More ESPN Radio genius-ness

July 1, 2009

Listening to ESPN Radio coming into work today, I caught a clip of Colin Cowherd doing his usual A-Rod bashing.  Paraphrasing, he said “A-Rod left Seattle, Seattle got better.  He left Texas, Texas got better.”  And on that particular show, he probably railed on for a while about how A-Rod was a choke artist and killed his childhood cat.

Well, Seattle did get better the year after A-Rod left, winning 116 games but still bowing out to the Yankees in the ALCS in five games.  The year before, their season ended in the ALCS in six games while that dog-choking cat murderer hit .409 (9-for-22) with 2 HR and 5 RBI.

But the M’s were a full 25 games better the year after A-Rod left and took his selfish clubhouse-killing self elsewhere.  Of course, the fact that Seattle added both Bret Boone (who hit .331/.372/.578 with 37 HR) and Ichiro (.350/.381/.457) had nothing to do with it.  At all.  Actually, it’s a proven fact that had A-Rod still been there, Boone would have gone .242 with 12 HR and Ichiro would have gone back to Japan in mid-May.  Seriously.

And by the way, after 2003 the Mariners have been teh suck.  They won 93 games without Choke-Rod in 2002 and 2003 (missing the postseason both years) and have had a winning record only once since then.  So really, the Mariners have not gotten better since A-Rod left.  They made the playoffs twice with him; they’ve made it once without him.

But maybe Colin is right about Texas.  Let’s find out.

As it happened with Seattle, the year after A-Rod left showed a marked improvement as the Rangers went 89-73, an 18-game improvement.  The next year, however, they went right back to sub-.500 baseball.  You see, that’s what happens when your pitching staff is crap.


Mike and Mike, you had it (closer to) right the first time

July 1, 2009

A couple of days ago, after another brilliant Tim Lincecum outing (a two-hit shutout of St. Louis), Mike and Mike said to go ahead and give him the ball as the NL All-Star team’s starting pitcher.

Although that’s not the right answer (correct answer: Dan Haren), it’s still acceptable to make a case for him to be the meaningless starter.  2nd in ERA (2.37), 2nd in WHIP (1.070), 1st in strikeouts (132), along with a 183 ERA+ and 36.9 VORP…still behind Haren in everything except strikeouts, but I can accept their pimping of Li’l Tim to get the call.  It’s wrong, but it’s not horribly wrong.  That’s what they were today, when they decided that Jason Marquis may be the correct choice.

Uh…no.

Now, Marquis does deserve credit for having a solid half-season both by his standards and by those of Rockies pitchers, historically speaking.  However, his 3.87 ERA doesn’t look nearly as impressive when you consider that two other Colorado starters also are sporting a sub-4.00 ERA.  In fact, Marquis’s ERA is the highest of those three with Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez coming in about 0.10 of a point below M&M’s new NL ace.

As they were with Lincecum, the boys were fascinated by Marquis’s two-hit shutout of “baseball’s best team” (their words), the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Of course, baseball’s best team went 14-13 in the month of June.  But don’t let that get in the way of your analysis, guys.

The first thing they mentioned, not surprisingly, was the fact that Marquis now has 10 wins.  Not mentioned was the fact that those 10 wins were only two more than Lincecum has.  Golic, perhaps sensing the ensuing email flood if ERA was not mentioned, admitted that his ERA wasn’t as good as Lincecum’s (uh, ya think?) but used the Colorado excuse to play it off.  Bad argument, but I’ll play along.  Let’s take a look at Marquis away from Coors Field, shall we?

6-3, 3.50 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 30:17 K:BB ratio in 62.1 IP

Once again…respectable numbers.  But worthy of being touted as a better pitcher this year than Timothy L. Lincecum?  Uh…no.  Road starts?  Lincecum’s better.  Night games?  Lincecum’s better.  Starts on days where the game-time temperature is 92 degrees with the wind blowing in from the south-southwest at 14.7263 miles per hour?  Lincecum’s better.

Lincecum is the better pitcher.  Period.  No logical person can argue otherwise.  Except…wait…Marquis has 10 wins!  10!  And Li’l Tim, he only has eight!  Pssht.  He’s garbage.  His ERA is a full 1.50 points better?  Doesn’t matter.  He’s not the gamer that Marquis is, obviously.  Because Marquis has 10…1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10…wins!  You stat geeks, you can’t measure grit, determination, gamer-ness, or the Eckstein Factor.

Of course, this season Dan Haren has been better than both of them.  But he’s only got seven wins (or 22.5 percent of his team’s total wins), so he doesn’t even get into the conversation.