Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It doesn't have quite the same ring to it as FireJoeMorgan, but I'm confident that with his current position on MLB Network, Reynolds will do an even more consistent (Morganism!) job of providing us with sheer, unparalleled hilarity and frustration. Here's an excerpt from a video Grif posted in one of his recent posts.

"There aint no way Albert (Pujols) is getting 133 RBI's with that club. It aint happenin!"

Ah, Harold Reynolds. So distinguished. So well-informed. So lucky to still be having a job on television. I'd like us to take a closer look at this specific part about Pujols and the mention of RBI. I must warn you though, if you share the same way of thinking as that of Reynolds and Larkin, you may want to stop reading now. Because what I'm about to do involves statistics, none of which come from a crumbled piece of paper provided to me by means of an old man in a straw hat.

2008 St. Louis Cardinals
.350 OBP (2nd in NL)
#1 Batter: .345 OBP
#2 Batter: .371 OBP

Albert Pujols bats third, which means the amount of RBI he gets is largely dependent on whether or not the first and second batters get on base. The last time Albert Pujols had at least 133 RBI was in 2006. Let's see what that team looked like.

2006 St. Louis Cardinals
.337 OBP (5th in NL)
#1 Batter: .335 OBP
#2 Batter: .338 OBP

So what Harold Reynolds is saying is that there is no way that Pujols can get 133 RBI with the 2009 club, even though their roster is darn near exactly the same as it was last year, and even though he was able to do it with a team that was inferior in 2006. There are two things to be learned from this:

1) RBI are dumb, unpredictable, and depend on too many outside factors.
2) Harold Reynolds is an imbecile who should stick to what he knows best: teaching kids how to throw a ball accurately to first base from 20 yards away.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This man clearly knows his baseball.

I have no choice but to trust everything he says.

Why the MLB Network is a Failure

24/7 baseball should be a good thing. 24/7 football is a good thing. Why? Because their studio shows aren't made of insultingly dumb opinions.

The MLB Network doesn't have this "skill," and here's an example of why in a video where their studio show takes on PECOTA.

(Sorry for the quality, I have no fancy devices.)

I'm going to respond to every stupid thing I see as it goes along.

First off, let me say this intrigues me. I was excited they were going to take a critical look at a "new" angle of baseball analysis. Being critical is good, but they really should be informed and intelligent before they do so, and they weren't successful in that regard. It's also good for them to introduce the baseball public to a little more critical thinking and better analysis, but their idiocy after the fact may have destroyed this attempt.

1:20: Our first problem: they give the silly triple crown stats as an example of PECOTA's projections and wins and losses for pitchers. RBIs and Wins and Losses are team stats, folks. That means you're including a minimum of 24 other players and their own set of variables in to the equation, thus lowering further the accuracy. While PECOTA goes ahead and projects these numbers, it's more interested (and useful) in projection what is actually in a player's control, and team stats are not. Nevermind the fact that batting average tells you very little and home runs only account for a small slice of a player's plate appearances. PECOTA gives you a full analysis of a player's performance, and focusing on such a small slice of the projections -- let alone an unimportant slice -- greatly misses the point. And as you'll see, that's a problem.

1:38: Matt Vasgersian seems like a smart guy, but the way he words these things, as Mrs. Grif pointed out, echoes a feeling that seems to come from baseball: that things like PECOTA seem to be seen by the baseball establishment as some sort of crazy Kaballah religion. Vasgersian also mentions the fact that Prospectus is more often than ont "on the money." As a subscriber, I know he's correct. Think Hug Me Harold Reynolds or Sean Casey are going to acknowledge this fact? Think again, silly reader!

2:13: It wouldn't be a baseball stats discussion without an inappropriate use of the term "moneyball!"

2:19: "I also think, too, baseball is greater than that!" Thank you for these empty words, Sean. When you're worried you might have a strongly supported statement, talk about the mysticism of The Game. That works for Joe Morgan!

