Archive for the ‘Baseball Media Watch’ Category

Shame on You, Steve Kornacki!

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

I was very happy to read this afternoon that Zack Greinke had won the AL Cy Young Award, which means, at least for one year, that the baseball writers voted for the best pitcher in the league, rather than the one with the most wins and/or the one on a winning team. They should be commended for making the right choice. Well, not all of them. Not Steve Kornacki of Booth Newspapers in Michigan.

Rather than voting for Greinke or Felix Hernandez (which would have been the wrong choice, but a defensible one), this clown voted for Justin Verlander and, in doing so, added himself to the list of embarassing “homer” voters that have marred the major award voting over the years.

Here are Greinke’s (25 first place votes) numbers: 16-8, 229.1 IP, 2.16 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 242 K, 6 CG, and a .230 BAA. Kansas City did not make the postseason.

Here are Hernandez’s (2 first place votes) numbers: 19-5, 238.2 IP, 2.49 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 217 K, 2 CG, and a .227 BAA. Seattle did not make the postseason.

Here are Verlander’s (Kornacki’s first place vote) numbers: 19-9, 240 IP, 3.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 269 K, 3 CG, and a .243 BAA. Detroit did not make the postseason.

If this were Highlights for Children, we’d ask, “Which of these doesn’t belong?”

By the way, Greinke’s ERA was the lowest in the AL since 2000, when Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 mind-bender. But that doesn’t impress Kornacki. You know what does? Three more wins and 27 more strikeouts. Oh, and playing for his hometown Tigers.

I guess Kornacki thought that Verlander’s additional strikeouts and wins were a dealbreaker, despite the fact that he allowed 1.29 more earned runs per nine innings than Greinke.

Kornacki should be ashamed of himself and he should never be allowed to vote for another major MLB award again. Also, he should apologize to Greinke.

UPDATE:

Kornacki has posted a feeble defense of his first place vote for Verlander. Here’s the key quote:

“Verlander received my first-place vote because nobody was tougher on the mound with the season on the line for his team.”

It’s really strange. I checked Verlander’s player page on Baseball-Reference and I didn’t see a stat category for toughness. It must be one of those newfangled sabermetric things.

Also, over Verlander’s final five starts (Sept. 14 – Oct. 4), when the Tigers were battling the Twins for the division crown, Verlander, despite going 3-1 over these starts, posted a 4.62 ERA and .280 BAA, which suggests that he was actually much worse when the team’s season was “on the line.” If Kornacki had spent five minutes looking at what actually happened, he would have realized how untenable his position was.

Kornacki also cites the fact that Verlander had more strikeouts this year than any AL pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2000. He doesn’t mention ERA, though. I guess striking guys out is more valuable than preventing runs.

Streaking out at Citi Field

Friday, September 11th, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

Check out today’s “Bitter Bill” column from the NY Daily News. He’s got a funny take the punishment handed down on the man who streaked Citi Field back in May.

Chris(t) Carpenter?

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

From ESPN’s story on Chris Carpenter this morning:

chris-carpenter-error1

Typo, extreme misunderstanding of WHIP, or have the rules of baseball been made obsolete by this Sidd Finch-esque performance?

Overheard on Sunday Night Baseball…

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

Those of us watching the Yankees-Red Sox game on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball this past weekend were treated to a vintage Joe Morgan moment. Following A-Rod’s home run off of Jon Lester in the seventh(?) inning, the guys in the booth were discussing the pitch that Lester made, which was really his first mistake of the game, as he had held the Yankees scoreless to that point. Cue Mr. Morgan:

“You can’t pitch a perfect game. No one can.” (Awkward silence) “Except Don Larsen.”

And a bunch of other guys. It’s weird that he used Larsen as his example, when Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game three weeks ago.

If strikeouts are fascist, walks are selfish

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 by Vorpy McNerd

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a piece on the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval, who had a monster game yesterday as the team launched a PR offensive to garner votes for Kung Fu Panda as the write-in All Star.

She quotes infield coach and noted baseball strategist Shawon Dunston, who elegantly articulated the evils and selfishness of talking walks when discussing the Giant slugger:

“I’m sorry, but you walk 80 times a year, and you don’t hit .300 ever in your career, you’re not that good,” he said. “But he’s up there, putting it on the line. Guys who walk a lot, they say they have a good eye. Maybe they’re just protecting their average. They’re protecting their average, cheating the game.”

Clearly, taking a walk – and not making an out – exemplifies the unwholesome influence of Ayn Rand in baseball. As a lifelong Giants fan, I’m glad that neither Sandoval nor Bengie Molina (who at one point this season had an OBP lower than his BA!) selfishly take walks and don’t cheat the game.

