Sunday, September 18, 2011

7 comments I Come Not to Bury Mike Vick, But to Not Praise Marcus Hayes

It's difficult for me to find Marcus Hayes' articles online. I have his page at the Daily News bookmarked, but I find his articles aren't posted a lot. It's always a joy when I get to read them though. The same guy who hates Chase Utley and thinks Jimmy Rollins should hit fifth for the Phillies so he could hit the Hayes-predicted 30 home runs in 2011 (Rollins is only 16 home runs off that pace at this point) thinks Mike Vick is easily worth the $100 million contract he recently received. In the immortal words of Joe Morgan, it is too early to tell, but rather than debating that point, I dis-enjoyed Hayes' reasoning Vick would be worth this amount of money because he makes two absurd claims to back up. Of course he fits in time to compliment Ryan Howard and insult Cliff Lee.

Michael Vick got $40 million, guaranteed, as part of the 6-year, $100 million contract extension he signed with the Eagles on Monday night.

The deal might be worth more like $80 million over 5 years, with $35.5 million guaranteed.

Either way, he is worth every nickel.

I will agree a franchise quarterback, which is what the Eagles think Vick is, can easily be worth that much money. My biggest issue is whether the Eagles should have spent some of that money on other positions on the roster, like the offensive line, but I guess it doesn't matter since they were going to re-sign Vick anyway.

Time, and his specious offensive line, will tell. Maybe he will learn to beat blitzes. Maybe he will learn to slide when he scrambles and tuck when the sackers collapse the pocket around him.

Vick is 31. If he can't beat blitzes now and learn to slide when scrambling or tuck the ball when the defense is getting to him in the pocket then I am not sure he will remember to do it now.

Irrefutably, he is the most gifted quarterback in the history of the league.

I must have misread this sentence.

Irrefutably, he is the most gifted quarterback in the history of the league.


How in the hell is this statement irrefutable? I realize Vick is an extremely talented quarterback when it comes to throwing the ball really hard and running with the football. He can be amazing at times. I’m not denying his talent. It’s crazy to call Vick the most gifted quarterback in NFL history and it is even crazier to say this statement is irrefutable. His scrambling ability doesn't make up for the fact he isn't always a great passer of the football nor does it mean his scrambling makes him more gifted than other quarterbacks in NFL history. Being gifted isn't always a physical thing.

He is the NFL's Michael Jordan, without the corporate cachet.

If you are going to make me do it this way…he is also Michael Jordan without the championships, the MVP awards, and without the statistics that back up the claim of him as being the most gifted quarterback in the history of the NFL. He’s gifted, but he is nowhere near the NFL version of Michael Jordan.

The $20 million sources say he will make this year is commensurate with the Phillies' two pillars - athletes who, besides Vick, are the only two players in town worth their money, without argument.

Last spring, the Phillies gave charismatic slugger Ryan Howard $125 million over 5 years.

Which, irrefutably, Howard is not worth that amount of money.

(See what I did there?)

This topic has been discussed here and other places, but Ryan Howard very well may not be worth that amount of money per year as he ages. Of course he does drive runs in, which is apparently pretty much all it takes to impress Howard’s defenders, as if Howard could drive in as many runs as he does if there weren’t men on-base for him to drive in.

Howard is the foundation of the franchise, and has been since 2006: 191 straight sellouts? They're on his shoulders.

Those 191 sellouts may also have something to do with five consecutive division titles, a new ballpark, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and the other quality players the Phillies have had on their team since 2006. I’m sure Ryan Howard is singlehandedly responsible for these sellouts and it isn’t a by-product of the Phillies team success. Let’s keep believing that.

He cannot be paid enough.

I’m pretty sure his getting paid $25 million per year is enough for many Phillies fans.

Lee is on his second run of dominant pitching this season - but that's what his is, what he has always been. Streaky.

This is, of course, as opposed to the always consistent Ryan Howard. The same guy who is responsible for 191 straight sellouts for the Phillies. He’s not streaky because Marcus Hayes doesn’t care to see him that way, when reality is slightly different.

