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Wednesday, October 1, 2008
2008 MLB Awards

Here are my picks for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year this year. These choices are who I think should win, not who I think will actually win the awards. I look at things differently than most of the people who are allowed to vote, probably. Most importantly, I don’t think the MVP needs to come from a contending team, or even a good team. The “P” stands for PLAYER. You can have value and help your team even if the rest of the team sucks. Contributing more wins for a last place team is more valuable than fewer wins for a division or wild card winner. If you disagree, fine, you’re allowed to have your opinion. I’m not going to argue with you, and keep it out of the comments. I’ll never convince you, and you’ll never convince me. Don’t even try. It’s worse than arguing politics. RBIs depend as much on getting the chances as driving them in. Low RBI total doesn’t phase me. Also, I’m not a huge fan of using win/loss record as a good judge of pitchers. Just look at the 7 blown saves and lack of run support for Santana this year… he should be 22-6 or so instead of 16-7. Or better. I’m not even against giving the MVP to a pitcher, though not this year. In 2006, I would have given it to Santana instead of his teammate.

Okay, enough of that, on to the awards. I’ll start with the AL, because I care about it less.
Note: The names mentioned below are not the only people I considered; just because someone is left out from my rambling doesn’t mean I didn’t think they deserved to be in the running.

AL MVP: I have no fucking clue. Carlos Quentin was going to be the obvious choice until he got hurt. Milton Bradley has had an amazing season, but hasn’t played quite enough games for me. I don’t see any clear-cut winners here. If Grady Sizemore was hitting .290 instead of .268, I’d go with him.

  • My pick: Dustin Pedroia
  • Runner up: Joe Mauer
  • Who I think will win: Justin Morneau (struggled the last week and his team didn’t make it). No idea. Pedroia maybe, but Youkilis will split the Red Sox vote.

AL Cy Young: Is there really a question here? Cliff Lee is 22-3 for a mediocre team, and he’s earned every bit of that. I don’t wanna hear anything about Francisco Rodriguez. There are at least half a dozen closers this year that would have 62 saves if they’d been given 69 chances. An 89-90% save percentage is typical for top of the line closers. The only difference this year has been opportunities.

  • My pick: Cliff Lee
  • Runner up: Roy Halladay
  • Who I think will win: Cliff Lee

AL Rookie of the Year:

  • Evan Longoria
  • Runner-up: eh
  • Who I think will win: Evan Longoria

Now, on to the NL, which I have followed a whole lot more closely.

NL MVP: Lots of good choices here. The best hitter in the league is clearly Albert Pujols, but he did miss a little bit of time. In the absence of an obvious choice, the contending team factor does come into play some for me. Four Mets are legitimate candidates (seriously, this isn’t just my bias), as is Ryan Howard. Chipper Jones missed too much time. Hanley Ramirez hasn’t been quite efficient enough with his stolen base percentage (barely ahead of the 70% break-even point). Manny Ramirez wasn’t in the league long enough. Tough call.

  • My pick: Albert Pujols
  • Runner up: Lance Berkman
  • Who I think will win: Ryan Howard

NL Cy Young: My pick here is going to shock a lot of people, I think. Brandon Webb struggled down the stretch. He has the high win total, but is only 9th in ERA. Santana has the best ERA, and is up there in strikeouts, and should have more wins. I believe he also leads the league in quality starts, though a 4.5 ERA is hardly “quality”. Tim Lincecum’s ERA is only a touch behind Santana’s, and he’s got more wins for an awful team. He’d get my vote over Santana if not for the guy I’m going to pick.

  • My pick: Brad Lidge. Yes, you read that right. Converted 100% of his 41 saves. Didn’t lose a game. Most of his saves in a high-pressure situation, and a lot of them in games closer than three runs. His ERA was under 2. 92 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched. That’s almost 12K/9. About the only knock against him I can find is he’s walked too many batters. As far as I’m concerned, he’s been the best pitcher in the league this year.
  • Runner up: Tim Lincecum
  • Who I think will win: Tim Lincecum

NL Rookie of the Year: Easy.

  • My pick: Geovany Soto
  • Runner(s) up: Joey Votto and Jair Jurrjens
  • Who I think will win: Geovany Soto
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Posted by alan to baseball at 1:11 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The Worst Part…

…is probably this:

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Posted by alan to baseball at 6:17 pm PT | Link | Comments (1)
They are just … so damn bad. (1)
Monday, September 15, 2008
twitter conversation

metsfan @donkeypuncher that would be awesome, but i’m about to start watching, so there’s no way…

[Mark Loretta, the first batter I watch, gets the first hit of the game off of Ted Lilly. In the 7th inning.]

metsfan @donkeypuncher told you. my fault.


donkeypuncher @metsfan damn you!

thisisnotapril Icon_red_lock @donkeypuncher @metsfan @maigrey if alan is runing anything that has to do with the Cubs, i am all for it.

Update: That was the Astros only hit of the game, though Lilly came out after the 7th.

