Thursday, September 08, 2011

Oh the hypocrisy of the baseball media

You know what I'm really tired of hearing about already is Justin Verlander...this is the hypocrisy of the media and baseball writers. Last year CC essentially didn't win the CY Young award because his 21 wins were discounted. The baseball media and sabrmetric gurus discount a pitchers win count because wins for pitcher are more indicative of the team performance rather than the pitching performance. But now all of sudden it's Verlander has 22 wins he's hands down the CY Young winner. They then remember that we don't count wins anymore so come up with all of his other stats are good too. And they are, I'm not arguing that point, but not that much better.

Here's Verlander's stats so far:

Wins: 22, ERA 2.44, K's: 232, IP: 229, WHIP: .908.

For comparison sake here's CC's:
Wins: 19, ERA: 2.97, K's: 211, IP: 218.1, WHIP: 1.173

Yes Verlander has better #'s, but it's pretty close and not as much of a slam dunk as they are making it out to be. He has one, maybe two bad outings, things get a lot closer. That's it. The difference between CC and Verlander is essentially one bad start. What I think needs to be taken into consideration is the division they play in. The AL Central is really, really bad. It certainly isn't the AL East where 3 teams will be over 90 wins. Even Denny McClain, a former Tiger, the last guy to win 30, former Cy Young and MVP has stated the AL Central is AAA level baseball at best. No wonder Verlander has had one less bad start. What about the park factor? Coamerica Park is very pitcher friendly, while Yankee Stadium is certainly not. CC only had to face the Red Sox lineup 4 times (possibly one more later this year). The Red Sox lineup who after acquiring Gonzalez and Crawford were proclaimed the best team in the AL East and were the odds on favorite to not only make the World Series but win it all. The Red Sox lineup who has arguably (not by my count) 3 or 4 MVP candidates in Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Pedroia, and even Ortiz. If the AL Central is that bad doesn't Verlander's stats have to be discounted somewhat and CC's viewed as slightly better??? And remember 4 years ago when CC lead the Brewers to the playoffs and he was the best thing going...same guy and all of a sudden his great performances are attributed more to the Yankees All-Star lineup, than his great pitching. It is the anti-Yankee bias at it's finest.

On to the upcoming the beginning of the season I said the Red Sox would be the biggest disappointment of the year by missing the playoffs. They have a 7 game lead over Tampa right now. Their ace Beckett is due to miss about 2 weeks recovering from a sprained ankle...and the schedule gods are smiling as the Rays are about to play the next 7 of 10 against the Sox. At the end of this 10 days the Rays could actually be in the Wildcard lead and the Sox left chasing. Rays also then close the season with 6 of 9 against the Yankees. So if the Yankees don't distance themselves they could feel some heat as well.

Yankees have a makeup game in Baltimore than a late West Coast swing that includes LA and Seattle. Of course the rotation lines up so the Yankees get Weaver, Haren, and Santana...their three aces. And the Angels are playing hot right now about to take over the Rangers for the AL West lead. Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbow are carrying the Angels offense right now. Yankees have their work cut out for them down the stretch. Whoever wins the AL East, and presumably the wild card, will have earned it. Tough schedules down the stretch. The only good thing about the schedule is that the possibility of rain outs are minimal in LA, Seattle, Toronto, and Tampa (majority of series left for Yankees). Yankees have had 8 games postponed this year and 20 rain delays, both most in baseball.


old professor said...

Regarding Verlander - While I am not a tiger fan and I disagreed with King Felix getting the cy young last year, I believe he is the top candidate for the award. He has pitched one no hitter came close with a second. Look at his match up against the East and he has done very well. I believe he has beaten the Yankees twice this year and has one or two W's against Boston. Yesterday a small blip on the screen against the Indians.

As for the Rays, while I won't discount them, they have to win out the rest of the way to make the playoffs. That is asking a lot from a team that has several issues. Red Sox could be in trouble: Dice-K gone, Beckett hurt, Wakefield still searching for number 200 after six straight attempts, Andrew Miller gets bombed everytime out and Lackey is being Lackey. Only John Lester has been consistently good for the team and one has to wonder exactly how much more he has in the tank.

Crash said...

Verlander has not beaten the Yankees this year. In 2 starts he has 2 no decisions. He has 12 IP, given up 6ER and has a WHIP of 1.58. He issued 8 walks to Yankee hitters in those 12 innings. As contrast he has issued 5 walks to the AL Central 2nd place White Sox in over 36IP. My point, stiffer competition, better line ups in the AL East. Yes he's 1-0 vs the Red Sox this year. But any one can have 1 good game against the Red Sox. Face them 5 or 6 times in a season and you are going to get hit once in a while (just ask CC). This doesn't happen in the AL Central. CC is 4-1 vs AL Central teams and he hasn't even pitched against the Royals. His one loss was to the Tigers...I think I recall Victor Martinez took him deep a couple times. So CC is 4-1 against the Central and hasn't pitched agaisnt there worst team, and he's 7-6 vs. the AL East this year. Big difference.

old professor said...

