Tuesday, September 1, 2009

19 comments 10 Lessons in Baseball Knowledge Idiocy

I want to remind those who are interested to sign up for the College Football Pick 'Em. It's really easy, you pick the winner based on the line of the game, and I enjoy it a whole lot. The information is in yesterday's MMQB post.

Tuesday is always a tough day for me when it comes to picking out an article to talk about. I need much more time to cover TMQ, Easterbrook doesn't even post it until mid-morning and that is not enough time for me to wade through it all. It makes my head hurt. I love posting TMQ and Peter King the most, if you haven't noticed, so TMQ usually gets covered, I just have to give myself enough time to dive into it. To make matters worse, Peter King doesn't post his mailbag until 1pm or 2pm on Tuesday and I don't really have time in the afternoon to post anything about it. I really have no point, I just thought I would share that with everyone.

Joe Morgan has struck again. I always forget about his idiocy until a Sunday Night Baseball game comes rolling around and I happen to watch said game. Sunday night, he made a comment that "statistics are good if used to support something, but I like to observe whether a player is struggling at the plate or not for myself." This statement really isn't inherently wrong but I can't believe if he sees a statistic that says Ryan Howard is 2-24 over his last 7 games he actually needs to see Howard's swing to know he is struggling. It's just typical Joe Morgan.

I enjoyed how I did the JoeChat last time and it got an overwhelming non-response from everyone, so I will do it that way again. It's much easier for me to write and I think it is easier for you to read when you don't have to read the question...though I will copy and paste the question when pertinent.

Buzzmaster (11:07 AM)
Hey everyone...hang on a minute. Joe was traveling this morning but I don't think he's reached his destination yet. He may have run into some travel delays.

Buzzmaster (11:30 AM)
Joe is here everyone! His plane was late.

If Peter King was on that flight he would never have stood for this. He would stood up halfway through the flight angry with the wireless service the plane provides, bitched about the coffee, gone to the bathroom to clean out his bowels in preparation for a colonoscopy, asked to speak to the pilot "who should know who he is" when he found out the plane was running late, and then punched a stewardess in the face in response to finding out his hotel reservation had been taken.

Joe is much more docile than Peter. Joe probably just doesn't think they make any great airlines anymore because they are all so inconsistent with their arrival times.

1. (On the most dramatic parts of baseball right now)

The wild card races are really heating up. I think that's where the most drama will be by the end of the season.

Maybe it is just the way he phrased this sentence, but there should be no drama from the Wild Card race by the end of the season because the Wild Card race will be over at that point.

Assuming he just phrased this sentence in a crazy way, considering the closest teams in the divisional races in the AL involve second place teams 4.0 and 5.0 games behind and the closest race in the NL is in the NL West where the Rockies are 6.0 games out (as of Monday night) and the Wild Card in the AL has three teams within 5 games of each other and the NL Wild Card race has 5 teams within 5.5 games of each other, I don't think this is a far fetched prediction. Thanks for saying the obvious.

2. (Whether Mark Reynolds gets MVP Consideration in the NL)

Well, I think he should get some votes, but I don't think he should get any first place votes. You get to pick 10 people. I would say he'll get some votes. Because of his team's place in the standings, I don't think he'll be in the top 3 or 4.

This is just plain lunacy. It's the MVP, which is Most Valuable Player, not the MVPOWT, or Most Valuable Player On a Winning Team. A player should not get extra credit for being on a good team. I don't know if Mark Reynolds is the National League MVP, at least as long as Albert Pujols is alive, but to say he doesn't deserve 1st place votes because he doesn't play for a good team is ignorant and stupid. I don't think Joe Morgan has an MVP vote but if he does, it should be taken away immediately. There is a reason I started this blog and "smart" people like this saying stupid things like this previous statement is the main reason.

In what world will .295/.382/.576 with 37 HR's and 114 RBI's on a winning team be more valuable than a guy who puts up .316/.399/.589 with 41 HR's and 96 RBI's on a losing team? It is about how valuable the guy is, not how good the team he plays on is.

3. (Whether the Phillies can repeat)

They definitely have a chance of repeating. I think the key will be Cole Hamels. If he can get back to being the pitcher he was at the end of last season, with the addition of Lee, I think they have a chance. So, with Hamels and of course Brad Lidge.

Yeah of course, Brad Lidge...

OF COURSE BRAD LIDGE WHAT? This isn't a sentence that is the least bit recognizable. I realize this is a chat, so it is more informal, but what the hell does Brad Lidge have to do? Quit blowing saves? Because the Phillies don't have a chance if Brad Lidge continues not doing that. What about Brad Lidge? Is he the key to the Phillies repeating? If so, why? How are you still paid by ESPN to call baseball games?

