Wednesday September 29, 2004
Johan and Randy
The New York Media
Expos to D.C.
Good morning, All! After writing a more in-depth posting yesterday, I will again today just post some random thoughts from here and there and everywhere. Game 1 of the Twins series at Yankees Stadium last night was postponed, so today the two teams will play two games, starting at 3:00 central time. Let's get to the randomness:
JOHAN AND RANDY
Yesterday, I wrote an entire article on how good Curt Schilling has been this year, and that he should finish second to the Twins Johan Santana in the Cy Young voting. It won't be his first second place finish. I got some thoughts on Schilling from the readers, but the majority of you chose to discuss the Final Thought of the story. That was just a comparison of Johan Santana and Randy Johnson's numbers this year.
W-L ERA IP H BB K K/9 WHIP OppBA CG
Johnson 15-14 2.65 237.2 167 44 282 10.8 0.89 .193 4
Santana 20-6 2.62 223.0 153 53 260 10.5 0.92 .193 1
Again, when looking at the two numbers, they are incredibly similar, aside from the Wins. But as I've mentioned many times, the Win stat is vastly overrated when discussing how well a pitcher pitches. So, here are some of your thoughts on this topic, and you each touched upon something that hit me like a brick as I was taking a walk on break at work yesterday morning:
From Kenneth Brandt -
Another factor is that Santana has not had the luxury of an automatic out every nine batters. If Santana were not facing DHs, his numbers would be better.
From Matt Dahl -
Santana and Johnson have such similar numbers, it's really amazing. However, I don't think the tie-breaker should be Wins-Losses. I couldn't care less about that meaningless stat. Randy Johnson is on a horrible team. there's nothing he can do about that. The tie-breaker, in my opinion, is that Santana has put up nearly identical stats to Johnson while pitching in the AL. I realize that Johnson can't help that he's pitching in the NL. BUT, facing a pitcher 3 times per game (on average) should require him to completely blow away Santana's numbers in order to claim "top pitcher of the year" honors. While Johnson is facing a Jason Schmidt at the bottom of each lineup, Santana is facing a David Ortiz in the heart of each (well, not the Royals) lineup. That Santana has been able to hold his own statistically with Johnson is amazing. Look at the strikeouts. Johnson has 282, while Santana has 260. Is there any doubt that Santana would have 300 strikeouts if he was pitching in the NL? I can almost guarantee that Santana would strike out a pitcher at least 60% of the time, probably more like 75%. Santana's #1, no question in my mind.
I am surprised that I never did think about the NL/AL thing until this morning. We saw that Curt Schilling was averaging 10 or more strikeouts per nine innings the last few seasons. This year, he is averaging just over 8. Why didn't I think to ask the question: Is it because of the DH? Does the pitcher hitting make that big of a difference? What would Randy Johnson's strikeout rate be in the American league, and likewise, what would Johan Santana's strikeout be in the National League? Interesting question. Do you have the answer? If so, let me know what do you think? E-mail me.
Here are the pitching matchups for today and tomorrow between the Yankees and the Twins with the rain out from last night.
Here are those pitching matchups for the series:
Today- 3:05 - Kyle Lohse (8-11, 5.31, 1.63, .306) vs Orlando Hernandez (8-1, 2.87, 1.24, .224)
Tonight - 6:05 - Johan Santana (20-6, 2.65, 0.92, .193) vs Jon Lieber (13-8, 4.37, 1.31, .298)
Thursday - 6:05 - Brad Radke (11-8, 3.48, 1.15, .265) vs Mike Mussina (12-9, 4.59, 1.30, .274)
Any thoughts on the Twins., the playoffs, the roster? E-mail me.
THE NEW YORK MEDIA
There have been a number of great articles written on the Twins and Yankees in the New York papers, and will be more, I'm sure. Especially if the Twins and Yankees play each other in the playoffs. Here are some of the New York papers and articles written the last couple of days:
New York Daily News
Yanks Time to Pitch and Moan - by Mike Lupica - discusses the Yankees in negative terms, especially regarding their pitching staff and how they were hoping to get younger and stronger.
Johan, Twins May Make Orel History - Obviously an article on Johan Santana. It compares his dominance to Orel Hershiser for the 1988 Dodgers team. It says that team was not very good, but Hershiser alone made them so much better. Can Santana do the same for the Twins this year?
Yanks Tune in on Santana - A story about how members of the Yankees believe Santana should be the Cy Young winner. Fellow Venezuelans Luis Sojo and Miguel Cairo discuss how special Santana has been since long before his big league career.
The New York Times
Hernandez Should Worries Yanks - El Duque has been the Yankees best pitcher in the second half. However, arm problems cost him the entire 2003 season and the first half of 2004. Now he has a "tired shoulder." This story is worth following as Hernandez could start against the Twins in the playoffs.
