Original HBT post here.
Craig was sitting on his high chair, not really paying attention to the several dozen highlights that the display was running through in the sixteen smaller screens split across his 70″ LED frame. Lots of interesting things going on there (Molina managed to go from first to home on an extra-base hit? Without a throw to the plate? Damn those Cardinals!). Instead he was lost in thought, idly puffing a few bubbles from his pipe, the collar on his Braves bathrobe a bit slack. This NL Cy Young business was more inscrutable with each passing day.
He perked up and walked to his lab table where the machine sat. Looking a lot like a multi-function office copier, he opened a side panel and made a series of adjustments on his machine. He closed it up and set his display to NL Cy Young with his three bobble head figures on the scanning surface.
The machine rumbled, a light ran across the figures and the machine started spitting out results: “Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers… OWNS THE GIANTS… Cliff Lee Phillies… OWNS THE POSTSEASON… Roy Halladay, Phillies… OWNS BASEBALL… INSUFFICIENT DATA… IT IS THEO EPSTEIN’S FAULT…”
Craig sighed, even his machine was blaming everything on Theo! He then noticed an Ian Kennedy bobble-head figure on the corner of his table with a tag reading: “I GOT 20 WINS, SHOW SOME LUV!”. He rolled his eyes and proceeded to lecture the small toy on the finer points of modern statistics.
“Wins are overrated Ian, it shows more about how the team is doing when you pitch than actual pitching ability,” he then backhanded the figure causing it fly off his table and walked back to his fireplace and high chair.
He had work to do, posts to write, baseball to analyze, Theo Epstein blame articles to debunk…
The NL Cy Young award is a tight race, unlike the AL one where Verlander has a virtual lock on that piece of hardware, it’s more interesting to see if he gets MVP consideration. Although I think Kershaw has the edge what with less stellar outings from both Halladay and Cliff Lee in the last few days. Ian Kennedy has been mentioned around as well and if this were 1975 he’d probably be 1st or 2nd in the voting. As it is there is a trend to look beyond the Win-Loss record of a pitcher and evaluate his other stats, like ERA, WHIP, Strikeouts, Walks… things that are more closely related to pitching performance than the vagaries of a stat that depend for the most part on an offense giving a pitcher run support, although Cliff Lee could be said to have actually WON the game he pitched in LA, seeing that he hit the homerun that was the scoring difference and pitched the complete game to boot.
The Red Sox continue to baffle and dismay, and the witch hunt has begun in earnest to find a proper sacrifice to the baseball gods, but I’m with Craig on this one, how can Theo Epstein be reasonably blamed for any of this? I really don’t think slicing his throat (even metaphorically) will appease the fates.
Meanwhile the AAA Phillies have been playing these last four games and quite obviously suck, I may skip watching the next two games versus the Nationals since it’s obvious there will be no real effort to win these as they are meaningless (I’m certain the Nats will sweep) and instead look towards the New York and Atlanta series when the Lineup will feature the starting 8 for the postseason.