Tuesday, September 15, 2009

7 comments 11 Lessons In Baseball Knowledge Idiocy

I haven't been very consistent when it comes to posting JoeChats. Throw in the fact I love to do them, and today is Tuesday, which means I need to save up all my super smart brain cells in case I have to match wits with Gregg Easterbrook, that means I want to post a JoeChat for today. Joe is low hanging fruit for me, which allows me to save up my energy to be outraged at what Gregg Easterbrook writes.

I know what everyone is thinking, "Has Joe gotten any smarter?" "Does he understand the game of baseball, and if he does, does he seem willing to share any knowledge with us?" The answer is "no" to all questions.

I am going to use my own unique wildly popular and earth shattering method of covering the JoeChats that I have in the past for the September 8th chat, but I am going to start this off with a thought he had from the September 1 chat because it was incredibly uninsightful and borderline crazy.

1. (If the baseball world will miss Ernie Harwell and Vin Scully calling games)

There's no doubt it will be a big loss for baseball when they are gone. But remember it was a big loss when Mantle retired, Mays retired.

That's very true, but I am 96% sure that Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were actual baseball players and not announcers. They did not have the career longevity Harwell and Scully had and it is a little bit different when a long time announcer decides to retire. It's not like a player retiring. I don't think there is a comparison between players and announcers retiring.

This is a crazy answer by Joe. Would he give a similar answer if someone asked him hypothetically if he would miss his hypothetical wife who passed away?

"Well yes, I miss her but you have to remember my grandparents died as well and it is always sad when someone dies."

Just like a wife is different from a grandparent, Vin Scully retiring is not the same as Mickey Mantle retiring.

It's always a big loss when the superstars are gone. Baseball always moves on.

I wouldn't call an announcer exactly a "superstar." I don't think Joe is even paying attention at this point.

Others will move into their places and they may not be great, but they will endear themselves to the fans.

What the hell is Joe talking about? This is Ernie Harwell who is like 90-something years old and Vin Scully is in his 80's. They are not players who have gotten traded, they are announcers who are retiring. They are not moving to other places and endearing themselves to anyone. They are retiring. Did he even pay attention to the question? It wasn't a question about baseball players retiring or being traded. Does he even know who Vin Scully and Ernie Harwell are?

2. (From the September 8 chat...when asked if the Twins can keep Joe Mauer when his contract runs out by surrounding him with great talent)

The purpose should always be to surround your superstars with the best talent you can to win. I think Joe Mauer is a perfect fit for Minnesota, because he takes advantage of the ball park.

Joe Mauer's career road stats: .329/.410/.494, 36 HR 194 RBI's in 332 games.

Joe Mauer's career home stats: .323/.399/.474, 35 HR, 191 RBI's in 347 games.

You could argue based on those numbers the park he plays in actually drags his statistics down just slightly. Either way, his splits are so close you are a moron for even suggesting that the ballpark is part of his success. So basically Joe is a moron for suggesting this. Isn't there anyone who can do research before Joe starts typing? It took me 10 seconds to look this up.

It's a small park, so he's doubled his home run production this year.

Even though he has played in the exact same ballpark for his entire career, the ballpark has apparently gotten smaller this year and has led to his increased production. Brilliant deduction...except there is no way the ballpark could be responsible for his increased home runs this year since the size of the Metrodome has not changed that I can remember.

If he plays in another stadium, he'll still probably be a great hitter, but his numbers will not be the same.

This statement is just an outright lie. Those scary things called "numbers" say differently.

3. (Joe still typing about this same topic)

Don't ever underestimate the effect of the stadium that you play in can help your numbers.

Places like Philly, the new Yankee Stadium, Colorado. There are a lot of stadiums that have an effect on your numbers in a positive way. Minnesota is one of those places.

Seriously Joe, in the case of Joe Mauer you are completely wrong. Also, there are stadiums that help to hurt your offensive numbers like Petco Park...so it does balance out in the end.

Is there anything more pathetic than an "expert" who hasn't done a damn bit of research going over and beyond the necessary words required to make a point...and that point being wrong? If I had a heart, I would feel bad for Joe here. In general, he is right about how stadiums affect a player's numbers but it is not the case for Joe Mauer.

