Wednesday, November 22, 2006
George King Actually Wrote a Decent Article?
It could be because it's free of opinion and just giving regurgitated quotes and facts, but even so, amazing.
King reveals the admitted thought processes of many of the MVP voters, which of course includes a section on Joe Cowley. (Remember him? The guy we're all mail bombing right now? The guy you're signing up for mailing lists? Yes, that Joe Cowley.)
My favorite part has to be this:
This isn't the first time Cowley has been in the eye of an MVP controversy.
In 2003, when he worked for the Daily Southtown, Cowley left Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells off his ballot. Chicago chapter chairman Paul Sullivan suspended Cowley from voting the following year because he didn't think Cowley took the voting seriously and "embarrassed" the Chicago chapter.
In other douchebag news, I heard Cowley on the Dan Patrick show today, and it was incredibly obvious that not only is he a homer, but he couldn't defend his positions well. He left Joe Mauer (OPS+ 128) off his ballot, but included A.J. Pierzynski (OPS+ 95) and defended this by having to "look past stats" and the fact that Pierzynski had to catch "a bunch of headcases." This is not to mention that Mauer won a Gold Glove (which doesn't mean he was the best, but it is certainly indicitive that he's at least not a butcher) and he caught the Cy Young winner and the probable Rookie of the Year (before he got hurt, of course).
When asked about Alex Rodriguez on his ballot, he says he put him on though because of "stats." Way to contradict yourself, assfrog.
Listen here, and tell me he doesn't completely show his anti-New York bias with comments like "the slurping sound coming from New York."
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:41 PM
Mike Lupica is a Jackass: Chapter Six
You know, I really don't have the energy anymore to point out his douchebaggery. Anyway, read the idiot here. He says Jeter wasn't robbed of the MVP even though he "would have voted for him" (*cough* *bullshit* *cough*) because Jeter "didn't have the numbers." Then he proceeds to write typical Lupica garbage, never once mentioning a single number, and then wrapping up again by reiterating how Jeter "did not have the numbers."
Oh, don't worry Lupica fans, he still manages to get a couple of shots in about how Ortiz deserved the award last year far more than Jeter does now. Without that it wouldn't be a Lupica article.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:12 PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
MVP More? No. So Don't Get Mad, Get Even.
By now you've probably heard that Justin Morneau won the AL MVP. This has to be one of the worst selections in the history of the award. Yes, Derek Jeter deserved it, but there were plenty of other candidates that deserved consideration far before Morneau, and that starts with his own teammates, Joe Mauer and Johan Santana. I won't cry collusion, but you're telling me there's nothing fishy here? There was no split of a vote between Mauer and Morneau? Mauer finishes sixth, and only Jeter and Morneau get first place consideration (besides the one vote for Santana)? There's definitely something rotten in the state of Denmark.
I'm really too disgusted by the BBWAA over their selections for MVP awards to really delve into the numbers here, and I'm sure those will proliferate over the net all day. The only stats I feel like posting are these: Jeter led the AL in VORP and Win Shares. Morneau ranked 12th in VORP and 5th in Win Shares. It's a dark day for SABRheads. Here are some comments by some other sources whom I respect, however.
Justin Morneau won the 2006 MVPRotoworld (who usually are not exactly Jeter fans):
Indeed he did. Which is clearly the wrong choice. The up-side is that there's clearly still plenty of room in my business for young men who enjoy facts. Justin Morneau was not one of the five best players in the American League.
"Morneau wins despite leading the league in no significant categories. He finished eighth in OPS and 10th once OPS is adjusted for ballpark, and since he did that as an average defensive first baseman with little value on the basepaths, he qualifies as perhaps the weakest MVP in decades."BBTF:
Justin Morneau was named AL MVP on Tuesday after receiving 15 of the 28 first-place votes.
Ridiculous. Derek Jeter came in second with 12 first-place votes and 306 points. Even though Morneau was, in reality, the third most valuable player on his team, he ranked in the top four on all 28 ballots cast by the writers, giving him 320 points. In third place was David Ortiz, who received 193 points. The rest of the top 10 included Frank Thomas (174), Jermaine Dye (156), Joe Mauer (116), Johan Santana (114), Travis Hafner (64), Vladimir Guerrero (46) and Carlos Guillen (34). Santana received the lone first-place vote not going to Morneau or Jeter, but seven voters left him off the ballot entirely. Morneau wins despite leading the league in no significant categories. He finished eighth in OPS and 10th once OPS is adjusted for ballpark, and since he did that as an average defensive first baseman with little value on the basepaths, he qualifies as perhaps the weakest MVP in decades.
