Thursday, October 7, 2010


One of the commentators on TBS right now during the Yankees/Twins game, talking about Andy Pettitte:

Sometimes you can get guys out on just reputation alone.

Fact: three of Pettitte's eleven wins this year came without him ever throwing a single pitch. The opposing teams (Seattle, Cleveland, and Baltimore) saw his name on the scorecard, said "fuck that" and waited to take their chances against Burnett and Vazquez (who, coincidentally, both lost eight of their own starts based solely on reputation).

I need the Twins to win at least one game in this series if I'm gonna have any chance at winning the $10,000 "Bracket Challenge" on Hopefully the Yanks know about Mauer's rep and just give him second base every time he steps up to the plate.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Not-So-Social Morgan Network

School just started up for me again, which means boring professors galore and plenty of free time to look for pieces of sports literature that frustratingly tickle my funny bone in just the right spot. What better way to come back from a long hiatus than to take a look at 'ol Joe's "JoeChat."


Jay (South Korea: Love ur work Joe! Last night's gem against Washington locked up Halladay for Cy, do you agree?

Joe Morgan (11:09 AM: Well, the fact that Jimenez has not been able to win, I would say yes. Jimenez has pitched well, but he hasn't been able to win and Halladay has won. I think with the fact that the Phillies have won that Halladay will win it.

Number of forms of "win" used in paragraph: 5
Number of forms of "win" necessary in a Cy Young argument: 0
Number of min left in this boring International Business class: 97
Number of billion dollars Mark Zuckerberg has made from Facebook: 22

M@ (Hattiesburg, MS): As wide open as the AL CY Young race is, I haven't heard Jon Lester mentioned once, even though his numbers are better than C.C.'s. across the board, an equal to Felix. For instance, opponents hit .243 off CC, .213 against Felix and .214 against Lester. Did his flirtation with a no-hitter against the Yankees Saturday put him on the map, finally? Who would you give the CY to?

Joe Morgan (11:12 AM): I think he's always been in the race in my mind. I like what Felix Hernandez has done, but he has won only 12 games.


People say that he doesn't get support from his teamamtes,

Hernandez has 12 losses. In those 12 losses, the Mariners have scored a grand total of 14 runs. 14. As in two more runs than the number of games lost. As in 1.2 runs scored per game. For 12 starts, saying he didn't get support from his teammates was almost literally true. He was literally 1.2 runs of support away from getting literally no support from his teammates. Literally.

but guess what, every award is a team award.

No it's not. As a matter of fact, I can't think of any actual "team" awards besides the World Series Title. Other than the super obvious ones like Silver Sluggers, Gold Gloves, and MVP's, I mean.

Anyways, among A.L. pitchers with at least 160 innings pitched, Sabathia ranks 8th in run support with 7.31 runs per game. Hernandez is dead last (42nd) with 3.75 runs per game.

You can't win the MVP without your teammates.

Yes you can. The M.V.P. award, according to trustworthy Wikipedia, stands for "Most Valuable Player", not "Most Valuable Team-Player As Deemed By Joe Morgan And His Painstakingly Outdated Chass-Like Ways Of Looking At Things" (or M.V.T.P.A.D.B.J.M.A.H.P.O.C.L.W.O.L.A.T.).

Do we look at an MVP candidate and say his team didn't give him a chance to drive in runs?

Who's "we"? Because my answer to your patronizing, sarcastic, condescending, leading, naive, ignorant, arrogant-poised question is... HELL YES!

Also, the Seattle Marines scored less runs than any other team in baseball this year. The Yankees scored the most. You will ignore this information.

The fact is that Felix has won 12 games and CC has won 20.

True fact (well, technically King Felix has 13 wins now, but at the time of the JoeChat this was a true fact). You know what else is a true fact? Felix beat C.C. in ERA, FIP, xFIP, WAR, K's, IP, CG, K/9, BB/9, K/BB, HR/9, and WHIP. True fact.

It is harder to win in a championship environment in New York than in Felix's situation.

Yeah, it's easier to win when your team scores 3.75 runs for you per game and more difficult to win when your team scores 7.31 runs per game. Poor Sabathia man... King Felix has it easy, bro! He's got a castle and a queen and servants and shit!

Just look at AJ Burnett this year.