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Posted by alan to baseball at 12:42 pm PT | Link | Comments (2)
The collapse has officially started. That is all. (2)
Monday, September 8, 2008
Addicted Again

Last weekend, I went up to Chumash both Friday and Sunday night. Did pretty well, though Sunday night I was up a lot more than I finished with. I went back again Friday, and would have Saturday if I wasn’t at a wedding… I think I’m hooked again. My most recent trip I actually felt like I was starting to play pretty well, again, too. Only got my money in bad once, and that was with set under set. He turned the case king, so the last 7 on the river woulda given us a jackpot. Sadly, it didn’t happen. Later in the night, we were again a one-outer away from a jackpot (though I wasn’t in the hand). Someone had KJs, flopped AT3 of clubs. All in against AT. An ace on the turn. No queen of clubs on the river. Shame. I will very likely head up there again this weekend. I’m actually enjoying it again, and not getting bored so quickly.

The Mets lost two of three to the Phillies, but by winning the third game and not getting swept, managed to hold on to a 2 game lead in the division. The next three weeks are gonna be stressful. Wagner is now out for the season, too. Hopefully, the Mets bullpen can continue their solid stretch the last couple of weeks. Evan went to his first Mets game yesterday, the day game of the doubleheader. Brad’s comment on the game: Evan lasted longer than Pedro! There are pictures if you follow that link…

Rock Band 2 comes out on Sunday. I’ll probably be getting the game right away, and then dealing with new instruments (if I want them) later. The old ones are decent enough, anyway. I’ll wait to see what happens with accessories (cymbals) on the drum kit first, I guess. Gears of War 2 comes out next month. I’m looking forward to that one. I haven’t played much other than Rock Band or a Guitar Hero game in a while. Amazon has a GoW2 Lancer that I might have a hard time not buying. I have absolutely zero use for it, but… It’s a Gears lancer! A gun, with a chainsaw. Seriously. How can I not get it?

I guess that’s it. I’ll leave you with… McCain getting BarackRoll’d:

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Posted by alan to [baseball, poker, politics, video games] at 1:51 pm PT | Link | Comments (4)
Friday, September 5, 2008
I wouldn’t write the book Moneyball!

I was chatting last night with April about her last day of work, so naturally the conversation eventually turned to Joe Morgan.

What? Don’t all conversations end up being about Joe Morgan?

Somehow, his age came up, so I of course checked his Wikipedia page

me: he’s only 65.
me: actually, 65 on sept 19 🙂
April: ooo, let’s send him a card
April: with a copy of Moneyball 🙂
me: oh man… that would be awesome
me: get a bunch of people to send him moneyball for his birthday… we all send it to espn

So I twittered:

Joe Morgan’s 65th birthday is Sept 19. Who wants to join me in sending as many birthday copies of Moneyball to him at ESPN? about 11 hours ago from web

Got only one response, but it was immediate and positive. I think we need to do this. Moneyball is only $11.16 at Amazon, and it’s probably good enough to just ship it right from there to him. They even gift wrap if you want.

Our commentators don’t have public e-mail addresses, but will be happy to accept a letter or a postcard sent to them at the address below:

Attn:Joe Morgan
ESPN Plaza
Bristol, CT 06010

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?page=help/espn-faq#talent. #talent. Funny.

I’m going to email the guys at FJM about this, and see if we can get a bigger audience to make this happen. If nothing else, I’m sure at least Michael Lewis will appreciate it…

(If you have absolutely no idea what this post is about, try reading this, and searching around the web for a little more about it.)

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Posted by alan to baseball at 9:59 am PT | Link | Comments (0)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
thinking of titles is hard

The Mets just split a two game series with the Phillies, to hold on to their 0.5 game lead in the division. If not for the shitty bullpen, they probably would have won both, but Pedro didn’t exactly have a good start in the loss. Still, they *were* up 7-0 after three and a half… Mets have the day off today, then head to Florida. The Phillies head to Chicago for a four game series with the Cubs. It’s about time they’re playing someone good.

My new point and shoot camera is out for delivery with DHL. I’m not sure why I had it shipped home instead of to work, but I really hope they leave it without requiring a signature. I’ve been without one for far too long, now. Anyone want a Canon SD870IS with a cracked, non-working, screen?

That’s all for now. Trying to write more often. Really.

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Posted by alan to [baseball, photography] at 9:33 am PT | Link | Comments (0)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Back to back

Mike Pelfrey threw his second consecutive complete game last night, beating the Astros 9-1. Carlos Delgado hit two three-run homers, and should easily finish the season hitting better than .255/30/100. If you had told me after the first two months that he’d hit 30 homers and drive in a hundred runs… well, I wouldn’t have believed it. If you had told me Pelfrey would be tied for the team lead in complete games, and leading the team in wins, I’d have called you crazy. The last two starts were the first and second complete games of his career. The last time a Mets starter threw back to back complete games was 2001. The last time a Mets starter had back to back complete game wins was 1995.

Still, they’re only half a game up on the Phillies, and start a two game series with them tonight. Gonna be a rough (but exciting) September.

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Posted by alan to baseball at 9:30 am PT | Link | Comments (0)
Friday, August 22, 2008
Shea Stadium seats…


I am a sick, sick man.


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Posted by alan to baseball at 1:34 pm PT | Link | Comments (7)
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