cliff Lee

N.L. Cy Young

Tim Lincecum


Cliff Lee (Again)


Albert Pujols

Now, how many of these guys will actually win is another question. At this point, I'd say Lee will most likely win the AL Cy Young, but have no chance at the MVP (although he should). Lincecum has a decent shot at the NL Cy Young, but if Webb has even an okay September with 3-4 more wins I could see the voters easily giving it to him. Pujols, even though this should be one of the easier decisions, is probably a close call. He doesn't seem to be getting nearly as much recognition as he should and if his team falls out of the playoff race I could easily see it going to a David Wright, Chase Utley, Ryan Braun, or even a *gasp* Carlos Delgado. None of them should win it, but I could see the voters going that way.

There really wasn't any point to this post other than attempting to lay our picks out for scrutiny just as much as others.

One more month!

Shouldn't Be THIS Debatable

If you want to be truly frustrated by the perception that has been created throughout sports today, all you have to do is look no further than today's chat entitled, That's Debatable: Who's the N.L. Cy Young?
Here's some of the questions/comments from the numerous participants of the chat. I should warn you, it's pretty bad, so if you already have stress-related problems I would suggest refraining from the following. If not, have at it!
Chris (Manchester NH): I am sorry but W-L and team W-L in games you pitch are the only important categories because the name of the game is winning. I do not care if Webb finishes with 4 or 5 more wins than anyone else in his league its simple he deserves it. you play the game to WIN not have good stats.
Like I said, this is some annoying shit. I'm pretty sure playing the game to win basically means playing at the top of your game. Some people do this much better than others. Should pitchers with a better offense really be rewarded? I mean, is there anyone who really believes that Bronson Arroyo (13 wins, 4.97 ERA) is having a better season than Johan Santana (12 wins, 2.71 ERA)?
Ramo - Buffalo, NY: A month ago, this was Webb's award to lose. And guess what? He's lost it. Stark is right on, Lincecum should win it. Like Cliff Lee, he has posted the best numbers despite playing on a weak team. But here's the caveat: CC should win MVP. Why is no one discussing that option? Who has been more valuable to their team?
I really liked this guy until that last part. It would be absolutely unfathomable for a pitcher to win the MVP and not win the Cy Young. If you are not valuable enough to win the award for being the best pitcher, then how the hell can you be valuable enough to win the award for being the best player? Unless maybe you were an overly awesome hitter or something, which Sabathia is not.
Kevin Kelly (Syracuse NY): Don't get me wrong, Lincecum is incredible and his pitching is a jaw dropper (look at his stats) but as for a NL Cy Young award, i believe an award like that can only be won so far is if the pitcher is helping the team to the playoffs. As of now it will either be Sabathia or Webb. They are both helping out and giving high hopes to bring there team to a playoff but out of those two great pitchers, it can only be determined who helps the team go to the playoffs. Someday, Lincecum will have his shot and he deserves it.
When did the Cy Young also become the MVP? Team success should not be factored in for the MVP, but it ESPECIALLY shouldn't be anywhere near a Cy Young argument.
Matt (Boston): I think sabermetric guys have gone too far in de-valuing wins. If you're bullpen is blowing games for you, finish it yourself. If the offense is having a bad day, you need to pick them up. Wins shouldn't be the end all stat, but it shouldn't be discounted like has become fashionable.

1. Whether or not you finish the game yourself is entirely dependent on the manager.
2. How do you "pick up the offense"? If your team scores no runs for you, then there is nothing you can do. A pitcher's limits only reach so far, hence the term "limits."
3. I disagree. I believe they should be discounted. I don't see a single instance where they could be a good tool for evaluating a pitcher's talent. It is a team-dependent stat that should not be used for individualistic purposes.

I'm going to post Jayson Stark's answer to this question as well. Throughout the chat most of his responses are actually pretty good, but this is an exception:
Jayson Stark: I think that's a fair point, Matt. To use the example made earlier, if a pitcher went 0-20, with a 1.00 ERA, I wouldn't vote for him for the Cy Young. But there's a big difference between that extreme and a guy who is 15-3 with lousy run support and bullpen support. I don't want to eliminate wins from the conversation. I just believe in keeping them in perspective. Isn't that reasonable?
If a starting pitcher ever finished the season with an ERA at 1.00 I don't think I could see any valid justification for not giving him the Cy Young. His adjusted ERA would be somewhere in the 300's probably, how could you penalize him for having some one of the worst strings of bad luck (wins) in the history of the game? Don't you think it was probably already miserable enough?
Doug (NY): Roy Oswalt for post-ASB Cy?
This one made me laugh. Does this guy just not watch baseball at all? I think that Sabathia guy pretty much has this fictional award on lock.
Thomas Arnold (Santa Barbara, CA): First of all, baseball people like to say that the MVP is for positon players, because pitchers have the Cy Young. So, shouldn't the Cy Young be the Most Valuable Pitcher?
Whoever these "baseball people" are, I hope they have a blog, article, or some other type of sports outlet for me to get a hold of. The guidelines are pretty clear, people shouldn't try to read so deep into what isn't there.
MC (CT): I think the only way CC can win the CY is for both Webb and Lincecum to have awful Spetembers (similar to CC's April, ironically) and him to have a ridiculous month like 5-0 1.00 ERA. That being said, I think Webb wins because the CY votes are too jaded by W-L and don't look at the numbers that matter.
Thank you, sir, for summing up the ridiculousness that ensues the BBWAA and for at least partially retaining my faith in today's society.