4. (Whether a player's focus is affected by the number of fans in the stadium)

The focus should not be effected by the people in the stands. Once you're in the batters box, your focus is on the pitcher.

Ok, no is the answer.

That said, your adrenaline seems to flow better when you're at home and your fans are screaming for you.

I guess once the adrenaline gets going the answer would be yes, a player's focus is affected by the number of people in the stands, regardless of whether it should be or not.

I love it when Joe can't make up his mind. It's like a guessing game combined with sports.

5. (Responding whether the Rangers can get the Wild Card from the Red Sox)

Boston is a very good team. They're a team, like any that gets into the playoffs, can win the World Series. They have Beckett, Lester who is good and if Wakefield is healthy, that's three. We know St. Louis, the Yankees, Philly and even the Dodgers can win it, despite not having the stud pitchers.

Yes, none of those teams have stud pitchers. Unless you want to count Chris Carpenter, C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels (semi-stud). Other than three of those teams pretty much having three of the best pitchers in the game...those teams have no stud pitchers.

Why does Joe hate this generation of baseball? He thinks there are no good teams, no stud pitchers and all the teams lack consistency? Does he even enjoy baseball? I would argue he doesn't.

But the Giants are like all the teams, every team has weaknesses, and theirs is scoring runs against good pitching teams.

As opposed to those teams that find it easy to score runs against good pitching teams? I would say good pitching is a weakness of every team. Good pitching beats hitting, that's pretty much a fact in the postseason...at least I have always thought so.

6. (Why he likes the postseason this year)

That's why this postseason is going to be great, there is no clearcut favorite. Not even the Yankess, who I think is the best team.

There really is no clearcut favorite in Joe's opinion, except for the team he just named as who he thinks is the best team and probable clearcut favorite. Other than that, there is really no other team he sees as a favorite.

So does Joe also assume the postseason is going to be good because there is no clearcut favorite and he thinks it would be no fun if there was a clearcut favorite? That is what is sort of inferring here. I think the postseason is fun either way. Sometimes the clearcut favorite doesn't win the World Series anyway and it can be fun to cheer against that team.

7. (How he feels about the Phillies in the playoffs)

When I was there Sunday, I think someone said over 46% of their runs are with HRs. They have four guys with over 24 HRs, led by Ryan Howard. They do have other ways of scoring runs, they can steal bases and hit and run.

So they can score by the home run, hit and run, and steal bases. Other than just a good old fashion base hit, it seems like the Phillies have this whole offense thing wrapped up pretty well.

But the thing that hurts them is they also strikeout a lot. Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Rollins. You're looking at a team that strikes out a lot.

Because there is a massive difference in a team that gets an out by a strikeout and a team that gets an out with a ground out. Sure in certain situations there is a difference, but overall strikeouts aren't so bad if that players get on base in other ways. Joe will never understand this because he doesn't care to.

8. (Joe sort of contradicting himself when talking about Jim Thome and James Loney)

They're going to have to use him to keep him sharp. He'll bring some power to the lineup. James Loney is a good hitter, but doesn't have much power.

Yes, but under "Joe Morgan's insane theory on hitting" Thome strikes out a lot, 117 times in 348 at bats this year, when compared to James Loney, 58 times in 517 at bats, so James Loney is a more preferable hitter because strikeouts are bad, right?.

Sometimes they'll need to score some runs with one swing instead of putting a few hits together to score.

So having a lineup of home run hitters is bad, but having one to come in the game in select situations and hit a home run is a good thing, even if he will strikeout a third of the time, which Joe hates? I think I understand, but I still feel like my understanding doesn't make this any less semi-crazy. I am not saying I would want a lineup of Jim Thome's over James Loney, but I personally like home runs and think they are fairly valuable, especially when you have guys like Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins who can get on base like the Phillies do. Then the power guys who strikeout a lot can drive them in...and yes I just moved the discussion back to the Phillies team very quickly.