Yankees lose another one to the birds. Defense has been shoddy at best over the last two games - I believe they have six errors with Gardner getting at least two.

Cervelli shows his toughness at homeplate - blocking the plate twice and taking collisions. The guy is a concussion waiting to happen.

To football - Giants lose Tuck for the opener. Colts lose Manning indefinately. Not good for either team.

old professor said...

Oh and just to continue an on-going dialogue - Ian Kennedy just won his 19th game and is in line to be considered for the Cy Young in the National League.

True he pitches in the NL West, but he has been a big reason for the Diamondbacks being in first. Maybe just maybe he has matured and the Yankees need to admit they made a mistake.

Crash said...

Baseball media at it again...Listening this morning to MLB on XM with Rob Dibble and Jim Menalo, they are discounting Ian Kennedy's pitching stats because he plays in the weak NL West and he wouldn't have those same numbers if was still pitching for the Yankees...but Verlander is the best pitcher in the game. So frustrating...

The Yankees lose 2 extra inning games to the Orioles, a team that is currently 30 games behind the Yankees. Let that sink in for a minute.

The Yankees could be 4.5 up, 5 on the loss side, had Girardi managed to win those games. Yes after a 2am game you may need to rest some of your older players but not guys like Cano or Granderson. Then he leaves Proctor in for 2 innings yesterday. No way he's making the post season roster, the only reason he's there is to mop up...not to be put in tight spots, then over extend him. The Yankees play 13 of their last 20 games are against playoff contending teams. You need to take every game against a club with a .400 winning percentage and 30 games back.

old professor said...

The next two weeks will determine whehter the Yankees are contenders or pretenders.

Crash said...

The Yankees are in real trouble. The salvage a game against the Angels, the Red Sox get swept in Tampa. So while they did actually increase their lead in the AL East, their lineup is in real trouble.

While Granderson did hit a big HR yesterday he still is in a big time slump, just 1-16 and in the process set the Yankee record for most stikeouts in a single season (158).

Buster Olney reported that multiple scouts are saying A-Rod and Swisher are pretty much done for the stretch drive, Russell Martin is too banged up and Gardner looks exhausted. Those are big pieces to their everyday lineup that they need to contribute and win.

I guess they will have to rely on Montero and Romine for some offense. Yanks got good pitching from CC and Colon, and Garcia was a little rough but not terrible. Tonight tough match up Hughes against Felix Hernandez. Yankees really need to take 2 of 3 from the Mariners in this series.

I don't think they are in immediate danger of losing out on a playoff spot. They still have 4 games (on the loss side) over the Red Sox, 5 on the Tigers, 7 over the Rays and Rangers, and 9 over the Angles. So while the sky is falling, in all reality they still have the best record in the AL by a lot.

old professor said...

The Yankees are banged up. Swisher has imflamation in his elbow - this will eliminate him from outfield work, but not from being a DH. Martin is out for a short-time. And as for A-Rod he hasn't been a factor since late June anyways.

It was nice to see the two young kids produce in the catching slot though it appears that Montero will have trouble with big league breaking pitches. Regarding the catching core - you are looking at next year's catchers.

As for Gardner and Granderson - they have hit a wall and need rest. It is time to give them some time off and use Golson and Dickerson in the outfield. (Andrew Jones is a non-entity against right handed pitching.). Interesting that to make room for Pena the Yankees DFA Pendelton who gets picked up by Houston and Garrison got DFA with the call up of Romine.

Giants apparently looked terrible against the Redskins - oculd be a long season.

Crash said...

I was surprised the other day, when Girardi used Nunez in left field over Dickerson. To me Dickerson has proven himself both with his glove, speed, and bat (he is hitting .310 in limited AB's). While he may not have power and not be as fast as Nunez, he still a better option in the OF. I hope he sees more playing time with Swisher out. I have yet to see Betances make an appearance. With the bullpen being overworked he should have his opportunity real soon.

old professor said...

The last thing I read regarding Betances and Brackman were they would not see any time on the mound. They were brought up to experience the show not participate. However, I guess anything is possible.

I agree with the outfield issue. Nunez is not an outfielder and why they put him there is a big question. he is also slumping and appears to be tired as he has now played moe innings than at anytime in his career.

old professor said...

Yankees extend their lead and the Rays creep closer to the Red Sox. The "Nation" cannot be feeling all that comfortable right now. The Sox pitching rotation is in shambles. Rays have hit an uncharacteristic (for this year) hot streak. Yankees may want to begin thinking about winning a lot this week. They have seven games left with the Rays so things could change rather dramatically. Only positive aspect is the Yankees magic number is now 10 for the playoffs and I believe 12 for the division.

