Tuesday, October 5, 2010

15 comments Joe Morgan Continues the Debacle He Calls a Chat

Each week Joe Morgan fascinates us with his knowledge of baseball. Each week Joe Morgan frustrates us with his (lack of) knowledge of baseball as well. It's getting to be the end of the baseball season, which means I can't mock Joe on a weekly basis for much longer, so I will have to enjoy my outrage at his non-responses enough to last me the entire winter. There is no doubt Joe will be back with ESPN next year so there is no doubt we will get non-responses to questions, or complete avoidance of questions, in the future. So that's no comfort really. This week Joe makes no predictions, talks in circles, and shows up late for the chat. In other words, it's a typical Joechat.

JM (11:04am): Each year for the last three or four years, I have commended the players for their donations to BAT - Baseball Assistance Team. This year, they have donated from the players' own pockets, not from the MLBPA, of over $1.5 million. BAT supports former MLB players, minor league players, former executives, managers, coaches who are having financial difficulties.

Joe must be ready to go today because there is no Buzzmaster. Perhaps the Buzzmaster got bored and left since Joe showed up to the chat four minutes late. Perhaps the Buzzmaster is pretending to be Joe Morgan, since that wouldn't be hard at all to do. Perhaps there is no such thing as Joe Morgan, but he is actually a robot that ESPN has created in the effort to make the rest of their MLB analysts feel smart. At this point, anything is possible.

I have a charity, like Joe, I would like to encourage everyone to donate to PacWeight - People Against Chats Where the Expert Isn't Good at Having Thoughts.

Any donation will be sent to sports networks to give them extra money to hire smarter and less ignorant employees to chat with the public. Every time an "expert" chats with the public and misleads the public or doesn't answer a question, a puppy is clawed to death by a Polar bear (holds up a picture of a Chocolate Lab puppy) and a kitten is lured into heavy traffic with promises of frolicking with the biggest ball of yarn in the world (holds up a picture of a kitten sitting on top of a huge ball of yarn). It's vitally important to stop these "expert" chatters before they insult our intelligence again.

Todd (Atlanta)

With Martin Prado going down with a hip injury, do the Braves have enough offense to sneak into the playoffs?

At this point the Braves are like that friend you invite to a party hoping he isn't coming because he will bring his bitchy-ass girlfriend and everyone will spend the entire time asking you why she is such a hateful person. Bobby Cox is the friend and the Braves team is the bitchy-ass girlfriend. We all want him there, but we don't want to see Matt Diaz hitting 3rd or see Melky Cabrera hitting 5th. It may be best if they just don't come to the party. Unfortunately, they got invited.

JM: I always thought their offense was suspect even with Prado. He's had a great year, but he's not a Chipper Jones who can carry you for a few days at at time.

So Martin Prado isn't a Hall of Famer. Quite insightful.

They're still going to have to manufacture runs here and there, like they were playing.

Fortunately, the Braves have three sweatshops with illegal immigrants and children who are considered underage child laborers working 24 hours a day without pay working on manufacturing runs in three different (undisclosed) locations in the United States. It's a big break for them. They should be able to manufacture enough runs for at least a week. After that, there's no telling what could happen...they may have to outsource the manufacturing and of course that leads to lower quality runs and the potential of clogging the bases.

But if their starting pitching holds up they can make it.

That's a positive sign considering they currently have three starters. Seriously, they have three starters, so the starting pitching really hasn't held up in regard to their health. Does Joe Morgan not know this? Their fourth starter is Brandon Beachy (his real name) who was only a part-time starter in the minors and their fifth starter doesn't currently exist, though Rick Ankiel is the emergency fifth starter (I am kidding, but wouldn't that be awesome?). Also, Jair Jurrjens has reported his arm doesn't hurt as bad as it once did, so he will be completely healthy by the time he becomes a free agent in a couple of years, at which point he and Scott Boras will ask for a 10 year $300 million contract and for some reason the Dodgers will agree to these terms.

Ted (The Headlands, NJ)

You saw the meltdown firsthand on Sunday. Realistically, what is Papelbon?s future with the Red Sox?