4. (If he thinks Pete Rose will be reinstated)

That's a difficult question. I don't like to use the phrase never. To make this perfectly clear, I'm not concerned about Pete Rose getting into the Hall of Fame, or managing. As a friend, I'm concerned about him being reinstated to the game and having his head held high about his accomplishments.

His accomplishments? The hits record or the fact he was able to subsidize his salary from managing with gambling winnings? The hits record, that is his accomplishment, which was a product of playing for a long time, being a good hitter, and hitting at the top of the order.

The Hall of Fame and managing again should not be his priorities. Just getting reinstated should be his priority.

He will never manage again. EVER. So if Pete Rose has it in his crazy little head he will ever be able to manage again he is delusional. No one will hire him, especially since HE HASN'T STOPPED GAMBLING YET! I was amazed when I learned that from the Jayson Stark article last week.

I wouldn't hire him to run my Fantasy Baseball team for fear he would gamble my players away.

5. (His response to FJMorgan baiters)

KaTie (Fremulon)

Hey Joe, when you think of all the players in MLB, who do you think is the perfect example of playing the game the right way?


First of all, I think there are a lot of players who play the game the right now. There's a long list I would have to give you. I was in Anaheim last night and Tori Hunter is one of those guys. I was in Boston over the weekend and Derek Jeter is one of those guys.

I can't believe he hasn't caught on to this yet. I think he may be playing along at this point.

There are a lot of them. We hear that players don't play well or hard, and I disagree with that. Dustin Pedroia.

You hear that Dustin Pedroia doesn't play the game well or hard? The MVP from last year? The small, short gritty guy with a big mouth? How come I don't believe this? I demand to know who is saying players today don't play well or hard...other than Joe Morgan himself of course. Maybe he hears the voices in his head say all the teams are inconsistent so he thinks everyone believes this as well.

I guarantee I could name you 40 or 50 guys that I think play the game the right way.

With this statement, Joe moved on to the next question. I kid you not. I want to see that list of players who play the game the right way dammit!

6. (Best catcher ever)

I'm probably prejudice a little bit, but I don't think there's any catcher better than Johnny Bench.

"Prejudice(d) a little bit?" This from the same man who probably wants this guy to be in the Hall of Fame. He would put the entire Big Red Machine in the Hall of Fame if he had his choice. I read an article this week in Sports Illustrated and it said Sparky Anderson told the 1975 Reds team Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench could do whatever they wanted and the rest of the team were "turds." Remember that next time Joe Morgan accuses a manager of playing favorites or criticizing how a manager treats his players.

7. (If Ben Zobrist deserves MVP votes)

There are a lot of guys having a good year on a lot of different teams. But to say that he's an MVP candidate, I don't think so. I think you're looking at Teixiera, Morneau, Mauer.

What spell does Justin Morneau have over those who get to vote for the MVP award? Here are the three guys I think should be in consideration, plus Morneau and I want you to rank them yourself...

.290/.375/.546, 29 HR 96 RBI
.367/.435/.608, 25 HR 79 RBI
.284/.380/.547, 31 HR 101 RBI
.335/.399/.565, 27 HR 82 RBI

Just looking at those numbers, I say the MVP voting should go #2, #4, #3, #1. Which would be Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Texeira, and Morneau. Morneau shouldn't be in the top 3 at this point. I really hope Joe doesn't get to vote for this award.

8. (Joe talking about Juan Pierre)

I've said all along that Juan Pierre brought an energy to that team that they didn't have with Manny in the lineup.

In that case you have been wrong all along. You can have Juan Pierre and his energy (what is this a freaking marathon?) and I will take Manny Ramirez even when he struggles.

Maybe Joe Torre will do that. Manny's not hitting well either.

Manny is hitting .307/.427/.544 right now. Juan Pierre only matches those numbers in his dreams. You only take Manny Ramirez out to replace him with Juan Pierre if you are trying to lose a baseball game or it is the 8th inning and Pierre and his noodle arm are brought in for defensive purposes.

And when he's not hitting well, he's not helping you that much.

When Juan Pierre is not hitting well, how the hell does he help the team? The team's energy level goes up? Last time I checked runs were scored by not clogging the bases and bunting, not energy. Hitting three run home runs and driving in runs is so boring....even though that is primarily how Joe Morgan judges an MVP candidate.

