FIRE JOE MORGAN: Great News!

FIRE JOE MORGAN

Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

 

Great News!

I have found Joe Morgan! He is writing for MSNBC.com under the name "Ted Robinson."

Here's an article Ted-Joe has written about how the Yankees will beat the Red Sox for the A.L. East crown:

Midway through September it's the Yankees who have the momentum, and it's the Red Sox who are floundering.

The Yankees have had a terrific second half of the season, which in part is a testament to Joe Torre's managing. This season Torre has probably done the best job of managing in his career.

What is that based on? The 325 ABs Torre gave Tony Womack and his .550 OPS? Or, Torre's decision to keep Cano in the 2-hole for three months so he and his .319 OBP could kill potential rallies? Or maybe it was playing Womack in CF? The reason the Yankees are even close to the division title is that they have six mashers in their line-up, Aaron Small is 9-0, and Shawn Chacon is pitching to forget Denver.

A new curse begins?
By winning the World Series last year, the Red Sox put to rest all the talk of the Curse of the Bambino. But it seems like this season, the baseball gods have gone back to crushing the hopes of BoSox fans.

The Red Sox are in first place.

I don't sense there's been any complacency among the Red Sox. Rather, Boston has been hurt by several factors. Curt Schilling had ankle surgery last winter, and thus he has been able to pitch for about only half a season, and just recently returned to the rotation.

Right -- it was an injury. Not a "curse." Also, the Red Sox are in first place.

David Wells, who was brought in to help make up for the loss of Pedro Martinez to free agency, had a rough start to the season, and he has been inconsistent. Closer Keith Foulke has missed time due to injury, and hasn't been able to pitch at the level he did last season.

Actually, Wells has been quite consistent. He's giving the Red Sox exactly what they thought they would get out of him. 13-15 wins, an ERA around 4.00, a lot of innings, good control numbers. Also, right, Foulke's problem is an injury, not a "curse." Also, despite all of this, the Red Sox are in first place.

And the Red Sox offense isn't what it was last season. Last year the Red Sox had a relentless lineup -- one that had no holes in it. But if you look at Boston now the bottom third of its lineup is not terribly imposing.

Last year: Boston led the league in runs, and had a line of .282/.360/.472/.832. This year: Boston leads the league in runs, and has a line of: .281/.356/.455/.811. So, "not what it was last year" I guess means four fewer guys every thousand at-bats reach base safely, and they achieve a .017 lower extra-base ratio. Also, they still lead the league in runs and OPS. Also, they are in first place.

Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz up at the top of the lineup have really carried the Red Sox. But once past these hitters there's a little bit of breather for opposing pitchers -- something they don't get in the Yankees' lineup.

The final three hitters in Boston's line-up, usually, are some combination of John Olerud, Bill Mueller, and Alex Cora/Tony Graffanino. The final three hitters in the Yankees' line-up are usually some combination of Robby Cano, Bernie Williams, and (these days) Bubba Crosby. I won't take the time to list their respective numbers, but I think you an guess which three you'd rather face this year. (Hint: Bernie Williams is terrible.)

The Yankees have become the Red Sox in the sense that it's New York's lineup that is pounding out the runs, while Boston's lacks the pop it's had in the past. The Yankees have spent an awful lot of money on players known for their big bats, and they are delivering.

The Red Sox have scored more runs than the Yankees. I don't know how much more simply to put it. The Red Sox' offense is better than the Yankees'. Maybe this will help: the Red Sox have scored 853 runs, the Yankees have scored 818 runs. Clear? No? Okay, how about: the Red Sox have an .813 OPS, the Yankees have a .804 OPS. The Red Sox have a higher team OBP and SLG. The Red Sox have more hits. The Red Sox have more total bases. The Red Sox have more RBI. The Red Sox have a higher team BA. The Red Sox even have more triples. Now, the Yankees do have more home runs -- 209 to 185. But the Red Sox have more doubles -- 321 to 248. 73 more doubles. So, you need to be very very quiet, Ted Robinson/Joe Morgan.

A tale of two staffs
What has helped [the Yankees' pitchers] is the productivity of the New York offense, which definitely relieves some of the pressure on the team's starting pitchers. Small, Chacon, Wang, and all the Yankees' starters take the mound with a pretty good feeling that their team is going to give them at least a respectable number of runs to work with. Boston hasn't had such a luxury as often.

Oh my God. Please read the notes above about runs scored; specifically, please read the part about how the Red Sox have scored more runs than the Yankees. Then please remove your head from your ass, wash yourself up, and take a nap.

[Boston] also hasn't had the quality starting pitching it had a year ago. And now there is even more cause for concern as 13-game winner Matt Clement has hit a late-season slump that no one is sure he can end before the season does.

Finally, a decent point. This whole thing is about pitching. That's all. Just pitching. The Red Sox' pitching is terrible, and the Yankees' pitching is very slightly better than terrible. You should have started the article here. But you didn't. And for that, we at FJM salute you!

Labels: , ,


posted by Ken Tremendous  # 2:31 PM
Comments:
Aaargh. I was just in the middle of writing about this very article.

What's awesome about many of his arguments is that if you switch "Boston" and "New York," it still makes about as much sense.

An example of this:

"What has helped [the Yankees' pitchers] is the productivity of the New York offense, which definitely relieves some of the pressure on the team's starting pitchers. Small, Chacon, Wang, and all the Yankees' starters take the mound with a pretty good feeling that their team is going to give them at least a respectable number of runs to work with. Boston hasn't had such a luxury as often"

...becomes...

"What has helped [the Red Sox's pitchers] is the productivity of the [Boston] offense, which definitely relieves some of the pressure on the team's starting pitchers. [Schilling, Wells, Clement] and all the [Red Sox] starters take the mound with a pretty good feeling that their team is going to give them at least a respectable number of runs to work with. [New York] hasn't had such a luxury as often.")
 
Also, since we're talking "curses," why didn't he metion that Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Mike Mussina, Chien Ming Wang, and Randy Johnson have all been "cursed" for some or most of this season?
 
Gentlemen: now that the Sox are in second place, will you concede that they are cursed?
 
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