2:48: "Stats are ridiculous!" See, Hug Me hates stats, and yet, I hear him cite them all the time. What he meant to say was, "stats that challenge the opinion I already have, and stats that I have not been brought up looking at, and stats that I might have to think about are ridiculous because I can't handle a challenge." Everyone looks at baseball stats, so everyone who decides they can throw them out of the window is being a hypocrite just because they're lazy. Not that there's anything wrong with being lazy, but there is something wrong with denying it and trying to pretend you're not lazy, you're just too smart to be bothered.

Reynolds comes off ridiculous, he doesn't even know what he's talking about but he talks anyway. What is he talking about with the Hall of Fame? I think he sees statistics as a simple set of numbers that don't tell you much instead of an objective record of just about everything that happens on a baseball field. He doesn't realize how unlimited they are and that most of what he talks about can be measured because he doesn't know anything about the subject. So why is he on a television broadcast talking about it, anyway?


I got my cat to hit the key. Still, I'm sueing. In any case, the Youkilis numbers do seem low, but they're also not the important numbers of a PECOTA projection, either. See, the problem is not with Reynolds questioning the numbers, it's with him not actually understanding the process or what it's telling him before opening his mouth, and dismissing them as wrong before it's possible to be wrong.

3:59: What is a quality .215? Is that like a team being a competitive 57-105? Is it better than a crappy .378? Does it tell you more than some crazy number like taking how often a player avoids an out and then adding that to something like how many bases he advances himself when he has an at bat? Maybe, but I think he's making it up.

4:11: This is just a curmudgeonly silliness. They'd rather listen to some dude who has done nothing but form a subjective opinion with his eyes over a couple games than someone who has put together an objective opinion over a full sample size using actual tangible evidence. And Larkin's insistence that an objective analyst can't tell you "why" is just nonsense. Does he think they just make up numbers as they go along and trust they're correct without actually having a real reason for arriving to them? Also, how does Sean Casey know the straw man has seen the player "with the game on the line?" What makes him think stats weren't recorded in that game?

5:02: Is there a place for stats or are they ridiculous, Harold? It seems like he thinks "stat mongers" should be allowed to exist just as some form of political correctness. Sort've like someone who thinks women have a place in the office, just not doing actual work. (Unless they're giving him a hug, of course.)

Also, this is how you know someone knows baseball: he smokes cigars and has gray hair. Remember this, folks. Also: note that none of these people have gray hair or cigars. I'll bet Bert Sugar knows a thing or two about rounders, though.

5:16: Barry Larkin doesn't actually know what "educated decision" means. Barry, someone who makes a decision based on an objective record of what a player has done in the past is, in fact, makin an educated decision. By the very definition, his decision has been educated by something (in this case: what the player has done playing baseball). It may not be as educated as possible, but it is educated. Just like watching a player for three games and making a decision off of what you see is educated.

5:48: It occurs to me than Hug Me is very much removed from the game if he thinks "at the end of the day" every team is just ignorin all these stats they've put together and leaning on one guy who looks like Red Aurbach to make their decisions, and that's clear when Larkin and Casey smack down his hilarious assertation. I think Reynolds sees stat guys as some folks who sit around in the front office and put together some numbers that everyone looks at with wry amusement and then ignore to the betterment of the club.

6:15: "It's what the game was founded on, I'm sorry." And there we get to the root of the problem: an aversion to change. The problem is just that it's different and not traditional, and Hug Me has a problem with something that is over his head, comes from "outside" the game, and messes with the way things have been done since darkies weren't allowed on the field and catchers caught fastballs with their bare hands to prove they were men.

It's just ridiculous that they take a neat concept and can't bother having an intelligent discussion on the subject. None of the players have a clue about PECOTA, they just talk anyway. Why do we only have a bunch of ex-players, anyway? Why not have someone there who knows about the topic? Another view point? Why not make sure all the panelists are educated on the topic?

They essentially presented the topic and then spent five minutes spewing empty words that sound good and make fans unaware of the subject go, "yeah, that sounds right!" And that's why the MLB Network is a tragic failure no better than ESPN. Why did none of them address the accuracy of PECOTA and talk about that? Because it would challenge their opinions?