Yes, this is the contradiction of Joe Morgan. He hates the three run home run, wishes teams would steal more bases, hates strikeouts and thinks bunting is a great way to play baseball but judges MVP candidates on their ability to hit home runs and drive in players and those guys very often strike out more often and bunt a whole lot less than other players.

9. (Why pitchers are better in the National League compared to the American League)

Some guys like the NL better. I think CC Sabathia wanted to stay in the NL because he likes to hit, but the Yankees made that impossible with the contract they offered.

Apparently Joe Morgan thinks the Yankees are like the Mafia and they made Sabathia an offer he could not refuse.

Three things Joe ignores or doesn't think of:

1. The Brewers made Sabathia a pretty good offer, in exess of $100 million if I am not wrong, so he very well could have stayed in the NL just to bat and have afforded to live fairly comfortably.

2. The Yankees didn't make it impossible for him to play in the NL, they just offered him a much bigger contract than he got anywhere else.

3. Sabathia only played in the NL for a little over 2 months, after playing in the AL prior to that, I doubt he played in the NL long enough and enjoyed batting so much he would have declined more money just to do it.

10. (Whether Pedro Martinez will pitch well for the remainder of the season)

I think he's pitching well. He should get a little better.

I thought the Pedro signing was a good idea for the Phillies, though we all know I am the only Pedro hater in the world, but how is he going to get better? He has a WHIP of 1.25 and an ERA of 4.50, which is about exactly what I expected from him.

The plus you have with him is that you don't have the innings on his arm.

That's very true, unless you want to count the 2,798.2 innings he has pitched over his career and the fact he is coming off major surgery. Other than that, yeah he should be completely fresh at this point in the season.

Buzzmaster (11:58 AM)

Thanks Joe!

Thanks for showing up 30 minutes late to share your bizarre look at the baseball world for 28 minutes.

-I generally agree with Wallace Matthews premise that the Yankees are crazy for only allowing Joba Chamberlain to only pitch 35 pitches in his last start. If this article was maybe three paragraphs long I could have enjoyed it, unfortunately Wallace just keeps on typing.

Last week, it was fewer starts, more rest in between. Now it's more starts, fewer innings, with the aim of getting this young, strong, incredibly talented athlete in shape to do what lesser specimens all over the league do on a daily basis, which is throw 100 pitches in October.

This is the point of the article where he should have stopped. Obviously the Yankees want Chamberlain to be able to start baseball games in October...but if Chamberlain has only thrown a maximum of 60 pitches per start for the last 2 months how is he going to have the endurance to throw 100 pitches in October? Maybe I am underestimating his arm strength and endurance. Either way, Wallace should have stopped here.

On to what Wallace says wrong...Lesser pitchers do not throw 100 pitches in October on a daily basis. There are only 8 teams that generally play into October and pitchers are not throwing 100 pitches on a daily basis in the playoffs. Wallace may be overestimating how many pitches pitchers throw in October. A pitcher has pitched a very good or a very bad game if he has hit 100 pitches in October. Usually the manager shortens the pitching staff in the playoffs and pitches may pitch on less rest, but pitches are not throwing 100 pitches on a daily basis.

Even by the standards of a game in which it is widely believed that dumb and lazy is the answer to just about everything -

I have no idea what he is talking about here. Dumb and lazy is not the answer to anything at all in baseball. Other than pitch counts, I would love to know when "dumb and lazy" is the answer to any baseball related problem.

Maybe Wallace Matthews is the guy that Joe Morgan is talking about when Joe said he heard people say players today don't play hard or well.

how often have you heard a manager say a player is "thinking too much'' or "trying too hard?'' - this is ridiculous.

It's because the player has natural/learned skills and is making the game more complicated for himself by not allowing the natural/learned skill to take over, it's not to tell the player to actually not think at all or quit trying.

Billy Martin, of course, would have pitched Joba until his arm fell off. He managed the Yankees in the World Series two years in a row, winning in 1977. Girardi hasn't been to the playoffs yet.

If Billy Martin would have done it that way, then clearly I think Joe Girardi needs to take after the guy who got fired and hired on a daily basis by George Steinbrenner. I am sure also it was completely Billy Martin and the fact he pitched guys until their arm fell off that won a World Series and not the players actually playing well that won the World Series.

It seems like Wallace's answer to writing a column is to do something dumb and lazy.

-Because CNNSI.com had so much success with Peter King's MMQB, they have decided to do a college football edition. It's called "College Football Overtime" and it is written by Stewart Mandel.

