Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bad Baseball Analysis of a Bad Division

Phil Rogers' latest on the NL Central race from ESPN.com

Mr. Rogers decides to have a look at the three teams in contention in the NL Central - the Cubs, Brewers and Cards. Unfortunately for readers, his article is an amalgamation of random statistics, a few quotes, and some stabs at analysis. Let's take a few closer looks:


Claudio Vargas, the Brewers' most effective starter with a 10-4 record, got knocked out in the first inning at San Francisco on Friday and appears headed for the disabled list with back problems.

1. Four other Brewers starters have lower ERAs - and Vargas's 5.14 barely edges out the much-maligned Capuano's 5.40
2. Vargas has the worst WHIP of any Brewers starter - an abysmal 1.56.
3. The Amazing Claudio Vargas has a 10-4 record.

Clearly he is their most effective starter. Hey! Maybe this is why their team sucks: their most effective starter sucks!

Yovani Gallardo, a tough kid from the hardscrabble side of Fort Worth, Texas, has lost the mojo that made Yost believe he could bail out the disappointing veterans.

Lunchpail alert! Hardscrabble alert! Mojo alert!

I bet the kids on the hardscrabble side of Forth Worth play their Scrabble with rusty metal game boards and broken glass letter tiles. The kids on the softscrabble side of Forth Worth are given these on their tenth birthdays.


Entering the Brewers series, the Cubs are on pace to finish the season with 131 home runs, their lowest total since 1997, and have hit an NL-low 30 in 42 second-half games.

Good. Phil, if you're going to focus on the Cubs' lack of offense, be sure not to point out the most obvious measure of a team's offensive output (runs scored) and be sure to focus on one component of that output (home runs). Why not just see if the Cubs have fewer singles than the Brewers? I mean, they've only scored about 20 fewer runs than the Brewers. But hey, let's talk more about home runs! I love home runs!

Then Phil goes on to talk about some other crap. Like mentioning a lot of junk about the Cubs' lack of offense and Carlos' Zambrano's big mouth and big contract. A few standard Lou Pinella quotations, and you get my drift. Booooring, standard Cubs-articles-fare. Here's my problem with this article:

1. The article mentions nothing about Ted Lilly, who has better numbers than Zambrano and has outperformed his career WHIP and ERA by like a standard deviation... at 6 million per, his 3.85 ERA is a fucking STEAL. Talk about a signing paying off.
2. The article cites a three-team race in the title, but doesn't even mention the Cards. Not that the Cards are any good - their team ERA is shitty and their team runs scored is shitty - but anyone can see that they could catch a streak and outperform their Pythag for the next 33 games or whatever. They're just as likely as the other bad teams.
3. I am just so fucking tired of hearing about the Brewers and the Cubs. Nobody cares about the this-year-feel-good-Brewers or the pity-party-Cub-losers.

Just let one of them make the playoffs and lose already.


larry b said...

best concluding sentence ever. cracked me up. LAWL!

Kevin said...

you wrote this article just because they didn't mention the reds who are 7.5 GB.