And, as was already pointed out by Goose, this isn't an either/or thing. There is absolutely value in watching players and trying to find the things you just can't find in the evidence with the help of people who know what to look for. There is absolutely no reason NOT to look at numbers in a sport where they tell you so much, though, and there is a lot of reason to put more weight on the actual, objective evidence than anything else. Very few seem to understand this, though. To be fair, I think Larkin and Casey do to a degree, but Reynolds is just another type who thinks it's a "Scouts vs. Computers" debate and that you can't have both (and, furthermore, those robots will destroy the game if you give them an inch).

A challenge and discussion of the system and statistical analysis in baseball with an educated group would be great. The MLB Network couldn't be bothered.

But I love when they stand around on a fake field and tell me how to throw a ball to first base for 15 minutes!!!

This Has to Be Said One More Time...

Just because you think that there's much to be gained by studying the game of baseball in an objective way doesn't mean that you think the game should be played on a computer or that you hate baseball or that you don't watch baseball. It also does not mean that you oppose scouting information. I just find this notion absolutely ridiculous.

After watching tonight's episode of "MLB Tonight", I seethed. Now, there are many more things in this world to get worked up over (trust me, I do) but I just feel as though this notion of sabermetrics as some scourge upon the game. When someone, I'm looking at you, Mr. Reynolds, says that "stats are ridiculous", please be careful. You may not give a damn about exact park factors or what have you but I'm betting that the scout who discovered you projected how you would do by some kind of statistical profile. Perhaps I'm speaking more out of emotion (wait, someone into sabermetrics showing emotion? NEVER!!) but I really would hope the most vociferous of those who don't care for every little detail that is analyzed to step back and understand that regardless of how we look at the game, we are all fans. It has, in no way, ruined my love of the game and even before I heard of VORP or wOBA, I loved nothing more than spending hours upon hours watching that beautiful game. Right now, I'm watching Ken Burns's Baseball. There's nary a mention of some new stat. You know what, I just love it.

In the mean time, I'll take my amateur scouting and statistical eye (not to mention a dash of game theory, biomechanics, economics and psychology) and enjoy the great game without someone trying to pigeon hole me or assume a choice.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More Jon Heyman Weirdness

Perhaps we should be renamed "Fire Jon Heyman"? Anyway, let's get into some of his recent written foibles:

First off, this piece ranking the offseasons of different franchises (Winter Winners):
1. Phillies: The world champions did an amazing job locking up their best young players, getting both Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard under contract for three years to avoid the arbitration process that blew up on them last year when Howard won an unprecedented $10 million as a first-year arbitration-eligible player. By all accounts Raul Ibanez will be great for the clubhouse and lineup -- though a right-handed hitter might have made a little more sense.*

The Phillies did a nice job redeeming for the strangeness that was the Raul Ibanez signing. Yes, Mr. Heyman, the deal was plain odd. Not only did they fail to offer arbitration to a right-handed hitter you thought they should have (Burrell), but also they give up two picks for signing Ibanez who is a worse offensive player and, at best, a few runs better defensively for a guy who is older. Even taking account of Burrell's old player skills, the decline of both players is likely a wash. I know they won the World Series last year, but why are they number one?

Well, I do expect you to cover every team with care, right?
16. Tigers: Nobody underachieved like them last year. And while they didn't continue their spending spree this winter, a return to the mean by their key players would still put them in contention

Why do you disappoint me so?
13. Royals: They are Exhibit A in the argument against collusion as that rare small-market team that spent liberally. If there was something funny going on behind the scenes, certainly nobody let them in on it. While Mike Jacobs, Coco Crisp and Kyle Farnsworth probably won't transform the Royals into a playoff contender, they should make them better.

