Friday, August 27, 2010

Are we lucky to have Dustin Ackley?

In case you have not heard, Stephen Strasburg is on his way to Tommy John surgery.  Yes, this is serious, but a lot of guys are able to come back from this and continue to pitch well.  The best example could be Chris Carpenter.  If I recall correctly, his Cy Young aware was post Tommy John surgery. 

A lot of Mariner fans were disappointed to see the M’s sweep the A’s to conclude the 2008 season.  If we had not done that, we would have drafted Strasburg.  Instead, we swept the A’s and drafted Dustin Ackley.  Dustin, in all likelihood, will be called up on September 1st.  It would be interesting to see how Dustin performs.  Of course, we can never truly compare a pitcher to a hitter.

In case you missed it, here is the article.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1,000 strikeouts

On what was a long road trip for the Mariners, they did end on a high note.  Felix became the third youngest pitcher to reach the 1,000 strikeout mark.  The only pitchers younger than Hernandez, who is 24 years and 139 days old, to reach the milestone since '52 are Bert Blyleven (23 years, 121 days) and Dwight Gooden (23 years, 249 days).

The trivia question portion of this stat will always be the victim, David Ortiz.

Other great trivia victim’s:

1. Pete Rose’s record hit breaking Ty Cobb’s mark was off of Eric Show of the Padres

2. Hank Aaron’s 715 home run was off of Dodger pitcher Al Downing. Braves reliever Tom House caught the ball. 

3. “The shot heard ‘round the world” was hit off of Brooklyn's Ralph Blanca at the Polo grounds. 

4. Nolan Ryan’s 5,000 strikeout came at the expense of Rickey Henderson

5. The other guy in WHAM was Andrew Ridgeley.

Of course there are several more, but those are just a few.  Congratulation Felix!

18 game regular season…really?

I am not sure where the division will be on this topic.  I am a fan, and I am not for this.  I cannot imagine that players are going to be too thrilled about this as this is an obvious way for the league to cash in on even more revenue.  So, does football now go all the way up to baseball’s spring training?

For those of you that missed the announcement, here is a link.  I am sure that most fans, if you polled the nation, would be excited about 2 more games for their team.  Especially those that live for fantasy football.  I will add, I am for shortening the preseason from 4 to 2 games.  Perhaps since I am a fan of a team that seems to always be hurt, the less preseason games they have to hurt themselves, the better.  Plus, I think lowering the preseason total will force a team to form a cohesive unit a bit faster to be prepared for week 1 of the regular season.  My ideal schedule would be to have 2 preseason games and 16 regular season games. 

This is not set to begin until the start of the 2012 season.  I am sure this will be good for the league, however, I am not sure this will be good for football.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fantasy Football, a billion dollar industry

On talk radio, some talking head was chatting about how the world of Fantasy Football is out of control.  The billion dollar figure comes from publications, software, and advertisements.  This does not include side gambling and entry fees that some leagues introduce. 

Other ways this is getting out of control is the fact you buy insurance for players on your team.  Let say you draft Brady and you have some sort of payment in your draft.  Either an entry fee or a cost to draft someone in the early rounds.  If Brady is out for 6 or more week, you can guarantee the reimbursement of your entry fee and/or any cost to acquire Brady.

There are also litigation sites that are cashing in this industry in a big way.  Fantasy Football is a biased setup, period.  The commissioner will have a team in the league.  So, if you dislike the way a trade occurred, you can pay $15 to have a lawyer and some of his judge partners mediate your dispute.  You can also pay $100 (or some flat amount) for a season of disputes.  Smart thinking by someone, and pretty easy cash flow.

I have enjoyed fantasy football for many years now.  However, I tend to stay away once entry fees are thrust upon the managers.  However, I would never pay for the above two services.  Kind of wish I got in on the ground level with some of this stuff.  But, with this being a billion dollar industry for about 4 months of actual work, there is enough money for everyone.

Cy Young Watch 2010

Okay, I have nothing better do this baseball season that hold out for remote chance that Felix’s consistency is rewarded,  Here is a side-by-side comparison with whom I see being the front runners in the AL.

Stat

Felix Hernandez

CC Sabathia

David Price

Wins 9 17 15
Games Started 27 27 24
Quality Starts 24 22 18
Innings Pitched 197.0 187.2 157.2
ERA 2.51 3.02 2.97
CG 5 2 2
SHO 1 0 1
Opp. AVG .228 .243 .229
Strikeouts 183 151 146

As much of a challenge it is for me, I have to take a step back from these stats.  Felix is better than both of these pitchers in every category besides wins. Will that be enough assuming he finished just as strong?  If the Mariners win the rest of his starts there will be no doubt he deserves it.  I would like to see the Cy Young winner with at least 12 to 14 wins, so the stat does matter to some degree, however should not have the most “weight” tied to it. 

As the season draws to a close I will continue to follow this race.   

Thursday, August 19, 2010

September 1st

Since my baseball season has been over for awhile now, this is the date that we look forward to the most.  On this date, major league teams can expand their rosters and call up a slew of AAA and/or AA players for some big league experience.  Kick the tires to see how people will perform on the big stage. 