Awesome example. For heaven's sake just last year this guy threw 207 innings, struck out 195 batters, and posted a 3.1 WAR! What happened? All of the sudden he comes to New York and can't pitch anymore?! Are you kidding me??? Sack up and grow a pair Burnett, this is the Damn Yankees!!!

(**browses at Burnett's Baseball-Reference page**)

....Nevermind all that. Apparently Burnett pitched for the Yankees last year too. My bad.

Felix has done a good job this year, but he's not in the same difficulty level of pitching this year as CC.

Major League Baseball has been around since 1869. During that span the world has witnessed things such as the invention of the automobile, airplane, radio, television, air conditioning, computer, telephone, Coca-Cola, Beatles, Jersey Shore, and--above all-- Facebook. The world has developed drastically in almost every way over the past 141 years. However, what has not developed is the ability of sportswriters (specifically Joseph Morgs) to ignore the ever-so-attractive "wins" category when evaluating pitchers. I'm fairly certain that even Snooki could understand the basic concept if it was written at a 3rd grade level on a spray tan can label.

I'm tired. Class is over. Time to devote the next couple hours to coming up with an idea that will allow me to--much like Mark Zuckerberg did after inventing Facebook--drop out of school and become a billionaire.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Attention, Fire Joe Morgan fans: happy to announce that FJM will ride again, this September 22, on Deadspin. #FJM

If you come across some hilariously bad sportswriting, (I know: what are the chances?), email us through the site. #FJM
Via Twitter

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Obscure Basketball News

Apparently, something happened tonight. Too bad no one publicized it.

Monday, May 3, 2010


ESPN SportsCenter just used WAR in displaying how valuable Joe Mauer has been to the Twins over the past three seasons... no joke.

...What are we gonna write about now?

Friday, April 30, 2010

WAR All-Stars - First Month

So in the pre-season, I did a little post creating an objective All-Star team for each league using just WAR from CHONE. To keep myself busy, I figured at the end of each month, I could do an update using FanGraphs' WAR so far through the season. This team will be assembled using the roster rules for the actual All-Star game (including the recent update to 34). For NL DH, I'll just plug in the best wRAA who isn't starting.

Of course, at this point, this should be mostly hilarious thanks to a pretty small sample size. That, of course, makes it even more fun. One small difference from FanGraphs' WAR: I believe in looking at as many reasonable data points of defense as possible, so for the defensive component, I'll be taking the difference between DRS and UZR. This will probably be a little wonky because UZR, I believe, doesn't update as frequently as DRS, and one week of data makes a lot of difference at this point. Oh well, I don't particularly care. I'm also going to add DRS to pitchers.

American League
SP - Francisco Liriano, MIN (1.1)
C - Joe Mauer, MIN (1.0)
1B - Justin Morneau, MIN (1.5)
2B - Robinson Cano, NYY (1.7)
3B - Evan Longoria, TB (1.3)
SS - Alex Gonzalez, TOR (1.1)
OF - Nelson Cruz, TEX (1.6)
OF - Carl Crawford, TB (1.4)
OF - Vernon Wells, TOR (1.4)
DH - Jose Guillen, KC (0.6)

C - Matt Wieters, BAL (0.5)
1B - Paul Konerko, CHW (1.0)
1B - Daric Barton, OAK (1.o)
1B - Kendry Morales, LAA (0.9)
1B - Miguel Cabrera, DET (0.9)
2B - Ben Zobrist, TB (0.9)
3B - Alberto Callaspo, KC (0.8)
SS - Elvis Andrus, TEX (0.8)

OF - Franklin Gutierrez, SEA (1.4)
OF - Austin Jackson, DET (1.1)
OF - Magglio Ordonez, DET (1.1)
OF - Shin-Soo Choo, CLE (1.1)
DH - Vladimir Guerrero, TEX (0.5)

SP - John Danks, CHW (1.1)
SP - Ricky Romero, TOR (1.0)
SP - CC Sabathia, NYY (1.0)
SP - Carl Pavano, MIN (0.9)
SP - Clay Bucholz, BOS (0.8)
SP - Matt Garza, TB (0.9)
SP - Feliz Hernandez, SEA (0.8)
SP - Andy Pettitte, NYY (0.8)
RP - Kevin Gregg, TOR (0.8)
RP - Joel Zumaya, DET (0.7)
RP - Matt Thornton, CHW (0.6)

