FIRE JOE MORGAN: Awards Are Important


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Monday, July 21, 2008


Awards Are Important

I go to New York for five days and Murray Chass starts a blog? What the hell is going on here?

Let's cleanse our collective palate with a lime sorbet known as: Phil Rogers's Mid-Season Awards.

Quick review: awards are meaningless, the criteria are absurd, this is all bunk.

Worst Surprise, Player: Johan Santana, Mets.

In the time it takes to read the explanation, try to name 50 guys who are "worse" surprises than Johan Santana. Go!

Who would have thought this guy would fail to grab a spot on the National League All-Star team?

Anyone who (a) understands that wins are overvalued and/or (b) knows that the ASG voting is borderline sociopathic, as evidenced by the facts that (b-sub1) Cristian Guzman had to be on the team as the Washington National representative and (b-sub2) that somehow the NL players or Clint Hurdle or a bunch of pederastic chimps or whoever actually chooses the reserves got together and decided that (b-sub2-sub1) Miguel Tejada and (b-sub2-sub2) Brian Effing Wilson should be on the All-Star Team, despite the fact that (b-sub2-sub1-sub1) Lance Berkman and (b-sub2-sub2-sub1) Tim Lincecum were already representing their respective teams and actually deserved to be there.

A two-time Cy Young Award winner in the AL, he was expected to dominate after being traded from Minnesota to the Mets. He pitched well, statistically, in the first half, going 8-7 with a 2.84 ERA in 19 starts.


Trying to parse your complaint.

Categories Johan Santana Is In The Top 10 of So Far, In The National League:


But the Mets have been only 10-9 behind him.

How can you be this stupid?

The man is pitching very very well, as the above facts indicate. It's not his absolute best year ever, but he's having a very good year. You acknowledge that the team is only 10-9 behind him. And this is all presented in service of his election to "Worst Surprise, Player" in your mid-season awards.

I don't normally like to be strident, but that is incredibly stupid.

Let's imagine I am part of a 25-man team that makes frozen 4-cheese ravioli dinners. And every time I'm on a shift, I take my syringe and I expertly inject the pasta with goat cheese (my task) and I have like a 99.4% success rate of successful goat cheese injection, and when my raviolis go on to the next man on my team, ready for edam infusion, they are just perfectly formed and looking tasty and delicious. And by the time they reach the end of the assembly line, they are torn to shreds, leaking gouda, and somehow covered in bat feces -- so bad are the other men on Team Ravioli.

So my boss, Hunt Sperkleman, C.E.O. of Sperkleman Four Cheese Ravioli and Penne Arrabiata, Inc. (NASDAQ Ticker: SFCR: 92.50, +10.68, +13.1% as of Monday, 12:02 PM EST, thanks to rumors of a takeover bid from Sheinhardt Wigs), comes down to the assembly line, and he looks around and he sees all the morons on my team. He sees W.K. Horflitz, whose nose is running directly into the pasta cutter. He sees Janet Przyblr, who's on the phone, gabbing with her new husband, as chunk after chunk of unmelted brie just goes rolling by on the assembly line. He sees them all, and he says: "Ken! You're disappointing me!" and I say: "Why, Hunt?" and he says, "Only 8 out of 15 people who eat these raviolis like them!" and I say, "But I did my job!" and he says, "You can go ahead and end this metaphor now -- I think people get the idea."

The good news is that Santana is historically a fast finisher, although Thursday didn't bode well. He gave up five runs in four innings against the Reds.


On April 6 he gave up one run in 7 IP against the Braves and got a loss.

On May 4 he gave up one run in 6 IP with 8 Ks against the D-Backs and got an ND.

On June 6 he gave up one earnie in 6 IP and got a loss thanks to a second, unearned run.

In his next start, June 12, he gave up 3 H and 0 R in 7 IP (with 10 Ks) and got an ND because his team also scored 0 R in those 7 innings.

He then lost three decisions in a row, twice pitching okay, once going 7 strong against Seattle, giving up 7 H and 1 run but losing anyway because again, his offense did nothing.