I actually generally like Stewart Mandel and he doesn't include any personal related topics in his first column, so that is always a good start to differentiate himself from Peter King. I don't know how much you will see College Football Overtime on this blog, but what makes me nervous is Mandel has a personal blog and his first "essay" is about a long line in an airport and his second essay is about how annoying Verizon Wireless is. SI, what hath you done to me? I hope Mandel doesn't start incorporating stuff like that from his personal blog into CFO or else he very well may make this blog.

What does SI.com put in the water that causes their columnists to feel the need to bitch about everyday nuisances in print? He knows his college football pretty well but I really hope he limits his thoughts to that.


AJ said...

I think Joe is right on the Mark Reynolds thing, just for the wrong reasons (saying that he's 3rd or 4th). It has nothing to do with the team he is on and if they are good, its the fact that there are 3-4 players better then him this year.

The Phillies have a chance at repeating for the following reasons: Utley, Howard, Rollins, Werth, Victorino and Ibanez.

I disagree with you on Rose, I WOULD hire him to run my fantasy football team in our league this year. I have nothing to lose at this point, and maybe him and I could go gambling sometime.

Asking him who he thinks is the best catcher ever is like asking him who is the best 2nd basemen ever; you already know the answer. However, I'll take this guy (.285 avg/ .830 ops/ 358 HRs/ 2150 hits/ caught stealing 49%/ TEN titles) over this guy (.267 avg/ .817 ops/ 389 HRs/ 2048 hits/caught stealing 43%/ TWO titles).

Martin said...

Would that be Yogi Berra, The Greatest Living Player (P.King, 2009 tm) there AJ?

I actually think Joe was trying to say that REynolds wouldn't get votes because he was on a losing team, not that he shouldn't get votes. I do think that Joe has said (or implied) that the MVP winner should come from a playoff team. He seems willing to toss a few bronze and lesser medals to guys like Reynolds though.

My new idea is that I think that ESPN should have a pre-game show on Sundays, or a similar show on Tuesdays, evaluating all the weeks previous games featuring Simmons, TMQ, Riley, and Schlereth. The blowhard factor would be off the charts, and I'm sure we'd see actual fisticuffs before the end of the 3rd show.

Bengoodfella said...

I am not saying Mark Reynolds deserves the MVP award, I am just saying he shouldn't be counted out merely because he plays for a losing team. We are saying the same thing really, just using different terms. Reynolds should not be in the MVP vote but he shouldn't be excluded because he plays for a crappy team.

Speaking of your fantasy team, have you started dropping and adding your defensive players yet? I noticed no one had done that yet and I was wondering why. Usually the auto draft people are making a run on defensive players at this point.

I am going to ignore the part about the 10 titles because that would be hypocrisy coming from me, since I just said players should be considered for awards based solely on performance not how their team was. I would take Yogi Berra as well for best catcher of all time, not to mention he caught the World Series' only perfect game, which is an accomplishment he shouldn't get a lot of credit for, but at least a little credit since Don Larson wasn't exactly Whitey Ford.

Peter King would be proud of you AJ for giving Yogi credit.

Martin, in the last chat I covered Joe did say, or infer, the winner should come from a team that is winning, which is pure bullshit and pisses me off.

If those four got together and did a show, I would pay money to watch Simmons beat the crap out of TMQ and Rick Reilly. Yes, I think I just semi-sided with Bill Simmons, but only because he earns his paycheck.

AJ said...

Earns is objective. Writing a piss poor column once a week is not exactly earning your pay check. But thats niether here nor there.

And yes, i have started to "pick" up players. Except they seem to be on waivers for 10000 days, so thats why you havent seen any moves. I have 4 waiver requests in, and at least one of those requests probably is a decent player I've never heard of that I'm dropping (defensive player).

How can I hire a GM for my team that could turn my crappy draft into a winner...Oh is BS available? He seems to think he knows how to turn everything around, maybe he can help...

The Casey said...

Yeah, I put in a roster move right after the draft and it still hasn't gone through. So I think there are plenty of moves out there waiting.

Bengoodfella said...

Believe it or not, I have been a Commissioner on previous occasions in a Fantasy football league. I think I made the waiver wire period too long. I changed players being on waivers from this point forward to one day.

I agree AJ but I only favor Simmons in that brawl because at least he attempts to learn things about sports while Reilly has no interest in doing so and Easterbrook is an epic failure overall. I have already caught two mistakes in his column today and I hope they don't fix them so I can call him out.

You would be shocked at how good your team may be...you could try trading players. I am in the need for a WR at this point, so I am open to offers. I drafted a team when I was drunk one time and thought it was the worst team ever and I won the league. Playing the waiver wire is usually key.