Nation League
SP - Roy Halladay, PHI (1.7)
C - Brian McCann, ATL (0.7)
1B - Albert Pujols, STL (1.2)
2B - Chase Utley, PHI (1.5)
3B - Pablo Sandoval, SF (1.0)
SS - Stephen Drew, ARI (1.0)
OF - Colby Rasmus, STL (1.6)
OF - Josh Willingham, WSN (1.2)
OF - Michael Bourn, HOU (1.1)
DH - Ryan Braun, MIL (1.0)

C - Bengie Molina, SF (0.5)
1b - Adrian Gonzalez, SD (1.0)
1B - Joey Votto, CIN (0.9)
2B - Kelly Johnson, ARI (1.3)
3B - David Wright, NYM (0.9)
3B - Andy LaRoche, PIT (0.9)
3B- Mark Reynolds, ARI (0.9)
3B - Chase Headley, SD (0.9)
SS - Rafael Furcal, LAD (1.0)
OF - Marlon Byrd, CHC (1.0)
OF - Ryan Ludwick, STL (0.9)
OF - Andrew McCutchen, PIT (0.8)


SP - Tim Lincecum, SF (1.5)
SP - Ubaldo Jimenez, COL (1.5)
SP - Adam Wainwright, STL (1.4)
SP - Johan Santana, NYM (1.1)
SP - Ryan Dempster, CHC (1.1)
SP - Brad Penny, STL (1.0)
SP - Josh Johnson, FLA (0.9)
SP - Randy Wells, CHC (0.9)
SP - Jonathan Sanchez, SF (0.9)
RP - Carlos Marmol, CHC (0.6)
RP - Tyler Clippard, WSN (0.6)
RP - Sean Marshall, CHC (0.6)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The MSM Isn't All Bad

It's no secret that some of what we write here is trying to fill the void in a post-FJM world. We're not as clever as they are, but it still makes the wound of their disappearance a little less painful (at least for us) if we apply our own distaste for the awful sports journalism out there to snarky rips of their pieces.

That said, it's not like the media is always awful, and sometimes I feel the desire to point out when it's not. This almost came true the other day when I thought of breaking down an article from quite possibly the worst writer of the bunch admitting to becoming an amateur sabermetrician. I'm not about to admit I like his stuff, but proof of an open mind is none-the-less appealing (as is a step towards getting the casual fan to understand the value of some of the simpler metrics out there).

In that same vein, I'd like to post this statement from Rangers TV play-by-play man Josh Lewin. I actually like Lewin as an announcer because he seems to know his stuff better than most, and he just plane makes exciting moments more exciting (I'm part of the Gus Johnson Apologists Club, by the way). Still, he has a habit -- which is probably dictated from above -- of going on tangents that often ignore the play on the field and are of little interest to serious baseball fans. He spends quite a bit of time talking about boring, fluffy stories, and repeating things like "Michael Young and Vernon Wells are best friends" every inning. That stuff isn't wrong, and, as Lewin points out below, probably called for and not directed at the audience I belong to, but it is still annoying at times. In a discussion thread at Lone Star Ball, Rangers fans decided to unleash some of their anger at being no-hit by Shaun Marcum for six innings on Lewin and his tangents and fluff trivia.

Lewin then signed on to Lone Star Ball today and posted this response, quoted below. I link to it without further commentary because I think it speaks volumes by itself. It explains, in a way, what we hard core baseball fans probably need to hear about broadcasts, and also shows how honest, human and stand-up some of these media men we criticize can be. It's also just plain cool to see a minor celebrity has the time and impetus to go out of his way to address fans.

Hey Gang...

Just thought I'd check in and express a couple thoughts to you.

As a big fan of this site, one of the simple pleasures after a Ranger game for me is to pop a beverage, turn on MLB TV and scroll through to see what true blue (or red) Ranger fans are thinking... it's something my kids do with me on occasion as well (sans the beverage), which is what prompted me to write this post...

PLEASE PLEASE understand that the broadcast has to serve a wide cross-section of viewers. For now there are way, way, way more casual baseball fans than die-hards, and we have to do our best to throw everyone a little morsel of what it is they want. Believe me, I'm aware that the die-hards don't need all the frivolity and BS to keep 'em eyeballed in for three hours... there are probably a good thousand of you who live and die with every pitch, and no doubt, y'all are the most important fans the Rangers have. But for the 7,999,000 other people in the DFW area, I have to be mindful that they aren't as keyed up or clued in as you guys... we are casting a wide net trying to get as many Texans as possible to start giving a darn and learning the game.