Hazy Sunshine, Vivid Memory - 50 years ago today, Willie Mays made "The Catch" in the Polo Grounds. Read George Vecsey's thoughts on that moment.
Questions on the Mound - more thoughts on the woes of the Yankees pitching staff which is limping into the playoffs. This article focuses as much on the makeup of their bullpen.
It's All Closing in on Brown - John Heyman's article discusses the rocky road of Kevin Brown.
New York Post
Forget Sox and Heal Thyself - Obviously an article telling the Yankees to quit worrying about what is happening in Boston and start worrying about their own problems.
EXPOS TO WASHINGTON D.C.
Major League Baseball is expected to announce today that the Montreal Expos will move to the US capital city today.
Seth's Thoughts -
About Time!!! That's about it! No need to go any more in depth on that situation!
I receive frequent e-mails from a number of readers asking for my advice on their fantasy baseball and football teams. Many times, these people thank me for my thoughts on certain players. Some have gone so far as to having a couple of teams, and calling one their SethSpeaks team, full of players that I touted highly. In a couple cases, those particular teams are winning their leagues. For that, I am very happy. I am glad to be able to provide quality information on players and answer your questions. (Here are those preseason previews, if you're interested. It is fun to see how right, and just as frequently how wrong I was with these predictions.)
Seth's Baseball Previews
So, why don't I take my own advice? I can't answer that. I like to think that I take my thoughts into account when I draft, but things have not turned out well for me this year. Looking at the leagues in which I put some money (hypothetical money, of course!!!), here are how they did, or have done:
Fantasy Baseball Team # 3: You will recall, in this league, I shared one team and drafted one team for myself. About my team, I actually wrote, "To be brutally honest, at this point, I feel this team is unbeatable. But, that's why we play the games, right?" Wow! Was that right. My team (which included Brian Giles, Hideki Matsui, Jacque Jones, Milton Bradley, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi, Hank Blalock, Jorge Posada, Curt Schilling, Mark Prior, Derek Lowe, Jose Contreras, Eric Milton, Jake Peavy, Odalis Perez, Brian Lawrence, Billy Wagner and Trevor Hoffman) finished in 9th place out of 10 teams and well out of the playoff hunt. I can't even explain how this team performed so poorly! Must have been bad management!
The team that I shared did finish in third place in the regular season, but lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Fantasy Baseball Team #4: Again, I thought I had a strong, well-balanced team here. Good pitchers from good teams, and plenty of power-type hitters. Things didn't go well for this team either, and I finished in 13th out of 14 teams.
Fantasy Football Team #1: In a league where you play three running backs every week, we used our first three picks on starting running backs. Then we jumped into the receivers and quarterback before grabbing the kicker and defense late. Again, do to the interesting intricacies of this league, our team has really struggled to score points, and we have started 0-3 and are dead last in a 10 team league.
Fantasy Football Team #2: OK, this is the team for which I would like some sympathy! And let me explain why. In Week 1, I lost a close game. Not only that, but I scored the second most points in then entire 12 team league, but lost my head-to-head matchup. In Week 2, same story. Second highest point total, lose to the league's high scorer. What makes this worse is that I lost by four points, and the team I was up against had Terrell Owens. Remember his TD catch on Monday Night Football that, if reviewed, would have been reversed? So, I'm still feeling ok about my team. Week 3... I lose 114-112! You got it, second most points in the league. So, at this point, I have about a 30 point lead over everyone in the 12-team league, but I am 0-3! What to do? What to do?
So, what is the moral in all of this? Feel free to e-mail me and ask me any questions on fantasy baseball or football, and I can help. But I am apparently unable to translate that into my own teams!
Just a couple of other sites that I would like to encourage you to check out when you have a moment.
GLEEMAN IN SI
Yesterday, I read on Aaron's Baseball Blog that he was mentioned (and linked to) in Sports Illustrated this week. It is SI's 50th Anniversary special issue, which is even better! But, check out the Scoreboard's Baseball page. There is an article on Retrosheet, and in a separate box, there is a link to Aaron's Baseball Blog and three other great baseball sites. So if you subscribe to SI, be sure to check it out! It is an inspiration to the rest of us lowly bloggers!
BRENT WANTED TO BE...
OK, I have mentioned on several occasions that mine is a baseball site primarily. But many times I find that the entries I get the most response on are on other topics. One of those topics is TV, and those shows I watched when I was growing up. Check out this incredibly interesting posting by Brent over at BrentNet from the other day. In it, he discusses some of the people/characters that he always wanted to be. For instance, I would definitely agree that I always wanted to be Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell (even if I am out of his mentioned age bracket to think that)! Check out his posting and be sure to let him know your thoughts on the topic. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you and tell him I sent you!
On that note, have yourself a great day! As always, please feel free to e-mail me about anything.
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