(Theo Epstein answers this question) "I'm sorry, who is Jonathan Papelbon again? I don't recall ever meeting this man."

JM: I think his future is suspect there. He wants to be paid as the premiere closer and he has not pitched that way this year.

He hasn't pitched like a premiere closer this year at all. He has refused all photos of him walking the red carpet and hasn't put a lot of money into marketing himself. He is not a premiere-type closer (stops with movie analogy because few people probably care that Joe Morgan misspelled the word "premiere" or at least used it in the wrong context).

I think it will be the same thing with closers. I don't think you'll see them get the elite money like starters. I think that big money will go to the starting pitchers capable of putting the team on their shoulders.

Riiiiiiiiiiiight. All it takes is one team to melt down in the playoffs at the closer spot and the next thing you know Papelbon is handed a 3 year $33 million deal to close. Closers will still get good money. I don't see why this would change.

Jay (South Korea)

Love ur work Joe!Last night's gem against Washington locked up Halladay for Cy, do you agree?

JM: Well, the fact that Jimenez has not been able to win, I would say yes.

(Bengoodfella vomits on the floor)

I'm not belaboring this point for the 900th time, but the Jimenez has not been able to win means nothing. HAS HE PITCHED WELL OR NOT? THAT'S WHAT THE CY YOUNG IS ABOUT!

Jimenez has pitched well, but he hasn't been able to win and Halladay has won. I think with the fact that the Phillies have won that Halladay will win it.

Wins are determined by how the entire team played. It's a poor reason to differentiate between two candidates based on wins. Halladay deserves the NL Cy Young, but at least judge the award on the correct criteria.

M@ (Hattiesburg, MS)

As wide open as the AL CY Young race is, I haven't heard Jon Lester mentioned once, even though his numbers are better than C.C.'s. across the board, an equal to Felix. For instance, opponents hit .243 off CC, .213 against Felix and .214 against Lester. Did his flirtation with a no-hitter against the Yankees Saturday put him on the map, finally? Who would you give the CY to?

JM: I think he's always been in the race in my mind.

Which is why Joe has never mentioned Lester as being in the AL Cy Young race and said about the AL Cy Young race (begins to flip through his notebook of stupid shit Joe Morgan has said...ten minutes later):

JM: I think it's a joke to have that kind of debate.

What Sabathia has done is be the best pitcher in the AL from opening day to this point.

There's no mention of Lester being in the race as Joe mocks anyone who thinks there is even an AL Cy Young debate to be had.

I like what Felix Hernandez has done, but he has won only 12 games.


People say that he doesn't get support from his teamamtes, but guess what, every award is a team award.

No they are not. The MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year awards are INDIVIDUAL awards. There is no way to debate this because it is a fact. Every individual award is exactly that, an individual award based on individual efforts during the season.

You can't win the MVP without your teammates.

Most Valuable Player. That's what "MVP" stands for. Player. Not Team. But Player.

Do we look at an MVP candidate and say his team didn't give him a chance to drive in runs?

No we don't, because we don't look just at RBI's to judge an MVP...or at least we shouldn't.

The fact is that Felix has won 12 games and CC has won 20. It is harder to win in a championship environment in New York than in Felix's situation.

Seriously. Joe Morgan is setting new depths of his own idiocy. He has jumped his own shark when it comes to stupidity. Does he really think winning 20 games with the Yankees lineup is harder than winning 12 games with the Mariners lineup? Does Joe really think winning 20 games in New York is harder than winning 12 games on a team in Seattle? New York is the media capital of the United States and there may be some more pressure, but this is pure bullshit.

Let's look at what Felix Hernandez has done in his career at new Yankee Stadium...without the Yankees offense in new Yankee Stadium:

2-0, 0.00 ERA, 17 IP, 6 hits, 22 strikeouts, 0.706 WHIP. He's really had trouble pitching in New York lately.

Just look at AJ Burnett this year. Felix has done a good job this year, but he's not in the same difficulty level of pitching this year as CC.