9. (On whether Zack Greinke deserves the Cy Young award)

I definitely think Greinke should be considered, because he has pitched well. When you're looking at these awards, it doesn't say the Cy Young should be the best pitcher on a winning team, it's the best pitcher.

Holy crap, Joe gets it. This can't be Joe. Who is this?

Someone please explain to me why Joe thinks the MVP has to come from the best team in the National/American League or at least one of the better teams, but the Cy Young can come from a bad team? He has stated on many occasions that the MVP for each league should come from a good team, but he sees the Cy Young differently...I can't help but wonder why.

But remember Greinke doesn't have as good a team behind him. Steve Carlton won it and his team only won 50 games or something. It's happened before.

So using this reasoning Joe Mauer can win the MVP over Mark Teixeira! Right????

10. (If the Indians fan would be depressed if they had to see a World Series game with Sabathia and Lee on the mound)

They should be upset anyway. They have traded away two of the top pitchers in the game. If you're building a team in this era and you have the top pitchers, you should build around them. I would be mad anyway, because they've traded away two Cy Young winners.

Yet again, Joe can't understand the economics of baseball. The Indians had really no shot at signing Sabathia last year. He was obviously going to the highest bidder. Once they knew that, they had no choice but to try and choose the value they could get for him by trading him.

Even if he stated he wanted to play for the Indians, I think by the time free agency rolled around he would have gone to the highest bidder.

They would not have had to pay CC Sabathia what the Yankees paid him. You're talking about two guys who grew up in that organization and they were not ready to leave.

I completely disagree. I think the Indians would have easily been outbid for Sabathia's services by several teams. He would not have taken such a lower salary that could have allowed the Indians to keep him. I can't really speak for Cliff Lee as much, but I guess the Indians felt he was a goner after next year too, so they traded him to get some value for him.

Really, Joe needs to get over the fact Sabathia would have taken a huge hometown discount to stay in Cleveland, I don't think it would have happened...and really Joe doesn't even know what is happening in baseball games because he doesn't watch any games other than the one he is calling that week, so how the hell would he even know if the Indians could have kept Sabathia when he became a free agent? I really doubt since he refuses to answer questions about specific players he has in-depth knowledge of what contract length and amount Sabathia would have taken from the Indians.

11. (The Braves chances of making the playoffs in regard to their pitching)

They have some good pitchers, but even the ones that are good are not dominant pitchers. Vasquez, strikes out a lot of guys, but he doesn't dominant the other team's offense.

I think Vazquez's 1.05 WHIP and and 3.01 ERA tell a different story. He has been pretty dominating all year. Again, I realize knowing this would require effort and research on Joe's part and he refuses to expend effort or do research...I refuse to let him use laziness as an excuse.

Jurrjens is a really good pitcher but he's still young and we don't know what he's going to do in September.

He is 5-2 with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.323 WHIP in Sept/October. So that could be a good indicator of what he might do. He has not been that great in the two Septembers he has pitched.

I don't know why I expect Joe to do any research. I have such high expectations for him and he always lets me down.

-Those of you who read Bill Simmons' Friday NFL column this week noticed he had a new feature called the Miller Lite Great Call of the Week. Stupid me thought it was just Bill's tongue in cheek way of making fun of how everything is corporately sponsored at ESPN and I didn't find it to be too amusing at the time. Like I said, I thought he was making fun of corporate sponsorships that are related to everything now (This blog is sponsored by Cheez-It's, they just don't know it yet).

Little did I know that it wasn't a joke, it was a real corporate sponsorship.

The decision to find an advertiser for the NFL picks column was a collective one, King explains. Miller Lite wanted a tie-in with someone who (according to King) gets 600,000 to 800,000 pageviews every time he writes.

So basically every time I write about Simmons and link his article, I am not only giving him page views but I am also giving ESPN ad revenue. I love the double unintended whammy there.

As for Simmons, King says the columnist was pleased that sponsors were clamoring to be associated with his work.

