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.