Anyway, that's my cross to bear and I understand those of you who hate that dynamic and want to rail against the injustice of it all... the only thing I ask-- gently and nicely -- is to keep in mind that indeed, there are kids reading your posts as well as adults. My kiddos and I both know that public figures (and kids of public figures) need to have thick skin, but still, words like "douchebag" kind of cut to the core. I'm not here to lecture or censor, but I just wanted to put that out there.

Meantime, I humbly promise I will do my level-best not to be douche-baggy to the best of my abilities... I take my assignment as Rangers TV Voice very seriously, and want to give an A-plus performance every night. But please know that there will be some times that I will, indeed, cater to the casual fans for a half an inning, and/or say something pretty freaking stupid that makes you want to throw something at your TV. I apologize in advance for those times, but I also promise that when the game's 4-4 in the 9th (as it gloriously was yesterday) you will get a spot-on call of all that's going on. Even casual fans don't need any whoop-de-doo when it's 4-4 in the 9th!

Ok, I'm out... back to enjoying the posts and the growing fever for Ranger baseball... but I just wanted y'all, the diehards, to know what's in my heart.

Best wishes and Go Rangers--


Monday, April 5, 2010

Unidentified Scout Should Be Unemployed

According to an anonymous scout:

"Andre Ethier plays right field better than Matt Kemp plays center."


2.5 UZR
-16.2 UZR

Among 63 eligible outfielders, Andre Ethier ranked 58th.

I love Why the hell is Padilla starting opening day?

Jon Heyman Thinks It's Surprising When Teams With Good Players Are Good

Here's the story. Basically Mr. Heyman lists seven teams which "could surprise this season." The top three teams to comprise this list are none other than the bottom-of-the-barrel Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, and Minnesota Twins. Or in other words, a team that includes Evan Longoria (don't take his hat!), Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist, Jeff Niemann, Matt Garza, and David Price... along with two teams that made the playoffs last year.

Heyman's bold, courageous, shot-in-the-dark predictions have inspired me to conduct a list of my own. Here's my "Things That Could Surprise This Season" list:

-Albert Pujols wins the MVP.
-The number one-rated prospect in all of baseball, Jason Heyward, wins the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
-A player that everyone suspected of using steroids gets suspended for using steroids.
-David Eckstein fails to make the 40/40 club.
-Joe Morgan sets the record for most questions answered via ESPNchat without ever actually answering a question.
-The Pirates finish under .500.
-Milton Bradley gets angry.
-Dusty Baker chokes on a toothpick.
-The American League wins the All Star game.
-Duke beats Butler.
-Torii Hunter wins a gold glove.
-Jon Heyman writes bad, pointless articles.

Keep an eye out for these. I have a feeling that at least one or two of them may catch the world off guard.

Opening Day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The All CHONE Teams

On this boring Saturday, I decided to glance through the CHONE projections and put together an objective set of pre-season All-Star teams. I'll be using the same format used for the real All-Star teams, so YOUR team will have a player! The determining factor is WAR (for NL DH I'll use the second best 1B).

American League
P - Zack Greinke, KC (6.0)
C - Joe Mauer, MIN (7.3)
1B - Mark Teixeira, NYY (5.1)
2B - Dustin Pedroia, BOS (4.7)
3B - Evan Longoria, TB (5.1)
SS - Derek Jeters, NYY (3.5)
OF - Grady Sizemore, CLE (5.2)
OF - Curtis Granderson, NYY (4.9)
OF - B.J. Upton, TB (4.4)
DH - David Ortiz, BOS (2.3)

P - CC Sabathia, NYY (5.6)
P - Felix Hernandez, SEA (5.0)
P - Justin Verlander, DET (4.9)
P - Javier Vazquez, NYY (4.7)
P - Joe Nathan, MIN (1.5)
P - Jon Lester, BOS (4.5)
P - Cliff Lee, SEA (4.4)
P - Mark Buehrle, CHW (3.8)
P - Jered Weaver, LAA (3.5)
P - Jonathan Papelbon, BOS (1.4)
P - Joakim Soria, KC (1.4)
C - Matt Wieters, BAL (3.9)
C - Kurt Suzuki, OAK (3.1)
1B - Miguel Cabrera, DET (4.5)
1B - Victor Martinez, BOS (4.5)
2B - Ian Kinsler, TEX (4.3)
2B - Robinson Cano, NYY (4.2)
3B - Alex Rodriguez, NYY (5.1)
SS - Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE (3.2)
OF - Nick Markakis, BAL (4.3)
OF - Adam Jones, BAL (3.9)
OF - Carl Crawford, TB (3.8)
DH - Adam Lind, TOR (2.1)