They improved considering that they replaced some utter crap with lesser crap but don't you think they could have spent that money better? 2 years apiece for Farnsworth and Bloomquist? Mike Jacobs and his near Balboni-esque skillset? If the Royals happen to contend, I just look forward to people praising Dayton Moore for these moves and not for how guys like DeJesus, Greinke (a good move by locking him up, I should add), Gordon, and Butler do. Those new guys might end up "Meche-ing" but I'm a bit skeptical.
14. Reds: They lost out on Jermaine Dye, but Willy Taveras is the leadoff hitter they need. That young nucleus may be ready to win.

You're praising the Reds for using Willy Taveras as a leadoff man? Granted, the Reds offense is projected to be blah and it's best to use base stealers in front of poor hitters but leadoff?
19. Mariners: Ibanez and Putz have been removed from the 100-loss team. The rebuilding process is needed, new GM Jack Zduriencik seems to know what he's doing and they are strong on scouts. But it's going to be painful, at least at the start.

Yes, you love Raul. Raul seems to be a decent guy and hard worker. That said, you do realize Mariners fans had to watch him become this in the field From Lookout Landing:

Not to mention that adding Gutierrez and Chavez to Ichiro, they have a very nice outfield defense. I'm surprised you didn't mention Griffey who is a marginal upgrade to the DH spot.
There's more to add from this piece but my fellow writers can handle that.

*bold emphasis mine

Sunday, February 8, 2009


A-Rod, A-Fraud, A-Roid. I can't wait to here what type of other super hilarious nicknames they come up for him in the upcoming weeks. Okay, Alex Rodriguez took steroids. Is anyone really all THAT surprised? I mean the guy is probably the most solid 225 lbs you've ever seen on a baseball field. It's disappointing, sure. But is it really necessary to make such a tremendously huge deal about it? I guess given the fact that he is the highest paid player in sports means the answer is yes. Although, I would argue that there are many writers out there, such as Yahoo's Jeff Passon, who are taking the whole thing a little too far.

Alex Rodriguez did not need steroids. Scouts who saw A-Rod in high school rave that his bat was more powerful than Moses’ staff.

Yeah, that's high school. In case you are unaware, professional baseball is slightly a step ahead of high school level baseball. Heck, a lot of players drafted out of college don't even make it onto the pro ballclub. That should tell you just how different mother flippin Westminister Christian (A-Rod's high school of 300 students) is in comparison to Major League Baseball.

Also, who's to say he wasn't taking steroids in high school? I knew plenty of guys who experimented with the stuff before they graduated. And with no testing policy in place, it made it all the less likely to get caught. I'm not defending A-Rod's actions by any means, but to suggest that he could have maintained his elite baseball status simply because he was "THAT good" in high school is utterly moronic.

He was born with natural brilliance, a diamond with a perfect cut, just like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

These men are paid to play baseball. They did what they thought was best in order to perform at the highest level in their job. It was not illegal. Was it still wrong? Probably. But can you really fault these guys for trying to keep up with the rest of the league? Most of whom were already taking steroids well into the mid 90s? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But the fact of the matter is that these guys most likely would not have performed at the same level were it not for some type of performance enhancer. Is there anyone out there--especially in this economy--who would not take steroids in order to make millions of dollars? I didn't think so.

And he allegedly injected himself with performance-enhancing drugs for the same reason they did. He’s a raging narcissist, consumed so much by the idea of himself that his actions made it crumble into an ironic pile of rubble.

I've done a fair amount of research on the steroid subject throughout sports. It is projected that well over 50% of all MLB players were taking some type of performance-enhancing drugs during the 1990s. An overwhelmingly majority of NFL players have allegedly taken steroids at some point in their careers. I don't think you can say with a full degree of certainty that all of these sports figures were "raging narcissists" who are "consumed" of the ideas of themselves. Andy Pettitte is probably one of the nicest, genuine, humble players in all of sports, and even he took steroids! These players are simply looking to gain every advantage possible to them. Doing so does not automatically make them a bad person by any means.

It has gotten to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if any MLB player used steroids at some time. In fact, I think it is better to assume that everyone did. Because simply penalizing those who get caught doesn't seem to put things on an even keel for those who got by before any testing was implemented.

