Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All-Star Game Observations

  • Is it any surprise that a team managed by Phil Garner blew the lead with two outs in the 9th inning? Since when did Trevor Hoffman become Brad Lidge?
  • Is anyone else bugged by the way the media fawned over David Wright? He is a very good player, probably the 2nd best third baseman in the game. But if you are a Baseball Prospectus person at all, and if you run his first two seasons against the best third baseman in the game (Scott Rolen), what you'd find is this:

Wright
Age 22, .306 BA, .388 OBP, .523 SLG, .911 OBP+SLG, 9.1 WARP
Age 23, .316 BA, .386 OBP, .575 SLG, .961 OBP+SLG, 7.0 WARP (projected to 162 games)

Rolen
Age 22, .283 BA, .377 OBP, .469 SLG, .846 OBP+SLG, 8.9 WARP
Age 23, .290 BA, .391 OBP, .532 SLG, .923 OBP+SLG, 11.2 WARP

For those tempted to say, "so what?" or "those numbers are nearly equal," you have to come back with the fact that Wright has played on better teams his first two seasons compared to Rolen. Rolen had little protection in the line-ups of the 97 and 98 Phillies and still put up strong numbers. Plus, Rolen won the Rookie of the Year award in 1997; he also won his first of six Gold Glove awards in 1998 (when he was 23).

What does this mean? I think it means that the media fawns over players like Wright (and ignores players like Rolen) because of their New York bias. It is the same reason SportsCenter led with Yankee-Devil Ray highlights this past weekend, rather than Cards-Astros. If I think about it some times, it drives me nuts. Thankfully, I don't think about it often.

  • Another thing--if the NL had won the game, then Carlos Beltran (not David Wright) clearly was the MVP.
  • Coupled with that, what was Garner thinking putting Miguel Cabrera in as Wright's replacement instead of Rolen? Cabrera is so poor defensively; I think Rolen would have gotten Konerko's hit that started the rally in the 9th inning because he would not have been standing directly on top of the line (in the no-doubles defense).
  • Maybe it is just me--but I like Ozzie Guillen. I don't like what he does or says sometimes, but I like the way he manages games and engages his players. He never seems to forget it is a game--which means play hard, but have fun.

1 comment:

Derek Makri said...

Sorry about that, but I guess NYC is such a baseball city that it dominates the sport. It goes both ways here though--when the Yankees and Mets do well they get the praise, but when they do anything less than first place they receive great criticism. It is the toughest city to play baseball in.