(It seems Marcus Hayes graduated from the Joe Morgan School of Player Analysis where if a player doesn’t have a batting average within 0.1 of his season average or a pitcher doesn't have an ERA within 0.1 of his season average for every single month of the baseball season that makes him inconsistent)

Howard’s splits for 2011:

March/April: .290/.351/.560

May: .208/.317/.434

June: .269/.397/.473

July: .250/.306/.440

August: .225/.303/.517

September: .255/.397/.553

Lee’s ERA/WHIP splits for 2011:

March/April: 4.18/1.052

May: 3.78/1.406

June: 0.21/0.690

July: 4.91/1.333

August: 0.45/0.782

September: 0.72/0.72

Comparing a pitcher and a position player is difficult to do. Still, you can see they both aren't the most consistent players. So Lee has either been really, really, really good or just below average. Howard has been really good, below average, or average. Some baseball players tend to be inconsistent like this. My point is Cliff Lee is inconsistent, but I think that criticism can be put on Ryan Howard at times as well.

He was not better than decent for the first 2 months this season. He was poor in July. For $25 million per, streaky does not equal value.

So I guess Ryan Howard isn’t a value either? Unless Marcus Hayes lives in a fantasy world where three months of sub-.320 is a good thing. I also enjoy how Marcus calls out the months where Lee was decent and poor, but neglects to mention the three months of incredible pitching performances. I’m sure there is some reason Marcus hates Cliff Lee much in the way he doesn’t like Chase Utley, but I can't figure it out.

However, teammate (and talk-radio punching bag) Andre Iguodala earned every cent of his money. Like Brand, Iguodala signed in 2008, but his was an extension, for 6 years and $80 million. No, he hasn't been a franchise player . . .

$13 million per year in the NBA is paying a guy pretty close to what he should make as a franchise player or at least a guy who is a solid #2 option on a team, which is what Iguodala probably is. This makes Iguodala the 27th highest paid player in the NBA, just behind Kevin Durant and just ahead of Carlos Boozer.

but he wasn't paid as such (Kobe makes $25 million a year).

So Hayes is going to say Iguodala isn’t paid like a franchise player by comparing him to the highest paid player in the NBA? How about comparing him to other second-best players on their team? I don’t have a problem with what Iguodala makes, I think comparing him to Kobe’s salary is a bit misleading though. Of course none of this has anything really to do with why Vick is worth every penny of his $100 million deal.

(The Cavs have two players who are among the top 25 highest-paid players in the NBA. And we wonder why there is an NBA lockout?)

The Eagles, meanwhile, have dealt hit after hit. They will pay cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, signed last month, a little less than Iguodala gets this year. Left tackle Jason Peters, signed in 2009, is averaging about the same for the first 3 years of his deal.

Peters has been named to the last four Pro Bowls; Asomugha has been to the last three, with the Raiders.

We all know Pro Bowls are the best way to determine which players are the best at their position. David Garrard made the Pro Bowl last year. He is now a free agent looking for a job as a backup quarterback.

Vick joined them there this past season.

He will be a fixture at the event for a decade.

For the next decade? Mike Vick is going to be a fixture at the Pro Bowl until he is 41 years old? Even if the biggest Mike Vick fan finds this hard to believe. As Vick gets older his legs will start to get slower and last year was the first year he had a completion percentage over 57%, the second time he had a quarterback rating over 80 (I’m not including 2009 when he threw 13 passes), and the second time in his career he threw over 20 touchdown passes. So I am not yet convinced he's learned to be better at throwing the football. Maybe Vick does get how to throw the football more effectively now, but I think it is hard to say he will be a fixture at the Pro Bowl for the next 10 years.

Forty million bucks?

A bargain.

Forty million isn’t the full value of his contract, but how much is guaranteed. His contract is going to be worth more than just the amount that is guaranteed. I’m not going to say Vick isn’t worth it, but he isn’t the most gifted quarterback in NFL history and he certainly isn’t going to be a fixture in the Pro Bowl until he is 41 years old.


rich said...

How in the hell is this statement irrefutable?

