The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

This is exactly what I’m talking about

Remember when I said that I usually like Jeff Passan? This is why. He’s written a long, detailed column about Zach Greinke, why he should win the Cy Young, and why he will finish fourth to CC Sabathia, Felix Hernandez, and Justin Verlander. The reason why he’ll finish fourth is, of course, because the BBWAA’s brain trust of voters is a bunch of Sesame Street-level thinkers whose decision will be brought to you by the letter W.

But Passan’s take on why Greinke deserves the Cy Young is, well, refreshing. Refreshing because it’s right and he uses right words to describe it. He doesn’t talk about Greinke’s "stuff" or "confidence" or "intangibles," instead preferring to mention OBP-against, adjusted ERA (known in these parts as "ERA+," but they’re the same stat), and run support. He doesn’t completely nerd out and talk about PRAR or the absolutely hilariously complicated SNLVAR (support-neutral lineup-adjusted value added above replacement — no, I did not make that up), but, really, that’s okay with me. He probably should have mentioned that Greinke’s WHIP is a league-leading 1.06, but, hell. Beggars can’t be nerrrrrrds, as the saying doesn’t quite go.

Hell, Passan even goes so far as to mention Roger Clemens’ insane 2005, where he roided up a 1.87 ERA, 226 ERA+, and 1.008 WHIP, and finished third in Cy Young voting because the Astros scored 3.4 runs per game for him and he didn’t get many wins (though, to be fair, Chris Carpenter and Dontrelle Willis — who finished first and second, respectively — really were honestly almost as good as roidin’ rocket Roger. And he makes a fat joke about Bartolo Colon!

The bright spot is that all four of Yahoo’s experts pick Greinke first for Cy Young. So maybe he does have a chance. And those rankings show you why I like Passan and Brown and not the other guys: the other guys pick two dudes who’ve been only okay at pitching but got shitloads of run support. Because they, like most of the BBWAA, are made entirely out of a magical rock from space that scientists call "moronium."

September 17th, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

It’s okay to do this, right?

The Los Angeles Angels of Alberquerque suffered a pretty hard beat by the Red Sox last night, going down 9-8 in the last of the ninth. Brian Fuentes was dynamite for two batters, and then turned back into a pumpkin when the clock struck Papi. Walk, single, single, walk, single, and that was the ol’ ballgame. And then he said this about the umpires:

"Especially here, and some other places, they seem timid to make calls. I’ve heard it from other guys that come in here and say that. That’s either because it’s a mistake, or they’re scared."

Ignore the nonsensical "especially here and some other places." The point is: hey, I guess it’s okay when you suck to accuse the umpires of cheating for the other team!

Now, I’m sympathetic to a point. Ball four on that second walk — which scored the tying run — was a ridiculously bad call. The umpires unquestionably blew that one. But, seriously, Brian, it’s way the fuck not okay to accuse them of some grand conspiracy to make you lose. For fuck’s sake, man. It’s one call. You ever throw one pitch that doesn’t hit the strike zone? Oh, yeah; that’s how you got in that situation to begin with, isn’t it. Were you deliberately trying to let the Red Sox win when you did that? No? Were you just "intimidated" by Fenway and so you didn’t try real hard? Not that either? You just fucked up? Okay, then. You and the umpires have something in common. Now re-fucking-lax before your crazy mouth gets you in trouble.

September 17th, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | no comments