National League
P - Roy Halladay, PHI (5.9)
C - Brian McCann, ATL (4.7)
1B - Albert Pujols, STL (7.2)
2B - Chase Utley, PHI (6.1)
3B - David Wright, NYM (5.2)
SS - Hanley Ramirez, FLA (7.3)
OF - Carlos Beltran, NYM (4.9)
OF - Matt Holliday, STL (4.9)
OF - Ryan Braun, MIL (4.6)
DH - Prince Fielder, MIL (5.2)

P - Tim Lincecum, SF (5.8)
P - Dan Haren, ARI (4.7)
P - Matt Cain, SF (3.9)
P - Cole Hamels, PHI (3.8)
P - Ubaldo Jiminez, COL (3.8)
P - Roy Oswalt, HOU (3.4)
P - Paul Malholm, PIT (3.2)
P - Jonathan Broxton, LAD (1.4)
P - Heath Bell, SD (1.2)
P - Carlos Marmol, CHC (1.0)
C - Russel Martin, LAD (3.9)
1B - Ryan Howard, PHI (4.4)
1B - Adrian Gonzalez, SD (4.2)
1B - Joey Votto, CIN (3.6)
2B - Dan Uggla, FLA (3.1)
3B - Ryan Zimmerman, WSN (5.0)
3B - Chipper Jones, ATL (3.8)
SS - Troy Tulowitzki, COL (6.3)
SS - Jose Reyes, NYM (5.2)
SS - Yunel Escobar, ATL (4.7)
OF - Matt Kemp, LAD (4.5)
OF - Justin Upton, ARI (3.8)
OF - Jason Bay, NYM (3.7)

Interesting group. I'm surprised by how many sub-4 WAR players make it. And, of course, the real team would have four shortstops and five first basemen.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wild(ly wrong) Thing

So I'm watching the MLB Network because I have a horrible addiction to getting hyped for every sport I love about the month before the season starts, and it's less painful than ESPN.

But it still sucks.

I'm watching the 30 in 30 deal where the panel talks about the Phillies upcoming season. Mitch Williams, brought in as an objective commentator with no ties to the team, decides to launch in to how the pivotal point in their rotation is one Cole Hamels. He explains Hamels's "let down" in 2009 thusly:
We thought in 2008 after Cole Hamels went through the post season, MVP of the divisional series, MVP of the World Series. He got caught up in all of this MVP hype. He's a young kid. At that time in your career, you don't want to say no to anyone. You think it's rude to say no. Bottom line is: he didn't get the work done in the winter that he needed to get done because he didn't say no, it caught up to him, and 2009 was a big disappointment.

John Hart -- who the network insists on showing with a Rangers logo every time he talks to make me cry -- agrees.

Well, I'm sure Mitch Williams not only knows Cole Hamels but does this psychoanalysis on his own. So let's see. Hamels struck out .05 more batters per nine. Pretty much the same thing, and, in fact, a little bit improved. He also walked .1 fewer batters per nine, again improvement, but not meaningful. Oh wait, here we go: HE GAVE UP .01 MORE HOME RUNS PER NINE INNINGS! Cole Hamels, you schmuck! You were so full of yourself you gave up a whole extra home run every 900th inning pitched. That's pathetic, man, stop buying in to your MVP hype.

So, atrocious collapse in home runs allowed aside, what else do we have? He actually approved his line drive rate by 1%, again an improvement but not much of one. His ground ball rate also improved by almost 1%. His fly ball rate was exactly the same. So, other than the fact that his home run rate skyrocketed, Cole Hamels was exactly the same pitcher, if not better in 2008 by all this stuff. That seems supported by his FIP being exactly 3.72 both years.