AJ Burnett has nothing to do with this discussion. Pitching in New York isn't that much harder than pitching in Seattle. A pitcher that is as successful as Felix Hernandez is wouldn't mind the pressure, plus the run support he would get.

We have gotten to a point where it seems as only strikeouts are important to a pitcher and it's not. If the big stats were the only factor than Jose Batista with his HRs should be the MVP and I don't agree with that.

I compared CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez a couple weeks ago, but Joe Morgan is a crazy person and thinks all Hernandez does is strike people out, which is very incorrect. Here are the statistics for both pitchers and where they rank in MLB:

CC Sabathia: 3.18 ERA (22nd), 237.2 IP (3rd), 197 SO (15th), 21 wins (1st), 1.19 WHIP (27th), and 26 quality starts (3rd)

Felix Hernandez: 2.27 ERA (1st), 249.2 IP (2nd), 232 SO (2nd), 13 wins (34th), 1.06 WHIP (5th), and 30 quality starts (1st).

Hernandez is the better pitcher. Throw in the fact he doesn't get as much run support as Sabathia and I don't see how Sabathia is the winner of the AL Cy Young.

Ken (Maryland)

Hey Joe, given their late season success, is there hope for the Orioles next year?


JM: There is hope for improvement, because they've shown they can improve.

What? There is also reason for a feeling they will not improve, because the team hasn't improved at times as well.

Jason (Limestone NY)

What would the odds be if the Rays don,t get a new stadium soon that they will leave for greener pastures?

JM: All this talk about teams leaving, where are they going to go? There aren't places to go any more.

Are all the cities in the United States not consistent enough to Joe? There are quite a few places in the United States that could support a baseball team.

There are a lot of teams that are not doing well attendance wise, but there are not a lot of places to go. And the economy has effected baseball's attendance, football's attendance. Just moving won't change the economy.

It won't change the economy, but there are cities that could support a baseball team, even if the Rays tried to stay on the East Coast.

Matt (IN)

Thoughts on Mattingly as the Dodgers manager? Seems to me like he's in a bad situation, since the ownership issue appears that it will linger on.

JM: He's in a bad situation, but there are only 30 MLB managers and he will be one of them. There are a lot of guys standing in line wanting to be managers. In fact, MLB says you're supposed to interview minorities before you hire somebody. It doesn't seem like the Dodgers did that in this case and Mattingly got a pass to become a manager.

Ok. Not thoughts on Mattingly as the Dodgers manager from Joe then. Perhaps Joe can't read and thought the question was, "Thoughts on managerial hirings of minorities Joe? It seems that is all you want to talk about so just go ahead and do it."

Marcus (Cville)

Do you think the Phillies can make a third straight world series appearance?

JM: I think the Phillies can do it. But, anybody, I repeat, anybody, that gets into the playoffs can get on a roll for a short period of time and make it to the World Series.

Everytime I read Joe Morgan talking about how any teams that make the playoffs can win the World Series I feel my blood pressure shoot through the roof. This a completely obvious statement. I wish he would quit saying it.

But I favor the Phillies to win. I very rarely pick a team this early.

"This early?" When Joe did this chat it was one week before the playoffs started. 6 of the 8 teams that were going to be in the playoffs had been decided at that point. At what point is it the right time to choose a team to win the World Series? Choose two teams from Atlanta, San Diego, and San Francisco, pretend they make the playoffs and then say who you think will win the World Series. It's painfully easy to do and one week is not too early to pick the World Series winner.

I like how Joe feels comfortable enough to say in Spring Training the Phillies were the best team in the National League, but it is too early in late September to predict who will win the World Series. Joe has some serious prediction issues.

Brodie (Iowa)

I am looking forward to a possible SF-PHI matchup. If there is one team that can compete with the Phils rotation, its the Giants. Thoughts?

JM: The Giants rotation can compete, but where are they going to score runs?