Monday, September 1, 2008

This dude hates Billy Beane

Some days, I do too. Then I remember that my hometown team employs Ed Wade and I thank the baseball gods for tanking Billy's playing career.

The A's sent down Seagon and the Giants have Tim Lincecum!

There's just so much here to poke at I'll stick to the highlights.

We want to remind you of something. Gonzalez was the main piece in the Dan Haren trade, the jewel in the crown. Now the jewel languishes in Sacramento. What does this tell you about the A's ability to judge talent?

It's September. He's not "languishing" anywhere. He's learning how to take a damned pitch. You wonder why we haven't seen Travis Buck around! (Okay well, that's an inner ear problem.) Let's see who else was acquired in the Dan Haren trade, shall we?
  • Greg Smith (LHP)
  • Dana Eveland (LHP)
  • Brett Anderson (LHP)
  • Chris Carter (IF)
  • Aaron Cunningham (OF)
Gonzalez not panning out at the age of TWENTY-TWO doesn't exactly mean Beane can't judge talent. That's just ridiculous. Is this guy serious?

We direct our remarks to A's fans who should be disgusted with the A's -- an organization that can't get it right but pretends it knows what it's doing. We direct our remarks to our loyal fans at, who mindlessly worship Billy Beane as if Beane is the crown prince of baseball. Wake up. This Gonzalez mess should make you reconsider your position as lifelong Beanophiles. Wise up. Please join a 12-step program to overcome your Beane addiction. Please.

Well, last time I checked the A's had been to the post-season a lot in the last half-dozen years. Yeah, this year the team sucks. We got our hopes up when all the kids decided to play wayyyy above their heads in April and May. Then they came back down to earth and we saw the "rebuilding" team Billy put together to play out the games between now and when all the crazy-good kids in the minors are ready to come up.

Also, this Gonzalez situation is not a mess. It's the franchise not being afraid to demote a player who needs to learn how to take a few pitches.

I'm already in a 12-step program to learn how to deal with heartbreak induced by a Beane trade. I'm doing quite well, thank you, and as a result I follow a half-dozen teams. That makes me a better baseball fan than you, Cohn! Hah.

There's more. The A's want you to believe they're "building" in a brilliant and rational manner. Really? We here at the Zohn wonder who plays in the infield in 2009 when the team is supposed to be reconstituted and good. The A's need a first baseman. They need a second baseman because we don't believe Mark Ellis gets invited back next season. The A's need a shortstop unless you believe Bobby Crosby is the answer -- at best, he's a middle-of-the-pack kind of guy, certainly no Miguel Tejada. The A's need a third baseman. That's how bad things are, and we haven't even gotten to the outfield yet.

I've been looking a little further down the line at 2010, but I think the 2009 team could make a run at it. I mean, we DO have a crapload of young talent hanging out in Sac and Midland, it's not like we're going to trade them away for Tejada or some crazy thing like that. They'll be here.

Also, I do believe Bobby Crosby is the answer. I'm one of those people. (It's probably not logical, but hey, Cohn's setting the rules here and he has cleary thrown logic out the window.)

Like the A's, the Giants are a crummy team. No one at the Zohn disputes that. But the Giants have one thing the A's don't. The Giants have Tim Lincecum .... The A's provide a boring unwatchable team. The A's don't care about thrilling their fans. They say the thrill will come some time in Fremont, if Fremont ever really happens.

I like how he says the Giants have ONE thing the A's don't, that being Tim Lincecum. (Who's actually not a thing. But whatever.) They've also got, I dunno, Matt Cain, Barry Zito (while he's not so hot at pitching, he makes a damn good jeans model), and ... Fred Lewis? Actually, they have a whole TEAM that the A's don't have, and neither does any other team out there.

I do like Tim Lincecum. In fact, I am wearing a Tim Lincecum shirt right now, the same one I wore when he got knee-capped by an Astros batter, sending his team to be four-game-swept by Houston.

I actually kind of enjoy watching the A's. There's Huston Street who will always blow a lead (except when he's healthy), there's Brad Ziegler who didn't give up a run of his own for a helluva long time, there's Greg Smith who when he walks a guy will promptly pick him off first, even if he's not even leading off. Those are a couple "things" I enjoy watching when the A's are on. Oh, and Ryan "Man child" Sweeney is certainly entertaining.

Unless Beane impregnated your daughter, there's no reason to hate him this much. Furthermore, what have the A's done to you, Cohn?

Oh that's right. 1989. Sorry for bringing that up.