Team hit King Felix well and Hughes pitched another strong game.

Crash said...

Yeah good game from Hughes. The only disappointing thing was giving the Mariners the run back in the 3rd inning (I think). Yankees take a 1-0 lead, Hughes sailed through the first 2 innings on just 18 pitches going 6 up and 6 down. So what does he do, gives up the lead right after the Yankees score. That has been the story with Hughes and Burnett this year. It's so frustrating.

Proctor goes 2 IP and gives up 2 runs. I keep telling myself he's just an arm to use so the good guys can rest.

The other good thing is the offense started to hit a little. Everybody in the lineup last night had a hit except Chavez. Romine gets his first hit, Dickerson his first HR (just after I wrote he has no power). Dickerson may be hurt. He said he jammed his thumb pretty bad on that stolen base.

The crowd in Seattle was pretty disappointing. They have their ace on the mound facing off against the Yankees and they didn't even sellout the field level seats, let alone the upper decks.

I guess this also says a lot about how the Yankees feel about Montero's catching ability. I have to agree with them though...I saw a couple breaking balls in the dirt from Hughes that Romine stopped but Montero would have had problems with them. It seems like a waste to have him as a DH going forward after this season. season.

Overall...good win for the team agaisnt a true #1 ace. AJ needs to follow up and have a solid outing tonight.

I think the Red Sox are in a tail spin right now. They have to face Ricky Romero tonight, which should be a tough matchup for the lefty hitting Ellsbury, Ortiz, and Gonzalez. I really hope the Rays take over the Sox for the Wild Card. But as long as the Yankees can match their winning. Yankees have a 7 game lead over the Rays right now...if they maintain that, then the Rays need to sweep the final 7 games.

Saw an interesting team stat that makes me a little leery about the post-season...Yankees have a losing record in 1-run games. They are 19-21 in 1 run games this year. My first thought was, that seems like a lot of 1 run games, but to be losing them is even more odd for a good club. Usually the winning ball clubs win a lot of those 1 run games. Playoffs generally mean lower scoring games so this could be a hint of a problem.

old professor said...

Crash, don't put too much stock in the one run issue. Remember the Yankees lost two games last week to the Orioles in extra innings by one run. In addition they lost a game 2-1 against the Angels. And I believe all of the angels games wwere one run issues except for the 6-0 blowout. Take the last week out of the equation and the Yankees had a winning record in one run games.

If the Rays win the wildcard, then they could be considered the favorites to win the championship based only on their 1 through 5 starters. Price is outstanding and Shields has been unconscienous.

Now they bring up the stud Moore who is throwing 99 mph - by the way even though he was just brought up, he can be on the post season roster because he never switched teams and was on the 40 man plus he could replace Farnsworth who is hurt.

You are getting a glimpse of what could happen next year - Montero starting a game because of his offense and Romine coming in later because of his defense. Though neither will catch Burnett. Let's remember - Montero is only 20 and Romine is 22 they both have a long way to go to improve. If they both hit 26 and there is no improvement - then the fat lady sings.

Crash said...

I guess we'll find out tonight. Because Burnett is pitching, and Martin is still hurting. I would bet Romine gets the start.

old professor said...

Martin caught and did a great job keeping AJ in the game by stopping a slew of wild pitches.

Yankees win and Mo gets number 600. Team maintains 3.5 game lead - magic number reduced and the Rays fall father behind.

The only negative last night were boneheaded base running mistakes by Montero, who while on second got thrown out at second with a grounder to short and Cano, getting doubled off of first when the centerfielder caught Montero's long fly ball - exactly why would anyone charge from first to third on a long fly ball??

Crash said...

Last night was the first game I didn't get to watch or listen to at least part of it.

Mo's 600 is kind of anti-climatic because it's always been such a foregone conclusion. Just like 601 and 602. It's just a matter of a couple games before he gets it. He could get 601 tonight or in the next series but it ill happen and happen pretty quickly.

Mariano hasn't been good, he's been great, hall of fame great during his career. He has 600 saves, that's 15 years averaging 40 saves a season. His career WHIP is 1.000, but generally he's below that. Blown saves is kind of tough because it looks like they didn't track that stat until 2002 (at least that's when ESPN started counting it) he has 37, so that's an average of 3.7 blown saves a season. So that's a career average of converting 90% of save opportunities. Career ERA of 2.22.

And he's essentially pitched another season in the post-season and his numbers are even better. 8-1 W/L record, .71 ERA, .766 WHIP, and 42 saves.

Not trying to take away anything from Trevor Hoffman but they're not even in the same category. But I also agree with Goose Gossage that Mo may not be the all time greatest, simply for the # of innings pitched. For instance Gossage in 1978 led the league in saves with 27. He also had a 10-11 record with an ERA of 2.00 but logged 130+ IP!!! Mo is generally around 78IP. just a different era of baseball.

old professor said...