It’s sociopathic, in a way, the single-mindedness of it. Baseball always has romanticized the one-on-one nature of its game, pitcher against hitter. The steroid era has brought out the worst in that ethos: players concerned for themselves, their money and their legacies, sport – or anyone else, for that matter – be damned.

What can baseball say now after Sports Illustrated revealed that Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003? That it occurred six years ago? Yeah. That’ll fly.

Steroid Supplier: Hey A-Rod, you're good, but what would you say if I told you there was a way to make you EVEN BETTER? So much so, in fact, that you could make hundreds of millions of dollars just by playing baseball.

A-Rod: Hell yeah! What do I have to do?

SS: That's the best part, you don't really have to do anything, just inject yourself with these drugs from time to time.

A-Rod: Really??? That's it? Sounds too good to be true. Wait, I bet there's a catch though, isn't there?

SS: Well... your balls will get small.

A-Rod: Fuck.

I'm not really sure what that fake conversation was meant to accomplish. Moving on.

This is an indictment of powerlessness, another black eye on baseball, which has been in need of new orbital bones for years. No matter what baseball tries to do, its past will dog it forever because Rodriguez is going to break Bonds’ all-time home run record, and the sport’s two greatest power hitters will be known steroid users.

Hank Aaron admitted to using amphetamines. He claims it was only once, but who knows? Perhaps he wasn't the embodiment of all supernatural, God-given ability, either.

Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees and the dozen or so leftover fans without skepticism laced into their DNA presumed Rodriguez the bastion of cleanliness, a rightful heir to Hank Aaron who could vanquish Darth Bonds.

Hank Aaron admitted to using amphetamines.

It matters not if Rodriguez is clean today. He knew in 2003 that there would be testing without penalty, and like the 103 others who came up dirty, figured the anonymity of the program would protect him and everything he had become. When the government stormed in, it matched positive results from that ’03 survey testing with players’ names and had the big kahuna of all steroid busts. The results leaked out, and A-Rod, – who has been manipulated by others since his teenage years – did what any trained monkey would: He told SI’s Selena Roberts to talk to the union.

Yes, the players’ association is to blame for this getting out. It could have destroyed the tests. It didn’t. And when steroids were running through baseball like kudzu in the ’90s and earlier this decade, the union did nothing to stop them.

Yes, instead of blaming the players themselves, attention should be more precisely directed at those in authority who allowed this to happen for such a long period of time. I mean, if these guys weren't going to be penalized, then...why not?

I'm not saying I condone the use of steroids or any other illegal "performance enhancer." However, I think we all need to stop viewing this as a black and white issue. These guys are not horrible people simply because they wanted to become stronger/more durable. Yes, it was wrong and irresponsible. But should they be condemned forever for doing something that most of us probably would have done ourselves? Absolutely not. Football's got the right approach. Accept the idea that players will eventually get caught for steroids and, when they do, penalize them and move on with it. The steroid issue is becoming so tired and wore down. It is time to leave it alone and come to terms with its existence throughout sports.

I don't want to have to go through this whole ordeal next year when it's revealed that Albert Pujols once failed a drug test in 2001.

This is why this man deserves his Hall of Fame vote.


I hope Alex Rodriguez didn't cheat. If we do find out that he cheated, I will wish that he hadn't. But whatever happens, I'm not going to change my opinion that he's a great baseball player. Like many of the greatest players, he'll do whatever it takes to be the best player he can be. For a stretch of five or 10 years -- and yes, perhaps even today still -- being the best player could have meant cheating. Maybe the cheaters were wrong; that's the direction in which I lean, probably because I've got a streak of the moralist in me. But I will not sit idly while great athletes looking for an edge -- not all that different from the many generations before them -- are demonized by the high priests of baseball opinion. I will not.

Simple Jon

Since we're on the subject of Jon Heyman, I thought it'd be appropriate to bring up this jewel I came across just the other day. It's an oldie, but I trust that you'll come to appreciate it almost half as much as I do. Enjoy!

Was a half season of CC Sabathia's dominance and heroics enough to carry him to this year's award? And was less than half a season plenty for that savant turned savior, Manny Ramirez?

