Posts Tagged ‘goofball baseball writers’

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.

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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Three Cheers for Reasonableness!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

It’s pretty sad when just being reasonable and non-hysterical earns you a pat on the back, but such is the case with A-Rod and the New York media, especially since the steroid story broke. So, a Nerd Baseball Gold Star of Appreciation(TM) to Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday for having the guts to point out that A-Rod is good at baseball and helps the Yankees win. For those of you who do not live in the NY/NJ/CT area, the know-nothings on talk radio and in the “newspapers” (and the “fans” as well) have recently started up a “Yankees are better without A-Rod” chorus in the wake of his hip surgery that is truly an embarassment to sports journalism.

This Just In: Rick Reilly Officially Off Deep End

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

Rick Reilly of ESPN has hit a new low, which is actually saying something when you consider how he embarrassed himself on national television during Josh Hamilton’s home run barrage in last year’s Home Run Derby (remember: “This is a bad day to be an atheist!”). In his latest “Life of Reilly” column for ESPN (the) Magazine, Reilly jumps on the moralizing bandwagon to redistribute the MVP awards that were handed out to suspected or admitted steroid users over the years. I apologize for giving Reilly’s column the full FJM treatment, but it’s a particularly bad piece of baseball writing. Reilly’s column text is in bold.

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These Are Your Hall of Fame Voters…

Friday, January 30th, 2009 by Nerdicus Finch

I was watching “Yankees Hot Stove” on the YES Network today (I think it was a repeat from sometime this week) and the topic of the suprising continuing free agency of certain players came up. One of the panelists, George King, the Yankee beat writer from the New York Post a Yankee beat writer from one of the New York papers (I forget his name, but it wasn’t Jack Curry of the New York Times, who was also on the panel) spoke about Bobby Abreu. He expressed how shocked he was that a player of Abreu’s caliber could not get a job and finished his comments by saying (I am paraphrasing): “I’d rather have Abreu than Manny Ramirez.”

This statement was not qualified by any mention of the relative costs of the two players, so I am pretty sure that he meant, if he could choose either player, regardless of cost, that he would rather have Abreu on his team than Manny Ramirez. Both are horrible defenders, so the comparison should be based purely on the offensive value of the two players. And, as I Love Nerd York City noted in a recent post, Ramirez absolutely destroyed the ball in 2008, which was apparently also the season in which he gave up on his teammates and cemented his “bad teammate” reputation. Specifically, Ramirez posted a 1.031 OPS in 2008, as compared to Abreu’s respectable, but unspectacular, .842.

This is just another example of Ramirez’s “bad teammate” label making the mainstream sports media forget that they are talking about one of the greatest hitters of all time. And these are the people who vote for the Hall of Fame and MVP awards. No wonder they so often get it wrong (Jim Rice, Tim Raines, and the frightening number of votes for Jack Morris, to name a few).