Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ugh, Pitcher Wins? Is this 1972?

How bad can things get in Cleveland?  LeBron is gone, so the Cavs are terrible.  The Indians are playing out the string.  The Browns are ranked 32nd on most power polls, including ESPN's.  They don't even have a hockey team.  And now, one of the most prominent baseball writers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Paul Hoynes, has written the worst thing I've read about baseball in a long time.  From this post:
"Last year, Zack Greinke of the fourth-place Kansas City Royals won the American League Cy Young award with 16 victories. In the National League, Tim Lincecum of the third-place San Francisco Giants won it with 15 victories. They were the lowest-win totals by a starting pitcher for the awards since 1994 and 1981, respectively. The 1994 and 1981 seasons were cut short by strikes.
The value of the win has been devalued by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who favor statistics meant to remove all influences on the pitcher except himself. This year, the case study will be Felix Hernandez, Seattle's fine right-hander. He leads the AL in innings pitched and strikeouts. He has everything going for him except for one thing -- he has won only 11 games headed into Saturday's start against the Angels.
Hernandez might get four more starts after Saturday. If he wins out, he could finish with 16 victories. Does that mean he should get the award over CC Sabathia, who goes for his 20th victory Monday for the first-place Yankees?
The time to give Hernandez the Cy Young award was last year when he went 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA, but he finished second to Greinke. He had the stats, including the most important one, to make a far more compelling case than this year."
For more reasonable writing exploring ways to view the great game of baseball, may we again recommend the best in the business, Joe Posnanski.  Here is a recent piece on King Felix, CC, and the Cy Young award.

Don't worry, Cleveland.  Your newspaper can always hire a new writer.  We hear Jay Mariotti is available.

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