Back on my soapbox...Joe is admitting here that the Giants rotation is as good, or near as good, as the Phillies rotation, but wonders how the Giants will score runs. So all things being equal, the Giants have nearly as good set of pitchers as the Phillies, but the offense is what separates these teams from each other. So why judge a pitcher for the Cy Young award on how well his offense does? How in the world is every individual award actually a team award then? If a pitcher getting a win is based on the variable of how well that teams hits, why factor that in the Cy Young race?

Their defense doesn't have a lot of range. Their offense is inconsistent. They can pitch well, but they can't win a 0-0 game.

Given this fact a pitcher can't win a 0-0 game, how is the Cy Young a team award?

Eric D (CT)

Do you agree with Girardi starting CC today instead of on Friday which would line him up for game 1 of the playoffs on normal rest?

JM: I can't get into the head of Girardi or the Yankees, because I'm not in the clubhouse to know.

No one is asking you to get in their heads, but they are asking you to give your opinion.

I talked to him Sunday and I thought I got an understanding of what he was trying to do. I'm not sure he knows exactly what he is going to do.

So Joe doesn't even need to get in the head of Joe Girardi because he had a conversation with him about this issue. So why try to deflect the question in the beginning of this answer?

This is not the same Yankees teams as the past. They won't be able to roll along like they did last year. He's going to have to manage more throughout the playoffs.

Remember how much Joe Girardi over-managed in the playoffs last year? I do. Joe Morgan doesn't.

I'm tired of hearing people say that homefield doesn't help. I played in enough playoffs to know that it's always better to be able to start at home.

I hate it when people have data that is supported by reason instead of using their emotions and possibly incorrect assumptions to claim something is true when it may not be.

Why are all these statistics messing Joe's assumptions like this?

That one game sometimes makes a big difference, even if it doesn't get to a final game.

According to the information Joe Sheehan has collected, it doesn't always make a big difference. Here is the key quote from his study:

The baseball postseason is merely a highly entertaining roll of the dice. Being the best team over 162 games makes you just 8 percent more likely than the other guys are to get through to the World Series. Having home-field edge doesn't confer much advantage. Even if a series comes down to one game, where that game is played doesn't seem to matter.

Joe can be tired of people saying homefield advantage doesn't matter, but when the statistics back up those people, Joe could very well be wrong. Joe can believe in his head homefield advantage makes a big difference, but unfortunately reality doesn't always mesh with this belief.

Hank (MLW)

SF/SD or ATL? WHo you got winning the wild card?

JM: I have San Francisco coming out.

The entire city? I always knew, but will not judge them for it. It's so brave of them.

And I thought San Diego would finish second, because the Phillies would be playing the Braves at the end. But now that they've clinched, I'm not sure how they will play those games.

They will use a baseball and eight fielders and one fielder on each side. The games will played exactly like the other games of baseball that have been played all year.

I'm going to go with the Giants winning the division and it's a toss up with the Braves and Padres, but I'm going to give the edge to the Braves.

Somehow Joe's prediction was right. Maybe this will influence him to make more predictions in the future...though I really doubt he will even remember predicting this.

The Braves' home record is unbelievable.

I wouldn't call it unbelievable. As of the day of this chat they had a 69.3 winning percentage at home, but the Phillies had a 64.2 winning percentage and the Twins had a 67.5% winning percentage at home. They are very good at home, but I don't know if this is an unbelievable record.

Don't forget about the BAT dinner, Jan. 25 in New York.

Don't forget about the PAC-WEIGHT luncheon on October 14th in Newark, New Jersey. The speaker will be Jon Miller, who will relate what it has been like to work with Joe Morgan and there will be three separate Buzzmasters who have moderated Joe's chats to give us an inside perspective of whether Joe chats fully clothed or not.


rich said...

I always thought their offense was suspect even with Prado.

They had the 5th most runs in baseball. They also had a run differential of over +100. The question wasn't "does the Braves offense suck" (which no, it does not), it was "is it good enough to get into the playoffs?" The answer to that is yes, because they have good pitching.

I don't think you'll see them get the elite money like starters.

No shit. Seriously? No one is going to shell out 20M a year for a closer?

I like what Felix Hernandez has done, but he has won only 12 games.

