Monday, August 27, 2007

Follow-up From Hey, Man!

First off, if you haven't read eriz's excellent post below this one, do that before reading this.

Second, here's Jon Heyman's follow-up, as he ridiculously defends himself against his readers in arguments re: Schilling = loco and re: regular season awrads in his latest mailbag. Questions in sharp, biting italics, Heyman's answers in stupid, arrogant bold.

Regarding your NL MVP candidates, how about those two guys in Florida? Yes, the Marlins are not in playoff contention, but it's hard to ignore Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera, especially considering they're first and second, respectively, in the NL in VORP, and rank in the top three in Runs Created. It looks like you went through all the playoff-contending teams, and chose a "good" player from each. Let me ask you: If Cabrera were on a playoff-contender this season, would there be any doubt who the MVP was?
-- Carolyn, Boca Raton, Fla


Actually, you're right. That's exactly what I did, and how I came up with Prince Fielder as my NL MVP leader. His "good'' year is actually more than good, and the Brewers are right in the thick of the playoff race. While I understand your sentiments, I am more interested in "wins created'' than runs created. And the day I consider VORP is the day I get out of the business. The idea of the MVP is to honor the player who has had the biggest positive impact on the pennant races. I have been a big champion for Ramirez, but I would not consider him a true candidate to win the MVP award.

Heyman says exactly one correct thing in this paragraph. Prince Fielder's year has definitely been more than just "good". Now for the bad.

I am more interested in "wins created'' than runs created.

Fine. Have it your way.

Prince Fielder WARP1: 5.2 (awful, awful defense)
Miguel Cabrera WARP1: 8.1
Hanley Ramirez WARP1: 6.6 (defense hurts him a good deal, too)

You're punishing Cabrera and Ramirez because their team is bad. Are you saying they wouldn't be as excellent if the Marlins were good?

And the day I consider VORP is the day I get out of the business.

The day you consider VORP, a stat specifically about "value", for the "most valuable player" award is the day you stop writing about baseball. Cool. Thanks for making sense.

Believe it or don't, I'm not of the belief that MVP awards should be awarded by pure sabermetrics. They are certainly not out of the question by any means, however.

The idea of the MVP is to honor the player who has had the biggest positive impact on the pennant races.

No. This is not something you can say like a fucking fact. The MVP goes to the "most valuable player". It's vague and broadly defined. There is nothing in the definition of "MVP" about pennant races. You can be of that opinion, and let it influence your decision, but that does not mean that it's how the award is defined. I'll listen to the "most valuable player to his team" argument as well, but none of these things are written in stone.

Still using wins to judge a pitcher? I thought we'd moved out of the Dark Ages. Beckett has received almost 7 runs per game of support whereas guys like Haren (5.44), Santana (5.24), and Bedard (4.60) have all received considerably less. Or are they supposed to will their teams to play better with their magical clutchness and playing of the game the right way like Beckett does? Also, VORP (one of those spooky, newfangled computer stats) has Kelvim Escobar first, followed by Santana, Bedard and Haren. Beckett is a distant seventh.
--Rob, Southington, Conn.


Very good question Rob.

There goes that VORP again. When the standings are determined by VORP, I think I will take it more seriously. But as you know, they still go by wins and losses. Like I said, I am an admirer of Bedard's. I had him second. Why don't you send your insults to Jim Leyland, who didn't even pick him for the All-Star team?

There goes that crazy, wonky VORP again. If you don't mind, I'm just gonna dismiss it as meaningless again while showing no indication that I have a clue what it means. Ah there, on to the rest of the question.

Standings are determined by TEAM wins and TEAM losses. Not by pitcher wins. I truly don't understand you, Heyman. Beckett getting 7-ish runs of support per game is the very definition of why W-L records are stupid. If Brian Bannister or Joe Kennedy got that kind of support, you'd have to put them in the discussion as well. This is possibly one of the most ill-informed, stubborn defenses I've ever seen. And Leyland probably didn't pick Bedard for the All-Star team beacuse his first 2.5 months were definitely worse than everything he's done since.

Sometimes I don't think Curt Schilling listens to himself. He comments that he wants to impress upon young pitchers and that Tampa could be just the place for him. What about mentoring Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Dice-K and Josh Beckett, who are all 28 or younger?

At this point, Jon Heyman's eyes light up, giddy with excitement. After 5 attacks, this is the first e-mail that LIKES his point of view.

Schilling thinks that everything that comes out of his mouth is a pearl when most of it is just garbage. His reasoning to want to pitch for Tampa Bay made no sense. You are absolutely right. Boston has just as many good young pitchers as Tampa Bay. And besides, I don't believe anyone in the history of baseball has chosen to sign a multi-million dollar contract for purposes of mentoring. If he wants to mentor, he should become a coach.

Reasons Schilling is a moron:

1) Wanting to live in an area you like and working with young talent "makes no sense"
2) No one in the history of baseball has ever done what he is doing before, making it unworthy and stupid.
3) Rather than becoming a coach he's choosing mentoring via "leading by example", which we all know is silly and pointless.

