Friday, November 14, 2008

Media Idiocy: because his reasons were wrong, arbitrary, and not logical

The Merc in their morning buzz (no link as they literally just now require viewers to register but for some reason my account's password is not working; I had read the article earlier with no problem then suddenly, bam!, need to log in later) noted that "Frankly, we don't understand the anger about something that didn't affect the outcome," when referring to Chris DeLuca leaving off Tim Lincecum off his Cy Young ballot.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

It's like this: his reasons were wrong, arbitrary, and not logical. I went through much of this in my comments on the post about Lincecum's Cy Young Award, and despite the writer being relatively young and thus should know better, he gives Webb first because he has 22 wins, Lidge second because he didn't blow one save, and Santana because, well, he pitches in NY and did well there.

Don't even get me into how 22 wins is not a valid SOLE determinant of how well a pitcher pitches today, even I knew when I was teenaged and pimply almost 40 years ago that wins were not always the best determination of who pitched the best that season! How out dated is this concept?

By every metric known today to be better indicators of how good a pitcher is, Lincecum and Santana were 1/2 in almost every one. Webb did not beat out either in anything except for wins. And as I noted in the comments, the only reason Webb has 22 wins and Lincecum only 18 is because his bullpen blew one win for him, the Giants blew five wins, which means Webb got this vote because his bullpen was better than Lincecum's. How is that related to how Webb is better than Lincecum?

And rewarding a relief pitcher for not blowing one save would be like giving a pitcher the Cy Young for throwing a no-hitter that season. Hello, it was a fluke and random, there was not any particular extraordinary skill involved, beyond what it takes to save 41 games, which numerous other closers did, this should not be such an amazing event to people! If there was that strong a skill involved, that is, blowing one save versus blowing none, then one would think it would happen more often with the best closers, not someone like Lidge who has been a headcase forever.

Or maybe Eckersley wasn't that good in 1990 when he only walked 4 and had a 0.61 ERA, but still blew 2 saves while saving 48, Lidge was so much better with his 1.95 ERA 35 walks in 69.3 IP (4.5 BB/9!!!) and flukey 2 HR in 69.3 IP but, wow, look at that, 41 saves in 41 opportunities! Looking at his stats, he did not pitch that much different in 2008 as he did in 2007, the only difference being the 7 HR reduction, which as readers here know, is a fluke, as HR is related to the flyballs he gives up and most pitchers regress to 10% HR/FB. So maybe we should retroactively give him Cy Young votes in 2007 too.

And, boo hoo, Santana has to pitch in NY and survive that pressure. If that is such a problem, then start up an Ed Whitson Award and give it to the New York pitcher who did the best surviving of the city that doesn't sleep. Don't give him a vote for Cy Young just because of that though.

Now, if he went through the litany of all the things Santana actually accomplished and argued that Santana did better than Lincecum, I could accept that. But to give him the vote because he survived the crushing pressure of pitching in NY? PLEASE!!!

To top it off, the Buzz then points out the AL Cy Young as more irritating, with Halladay getting votes over Cliff Lee. I'll make it easy for the Buzz: read the stats you put in the newspaper! Halladay had very similar stats to Lee, plus the Buzz included stats where Halladay outdid Lee. Lee only had the fluke that his team scored more runs for him when he pitched, allowing him to lose less for the Indians than Halladay lost for the Blue Jays.

I would agree that the Dale Sveum vote was irritating too, but, playing devils advocate, it was still only a third place vote. Who were deserving in the NL anyway? Can't vote for the guy who was fired and replaced by Sveum. Torre was given a ton of big name free agent signings and it still took the blockbuster trade for Manny to squeek past the .500 D-backs. Pass. LaRussa? They were expected to be contenders and barely registered in their division. Jerry Manuel? With all the talent and free agent signings, the Mets were expected to do well, that's why his predecessor was fired. Piniella? I suppose, but again, with all the talent and free agent signings and big trades, did he really do THAT well? I would give Charlie Manuel and maybe Piniella as deserving votes. The rest, as noted, did not have a great amount of positives to get a vote, frankly.

Sveum was put into a situation of great pressure to make the playoffs. The Brewers had lost 11 of 14 when he took over, in serious trouble of not making the playoffs when they went all in and acquired CC Sabathia, and 7-5 in that context is pretty good. So yeah, Sveum getting a third place vote is irritating, but really, it's a third place vote among a bunch of non-deserving candidates as well, it was more a case of "you have three votes, you have to vote for somebody as third".

Still: Idiotic

However, in DeLuca's case, he passed on Lincecum not one, not two, but with all three votes. While people can make arguments for why one or another might get the vote above Lincecum, to put all three above seems, well, idiotic.

And what is more galling is that he was a big Giants fan growing up. You would think that he would have given more thought to his vote, more consideration to Lincecum, because of his history. Perhaps, in an attempt to be objective and fair, he purposefully did not examine Lincecum to such depth as a fan might do. However, the best he could do was outdated and thus wrong, arbitrary and random, and not logical or fair. And THAT is why he is getting scorn and anger, at least from these quarters.

2 comments:

  1. I wouldn't sweat it too much. There is always going to be a couple idiots that strive to be different. It's their attempt at gaining a little "pub" and at the same time have people "analyze" their ill-conceived "brilliance".

    Really I'm very surprised that Lincecum won the award. I felt that he was the most deserving, but I didn't think he could overcome the blatant East Coast bias that exists among the bitter, arogant writers East of the Mississippi.

    The bottom line is he got the award and no one can take that away from him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It just bothers me when the media close ranks and protect each other's idiocy. I grew up during Watergate, and I expected more from reporters, but I've been disappointed too many times.

    If they are so eager to put up other people's mistakes on their front page headlines, then when they make a mistake themselves, I would expect some intellectual honesty about their mistake and put it on their headline as well, not bury it in a section nobody reads much.

    So seeing this Buzz person defend someone being stupid just set me off...

    I, like you, thought he deserved it and was surprised pleasantly that he did win the prize. But if someone was being stupid, I felt I had to speak up and particularly when someone in the media defends it by not understanding why...

    ReplyDelete

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