The best thing is that Hernandez plays in the AL and so he doesn't even get to bat. He is literally powerless when it comes to his team scoring runs.

Do we look at an MVP candidate and say his team didn't give him a chance to drive in runs?

Well a hitter can always drive in runs. They're called homeruns. They're quite popular in baseball these days from what I hear. But yes, if a guy hits 60 HRs and has 80 RBIs, that likely means his team isn't giving him chances to drive in runs.

Just look at AJ Burnett this year. Felix has done a good job this year, but he's not in the same difficulty level of pitching this year as CC.

Just look at Wilson Valdez, he proves how good a job Ryan Howard has done this year.

There aren't places to go any more.


In fact, MLB says you're supposed to interview minorities before you hire somebody.

The Rooney rule! The single most retarded thing ever in the history of business. If a team wants to hire guy X why the fuck should they have to interview a minority first? Why should they waste their time talking to a guy with 0% shot at the job?

I know the rule is meant to help minorities get interviews and practice, but if every interview they have is a sham... what's the point?

But, anybody, I repeat, anybody, that gets into the playoffs can get on a roll for a short period of time and make it to the World Series.

What!?!?! Next you'll tell me any team that plays in baseball has a chance to make the playoffs over a grueling 162 game season.

I very rarely pick a team this early.

There are four fucking teams. FOUR. When the fuck were you going to wait to pick one? After the NLCS?

JM: The Giants rotation can compete, but where are they going to score runs?

Announcement: If your team's pitcher throws a shutout you can't lose. That is all.

Announcement: The Phillies bullpen sucks ass. If the game is 0-0 going into the 7th, I'd take the Giants' bullpen over the Phillies'.

Matt said...

typical joechat.

the idea that the Cy Young is a "team award" is funny. i think he got that idea from previous winners who say "i couldnt have won this without the help of my teammates." joe must have actually believed them. he probably believes that atheletes who thank god all the time really believe that god is the one who was responsible for scoring that winning touchdown or hitting the big homerun.

in today's chat, joe refused to make a world series winner prediction. although he said in the very first question that the phillies are the best team on paper. he also said last year he predicted that the yankees would win. so last year he can make a prediction but he can't this year???? what gives. (prediction: a year from now if the phillies win he will claim that he predicted the phillies to win)

quick change of subject. the baseball playoffs are about to start. i wonder if simmons will acknowledge this relatively obscure fact. since the redsox have been out of it for weeks (if not the entire year), i'm guessing not a mention of baseball in a simmons column or (not that i listen) podcast. why bother, it's only one of the 2 most popular sports in america. who would read a column on baseball if it's not about the redsox?

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, those runs were pretty misleading because I feel like they would get a lot of runs in one game and then get shut out by a decent pitcher. The offense is pretty suspect, or at least I think it is.

Joe doesn't understand how runs are misleading, so I don't think he can understand that Felix doesn't get to hit at all so he can't understand how wins by a pitcher aren't a good way to measure how good that pitcher is.

I have no idea what that AJ Burnett/Felix Hernandez comparison was. They have really nothing to do with each other.

I think minority hiring is going to be more prevalent at some point. I just look it as a team that doesn't interview or hire a minority is not a great organization to begin with and may be rejecting good talent for no good reason.

This was a great chat. It was all about Joe misunderstanding what individual awards are and just generally being unknowledgeable...or acting that way.

Matt, there is no way the Cy Young or MVP is a team award and not an individual award. How is an individual award a team award? It's not possible.

I can't wait to read Joe's chat for this week. I love how he takes credit for his predictions but also refuses to make any. That's a bit contradictory. He mentions he thinks a team is the best and then later will say he predicted that team was the best. There is a difference. A reluctant answer isn't a prediction.

Bill Simmons will not be writing a baseball column this fall. No way. He only writes when the Red Sox are involved. The only reason he would write one is to mock a Yankees loss or if something REALLY exciting happens. Then he will make up a rule for why it happened.