He got another ND on July 4, going 8 innings, giving up only 6 H and 2 R, striking out 6 and walking zero, but -- and you see this trend emerging here -- his offense fell down like one of those little plastic deer when you push the button underneath its pedestal, causing its legs to collapse.

Here are the scores of the games the Mets have lost with Santana pitching, and the # of earned runs Santana gave up while in the game:

3-2 (2)
3-2 (3)
5-2 (1)
6-1 (4)
5-4 (0)
2-1 (1)
4-2 (3)
5-3 (4)
3-1 (1)

So, in the nine Santana-involved losses the Mets have suffered, they, the Mets, have scored a total of 18 runs. 2 runs a game. Their offense averages 2 runs a game, in those losses. And this face somehow makes Johan Santana the "Worst Surprise, Player" of the first half.

Let's go back to the assignment. How many Worse Surprises can you name?

Richie Sexson
Freddie Sanchez
Edgar Renteria
Melky Cabrera
Jeff Francoeur
Gary Matthews, Jr.
Robby Cano
Paul Konerko
Carl Crawford
Derek Jeter
Alex Gordon
Alex Rios
Miggy Tejada
Defending NL MVP Jimmy Rollins
Bobby Abreu
Brett Myers
Justin Verlander
Nate Robertson
Andrew Miller
Joe Blanton
Aaron Harang
Homer Bailey
Dontrelle Willis
Fernando Rodney
Ian Kennedy
Phil Hughes
Fausto Carmona
Jeremy Bonderman
Roy Oswalt

There are some.

All big-name players, pretty much, who have been disappointments (though some, like Verlander, are coming on strong). Hey -- how about Carlos Delgado? There's another one.

Rookie of the Year, AL: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox.

Ellsbury is hitting only .269 but he has stolen 35 bases and scored 60 runs. He gets a slight edge over Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria and Texas' David Murphy.

Tacoby Bellsbury EqA: .255 (below average)
Evan Longoria EqA: .303 (way above average)

Please. I love the guy. He's part Native American, and quite sexy, but if you give Bellsbury the award you are doing so because of what he did last September and October, and that's insaner than insane. Longoria is destroying Bellsbury statistically this year -- and he's a great fielder, too. It would be a shame if Longoria lost.

Manager of the Year, NL: Jerry Manuel, Mets.

Get ready for some hard-core retroactive association.

This is a premature call, but you've got to be impressed with the 17-9 record since Manuel replaced Willie Randolph on June 17.

I do? The Mets underperformed all year. Then a thing changed, and they eventually started not underperforming. Should I be impressed with their 8-9 start after Randolph left? Because that's the awesome record they jumped out to in their first 17 games after Randolph left. 8-9. Thank God they got rid of him when they did, or they wouldn't have been able to go 8-9 in those next 17 games.

He has enabled an uptight clubhouse to relax and is riding a 10-game winning streak after Thursday's victory in Cincinnati.

This is all Manuel. Not Reyes, Pelfrey, Wright, Delgado, Beltran, Wagner, Maine, or anyone else. Manuel.

Florida's Fredi Gonzalez was looking like the choice before the Mets went on the winning streak. He has put his team into contention with a $21 million payroll, a nice little bit of sleight of hand.

Has had team in contention all year with payroll lower than salary of Derek Jeter, or ARod, or Giambi: nice little bit of sleight of hand.

Happened to be managing team with $680 million payroll when team finally stopped underperforming and reeled off 10 in a row: Manager of Year.

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posted by Anonymous  # 3:37 PM
H/T: everyone who sent us this, starting with Jake.
Slade sez:

You talked about...the June 12 D-back game where Santana went 7, with 3 hits, 3 BB, and 10 Ks and got an ND. However, it wasn't because his offense didn't score for him. They actually had a 4-0 lead when Santana left. Then, in the middle of a huge, week-long meltdown, Billy Wagner blew the save in the 9th and the D-backs came back to win in the 10th.

Here's the PBP for it. Kinda sad, really...

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