Short Answer: Hell no, no way in hell, not even fucking close, no. Hell no.

My answer is an enthusiastic yes to both questions.


Both candidates are deserving. I don't care that they were late arrivers to the National League this season. Sabathia (11-2, 1.65 ERA in 17 starts for Milwaukee) and Ramirez (.396, 17 homers, 53 RBIs in 53 games with L.A.) easily made the biggest impacts.

False. The guy who made the biggest impact was the guy that played at a higher level than anyone in baseball--and for an ENTIRE season. That man is Albert Pujols. Let's see where Heyman placed Albert Pujols on his "theoretical ballot" (Pujols, just to clarify again, is by far the best choice for MVP. I mean, just by GLANCING at the stats you can tell that it so painstakingly obvious that he provided more valuable production than anyone else in baseball. It's like talking about this year's NBA MVP, you may want to make up some intangible reasons as to why other players have been more valuable, but when it comes down to it, it's not even really worthy of debate because the evidence is just so overwhelmingly in Lebron's favor).


1. Manny Ramirez, Dodgers. The savant saved the storied franchise, slugging .743 and lifting the Dodger dogs to the NL West title.
2. CC Sabathia, Brewers. Carried them with three straight outings on three days' rest, and oh yes, had a league-leading seven complete games.
3. Ryan Howard, Phillies. Huge September (.352, 11 HRs) probably will get him the award.
4. Brad Lidge, Phillies. Second perfect season for a closer ever. That's 41 for 41 in a park that was supposed to be tough on him.
5. Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Kept the Cardinals in the hunt with .357 average despite a banged-up elbow.
6. Ryan Braun, Brewers. Two big bombs in final week aids his cause.
7. Johan Santana, Mets. Worth every penny after a perfect second half (8-0, 2.17 ERA).
8. Carlos Delgado, Mets. Great power run put Mets in playoff position before they blew it again.
9. Chase Utley, Phillies. Huge start still counts.
10. Lance Berkman, Astros. Houston was just a little too late to the party.

Now, just for fun, let's look at Heyman's ballot with each player's WARP1 attached:

1. Manny Ramirez- 5.3
2. C.C. Sabathia- 6.6
3. Ryan Howard- 5.0
4. Brad Lidge- 6.3
5. Albert Pujols- 13.0
6. Ryan Braun- 8.2
7. Johan Santana- 8.6
8. Carlos Delgado- 7.8
9. Chase Utley- 10.4
10. Lance Berkman- 10.9

So basically, the only players on his ballot that are really worthy of finishing in the top ten are Pujols, Santana (arguably), Utley, and Berkman, all of whom don't even come close to winning in Heyman's ancient, intangible-focused, "stats-don't-mean-jack-shit" excuse for a brain. Plus, I'm pretty sure Ramirez only played in about 16 games. They were an awesome 16 games mind you, but Pujols did basically the same thing over a 270 game span. I don't have the schedules in front of me right now, but I'm fairly certain those numbers are accurate.

I wonder what his AL MVP ballot will look like.


1. Francisco Rodriguez, Angels. An alltime great season with a record 62 saves.
2. Carlos Quentin, White Sox. Broke his hand in a fit of anger, costing him the top spot here.
3. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox. The "jockey'' may actually win it with a scrappy attitude and solid stats (118 runs, 54 doubles).
4. Justin Morneau, Twins. Without him and his 129 RBIs, what does that lineup look like?
5. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox. The Red Sox campaign is for Pedroia, but this guy is just as pesky (.569 slugging, 115 RBIs).
6. Joe Nathan, Twins. Another great, underappreciated Twins star.
7. Joe Mauer, Twins. Great two-way catcher who won another batting title (.330) and is easily the best in his business.
8. Jermaine Dye, White Sox. Unnoticed star had a nice season.
9. Josh Hamilton, Rangers. As talented as anyone playing, including A-Rod, and 130 RBIs doesn't hurt his cause.
10. Evan Longoria, Rays. Even better, they already locked him up for six years.

