A new song for the Jays 2012 season.
Since we necessarily cannot have more than four MLB playoff games in a day, Saturday was at least a tie for the most playoff baseball ever in a day. The whole extended weekend has been filed with dramatic MLB baseball. In honour of this magnificent excuse for laziness, sportsvssports summarizes the leagues’ final ‘advanced’ or ‘new’ overall statistical leaders. Below is a general survey of the top scores in each major award category according to various metrics and ‘overall ratings.’
Rookie of the Year
AL: Alexei Ogando (FG, TBE tie)
Michael Pineda (IE) Mark Trumbo (ESPN), Jeremy Hellickson (Elias)
NL: Danny Espinosa (FG, TBE)
Vance Worley (ESPN), Lucas Duda (Elias), Freddie Freeman (IE)
Cy Young Award
AL: Justin Verlander (BR, IE, ESPN, TBE)
CC Sabathia (FG), Jered Weaver (Elias)
NL: Roy Halladay (FG, ESPN, Elias)
Clayton Kershaw (BR, IE), Cliff Lee (TBE)
AL: Jacoby Ellsbury (FG, ESPN, IE)
Jose Bautista (BR, Elias, TBE)
NL: Matt Kemp (BR, FG, ESPN, IE)
Prince Fielder (Elias), Troy Tulowitzki (TBE)
It should be mentioned that in most cases of disagreement, each site has the other’s top rated player second or tied for second. NL pitching is the exception, where it seems a fairly even 3 way judgement. Also, I have given the Baseball Reference MVP to Bautista despite being tied with Verlander because Verlander already gets the BR Cy Young, supplementing the argument which seems to usually hold the day with the Baseball Writers Association voters; that pitchers have their own award and should only win the MVP when their season is transcendent. Also, to further sooth Blue Jays fans who are about to go into full pout about Bautista winning his second consecutive not-MVP, Brett Lawrie was on track to easily win the AL Rookie of the Year if he had played even most of the season. What’s truly shocking is that he was actually on a pace to also bump Ellsbury for the FanGraphs AL MVP, as his WAR was 2.7 in only 43 games, putting him on track to produce a league best 10.2 over 162 games.
In light of recent allegations published and recycled recently, I have decided to come clean and admit that I, your faithful sportsvssports author, am the person who has been stealing signs and relaying them to Blue Jays batters. When it started, it was just Jose. I couldn’t help Vernon, because he owed me a ten spot and kept ducking me. Eventually, I hooked it up with Adam Lind, helping him raise his average above .220. This year, I’ve been helping Eric Thames, and Yunel, and recently Edwin, but still not Hill. The Verlander game I was just busy. I’m not gonna tell everyone what I was doing, I just wasn’t there. That’s all you need to know. And I don’t use a Bluetooth. I just have really good eyesight. But, since everyone’s so exited, I’ll stop now. Sheesh.
* The MLB all-star game, like all all-star games, is inherently boring. Many people consider themselves fans of this or that big league sport, and yet are still hard pressed to invest that sport’s regular season games with enough importance to stay interested. All-star games can also never satisfy purist fans of any sport unless the players are motivated enough to play defense. Therefore attempts to make them interesting tend towards making the mid-season snooze-fest ‘meaningful.’ The fact that baseball’s attempt to do so through awarding home-field in the finals to the champion of the victorious league fails on multiple counts.
It is not necessarily even relevant why this is the case, but because it is so obvious, we will note that it is because most teams (and therefore players) are not serious championship competitors, and because it is too abstracted for the rest. Your team is four and a half games out of the wild card spot, and the pitcher throws you a high fastball with a man on second and none out in the sixth: do you try to hit on the ground to the right side, and slightly improve the probability that your team will win and give your team a microscopic chance at an advantage four months down the line; or do you just rip as hard as you can and whatever? If you have ever tried to watch an MLB all-star game then you know the answer is the latter, but the former would still be boring, for all the same reasons.
Anyway, it sucks and cannot improve. It cannot be meaningful. It cannot be exciting. Give the players a bigger bonus? Why should I care? They’re still not going to dive for the ball, and I still won’t even know which team I’m rooting for. The team with my home team’s players also has the Yankees and Red Sox players, who are more likely to play in the World Series, and who I will be cheering against, so realistically my rooting interest is that the hometown player either strikes out, or does not play at all. How’s that for sporting interest?
What would be better? None of the suggestions I’ve read. Obviously going outside would be, or going to bed early, or reading. How about an all-star still gets named for every team, and still gets their bonus around the average annual salary of a fan, and then that player goes to a little league diamond for six hours? Maybe a whole neighbourhood would show up to watch the local kids. You may have to have an entourage to control the crowd and shape the interaction so that games aren’t delayed for hours by hoards of autograph seekers, but staged public events are not exactly foreign to major league sports – they are exactly their line of business. I’d go to the park to see Jose. I’ll even go to the tin can we call a baseball stadium in the T. I won’t tune in a 9pm or whatever to see him play a few innings of a displaced spring training game. And in all likelihood, neither will you.