Thursday, September 20, 2007

Now I'm All Pissed Off

Charlie Manuel:

Charlie Manuel, former Tribe manager and hitting coach, says his current Philadelphia Phillies are a better offensive club than the Indians of Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Roberto Alomar, Eddie Murray, Kenny Lofton and gang.

"This offense might be the best I've ever been around," Manuel told Philadelphia reporters Tuesday. "They come everyday to play. You don't hear them complain and moan. They have more fight [than my Indians teams], they've got more determination, better attitudes and they come to win.

"I think our Cleveland teams had a lot of great talent and they liked to play, but they liked to play basically to put up numbers and promote their career. These guys are definitely different."

Best he's been around, huh? Not so much.

2007 Phillies team stats
(through 152 games):
Runs: 841
Doubles: 341
Home Runs: 196
Average: .275
OPS: .813
RBI: 802
AB/HR: 27.1
Not bad by any means. But let's check out those 1995 Indians (in 144 games!):
Runs: 840
Doubles: 279
Home Runs: 207
Average: .291
OPS: .839
RBI: 803
AB/HR: 24.3
Well, the 1995 Tribe had more home runs, a better average and a better OPS than the 2007 Phillies. The Phillies scored one more run and hit more doubles, but they've done it in 12 more games.

But hey, they have more determination, a better attitude and they come to win. Unlike those 1995 Indians who went to the World Series.

Oh, and by the way, it's not just the 1995 team that was better, the 1999 version was the first team to score 1,000 in a season since 1950. (And if the goal of the offense is to score more runs, I'd say the '99 Indians trump Manuel's Phillies as well).

On a semi related note, in 1995 Albert Belle got completely robbed of the AL MVP. Yes, I know it's 12 years later but I'm still pissed off. I mean, look at these stats:

Albert Belle: .317 average, 1.091 OPS, 52 2B, 50 HR, 126 RBI, 80 K and 73 BB
Mo Vaughn: .300 average, .963 OPS, 28 2B, 39 HR, 126 RBI, 150 K and 68 BB

Just... I ...God damn I hate Mo Vaughn....

Honestly, how is this even a debate? Belle had a better average, 11 more home runs, 24(!) more doubles, walked more and struck out less often (almost half!). I'm pretty sure we can trace my hatred of Boston sports back to this moment.

And yes, I'm preemptively angry about the looming Beckett/Sabathia Cy Young fiasco.


LargeBill said...

What makes the award voting even worse is the same morons who screw up the annual awards turn around and years later cite poor performance in voting for those annual awards as a basis not to vote for someone into the HoF. Blyleven should have gotten more consideration in CY voting in several years. Now those same results are pointed at as evidence that he was not considered a top pitcher in his day.

davemanddd said...

ben, i hear ya' brother. had they switched teams with vaughn playing in cleveland and belle in boston, belle would have won the award by a large margin and vaughn probably would have finished 6th. that is the problem with placing the votes for these awards in the hands of the baseball writers association. never mind the fact that they have an obvious east coast and/or large media market bias. i still think it should be the players who pick these awards themselves, not the media. plus, they would not be allowed to vote for their own teammates. if only they would do it that way, c.c. would no doubt win the cy young. unfortunately, it is what it is and so as long as beckett is in boston, he will win, but the funny thing is, if he was having the same exact season in tampa bay, he would probably only be mentioned in passing as a "yeah but" candidate, much like blyleven was when he was winning 19 games for cleveland and the media would say things like "yeah but he's on a losing team" and so they instead gave the 1984 award to the tigers' willie hernandez who had a measly 32 saves that year, but because the tigers won the world series that year, they had no choice but to give it to hernandez. just as a point of reference, jose mesa had 46 saves in 1995 and was never even mentioned in the conversation for the cy young award that year, so it just goes to show you how inobjective these baseball writers can be. later, dave . . .

Ben said...

ya, the big city/east coast bias is annoying... i mean, i understand why this shit happens, but it still pisses me off

if belle was in boston, it would've been a slaughter. mesa was lights out that year, it wasn't like he was simply racking up saves; he pitched his ass off (unlike a certain tribe closer)

Erik said...

Hold it ... are you insinuating that Joe Borowski is not pitching his ass off?

He has 42 saves, and without the benefit of a 98-mph fastball and 92-mph slider like Mesa had in '95.

And most people forget that Mesa started to fall off in the second half that year. Despite the Paul Bunyan-esque picture Cleveland fans like to paint of Mesa that year, he really started to let guys on base in the second half, when both of his blown saves occurred.

Everyone makes the case that they don't trust Borowski (and didn't trust Wickman) because they're not "lights out" closers. But if fans are looking for someone who makes the ninth inning stress-free, you're going on a quest for Shangri-La as far as I'm concerned.

What Mesa did in '95, what Eric Gagne did in '03, those types of performances just don't come around very often. Most closers are like Borowski. They let guys on base, they blow some saves. But if you have a guy who can nail down 42 of 48 save chances -- when you didn't even know if his shoulder would hold up at the outset of the season, mind you -- I say you should count your blessings.

The teams that have truly lousy closer situations will be setting their tee times for a week from Monday.

Ben said...

I don't mean to trash Borowski, but honestly, who do you trust more? Raffy Betancourt of Joe B.?

Don't get me wrong, he gets the job done. But I have complete trust in the Raffy's, and I don't have that with Borowski.

Though I will say, the past week he had a couple of 1-2-3 saves, which makes my heart flutter a tad (could he and the Tribe be peaking at the right time? This optimism stuff comes hard to me).

(also, for what it's worth I always thought Gagne was overrated. Ya, he pitched lights out and recorded a billion saves in a row. but he did it for the Dodgers, who, at times, stunk and whose fans left at the 7th inning. Did he do his job? Yes. But pitching in front a full house every night like Mesa, Rivera and Mike Jackson did adds a bit more pressure IMO)