Reader Kyle Olney of Bourbonnais, Illinois e-mailed late last week to share some impressive stat work he did, comparing Hernandez to C.C. Sabathia. He explained the impetus for his research:
“I was watching baseball tonight last night and just about threw something through the TV when JP Ricciardi said that he would vote for Sabathia because he pitches in a tougher division. I had done some earlier work with some stats and knew that Sabathia hadn’t actually faced the Blue Jays this season (he will next week)–and of course he never faced the Yankees. But I wanted to verify my thoughts and feelings. So this morning I threw together this little comparison chart that compares the two against AL East teams, teams with winning records, and teams heading to the playoffs.”
Thank you to Bob Wickwire here at the Seattle Times, who worked with Kyle’s spread sheet and made it all line up on this link. I figured I’d better put it up on the blog before they pitch again and the numbers change.
The stats pretty much shoot a hole in Ricciardi’s theory, and Olney concludes: “If Felix loses because enough writers are still stuck on the “old” method of voting, that’s one thing. But if he loses because people base their ideas on outlandish claims like the one Ricciardi made, and fail to actually look at the stats themselves, well that’s just inexcusable.”
A few other notes:
—USA Today reports (scroll down to see the story) that the Texas Rangers have signed a 20-year extension with Fox Sports Southwest for their television rights worth $3 billion. Yes, $3 billion. That’s $150 million a year, an astonishing amount, one that would give the Rangers financial flexibility far surpassing what they have now, and ranking up there with any team not named the Yankees. I must say, however, that I’m skeptical about those numbers, so I’ll reserve judgment until they are confirmed. If accurate, I’d say the Rangers have just improved their chances of keeping Cliff Lee.And the Mariners chances of competing in the AL West have gotten more difficult. UPDATE: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News pegs the number at about half of $3 billion, which is still plenty high.
–Speaking of the Rangers, here’s a fantastic article by Yahoo’s Tim Brown on the fall and rise of manager Ron Washington.
–The drunken driver in the car accident that killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was convicted of murder.
–Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell says that WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) is the best stat to evaluate pitchers. If so, that gives the Cy Young edge to Felix over Boston pitchers Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. In fact, Hernandez’s 1.06 leads all AL pitchers in WHIP except the human strike machine, Cliff Lee (1.02).
–In case you missed it, the indefatigable (and excessively talented) Joe Posnanski had an intriguing take on Ichiro, comparing him to Nolan Ryan.