My gosh, what could have changed. Oh yeah, his batting average on balls in play. That thing he has almost no damn control over in any way whatsoever. Oh my god. It went from a very lucky .270 in 2008 to a very unlucky .325 in 2009. You see, Cole Hamels? Are you listening to me, douche? This is what future Hall of Famer (both baseball and psychiatry) Mitch Williams was talking about, dumbass. If you believe your MVP hype KARMA WILL GET YOU!

Seriously, though, I hate you, Mitch Williams. I hate you for getting paid more than I'll ever make to do less homework than I just did in five minutes because you cost your team the World Series once. Cole Hamels, inning for inning, was almost the exact same pitcher in 2009 as he was in 2008 (that pitcher is pretty awesome, btw). You, however, are too lazy/uneducated to actually figure out what was different about him, so you make up some nonsense that you know the masses will just trust because you played The Game and no one will challenge you on save an anonymous loser with a blog that no one reads. Get off my TV.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today's little snippet comes from Woody Paige. This is in response to J.A. Adande calling Kobe Bryant the best player in the league at making difficult shots:

I find it funny J.A. said he's (Kobe Bryant) the toughest shot shooter in the league. That's like saying any landing is a good landing. All landings on planes I'm on, when it gets on the ground--same way if the shot goes in, that's not a tough shot.

No idea what Woody was trying to say about planes. Whatever. The shot thing is utterly moronic. Just because the shot goes in doesn't mean that it lacked a greater degree of difficulty. I don't care what you say, Lebron dunking on Nate Robinson is easier than Derek Fisher putting up a shot with 0.4 seconds left and Manu Ginobli on his hip.

Paige is old.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hot Piece of Chass

My, oh my, how the time flies. Sorry for the horrific slack job over the last few weeks, people. Discovering the tv show Dexter will do that to you. But much like my favorite prime time serial killer, I'm back to slice up whatever shitty sportswriting that has transpired. What better place to start than with the notorious, multiple-offender Murray Chass? This guy is pissed off that people have the nerve to have an opinion about the stuff he writes on his site published on the world wide web. Let's find out why.

There is nothing in sports that creates the controversy and the debate provoked by voting for the Hall of Fame. More than a week after the results of the latest voting were announced, I was still getting e-mail about the results. Everyone is an expert, fans and bloggers alike. They all know better than the people who actually vote in the election, and they eagerly tell us so.

Kinda comes with the territory, Chassy. Don't consistently post articles on a website (it's not a blog!) and not expect people to comment on what you're saying. If it bothers you so much perhaps you should be posting these articles in a word document, not the internet.

A reader of this site told me in an e-mail that my ballot, which I disclosed before the results were announced, “contains votes for players I do not believe deserve to be in the Hall of Fame and you failed to vote for players who clearly deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.”

Sounds like an intelligent guy--not to mention very level-headed. I would have thrown a few more adjectives in there. I mean, the guy did vote for Jack Morris over Bert Blyleven.

“Clearly deserve” in whose judgment? His, of course. Does that make him right and me wrong? Of course not. Am I right? Yes. Why? Because my opinion counts and his doesn’t. My ballot was one of the 539 counted in the election. He did not have a vote. Therefore, his opinion is worthless as far as the election is concerned.

That's right, everyone. Murray Chass's opinion is correct because he has a vote... So, theoretically, if I had a vote and I voted for Jose Vizcaino (he signed my hat when I was little, ought to be worth a decent amount if he's in the Hall of Fame, right?!), none of the 6 billion other people in the world who do not have a vote could be allowed--nor hold the right-- to criticize, question, or belittle my status as a BBWAA member.

If President Barack Obama decides tomorrow that he wants to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to all Americans, he is right in doing so because he has been placed in that position and all decisions he makes are absent of error.

Makes sense.

That’s the real problem self-proclaimed experts have. They want to be the ones voting, but they don’t have that privilege. It’s their own fault. They chose the wrong profession. Accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers and salesmen don’t get to vote for the Hall of Fame. Baseball writers do.

I don't think it's so much that they/we want to be the ones voting, it's just that they/we would like it if those incredibly intelligent, righteous, god-like experts already put in the prestigious position of power took more than three hours before the deadline to think about their decision. Is that really too much to ask? They/we don't think so.

When I started out in life, I wanted to be a baseball writer, not so that I could vote for the Hall of Fame. I didn’t know anything about voting then, but it is something that came with the territory.