Francisco Rodriguez... because he saved 62 goddamn games. Here's a few facts about K-Rod's "record season" that Heyman is apparently choosing to ignore:

-He had 69 save opportunities, which was 18 more than the next closer, Jose Valverde.
-If he had blown 14 saves, for a success rate of 65%, he still would've had the most saves in baseball with 45.
-He pitched a total of 68.3 Innings. That's right he actually had more save opportunities than he had innings pitched.
-Twelve of his saves were completed when the team was leading by three or more runs.
-There were eight saves in which he had to record less than three outs--five of them being those ultra-crucial "one out saves."

Rodriguez was the main benefactor of an Angels team that was unbelievable lucky. So lucky, in fact, that they were somehow able to outperform their pythagorean record by 12 wins! Also, I don't know how the guys like Heyman who love to say "where would the Angels be without K-Rod" justify the fact that the Angels won the division by twenty-one games. I don't think team record should factor into it, but what other kind of reasons can you use to explain such a ridiculous pick?

Alright. Moving on.

NL Cy Young

1. Santana. Gets edge over CC for ERA title and for being in the NL all year.
2. Sabathia. Sheer second-half dominance.
3. Lidge. Though tough to leave out Webb and especially Lincecum (18-5, with a league-leading 265 strikeouts) in this year with at least five deserving candidates.

I can deal with Lidge and Santana. Choosing Sabathia and completely leaving Lincecum out of the top three is borderline insane. Whatever. I'll let it pass. Next!

AL Cy Young

1. Cliff Lee, Indians. Once-in-a-decade type season for this reclamation project (22-3, 2.54 ERA).
2. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays. The one pitcher in the league who can complete what he starts (nine complete games).
3. Francisco Rodriguez. Now holds the alltime saves record.

Ah yes, what a perfect way to end the critiquing of this already discredited fake ballot. Mr. Heyman, you are officially the dumbest make-believe voter on the planet (the dumbest PERSON on the planet is whoever decided to cast Cherry Jones as the boring, unconvincing woman president of 24). Francisco Rodriguez, whom Heyman claims to have had a more valuable season than anyone else in the American League, is somehow not a more valuable pitcher than either Cliff Lee nor Roy Halladay. Don't get me wrong, those are good choices for 1-2, but if you're going to be a lunatic and pick K-Rod as your AL MVP, at least have the intelligence to select him as your Cy Young as well. In no instance does it make sense to pick a pitcher for the MVP and not pick him for the Cy Young. If you are the most valuable, then you are the best. If you are the best, you are the best. Cy Young = Best. Best = Cy Young. Cy Best = Young. Best Young = Cy.

I don't think I can make it any clearer.

I have a feeling that Jon Heyman will eventually cause me to hate a network that broadcasts nothing but baseball 24/7, something which God intended to be beautiful, sacred and pure in its existence. Damn you Heyman. Damn you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Admiral Piett Update

This has to stop.

John Heyman is just systematically linking every player represented by his lord and master, Scott Boras, to the Rangers. No matter how little sense it makes.

The insanity of this starts from the damn headline:
Rangers emerge as suitor for Andruw

No they haven't.

His argument hinges on the Rangers having announced that Josh Hamilton will be moving to right field, but Jon Daniels has already come out and said that is in the future, not the present. Way to do your homework, John!

Heyman is getting appalling. He's not even waiting for rumors anymore, he's creating them himself before hand. He's attaching players to teams with his own headlines because Scott Boras tells him to. And he's not even keeping up with those teams. He's fully become a mouth for Boras and a lazy writer who does not even follow baseball.

How does this man actually have a job?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rich Lederer is Not a Fan of Admiral Piett

Busy times in Grifland (which is what I call all my parks on Rollercoaster Tycoon) but I have time at the moment. So, I was going to write a huge rant about John Heyman's evident moonlighting as Scott Boras's right hand man. I still might, but it should be noted that Rich Lederer is a better writer than me.

And he's already done that.