Matt said...

you're right, ben, but why wouldn't he? simmons apparantly follows baseball, plays in a fantasy baseball league, and writes about sports (in general) for a living. he's not confined to one sport a la peter king or easterbrook.

it's baseball! it's baseball for crying out loud. the national pastime. he's written as many articles (if not more) about soccer than baseball over the past 2 years.

and btw, the baseball attendance figures came out recently. attendance was down .3%. or basically nothing. good call on that one bill.

ok, back to bashing joe morgan. there's only another month of joechats left (tear).

Anonymous said...

Phil Hughes had 18 wins pitching under the immense pressure of NY. I wonder if Joe has him finishing 2nd in the CY race.

And Burnett is probably 3rd because once you adjust for NY Pressure his normalized ERA is probably in the low 2's in Joe's mind. Oh wait who am I kidding, words like "adjusted" and "normalized" probably scare Joe away.

And I don't mean to be too much of a nitpicker here, but even though you feel that the Braves didn't have a good offense this year, the fact that they scored the 5th most runs in the NL is hard to argue against. You may think that they are a high variance offense, or perhaps there runs were driven by extra good luck in situations with men on base, and you watch the Braves a lot more than me so you might be right. But at the same time, you need to consider the offenses of the other NL teams because that's ultimately what you are comparing them to to when you say a team has a good or bad offense. Some of these teams are absolutely dreadful at hitting. The Braves team OBP is .339 and that was the best in the NL. 5 NL team OBP'd under .320 (Pirates, Nationals, Pardes, Mets, Astros) and 6 other NL teams OBP'd between .320 and .325, inclusive. So while the Braves don't have good power in their lineup, they were still (relatively) very good at getting on base compared to the competition.

Or look at it this way. As frustrated as you are with the Brave hitters, look at the lineups that some of these other NL teams are putting out there. Many of them actually are worse than the Braves. Heyward, McCann, Chipper, Prado, and Infante were all good offensive players this year (even though Chipper was not up to his normal power standards, he still OBP'd .381, which is really good). That's about half your lineup that was pretty good. And your backup catcher was one of the best hitting backup catchers in baseball this year. The entire offensive production from the Brave catchers was head and shoulders above the competition this year. Most of these other NL teams have a tough time finding 3 or 4 good offensive players in the same lineup, but the Braves probably had 4 to 5 decent players in most daily lineups.

The injuries got out of control and things at the end were tough. Batting Melky 5th is a joke. But all in all the Brave offense was above average this year compared to some of the awful lineups that other NL teams were putting out there.

Some of the horrible lineups like the Astros or Pirates are obvious. But there are some less obvious ones too like the Dodgers or Cubs.

Lots of "experts" blame the Dodger woes on pitching and not having a true ace and other garbage like that. They had Kemp, Ethier, Manny, Loney, Martin and Furcal on their team this year. That sounds like a decent bunch of hitters. But they were shutout 17 times this year. They scored 1 run or fewer in 38 games (roughly 23% of their games). They scored 2 runs or fewer in 57 games.

The Cubs were shutout 17 times this year. They scored 1 run or fewer in 39 games this year (roughly 24% of their games). They scored 2 runs or fewer in 58 games this year. These numbers are all eerily similar to that of the Dodgers (I didn't cherry pick that on purpose, I just chose 2 teams that scored a lower number of runs than the Braves but were probably perceived as much better hitting teams than Atlanta).

Meanwhile the Braves were shutout 13 times this year. They scored 1 run or fewer in 25 games (15% of their games), and they scored 2 runs or fewer in 45 games. That might still sound kind of pathetic, but compared to the competition it is not lame at all. Keep in mind that scoring was down across the league this year.

Martin said...

I have no idea about the variance of the offense, which is a great term Anon, it sums up what I was thinking, but I remember the Indians of the mid-90's, and while they seemed like an offensive juggernaut, it was only partly true. It was part of my introduction to better stat systems. I think it was Thomas Boswell of all folks, who graphed out that against #3-5 starters the Indians scored something like 75% of their runs, or some absurd number. It was way out of whack even based on how many more runs typical teams scored against bad pitching, because the Indians absolutely clobbered bad pitching. Against #1 and 2 starters though, they were actually below league average. I was wondering if the Braves offense acted similarly.