You don't need a GM, you just need to use ingenuity and a little bit of luck...or you could hire Matt Millen.

KentAllard said...

Don't forget that Stewart Mandel also devotes a third of his weekly mailbag to his "Mailbag Crush" a minor actress he stalks for a year.

Bengoodfella said...

I haven't forgotten and how dare you call Jenna Fischer, Kaitlin Olson, and Jordana Spiro "minor."

It just so happens the Office and Sunny are two of my favorite shows, so I tend to like those people. That being said, you are exactly right and the Mailbag Crush does take up a good portion of his mailbag. I am confident he will keep his stalking in the mailbag and not move it to CFO. That's really all I ask.

There are some frightening similarities between Mandel and King and that does scare me, but I have confidence Mandel won't piss me off and not talk about football for an entire page or two.

KentAllard said...

I remember Jenna Fischer from Slither, but the other two draw a blank. I've never seen a TV show (Movie?) called Sunny, but I did like The Office. Gervais is pretty good.

Martin said...

I love my defensive players, I'm not getting rid of any of them. That and I have no idea that getting rid of them for other guys would do me any good. Offense stats I understand, defense, I'm looking for god knows what.

Bengoodfella said...

I do love the British version of the Office. It took a couple of episodes but I like it and I really like Ricky Gervais.

"Sunny" is "It's Always Sunny in Philadephia" which is probably my favorite comedy show on television. I like the Office too but nothing makes me laugh harder than Sunny. I would try a couple episodes if I were you.

Martin, I like my defensive players also. They are pretty much the same ones I drafted last year, which may be dumb, but I don't care. With defensive players, I try to get a couple of guys who can make tackles, a couple who can get sacks and a couple who get interceptions. That's why I like drafting Steelers LB's because they get sacks AND get tackles. It's really a crapshoot but I enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

BGF...Couple of things:

1. I think he was lumping Pedroia into the "hard playing" category. Not that it matters, but still.
2. The NYY did, in fact, make it impossible for CC to stay in the NL. Sure $100 MM sounds great. Unless you're comparing it to $160 MM. Then, not so great.

I remember that "bidding war" completely because Mike Francesa and the rest of the NYY lackeys were spouting off about CC not being welcome since he didn't hustle up and sign with the NYY. At the time, there was $140 MM on the table and CC "hadn't made up his mind." In reality, he knew the $140 MM would still be there even if the offer wasn't upped. He waited a few days and was rewarded with $160 MM. Patience = virtue. In addition, the NYY gave him an opt out clause after 3 years. What??? Yup. MIL never could've or would've done that.

I'll have to look into Sunny. I am big, big Office guy. British and American. I think it's bloody brilliant, mate. Even better than my obsession: Arrested Development. If you haven't Netflixed it, do it.

Bengoodfella said...

I had completely forgotten that Sabathia got an opt out clause in his contract. Sounds to me like he will be a free agent again in a few years and the Yankees will re-sign him again, a la A-Rod. I guess the Yankees didn't make him sign with them but they also didn't make it easy.

In retrospect, he may have been talking about Pedroia being hard working, I didn't read it that way when I wrote it but I think I do now.

I love both Offices, so I liked the mailbag crush being Jenna Fisher but you have to watch Sunny. It is an acquired taste, so you have to watch a few episodes but it is like Seinfeld on crack. It can be pretty uneven sometimes, there are episodes that are merely amusing, but then there are episodes that are brilliant, I would definitely give it a shot and try to stick with it and I promise you will be rewarded.

Arrested Development. I love that show. I quote it all the time. Just a brilliant, brilliant show that was taken off the air WAY too early.

KentAllard said...

Oh. I don't really watch comedies. I don't have a sense of humor.

Bengoodfella said...

Probably a good thing you don't. TV rots your brain anyway.

AJ said...

I improved my team, I picked up the Lions rookie safety. I don't see any chance of me losing now.

Who wants Marshall??????

Bengoodfella said...

I heard Delmas is like a guided missile. That's what Schwartz said about him, so that may be good for you. At least you know he will end up getting some tackles that the front 7 miss.

I would be interested in Marshall but I want to see how this whole suspension thing plays out with him or else I would want him for a steep discount. I need a better WR for sure on my roster and he would qualify.

AJ said...

Well I can't wait for the suspension to be worked out...I'll trade him now, or never...and not at a steep discount.

Anyway, King picked the Bears in the SB...hahahahahahahahahahahahaha


Bengoodfella said...

If he gets off his suspension I may be interested in him at that point but not until then.

Yeah, I saw that Peter picked them to go to the Super Bowl.