That's the funny thing: there are relatively few things in the world that are irrefutable. This isn't even close to irrefutable, since I'd argue that Vick isn't as gifted a QB as Brees, Brady or Manning (the good one).

Now, most gifted athlete, sure, but quarterback? Give me the guy who can pick up a damn blitz.

I’m pretty sure his getting paid $25 million per year is enough for many Phillies fans.


Howard is the foundation of the franchise, and has been since 2006: 191 straight sellouts? They're on his shoulders.

Horseshit. The 191 sellouts are on the shoulders of the 2008 team that won the WS. A team that included Rollins (a former MVP and fan favorite), Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels and many others.

Considering Cole Hamels won the 2008 NLCS and WS MVP awards, it's easier to say it's on his shoulders.

My point is Cliff Lee is inconsistent

Oh he is, no doubt about it, but when you have two months with an ERA under 0.5... you can be whatever the fuck you want to be.

He was not better than decent for the first 2 months this season. He was poor in July. For $25 million per, streaky does not equal value.

You know what's funny? I honestly thought he was talking about Howard here.

They will pay cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, signed last month, a little less than Iguodala gets this year.

It's stupid to compare contracts across sports to talk about how great a deal something is. Iggie plays 82 games (well maybe like 70), Asomugha and Vick will play at most 20.

Howard plays a sport with a 162 game schedule, so...

Even worse, baseball has no salary cap, basketball's cap was just about 60M or so last year, so a 12 man roster you have 5M per.

For football, you have 53 players and 120M cap or just over 2M per player.

Giving a guy 13M a year in basketball isn't that big a deal, giving those types of contracts out in football is a pretty terrible idea.

Does Hayes not realize that if the Eagles don't win it this year, about 1/3 of their team is gone due to the insane number of one year contracts they have?

I mean for crying out loud, by this logic, Rick Dipietro (arguably the worst contract in hockey) is underpaid because he makes pennies compared to AJ Burnett.

J.S. said...

That is a truly astonishing statement...that might be the most wrong thing I've ever read pertaining to this blog. I assume there's some clever wordplay with the concept of "gifted" but it can't possibly compensate for simply how much "better" Manning and Brady are. And Rodgers might be more "gifted" even by the obvious ambiguity implied by that term. He's twice as good a passer and probably the best rushing QB after Vick.

Amazing statement.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I would argue Vick isn't as gifted as those three guys at the quarterback position either. It depends on what your definition of gifted is I guess. I don't think in the realm of being a quarterback that Vick is the most gifted.

My point a/b Cliff Lee is that it really doesn't matter if he is inconsistent some months b/c he puts up great numbers other months. Just saying "he's inconsistent" doesn't explain his great performances during three months of the baseball season. It's just a cheap way to downgrade Lee's impact on the team. Howard is not responsible for the 191 sellouts. I know no one who believes this to be true, other than Marcus Hayes.

I'm not sure what Hayes' point was here when comparing all the contracts across other sports. I think he just wanted to mention how much he loves Iggy.

J.S., Aaron Rodgers sucks. He isn't gifted. He's lucky he is in an offensive system with playmakers that make him look good. He and I had a bad breakup yesterday. (I'm kidding...but still bitter)

Calling Vick the most gifted QB and saying he will be a fixture in the Pro Bowl for the next decade is just silly. It's hard for any QB to make the Pro Bowl until the time he is 41 years old.

Most astonishing statement on the blog, really? It may be close.

conshy matt said...

take a look at this article. cliff lee is only streaky if you go by the ebb and flow of the moon.

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, that was clutch you provided that to us. This is another reason using basic statistics to explain something isn't always the best thing to do. Of course, I am guessing Marcus Hayes never even looked at advanced statistics before calling Lee streaky. I wish I had looked this up.

conshy matt said...

yeah, it's hard to be streaky and sport a 2.38 ERA. i wonder if Marcus Hayes doesn't like Cliff Lee because his name isn't Jammaal Lee...

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, I get what you did there! Though at first I thought you wrote Jamaal Lord...and as a Nebraska football fan got very confused.