I know if a hitter hit .340, 60 home runs, and had 80 rbi, most folk would think he ahd a hell of a year, and had a pee wee team trying to get on base in front of him. I know nobody would hold it against him that he didn't have 100+ rbi, which it seems Joe would want to do.

I don't believe Joe when he tries to tell us he predicted the Yankees last year. I'm almost positive he did the same thing this year as last. "The Yankees are the best team on papaer, so you would expect them to win but in the playoffs...." No Joe, that's not a prediction you lazy fuck. No you don't get credit for telling anybody the Yankees were the best team on paper.

I'll make my prediction. The Phils, because they can throw their front 3 like 80+% of the time in the playoffs, and it's an un-Godly front 3. I should know, I had Roy and Roy on my Ben League FF Team...


Anonymous said...

different anon here,

yes runs can be misleading but thankfully we have fangraphs WAR for teams in different components like team batting, team fielding, and team pitching.

they rank the braves offensive component of WAR as 3rd best in the NL so this seems to indicate that yes the braves hitters were better than the average league hitting

btw to see how runs can be misleading check out the phillies. they had the second most runs in the NL yet their offensive component of WAR ranked just below the braves and the raw total of the phillies offensive WAR component wasn't anywhere close to the top 2 teams in hitters WAR, the Reds and Brewers. those two teams more than doubled the phillies offensive WAR even though the phillies outscored the brewcrew and were close with the Reds in runs scored. part of this is due to ballpark effect adjustments but there must be more to it than that for such a drastic difference. perhaps the phillies are the better example of a team with a lot of really high scoring games that have masked way too many low scoring games, thus rendering the average misleading. judging from the number of losses that hamels and halladay have i bet that team had plenty of games where they barely scored any runs.

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, he wouldn't do it because Bill has trouble writing a column about baseball and not talking about the Red Sox or the Yankees. I know he has done it before, but Bill has most of his columns come from the point of view of his favorite team...now that the season is over I don't know if he will write something. Maybe he will write a column about a Yankees-Phillies World Series, that's a possibility, but I am not holding my breath. As far as attendance goes, that whole "Red Sox/boring" column was shit anyway, so I figured he would end up being off.

Anon, fine...I will not bash my team for not scoring runs then. It just feels like they suck at hitting. They couldn't get a run off Vance Worley for God's sake. They struggled against Kyle Kendrick. These aren't terrible pitchers, but these are guys the Braves should hit the ball well against. You bring up valid points and are right though.

I can't argue against statistics, I know this as well as anyone. I still am not sure I have faith in the current lineup's ability to put runs on the board. Of course I thought the lineup in the 90's should have put runs on the board and won a couple of World Series but that didn't happen either.

You make completely valid and evidence-based points. This Braves team has been the most frustrating Braves team in a long while for me. They just frustrate the shit out of me. I'm not going to whine about my team, but I should quit whining about the offense for the Braves. I need to have better perspective, which I usually have, but I think too many days of bizarre batting orders that feature Matt Diaz third and Melky 5th with Brooks Conrad playing a large part in the offense taking a toll on my mind.

I think I've lost perspective on the lineup at some point and I need to get that back. The National League did have some weak lineups and the Braves were one of the deeper teams (earlier in the year), so I will quit whining now.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, I wouldn't doubt if the Braves acted similarly, though I am not sure. I feel like they actually hit some #1 and #2 starters well this year. I don't know how that measurement works b/c if they hit Oswalt hard in Houston then they are hitting a #1 starter, but if they hit him hard in Philly he is a #3 starter. It sounds like the #3-#5 starter idea is a bit relative.

My prediction is the Phillies as well. I think they will play the Rays or Yankees (haven't decided yet) and beat them. Pitching wins in the playoffs and the Phillies have pitching.

I have no doubt Joe Morgan did not predict the Yankees would win the WS. He probably said they were the strongest team but hedged on his pick.

The end of the Fantasy baseball league was crazy. I can't believe we had that many ppl fighting for the #1 spot. If the season had lasted 3 more days I think the #4 or #5 place team could have ended up winning.