A twincredibly bad decision by the voters to choose the Doctor over the Chairman or the Captain.Keith Law:
Morneau awful choice for AL MVP
I think all carping about the NL MVP voters getting their choice wrong must immediately cease. The AL's voters couldn't even correctly identify the most valuable Twin, never mind wrapping their heads around a whole league.
The reality of baseball is that a great offensive player at an up-the-middle position is substantially more valuable than a slightly better hitter at a corner position. And when that up-the-middle player is one of the best fielders at his position in baseball, there's absolutely no comparison. Joe Mauer was more valuable than Justin Morneau this past season. If you don't understand that, you don't understand the first thing about baseball.
Mauer had a 54-point edge in OBP over Morneau, which overwhelms the advantage Morneau had in slugging percentage (a 52-point edge). But Mauer won the Gold Glove for his position this past year, and he is arguably the best-fielding catcher in the game when you consider all aspects of catching. Catchers who field and hit the way Mauer does are extremely valuable, just as shortstops who hit like Derek Jeter does and play passable defense are extremely valuable. First basemen who hit like Morneau just shouldn't win MVP awards in years when there are Mauers and Jeters and other candidates to choose from.
Here are the official votes.
You'll notice Jeter actally got a 6th place vote.
Peter Abraham found the culprit:
The person who voted Jeter sixth was Joe Cowley, the White Sox beat writer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Jeter was .292/.393/.542 against the White Sox this season.(I'll provide the Mike and the Mad Dog audio link when it becomes available).
Cowley just went on Mike & The Mad Dog and didn't represent the profession very well. He claimed the Yankees would have done just as well without Jeter in the lineup, that Ortiz kept the Red Sox in contention and that Ortiz had better numbers in the clutch than Jeter did. Never mind that the Red Sox were out of the ace in mid-August, the Yankees played nearly all season without Sheff and Matsui and Jeter had better RISP numbers than Ortiz.
Runners in scoring position
Close and late situations
Well let's all let Joe Cowley know what a useless, mindless, small little man he is. After all, he gets paid to write and thus gets to vote on things that affect people, and giving Jeter a 6th place vote in inexcusable. So tell him. Berate him. I encourage, nay, I call upon all of you to mail bomb Joe Cowley. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail him once. Mail him twice. Sign him up for pornography lists. Set up a mail rule to forward all of your spam to him. Find the filthiest, most disgusting site, and register his email address.
I'm not taking this sportwriter idiocy lying down anymore. Neither should you. Join me in this crusade and let's give Mr. Cowley a very, very bad day.
** Update: Mike and the Mad Dog interviewing the guy we're all signing up for porn and spam (right?) is available here.
Labels: keith law
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:18 PM
Monday, November 20, 2006
Tomorrow Should be a Fun Day!
I'll get to read the LA Times to see how much of a positive spin Ned Colletti's lover (Bill Plaschke) can put on this absolute shite, which IMO is the worst deal of the offseason thus far not involving posting fees!
This is exactly the type of deal you expect from a guy hired to be the anti-DePodesta. I can't wait to rip Plaschke to shreds tomorrow. I bet he talks about "speed" and defense" and "hustle." Oh please, dear God in heaven, let him use the word "hustle."
It's going to be fun!
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:54 PM
Stephen A. Smith is a Jackass
Most of you know when I rip a sportswriter's ridiculous article, I will tear it apart piece by piece. Not so this time. I'm simply going to post sections of this article by Stephen A. Smith, which conveniently appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Simply overlook the awful grammar and terrible writing style, and look at the man's arguments, which are completely off the wall. Howard should beat Pujols, because despite Pujols having better stats and carrying his team to a division title (withough Pujols, the Cardinals would have been a sub-.500 team), Howard made baseball popular in Philadelphia with African-Americans. Actually, I'll go one step further: Smith's argument is that Howard should be the MVP because he is African-American. I don't want to play the race card here, but I can already see Smith has it in his hole. I'm simply calling the blind.