Awesome. I hope you know that by writing this article you have made it impossible for yourself to ever bitch about any other profession ever again. All of us "self-proclaimed experts" are gonna be on the lookout for when you slip up. Consider yourself warned, sir.

Actually, I don’t believe baseball writers should be voting for the Hall of Fame, though I don’t know of a more qualified group, which is why the Hall maintains its association with the Baseball Writers Association.

You didn't trick anybody here, Chassy. You basically just said that you think baseball writers absolutely should be voting for the Hall of Fame because they are superior beings, and hence the most qualified.

"I don't believe that Albert Pujols should have won the NL MVP last year, though I don't know a more qualified player, which is undoubtedly why he won."

Most of the Hall arguments today seem to be statistics-centered. I get the idea that the stats zealots would draw up charts based on their new-fangled numbers and decide on the basis of the numbers who should be in the Hall of Fame. No thinking necessary.

Dare to dream, right? I have a feeling that you'll do your best to see that such dreams never come to fruition though. I'm curious, what are people supposed to be looking at in terms of qualification for induction? Dominance? Intimidation? How greatly they "stood out among the rest"? None of these things can be accurately determined without the use of statistics, whether you're using Chassy-endorsed stats such as Wins, Losses, and ERA, or more valuable and current statistics such as FIP, WAR, and VORP.

The point is if nobody ever looked at stats the Hall of Fame would be full of guys like Juan Pierre and Bo Jackson... and Derek Jeter would be considered the best defensive shorstop of all time.

Blyleven’s statistics have endeared him to the stats zealots. One of their big numbers is his strikeouts. He had a lot of them, 3,701. Tommy John, who otherwise had similar career statistics to Blyleven’s, struck out 2,245.

Not really sure why Tommy John is all of the sudden thrown into the mix. But okay, I'll play along. Bert Blyleven has the 13th highest Career WAR among pitchers all time (Baseball Projection). He's ahead of pitchers such as Christy Mathewson, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, and Steve Carlton. Yes, he had 3,701 career strikeouts (5th all time). He also finished in the top seven in K/9 fourteen times, had 60 career shutouts (9th all time), and put up an awesome 3.19 career FIP. That FIP is better than Greg Maddux, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, Dennis Eckersley, Jim Palmer, and a few thousand other current and former MLB pitchers.

Tommy John is 43rd all time in WAR (Jack Morris was 139th, just fyi) and had a 3.38 career FIP (Morris had a 3.94 career FIP... maybe your argument should have been for him instead of Morris. Granted, Blyleven is still significantly better, but it'd had been less embarrassing for an esteemed, heavenly sportswriter such as yourself to make an argument for John rather than for a player who--had he not pitched one great world series game in 1991--you would not be endorsing so damn persistently).

I think strikeouts get far too much attention and emphasis.

Other than inducing a double-play groundball, there's almost nothing more beneficial for a pitcher and his team. Striking a hitter out reduces the chances of the other team scoring during that at bat by quite a large margin. Let's face it, strikeouts are sexy.

Strikeouts are sexy.

You're sexy.

John, however, was a sinkerball pitcher and got more outs on batted balls and fared just as well as Blyleven. John had a career 288-231 record with a 3.34 earned run average. Blyleven’s record was 287-250 and his e.r.a. 3.31. John retired 57 percent of the batters he faced, Blyleven, with all his strikeouts, 59 percent. Yet in the eyes of the stats zealots, the voters were justified for not electing John but not for rejecting Blyleven.

Do they teach math at the University of Pittsburgh? Hold on, let me check... Interesting. Turns out they do. Yet somehow Mr. Murray here managed to calculate something as simple as Opponents On-Base Percentage COMPLETELY WRONG. If John and Blyleven retired 57 and 59 percent of the batters they faced, then their respective OPP OBP totals would be approximately .430 and .410. That is bad. Perhaps Chass should have spent less time sipping a cola beverage by the jukebox in the diner and more time in the classroom!


The arguments will go on incessantly, and the conclusions will be I’m right, you’re wrong. Or is it you’re right, I’m wrong?

The latter...... jackass.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ranking the Basements

I found this neat piece via Baseball Think Factory's Newsstand describing the basements of well-known* saberfriendly bloggers. Check it out with a sample about the formerly flanneled one:
Every piece of furniture in Rob Neyer's well apportioned man cave is woven entirely out of flannel, except the 12-foot tall ice sculpture entitled "Lord James in Repose", which is carved from the frozen tears of pure, unrequited love.