I cannot give Gossage credability when he talks. He is sour because it took him so long to get into the hall. He always wants to tout he pitched more than one inning. Great, but with his number of loses it shows he blew a large number of saves. The other piece is some of Gossages innings pitched are tied to the fact he was a starter at the beginning of his career and really was not successful for a number of years until he was moved to the pen. He continually wants to downplay Hoffman and Rivera based on innings alone. Bottom line - no matter whether it was one innings or two or three - Mo is and will be the greatest closer of all time. PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crash said...

Yeah Gossage began as a starter then in '75 moved to closer...didn't start a single game, went back to starter in '76, then moved permanently to the bullpen in '77. His innings fluctuated but were generally declining. He did have a couple more seasons where he was right at 100 innings, maybe 80 innings, but then to "regular" numbers. I think he has exaggerated the fact he pitched so many innings.

old professor said...

Last nights game was a sad thing to watch. No offense and then third base coach tries to score Andruw Jones from first base on a double to left field - come on the guy is ready for an assisted living center and you want him to score from first!!!

Nova pitches a gem and gets nothing from it. Sad.

Crash said...

I made the mistake of staying up for that entire game last night. I have no idea why Rob Thomson sent Jones on that play. He was out by 10 feet easily.

The fact the offense fell asleep last night and made Jason Vergas look like a CY Young contender after they owned him in 2 previous starts this year (ERA of 12.86 in 7 IP)...let's also not forget that Vergas was 2-10 with an ERA near 7 in the second half. Ridiculous. Between the last 2 games of the Baltimore series and last night, had the Yankees gone on a win streak instead of slumping they would be 8 games up right now on the Red Sox.

They do however get a much needed day off to recharge the batteries a bit. Last day off until the end of the season. I would expect everyone is in the trainers room today getting treatment, therapy, etc. to work out the kinks and get refreshed.

old professor said...

Things get better - Boston gets tounced, Yankees magic number continues to decline (I believe it is 9 for the playoffs and 10 for the division.

CC goes tonight hopefully the day off recharged some batteries.

Crash said...

Magic Number for playoffs is 7, division is 10...14 to play. If the Rays' sweep the rest of the series and Yankees sweep their series it would be 1. Pitching match ups favor the Yankees big time in this upcoming series...though I thought that heading into Wednesday night's game with Nova vs. Vargas and that didn't turn out too well for the Yankees. Cashman concedes A-Rod's thumb won't be right for the rest of the year. If that's the case, I would rest him for tonight and Saturday, play him Sunday and Monday to get his timing coming back for the big series against the Rays and Sox down the stretch. If things go really well he won't be needed there either and could just play the last couple games of the year to get ready for October.

Cervelli has officially been put on the DL with the concussion. That opens the door for Montero to be added to the post-season roster. Still no Betances sighting yet. Kind of disappointing. Thought if he get into a big game and did well they could fit him into the October roster as well.

old professor said...

Sounds like A-Rod is going to have to have off-season surgery. If so do it now. A-Rod as a singles hitter is not something the team needs.

Don't count on Betances making the post season roster. I would not be surprised to see both Montero and Romine make the post season rosters (though Romine would have to be an under extenuation circumstances.

Crash said...

I can't see the Yankees bringing Romine, unless Posada is left off. I mean that gives you 4 catchers on the roster (yes counting Posada as a catcher). I actually just assumed Posada would make the roster, when he may actually be left off the roster. He hasn't been used at all down the stretch accept as a PH. Could you imagine how deflated he would be if he was left off the post-season roster. In all reality the roster is going to be:
Martin, A-Rod, Jeter, Cano, Tex, Gardner, Granderson, and Swish. Montero, Nunez, Chevez, and Jones. That leaves 1 position player open. Could be Romine, Posada, Dickerson??? Assuming 12 pitchers you got CC, Nova, Logan Soriano, Robertson, and Mo. Guessing both Garcia and Colon make it. I also would assume Corey Wade, Ayala, and Noesi. That leaves 1 pitching spot open for Hughes, Burnett, or someone else. Noesi may be a stretch, if you take him off that means both Hughes and Burnett make it. I would expect Hughes to be used out of the pen. AJ is essentially a spectator or mop up duty.

old professor said...

Crash, Montero will be the dh for the playoffs. Romine will be the back-up catcher. Posada will give them a ph option. I don't see Burnett making the post season roster unless he suddenly becomes super effective. He pitches today with Hughes being moved to Wednesday do to back spasms. Good excuse to break away from the six man rotation which has had a negative effect on CC. I would actually consider going with CC Burnett and Hughes on three days rest to wrap this thing up. Magic number for the Yankees is now four for the play offs and seven for the division.

Yesterday's game sucked.

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