Anon, I actually had seen that towards the end of the season and thought it was an error. I think I have been having moments where I can't believe the numbers because I watch the Braves play and think they are terrible, when they aren't. Either way, I have come to realize I am whining about my team that made the playoffs and that is bullshit. I will quit doing that.

Good point on the runs the Phillies scored and how they could have scored those runs in bunches. I remember early in the year, Joe Morgan was talking about how Halladay had too many losses compared to Adam Wainwright, so at some point he wasn't getting great run support.

This is another reason why I think the "win" category for pitchers is so overrated. Even people who understand runs scored by his team are a component of a pitcher's record can sometimes be misled if they don't have the right data in front of them. Without using this data, a person could think an offense was stronger or weaker than they thought. Statistics like this are good.

Martin said...

What Boswell did wasn't take the #1 starter off each team, but divided the starting pitchers into 5 groups, with the best 20% being "#1 starters", the next 20% the "#2 starters". So in theory, a team like the Phils could have three #1 starters, and a team like the Pirates could have three #5 starters.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, well that makes more sense then. That would make it less relative. I would be interested to see that study done for this year.

The Pirates could very well have 5 #5 starters...

Anonymous said...

Ok anon #2 you have some good points about using FanGraphs WAR. That is certainly better than just looking at runs scored.

I checked out the Phillies in those low-scoring games you mentioned. They were shutout 11 times, they scored 1 run or fewer in 34 games (21%), and they scored 2 runs or fewer in 51 games.

I might as well go through the high scoring games as well. I'm not sure what cutoff you might prefer. I think 9 or 10 runs is a boatload of runs, especially in the NL. I guess I'll go with 9 runs as the minimum for now. The Phillies scored 9 runs or more in 29 games. The Braves scored 9 runs or more in 20 games. The Dodgers scored 9 runs or more in 17 games, and the Cubs did it in 17 games.

And Ben I do understand your frustration with lack of hitting. I am a Yankees fan. The Yankees have the best offense in baseball by a large margin by most measures, and yet I still find myself very frustrated with the offense a lot when they get shutdown by guys like Sean O'Sullivan and other nobodies like that. It is hard to remind myself that as frustrated as I am, other fans are probably even more frustrated with their favorite team's crappier offenses. The Yankees have the best offense in baseball. I must sound like a spoiled dumb ass to my friends when I rant about how much guys like Granderson or Jeter have "struggled" this year and my team "only" has 7 or 8 good hitters in the lineup.

And then I look at the lineups of a team like the Angels or White Sox or Baltimore or the Royals and realize that my team is pretty darned good at scoring runs.

But if they get shutdown by guys like Carl Pavano or Duensing in this opening playoff round...I know I am going to crack up.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I know how it can be. I am married to a Yankees fan and I have heard "A-Rod sucks" a few too many times. I would be glad to have him playing 3B on the Braves team right now. That would be absolutely perfect.

I know the Braves offense isn't that bad, but it does feel that way sometimes. I keep finding a statistic that says the Braves were 13th in runs scored in MLB this year. Why do I keep finding this when everyone else says they were 5th?

To your point about getting shut down by Pavano and Duensing, I just don't know if the Braves can hit Cain and Lincecum. We'll find out I guess.

Those are some interesting numbers to see. I never would have thought the Phillies would have scored 2 or less runs in 96 games. They seem to be a feast or famine-type offense.

Anonymous said...

The Phillies scored 2 runs or fewer in 51 games, not 96. Maybe I had a typo somewhere in that last post.

The Braves were 5th in runs scored in the National League. In terms of overall MLB ranking they were 13th. But it isn't really fair to compare the NL teams to the AL teams in runs scored due to the DH. 8 of the top 11 team in runs scored were AL teams.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I get you. I thought it said runs scored in baseball, not NL.

Yeah, you made it quite clear that you were talking about 51 games was the correct amount but I just had a brain fart and read it wrong. I am an idiot. Still, that seems like a lot of games to score 2 or less runs...but it may not be.