Maybe Schilling feels that he's wealthy enough so that he doesn't have to scrape for every extra dollar? Isn't that the kind of ballplayer who writers and fans say they want? If so, then why criticize Schilling for failing to be a money-grubber?
--James Silverglad, New York City


THANK you, James.

One reason he doesn't have an agent is that he doesn't think it's worth it. So I wouldn't say he isn't focused on money. What he doesn't realize is that he's cost himself money, because even an average agent could do more than 5 percent better than him. I admire players who are in it to win. And I do believe Schilling is a winner. So I have to give him that. And yet, I have to think he is full of baloney in his comments about wanting to be a Devil Ray. In any case, I don't think he should be discussing where he wants to play next when his team is in a pennant race.

Wow. This needs to be dissected.

One reason he doesn't have an agent is that he doesn't think it's worth it. So I wouldn't say he isn't focused on money.

What if "not worth it" means "not worth the hassle" or "not worth someone bargaining for me when I am fully capable of doing it myself" rather than "this costs too much!". What if you weren't such a closed-minded douche, Heyman? What-if?

What he doesn't realize is that he's cost himself money, because even an average agent could do more than 5 percent better than him.

I will bet thousands of dollars that you, Jon Heyman, have no evidence of this being true, and are just spewing words. You think it's safe to say this, because most people think Schilling is crazy. Quit making wild claims.

Check out eriz's post below (specifically, the very good comparison to John Smoltz) for perfectly sound reasoning for why this is not remotely close to true.

I admire players who are in it to win. And I do believe Schilling is a winner. So I have to give him that. And yet, I have to think he is full of baloney in his comments about wanting to be a Devil Ray.

If you truly had any admiration for Schilling, you wouldn't have wrote that load of crap about him being crazy. This is like saying, "while I admire, understand and respect the motivation for this guy's decision, it makes no sense and I fully condemn it."

Cox was a better GM than you are as a columnist. A far as on-field performance, name one other manager with his achievements since 1961. He took the Braves from worst to first and won with the Blue Jays in the '80s. And you have managed how many big league games? Cox may lack rings, but he defends his players better than anyone in the game.
-- Tally, Chester, S.C.


I concede that Cox is a very good manager. But he isn't better than Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, Lou Piniella, Tommy Lasorda or many others I could name, and his so-so in-game strategies are exposed come October.

Bobby Cox is a way, way, way....(way x 1000)...better manager than Tony La Russa. How could you have watched the All-Star Game this year (granted, it's the All-Star Game, but still) and still think that La Russa makes sense consistently? Pujols on the bench and Rowand at the bat with the game on the line? REALLY? And Lou Piniella is very similar to Cox with the tantrums and the so-so in-game strategies. You can't just say that one guy is worse than others without proof. You probably thought you could just list off a ton of big-name managers and expect no one to challenge you. Good try, jackass.

8 comments:

eriz said...

hahaha. I love how he says that Schilling could get 5 percent more with an agent. Which is hiliarious because the low end MLB agent will run you %5. And that's obviously not a Scott Boras type either.

eriz said...

so if you made $10 million without an agent, and then signed with an agent to get you 5 percent more, that's a $10.5 million deal. BUUUUTT, after the agent's take ($525,000 at least), you'd be making LESS THAN YOU DID BEFORE.

Jeff said...

I had written something tearing apart his Beckett for Cy Young piece but his readers beat me to it I guess.

The crux of my post was going to be about the "pressure" that Beckett has played under this year, according to Heyman, because his team has been in first all year (I guess).

Whatever, he's just another old-school close minded hack who'll ignore VORP and WARP because he can't comprehend it. It is SO EASY to take the Joe Morgan - 'go team, all that matters is Wins and Losses' - approach to baseball without realizing that baseball is largely an individual sport.

If the same guy performed the EXACT SAME WAY on a team with 24 better players, he'd be an MVP. How the fuck does that make sense? If you want to get real nutty about semantics, isn't he MORE VALUABLE on a poorer team? Nope, Heyman would say, because if he was so valuable his team wouldn't be so poor. Then I'd go back to banging my head into my desk.

dan-bob said...

Isn't it a bit of a small sample size to consider LaRussa a bad manager just becuase of the ASG decision?

/cue debate on managerial effectiveness

larry b said...

i personally think larussa is a bad manager due to the fact that he often wears transition lenses.

that, and his whole "batting the pitcher 8th" trick.

pnoles said...

The asg was just the first thing that popped into my head. I'm of the opinion that he should have tried as hard as possible to rat out Kenny Rogers in last year's WS, too. Batting the pitcher 8th is sketch, and he thought Rick Ankiel, the minor league home run leader, should have "try to hit .300" in the major leagues as a primary goal rather than "hit for power". I don't know, it's just....he doesn't make sense a lot. Managers really aren't that big a deal though.

larry b said...

i agree with pnoles, the kenny rogers thing was fucking ridiculous. it's not like he should have gone out of his way to ban rogers from baseball or something, but to let him off the hook was lame as hell.

Chris W said...

larussa as bad manager as evidenced by having a superior oakland team from 1988-1991 and only winning 1 WS against a lousy SF team