Only one clear choice for National League MVP
By Stephen A. Smith
Except the Phillies do have Ryan Howard. The same kid who smacked 58 homers, drove in 149 runs, batted .313, and had a .659 slugging percentage. He symbolized the only reason fans had for showing their faces around Broad and Pattison during summertime.
Oh, did I mention he should also end up as National League MVP?
The result of the voting for the National League's most valuable player is expected tomorrow and, with apologies and respect to Albert Pujols, the vote shouldn't even be close. Of course, there are naysayers who'll spew otherwise, vociferously pointing out how the league's 2005 MVP still had 49 homers with a better batting average and slugging percentage than Howard - despite missing 15 games in June because of an injury.
They'll be the same people I accuse of not paying much attention last season.
You don't just look at the stat sheets or the box scores to measure the impact of Ryan Howard. You view the landscape of MLB then ask yourself, "Where did these fans come from?"
Who are all these people who weren't watching the Phillies before? This franchise hasn't made the postseason since 1993, so why on earth are stadiums packed whenever they come to town?
Where did all the African American fans come from? Why haven't we heard about steroids? Mark McGwire? Barry Bonds?
The answer would be because there's no need. Because Howard is the real deal. He's the modern-day athlete major-league baseball was starving for.
The same can be said of Pujols, who is as big-time as they come. The St. Louis Cardinals would not have sniffed the postseason without him, let alone captured a World Series championship. But the reality is the talent that is Pujols, while fairly unique, is a dime a dozen in the laundry list of Latin talent that has invaded baseball.
When you think of Pujols, you also think of Manny Ramirez and David "Big Papi" Ortiz or Alex Rodriguez. They play great baseball, but that's it.
In Howard's case, not only has he performed, he's single-handedly transformed the focus of a sport, forcing baseball - and possibly the rest of us - to take a closer look at potential African American prospects perhaps through something more than Reviving Baseball in the Inner City (RBI) programs.
Held back - some might say hidden - by the Phillies for far too long, Howard has burst onto the scene in less than two years in the majors. And he's done it with a Magic Johnson-like smile despite the Phillies' unwillingness to show him some money and his being surrounded by limited, wannabe talent.
In the meantime, there's Howard, who ranked either first or second in homers, RBIs and slugging percentage. He's given Phillies fans a reason to hope for a change.
Perhaps he won't be better than Pujols over the long haul. Maybe Howard will fade too quickly, succumbing to the pressures of Missouri's "show me" mantra like so many St. Louis natives before him. The truth is, however, we really don't know.
All we know for sure is what happened this year, what Howard did on the diamond, what he meant for baseball.
Numbers are being retired all the time. Baseball prides itself on setting precedents while maintaining tradition.
Awarding a difference maker on the field - and in the community at large - has always been baseball's version of a home run.
Pujols deservedly got his recognition last year.
It's Howard's time now.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:52 PM
Sunday, November 19, 2006
If It's Not True, Pretend That It Is
Barry Rozner of Chicago's Daily Herald goes off on a rant about payroll disparity and how only the big city teams with the bloated payrolls qualify, which sounds all well and good until you realize that none of it is true.
Level playing field? Not in your baseball lifetimeSeven different champions in seven seasons. Sounds pretty level to me. In comparison, the NFL the "ultimate parity league" have, since the Yankees beat the Mets in the 2000 World Series to begin that seven team run, seen 50% of their championships go to one franchise, the New England Patriots. The NFL has near full revenue sharing and a salary cap. I guess there must be more to it than payroll, huh?
NEW YORK — Only in Gotham can you find a team truly worth a billion dollars.Ok, I am imagining this. My guess is that they wouldn't invest that much unless they thought they'd get a return on that investment, but hey, what do I know, I don't write for the Daily Herald.
And it’s clear from the early returns that the Cubs won’t fetch that price.
At least not yet.
But imagine a group of local businessmen/Cubs fans buying the club and paying, say, $700 million to $800 million for the team, give or take a few bucks, with a sweet broadcast deal thrown into the package.
There are some who believe that could happen any day now, but we’re inclined to think ownership will continue to drive the price higher and create a bidding war.There are some who think that man never walked on the moon and that OJ was innocent. It's lazy writing to say "there are some who say" without mentioning who those some are, and then to refute those nameless hordes with a "we're inclined to believe" as if Barry Rozner is not a man, but a collective mind of experts. Example: there are some who say that Barry Rozner is a big jackass, but we're inclined to believe he is many jackasses.
