Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mussina, Jesse Haines

Schlamp, I won't argue that Jesse Haines belongs in the Hall of Fame. Whether he belongs is certainly debatable.

However, I will point out that (a) he played for the Cardinals, so he must be good (whoo-hoo!); and (b) he won two rings (1926, 1934). So his career was superior to Mussina's in at least two ways.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dan Wetzel

As sportswriters go, I think Dan Wetzel is unusually bad, which is saying something. His most recent column exemplifies why.

He complains about the Big 12's selection method for choosing which team to put in its championship game. Three teams have one loss: Texas beat Oklahoma, which beat Texas Tech, which beat Texas. The conference decides who goes to the championship game by virtue of which team is ranker more highly.

Wetzel says this is bad, "jokes" about whether a team's color scheme should come into play (HA! good one!), and includes the following paragraph:

Maybe Texas should hire Barack Obama’s advisor David Axelrod for the rest of the season because it might be in trouble due to a scheduling quirk. Next week Oklahoma will have another big nationally televised opportunity to impress voters against highly ranked Oklahoma State. The Longhorns, meanwhile, seem like the team everyone forgot.

What does this mean? I have no idea. (Axelrod? Scheduling quirk? Wha?)

But what he never bothers doing is making any kind of suggestion about what they should do about it. If it's so bad, one would think he would have a better idea.

As for me, I think it seems pretty reasonable. Years ago the Big 10 would only let one team go to a bowl game and if two teams were tied, the athletic directors would vote to determine who went to the Rose Bowl. The Big 12 could have their athletic directors vote, but that's obviously prone to politicing as well. So all in all, seems to me that using a poll is as good a method as any other.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Mussina retired, which makes my previous argument that he's in the Hall of Fame moot. I figured he'd pitch at least another year or two. Now I'm not so sure. Hard to believe, but he only had one full season with an ERA under 3.00. That's not so good. Never won the World Series, never particularly dominant. I'm not sure durable guys should make the Hall.

On the other hand, 270 wins in the Steroid Era is impressive. And he finally won 20 games this year.

I figure he gets in eventually, but not on the first ballot.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No We Can't!

Well I like Obama but I wasn't happy to see that he supports a playoff in college football.

As I've said before (and before), the problem with a playoff is figuring out how many teams to invite. Playoff proponents gloss over this question, but it's actually enormously important. Just check out the comments here. People argue for six teams, eight teams, twelve teams, sixteen teams, etc.

Until playoff proponents can give a rational argument for a certain number of teams, there's no reason to discuss a playoff.

Case in point: 2005. Texas and USC were undefeated and they met for a (fantastic) national championship game. Should they have been forced to play Penn State and Oregon, each of which lost a game earlier, before playing each other? No!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

AL Cy Young

Cliff Lee won the AL Cy Young, with Roy Halliday in second. This is unquestionably the correct result.

But quite a few voters revealed their foolishness. Francisco Rodriguez came in third, which is just stupid. The first problem is those seven voters who put him second, ahead of Halliday. Anyone that foolish should have their voting rights revoked immediately.

In fact, there's no reason to even put F-Rod third. Yes, he had a lot of saves, but saves are silly. If you're going to give a reliever your third vote, at least look at the statistics. Of American League relievers, F-Rod had a good year and a lot of saves, but the following closers had a lower ERA: Joakim Soia (surely you've heard of him), Mariano Rivera, and Joe Nathan.

If you are going to vote for a reliever at #3 (I would have voted for Lester), F-Rod is your fourth best choice. The best reliever in the AL last year is the same guy who's pretty much been the best the last 13 years: Mariano Rivera. His ERA was 1.40. 1.40! That's dominant even for him. He issued six walks last year. Six! Did I mention his ERA was 1.40?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Franchise

(sorry for the delay, I was busy with, and distracted by the election)

Lincecum won the Cy Young. This is cool for the Giants. I'm happy to be wrong.

I hope I'm also wrong about overworking him. He pitched 146 innings last year and 227 this year. I just hope he didn't hurt himself this year.

And for the guy who didn't have Lincecum in his top three? Awful. Yes, Lidge was good this year, but there's no way he belongs on the ballot. He pitched 69.1 innings. Webb, Lincecum, and Santana all pitched more than three times as many. A closer can only win a Cy Young when there's no dominant starter, and this year there were three.

Besides, every time I think of Lidge I think of this.