The entire article can be summed up with this money quote:
While Boras is no fool, Heyman is a tool for the Scott Boras Corporation.

The article goes on from there in the predictable fashion, expanding on the Heyman's work as the Mouth to Boras's Sauron. It's worth reading, and it would be hilarious if it weren't so damn offensive.

We keep our fandom out of this for the most part, but I am especially aware of Heyman's transparent spin doctoring because he seems to take a special interest in the Texas Rangers. The rant just happened after I finished that sentence, but I cut and pasted it elsewhere because I'm too tired to formulate something coherent and I don't want to post garbage. It's coming, though. Ohhhhh it's coming.

But, for now, I leave you with Lederer's second most money quote of the article:
Now, if I can just convince Boras that Blyleven is worthy of the Hall of Fame...

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Heyman Cometh!

It's a few days late but I feel inspired to do a little humbling from miles away. Let's get a taste of Jon Heyman's Daily Scoop:
The stunning thing about this free-agent market isn't that there are still about 100 players without jobs, it's that at least a dozen of the unemployed are excellent players in their prime.

It sounds like you have done your homework on this. I'm intrigued. Tell me more!
A dynamic lineup could be constructed with outfielders Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn and Garret Anderson, second baseman Orlando Hudson, shortstop Orlando Cabrera, third baseman Joe Crede and catcher Jason Varitek joining Ramirez. A very solid rotation would be formed with Oliver Perez, Ben Sheets, Randy Wolf, Jon Garland (EDITOR'S NOTE: Garland agreed to a deal with Arizona after press time) and Braden Looper. And Juan Cruz, one of the best set-up men in baseball, remains available, as well. If you play Dunn at first, all that's missing are a center fielder and a closer.

Ignoring the fact that you're only 11 spots short of a 25-man roster, I say that's not a bad collection you have. Quite flawed (poor defense, injury concerns, mediocre peripherals, etc) but OK. That said, I don't know if I consider the majority of those guys in their prime. Heck, the guys in their primes don't shout "breakout". More like 2 WAR (wins above replacement) additives, useful but not worth big bucks.
Beyond all the current stars, there are several Hall-of-Famers-to-be with their hands out. Some think Jeff Kent's retirement was hastened by this awful market. Kenny Rogers looks likely to call it quits, and others might, too.

While I agree that Jeff Kent will be a HOFer and is deserving of that(although one person whose opinion I respect makes me less sure of that), how in the world does a guy with a career FIP (fielding indepedent pitching on an ERA scale) of 4.38 like the Gambler have a plaque in his future?
There doesn't seem to be a lot of action on all-time great Ken Griffey Jr., or for that matter, sure Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Moises Alou, Ivan Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra are among other former greats still available. It's like a Who's Who of 1990s baseball out there.

Yup, more guys in their "prime". How far are you willing to stretch things, Jon?
2. Bobby Abreu. He is one of three players in history with a .400 on-base percentage, 300 steals and 200 home runs (Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson are the others) and one of three with 100 RBIs in each of the last three years (Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols are the others), yet for some reason Raul Ibanez, whose numbers aren't even in Abreu's ballpark, was the more popular pick this winter

Congrats, Abreu! You've gone from underrated to overrated. No wonder you're frozen out.
Also, shouldn't the Ibanez signing be an indictment of the GM who signed him?
8. Garret Anderson. Here's another terrific hitter caught in a nightmare of a hitting market. He's been among the more productive outfielders in the AL over the last several years, and while he has seemingly been around forever, he's still only 36.

Beyond the Boxscore put it best. Terrific? If you are just talking about RBI and batting average, then yes.

Given what you've mentioned before, I'm betting you realize that there's more than that. Heck, you don't even have to get into your dreaded VORP!

Oh yeah, once again, 36 is not "in his prime".
9. Joe Crede. He's said to have a clean bill of health, though past back trouble obviously is worrisome to some. The Giants, Twins and Rangers have shown interest.

One of these teams is not like the other. One of these teams just doesn't belong.

I'm sorry, but I can't accept this work. Please redo.