Really? Isn't Simmons a writer? Does he want to go on television and start pitching products or something? This doesn't strike me as a false note because it is Bill Simmons doing this, it strikes me as a false note because I just think it is sort of douchebag-terrific. His thoughts are freaking corporately sponsored now? How much of a self-out can you be? I mean seriously, for a guy who claims to be one of the first "bloggers," this is a pretty sell-out move. I know the article says he was in favor of this move but I don't believe it. I am teetering between being upset at Simmons for putting it in his article and disbelief he really agreed to this. I feel ESPN could have forced this on him.

I am trying not to make a big deal out of this. In my mind there is a difference in his podcast being sponsored by a company like Subway and him making up a fake title just to slip Miller Lite into said title. It's like if I did the MMQB Review every week and had the "Longhorn Steakhouse 10 Things That Irritated Me Most This Week" Category. It's something I would create to put a corporate sponsor in the title. It makes it worse in my mind that something is actually being created in order to sell advertising space.

There was no Great Call of the Week previously, that I can recall, so he just created it to fit Miller Lite in there. Even if there was a Great Call of the Week category previously, I don't see why he added Miller Lite as a sponsor into his column. It's not like he personally needs the ad revenue. I would understand if it was someone who doesn't draw a comfortable salary from what he/she writes, because then adding a sponsor would make sense from a financial standpoint. Bill Simmons doesn't need a sponsor to provide him income, at least I don't think so. Therefore he really can't have monetary motivations to include it, so why would he?

Even though the article said Simmons agreed to it, I am not sure if that's true or not. He fought pretty hard for independence from ESPN telling him what to do, I don't know if I can see him adding a corporate sponsor to part of his column without a little kicking and screaming.


Martin said...

Pressed for time, but I bet Simmons has gone the total sellout route because ESPN has forced a lot of it on him. Sort of the "F this, if you're going to make me do such and such, I'm going such and such full bore and squeezing every last dime out of this shit." I think Bill is tired of ESPN dictating how and what he does, and making money off him (yes I know he gets paid by them, but it seems pretty obvious that things are not going the way that were anticipated by Senor William)so to hell with it....let's rack up the cashey money for Team Simmons too!

The Girl said...

The other stupid thing about Joe saying that the Twins need to keep Mauer because he plays so well in the Metrodome is that they won't be playing there next year because they are getting a NEW stadium. It really seems from his statements that Joe doesn't know this. Of course, why would we expect him to know about it, it's not like it's his job to know about professional baseball teams.

Iridescence said...

The MVP is different from the Cy Young because the word "valuable" in it.
In theory, the Cy Young voters are supposed to give it to the best pitcher. They get it wrong sometimes but at least the objective is correct.
I wish they would just change MVP to "best position player". How "valuable" a player is is really hard to define and often depends on the voter's subjective perceptions of what is valuable.

"Best" is a lot easier to define semi-objectively.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, that could very well be it. I thought of that, where he was in full "what the hell ever" mode. Shockingly, I have enough respect for him to think he would never want to have a sponsor attached to his column without there being other circumstances involved.

The Girl (I need to think of a better way to address you), I completely forget to address the fact they were getting a new stadium. I was so focused on making sure I proved him wrong. I have no doubt Joe Morgan did not know this...but he does know the Indians could have kept Sabathia if they had wanted. Him saying Mauer benefitted from the Metrodome was so egregious, I could have just gone on and on about it.

Iridescence, that's a great thought I did not actually think about. I guess I sort of ignore see the Cy Young as the MVP for pitchers so I use the same standard. Maybe they should take "valuable" out of the name because it is so subjective like you said. Valuable is so different for every team, it is hard to pick out which player is the most valuable, especially with the amount of statistics that are available today which have revealed some players are more/less valuable in some aspects of the game than previously thought.

Chris W said...

Technically Cy Young voters are supposed to give their award to the pitcher whose facial features most resemble Cy Young's

They have typically failed at this task!

Chris W said...


I'd say give it to Paul Assenmacher

Bengoodfella said...

The voters really have failed haven't they. I would have to say just by looking at some other pictures of Cy Young:



the winner of the Cy Young should be a gentleman around the age of 60 years old if that person has to look like Cy Young did during his playing career. Paul Assenmacher would be a good choice too though.

Is that a young Dennis Hopper third from the right in the group photo? Damn, I didn't know he knew Cy Young.