Monday, August 16, 2004

Week in review....

After a stretch of playing our closest rivals and the big trade, I was expecting to write this column with a cozy 4-5 game lead as we head into our stretch of cupcakes to finish the season. Instead we're tied cause K. Farnsworth keeps pitching, our bullpen really does suck overall and B. Froemming cost us a game on an ump decision. (Although that Beltre check swing on Saturday against Wood in the 8th was highly questionable). I'm officially worried. I really was expecting us to cruise into this wild card spot but it just doesn't look like it will happen. Plus I fully expected to kick the Dodgers asses so if/when we get them in the playoffs they'd know how bad they are and I wouldn't have to hear it from the co-workers. Oh well...

A day off and a chance to write about some other things:

- Look at them Indians, just missed a sweep and tie for the AL Central. I was talking to a buddy around the All-Star Break trying to figure out why this team wasn't better (had 3 good starters, weak division, amazing lineup)...figuring that bullpen really was that awful. Don't really think they'll win it this season but you have to think they'll be poised for another long run of contention with that lineup and staff. What a job by their GM Shapiro and impressive forecasting by Baseball Prospectus and R. Neyer (Prospectus labeled V. Martinez as probably the 5th best catcher in the majors this year & Neyer said watch out for the Indians as your surprise team, i.e. Marlins, Angels of the last 2 years).

_ There's a growing contigency of people thinking Rolen should win the MVP this year mostly due to his 100 RBI's. Although I'd be first in line not to give an award to Barry Bonds, no way in hell this year should that happen. Here's why/

Since the MVP, no matter how you define it, it is supposed to reflect who the best player of that season was, completing disregarding RBI's and hitting with runners on, would be silly, since although they may not be predictable stats, they certainly have a lot of value within a season. On the other hand, to completely disregard how a team is doing would be silly since last time I checked it was a team game and the ultimate goal is to win games . That all being said, my pick would still go to Bonds for the following reasons.

#1)The Giants aren't that bad, they're even with the Padres/Cubs for the wild card and 9 games over .500.

#2) The Giants are 3rd in runs scored in the NL, despite playing in what normally is considered a pitchers' park (although not this year for some reason) and having not a single player above a 900 OPS besides Bonds.

#3)Other than defensively, Bonds has no impact on the Giants putrid pitching and bullpen(sans J. Schmidt) which has been their weakpoint this year. Defensively he's still middle of the road for a LF.

#4)That OBP of .600 is beyond incredible

#5)Rolen has had the luxury of OBP machines Pujols and Edmonds hitting in front of him to pad his RBI totals(depending on where Rolen hits). Bonds as mentioned has no one hitting in front of him and their AVG with runners on is nearly equal.

I certainly dislike Bonds for a multitude of reasons:

c)repuation which now means he gets every fringe call on a pitch and every manager/pitcher would rather not pitch to him so they don't have to answer reporters questions on why you did pitch to him, rather than realizing you'd get him out a lot more if you did pitch to him and be hailed a genius on how did you get him out.

Like many voters I would love to find a way to vote someone else the MVP, but I just don't see it YET this year. He would have to drop a bit and one of the 3 Cards(Edmonds, Rolen, Pujols) would have to pick it up a lot. Both are doubtful.

- As for the other NL races without going much in depth, my top 5 for Cy Young are:

J. Schmidt (tough call but the W-L gives him the nod)
B. Sheets (that's one insane K/BB ratio)
R. Clemens
C. Zambrano
R. Johnson

In the less than exciting ROY race:
1. Khalil Greene ( I have to pick somebody)
2. A. Miles (Inflated Coors numbers but looks like a top notch defensive 2B)
3. K. Matsui (See comment for K. Greene)

Do your magic Dusty and let's whip the Brew Crew.


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