*The only one I had not heard of, Hjort, does have a pretty nice blog. His newest post about the Braves's outfield situation is a great read: Outfield Platoon Matrix

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Return to Arms

That's right. I am back for more and what a better way to restart than to go with one of our old reliables, Bill Plaschke. It's an article outlining how important it is that the Saints win. Since this is coming after the Saints's Super Bowl victory (Congrats to them), I cannot do any playful teasing of him not getting his wish. Even so, it's a Plaschke piece so there's certainly something to say about it. From the LA Times website:
One helmet is an ancient symbol of rebirth, an eternal emblem of hope.

The other helmet is footwear for a horse.

America needs the New Orleans Saints to win the Super Bowl.

One team's history can be found in a museum featuring paper bags once worn by embarrassed fans and tear-stained tissues used by happily weeping fans.

The other team's history can be found in a Mayflower moving truck.

America needs the New Orleans Saints to win the Super Bowl.

Here are three of Plaschke's staples: phrase repetition, multiple contrasts and failure to embrace multiple sentence paragraphs. Now, I am not opposed to people who want to have a single sentence or two stand out for emphasis but for nearly every sentence? For the person who suggested that this is a good idea, shame on you. Then again, the joke might well be on me for picking at this.

Nah, it's on Plaschke. ;)
There is no cheering in the press box, but that rule doesn't apply to the sports section, and so allow me a few moments today to lead America in a chant that nobody really understands for a team that has absolutely no chance in a place that has taken them more than four decades to find.

I may not be the award-winning writer that you are, but I am pretty sure the "no cheering" maxim would apply to the sports section as well. Maybe that's why there are blogs like this because you think it's OK to cheer in the box! If you want to do that on a blog, go right ahead.
Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints?

Honestly, I would pay to see him say that. If you are reading this, Mr. Plaschke, I dare you to say this three times on "Around the Horn".
But I'm rooting like crazy for the other guys because America has rarely needed a sports champion the way it needs the Saints.

That they won is a very nice story and I am happy for those fans who have been behind them for many years. Seeing a city win it's first major pro title and particularly one like New Orleans is quite neat. Having said that, the hyperbole is so strong from him.
As our country lurches and heaves through the ankle-deep sand of its economic recovery, it has not helped the national psyche that every time we turn to our national pastimes for assurances that the little guy can still survive, we run smack into Goliath.


And now Peyton Manning is getting ready to win another Super Bowl?

No thanks. Not now. Please. America needs to believe in the impossible again. America needs another dose of revival.


That cannot be allowed to happen, because perhaps no underdog in Super Bowl history has entered the game as so memorably.

Slow down, man. We are happy for them. Let's not suddenly think this would have been a tragedy for the nation had the Colts won.
The Colts owner, Jim Irsay, is a former bodybuilder still living down the reputation of his late father, Bob, who moved the team to Indianapolis from Baltimore in the middle of the night in 1984.

The Saints owner, Tom Benson, 82, is a round and rollicking man who still celebrates some wins by pulling out an umbrella and prancing along the sidelines as if leading a Mardi Gras parade.

You do realize that if not for this guy among others, that umbrella likely would be strutting elsewhere. Perhaps he would have borrowed a spare Mayflower truck?
Two weeks of hyperbole whittled into two words of meaning.

Go Saints.

Oh now you have realized your ways? Wonderful. You got your wish.

Be happy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

ESPNew York

Such a website actually exists, but there is actually an meant to be for all sports fans.

On this, you'll find an excellent ranking of every farm system in baseball by resident basement dweller, Keith Law.

On the MLB page (again, this is not ESPN New York), you'll find that article linked to with this summary:
Law: Mets' Farm System Better than Yankees

Inside the article, you'll find roughly equal time given to every team in baseball, with short, informative blurbs on each organization and why they are or are not good. The title of the article inside mentions the still-loadedness of the Rangers' farm system, which is relevant since the Rangers are #1 on his list. You will find a short mention, for sake of example, of the Athletics in the introduction to the rankings. These are the only teams given slightly more notice. There is no mention of how the Mets compare to the Yankees, as this has very little, if anything, to do with Law's article.

So, yeah, I would guess this is a good example of how to summarize an article. ESPN really captured the essence of the piece and truly put to rest cries of a New York bias.