After all, what’s the point of getting on base when Fred Lewis and Rich Aurilia are behind you in the lineup anyway? Walking would just pump up those useless OBP numbers at the expense of F-Lew’s GIDP numbers. That, my fellow nerds, is not what baseball is about.

Cowherd-ality

Friday, July 3rd, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

Since my satellite radio is currently out of my car, I’ve been forced to listen to a lot of AM/FM radio lately…which is why I found myself listening to Colin Cowherd’s radio show on Thursday afternoon, and hearing the following commentary (all quotes paraphrased from memory):

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Gerry Callahan: Not that Smart

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

Everyone who knows me knows I am a fan of the New York Yankees. As a result, I’ve been reluctant to rip baseball writers who are critiquing the Yankees due to the inherent bias. I can’t pass up this opportunity, though. It’s an incisive, well-researched piece from Gerry Callahan of scandal sheet The Boston Herald (and of WEEI’s cerebral “Dennis and Callahan” radio show) regarding Mark Teixeira and the possibility that the Yankees have bought themselves a championship (which is a very original complaint).

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A Sterling Performance by John!!!

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 by I Love Nerd York City

A very clean comedy website compiled a list of the top ten puns of all time. Their number one, all time best pun: A three legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.”

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While discussing baseball with Prof. Nerdtron this weekend, he mentioned that he recently heard John Sterling’s “An A-Bomb…FOR A-ROD!!!” call while driving through NJ Vermont. Being a Massachusetts native, he mistakenly thought this was an off-the-cuff attempt at humor. I explained that while the A-Rod home run call is so well known… (more…)

Rick Reilly: Professional Writer, Lamebrain

Sunday, May 24th, 2009 by Nerdzah Ball Soup

Uber-hack Rick Reilly is at it again. I just can’t help myself. Here is his most recent “column” on ESPN.com. Good grief.

I personally find baseball so crushingly boring I would happily plunge knitting needles into my eyes to avoid another snap zoom of Joe Torre’s nostril hairs.

I should offer to help guide the needles because Reilly is usually so far off the mark he’ll probably stab someone else. Zing!

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Baseball Media Watch: John Sterling Drops Kurosawa Reference; Suzyn Waldman Irritates

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

Anyone who watched SportsCenter on Sunday night is probably aware of the bizarre play that occurred late in the Yankees-Indians game on Sunday afternoon. Jorge Posada hit a fly ball that either: (1) cleared the wall and was a home run; (2) hit off the top of the wall and then landed on the field; (3) hit a fan who was leaning over the wall and was fan interference; or (4) hit a fan that wasn’t leaning over the wall. There were probably other options, but the point is that it resulted in a difficult call for the umpires, especially since the Yankees were trailing 3-2 at the time and a home run would have given them a 4-3 lead.

I was driving to Home Depot at the time and was listening to the game on WCBS radio. What followed was five irritating minutes from Suzyn Waldman during which she harped nonstop on the fact that the umpires should use instant replay to review the play, even though it was obvious to everyone that they were going to use replay given the ambiguity involved. After the umpires finished their on-field conference, they indicated that they would use instant replay, prompting Waldman to exclaim smugly: “Thank you very much.” Congratulations to Waldman for pointing out the obvious.

John Sterling, however, took the edge off my frustration with Waldman by strangely dropping an Akira Kurosawa reference. Sterling, discussing the fact that, even after watching the replay, it was hard to figure out what exactly happened, said (I’m paraphrasing): “This is like Rashomon – show this replay to three different people and you might get three different interpretations of what happened.” Even though I think there were four different perspectives in Rashomon, I’ll cut Sterling a break because it was a great reference. Now if I could only get him to stop all of his goofy home run calls (incidentally, once Posada’s hit was ruled a home run, Sterling said: “Jorgie, as they say, juiced one,” even though Sterling is the only one that says that).

Another irritating moment during the broadcast occurred when Sterling and Waldman were discussing the strangely high number of home runs hit during the first few games at the new Yankee Stadium. Sterling said he would be perfectly happy if the new stadium turned out to be a bandbox because he likes seeing home runs and enjoys high scoring games. Waldman disagreed, stating in her best “in awe of Yankee history voice” (I’m paraphrasing again):  “But that’s never what the Yankees have been about.”

It’s hard to overstate the silliness and inaccuracy of Waldman’s comment. From 1996 – 2007, the Yankees averaged 896 runs scored per season, which works out to approximately 5.5 runs per game over twelve seasons. This includes the so-called “dynasty” of 1996 – 2001. All of Waldman’s handwringing over the recent Yankee championship teams being built on pitching and defense overlooks the huge numbers of runs that these teams scored.

Again, Sterling to the rescue. He was spot-on in his response to Waldman’s comment: “Well, uh, they didn’t call them the Bronx Bombers for nothing.”