Still, whether it’s this year or next, it’s likely to happen, and if it does, imagine further a Cubs team willing to spend $200 million on payroll to win.Yes, it would be truly awful of ownership to invest their profits into the team instead of pocketing it. Man what a bunch of jerks!
That would put them in the rarified air that belongs only to the Yankees and now the Red Sox, who were willing to spend more than $100 million alone on a hurler who has yet to throw a North American pitch in anger.
And nowhere in the last week — since owners began spending like drunken Steinbrenners — have you heard Bud Selig proclaim that the game is perfect, that anyone can win at any time, and that the days of the Haves vs. the Have-nots are over.
Indeed, Selig tries only to sell such fiction around the time of the All-Star Game, when it’s true there is parity in the game.
Wait, so is Bud Selig supposed to make a weekly address that "everything is fine"? Rozner would probably have purchased this invention:
The reason Selig doesn't preach balance is because he's always been an owner for small markets (since he and his daughter have owned the Milwaukee Brewers for the better part of the last few decades) and doesn't complain when owners of those franchises line their pockets with revenue sharing. To admit that there is some competitive balance would be to undermine the "dire need" for a new stadium for every franchise owner wanting a community to pay to buy him a new toy.
Homer: Here's my "Everything's O.K." alarm! (loud piercing alarm)
This will sound every three seconds, unless something isn't
Marge: Turn it off, Homer!
Homer: It can't be turned off! [alarm fizzles out] But it, uh,
does break easily.
Other than that, his “perfect’’ system seems quite broken, as there is no level playing field, and there is no competitive balance.Seven champions in the last seven years.
Certainly not when it comes to purchasing free agents or making the playoffs.Again, I'm no Bud Selig fan, but why exactly should Selig be making statements "since the collective bargaining agreement" about parity? I'm truly at a loss to figure out why Rozner keeps saying that Selig hasn't made a statement since some arbitrary time about a situation that hasn't changed.
That is reserved for the richest of the rich, and you’ll notice you have not heard a word from Selig since he bragged about the new collective bargaining agreement being signed without a work stoppage.
The playoffs are not reserved for the "richest of the rich." But let's use facts rather than hyperbole to prove it:
Top 10 2006 Payrolls and their results playoff teams in bold:
That's three out of the top ten.
- New York Yankees
- Boston Red Sox
- Angels of Whatever City You Choose
- Chicago White Sox
- New York Mets
- Chicago Cubs
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Houston Astros
- Atlanta Braves
- San Francisco Giants
Well, congratulations for not killing the game again.Hey dude, that is actually a big deal that there will be no work stoppage for the forseeable future and no acrimonius, dragged out negotiations full of threats and timetables. That is a very big deal, as it's pretty much unprecedented in the history of the sport. However I suppose Selig's time would have been better served giving speeches about competitive balance.
The truth is there was no work stoppage because the big-market owners are making money hand over fist, and the players couldn’t be more pleased.I know this won't make and sense to Barry Rozner, but ALL teams are making money hand over fist. Remember the Brewers I mentioned before? Small market team, right? Well a few years ago they were the most profitable team in baseball: "Figures released by major league baseball show that the Milwaukee Brewers were baseball's most profitable club, after revenue sharing, in 2001. Without revenue sharing, the Brewers were the fourth-most profitable team." That hasn't changed. The Brewers are still making money:
Ok, back to Rozner's Ramblings:
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has said his profit for 2005 was about $4.5 million. That’s much lower than the Forbes estimate, but the magazine does not take into account taxes, depreciation and interest payments. A newly purchased franchise like the Brewers can claim millions in phantom depreciation on ballplayers, a tax break not allowed to any other industry. As for interest payments, that reflects borrowed money, not money an owner actually put up to buy a team.
The long and short of it is the Brewers are doing very well. Though the team ranks 26th of 30 franchises in total revenue, its profit is high because its expenses are low. That would reflect two factors: a very favorable stadium deal, with the public paying for more of the costs than most cities, and a player payroll that is one of the lowest in the league. This raises an obvious question: Given how generous the taxpayers have been, why is the Brewers payroll so low?