I would like to see three Tacoma players make it to Safeco for the final month of the season.  They are Dustin Ackley, Michael Pineda and Josh Lueke. 

Dustin has a higher batting average in AAA then he did in AA.  Dustin is currently being pushed since he was picked directly after Stephen Strasburg.  He could be a nice face for this franchise. 

Pineda is pitching well in the minors.  He packs a fastball that could reach mid-90’s.  His delivery is the big question mark around his longevity. He was named the clubs Minor League pitcher of the year in 2009.  Here is what Baseball intellect had to say on Michael: “When Pineda was on the mound, he was dominant. He struck out 28.6% of the batters he faced, while walking just 3.6%. He put up an ERA of 2.84. And he did this in High Desert, one the worst parks a pitcher could pitch in.”

Our wildcard is Josh Lueke.  He has a checkered past that involves a rape claim while in the Rangers minor league organization.  I have mixed feelings on this.  As a player, he is dominating minor league hitters.  Averaging around 1.5 K’s per inning.  He is going to be a PR nightmare.  The Mariners would open the door to protests and public ridicule once he arrives in Seattle.  He obviously has the talent.  Perhaps, with his outstanding numbers, they use him as trade bait for some quality hitting, time will only tell. 

I know there are several other players in our organization that deserve a chance this September.  Stay tuned as next month approaches. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blogger imports into Facebook, kind of ugly

I noticed a steep limitation with regards to how tables import from Blogger to Facebook, as in they don’t.  So, if you want to see my full analysis of why I think Felix deserves a shot at the Cy Young, you have to actually visit the blog site and not rely upon Facebook.

Hmm, it might be time to drop that import..things to consider.

Should Felix be considered for the Cy Young again?

I think it’s time to admit, especially after last years voting, wins are not as important as everyone thinks.  Zach Greinke had 16 wins to Felix’s 19.  But Zach bested Felix in ERA (2.16 vs. 2.49), complete games (6 vs. 2) and strikeouts (242 vs. 217).  In looking at this, it is apparent voters looked at a more overall picture rather than solely on wins.  Felix did best Zach in innings pitched (238.2 vs. 229.1) and in opponent batting average (.227 vs. .230).  A stat that I like, Quality starts, Felix took the prize with 29 vs. Zack’s 26. 

That takes me to the 2010 season.  At the time of this writing, here is how Felix looks in the AL.

Stat Numbers Current Rank
ERA 2.62 3rd
Innings pitched 189.0 1st
Strike Outs 172 2nd
Complete Games 5 2nd
Shutouts 1 T-2nd
Quality Starts 23 1st
Games Started 26 1st
Wins 8 38th

Take out wins, and you are building a VERY strong case for Felix to yet again, be in the running for the Cy Young.  Understanding that there are still 6 weeks left in the season, anything can happen.  If you look at who is first in some of these categories, I think it makes my point.

ERA.  Clay Buchholz is the leader with a 2.49 mark,  However, he only has 126.1 innings pitched, 20 starts, 1 complete game, 1 shutout, and 13 quality starts. 

Strike outs.  Jared Weaver of the Angels leads with 182.  He does have a decent ERA with a 2.87 and started in 25 games.  However, he does not have a complete game or a shutout, has 26 less innings than Felix and 20 quality starts. 

Complete Games.  Cliff Lee leads with 7.  His ERA has climbed to 2.77 and has 20 less innings than Felix.  He also trails Felix in strikeouts with 147 and has 15 quality starts.

Wins.  We have a 3 way tie with CC Sabathia, David Price, and Carl Pavano all with 15.  Pavano is out with his higher ERA of 3.27, 168 Innings, 97 strikeouts and 17 quality starts but does have 5 complete games and 2 shutouts.  Sabathia is not a bad pick here. He stands with a 3.14 ERA, 134 strikeouts, only 2 complete games and no shutouts, but does have 20 quality starts.  The real front runner for the Cy Young, I think, is David Price.  David has a 2.85 ERA, 141 strikeouts, 2 complete games with 1 shutout and 18 quality starts. 

Felix numbers, again covering up the W column, are consistent from last year.  In 2009, he started in 34 games, and 29 of those where defined as quality starts.  So far this year, 26 and 23.  I think that shows amazing depth into games and is a stat that will set him a part from the competition.  Looking at the whole picture, I feel that Felix needs to considered.  I know his 8 wins are a cause a lot of alarm to many people out there.  If he could somehow get to 14 wins with this crappy offense, and keep the other numbers consistent, he should be a shoe in.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Catching up is hard to do

I have been avoiding the Mariners for a bit.  It was getting too embarrassing to watch as we would do a better job of connecting in the dugout then on the field. 

I hate to say it, but I predicted the firing of Don.  Of course, I only said this to myself, but the minute after Jack Z gave Don Wak the dreaded “vote of confidence” I knew his career in Seattle was over.  Whenever this happens, the person be applied this vote is going to axed.  Either within days or at the conclusion of a season.  But no matter what, a vote of confidence is a death sentence.

What needs to happen now?  Not really sure.  The season has been over since about May so you might was well give some prospects the opportunity to perform at the major league level in September. 

I hope to regain some interest soon, but watching them play right now is a painful process.