The Junior Circuit is a place where a breakout player is a difficult thing to find. A majority of the good teams in the AL revamp rosters through their George Costanza size wallets rather than by calling on youth like the pop industry. Most of the studs on the Junior Circuit have more gray hair on their balls than the passengers of an Alaskan cruise. However there are young players in the AL that could make a huge mark this year, and could be on their way to stardom by the end of 2011. Last year Neftali Feliz, closer for the Rangers, won the Rookie of the Year, however we are choosing to avoid the rookie of the year status because we don’t want to do any research so we are trying to pick a breakout player. My crop involves a couple potential ROY’s and a couple guys who have been up, but may be in for a bigger year than in years past.
Now I’m indifferent towards the Dodgers, but in watching the Dodgers/Giants game tonight I did have an issue with Jonathan Broxton. Now I can’t confirm my issue is actually with Jonathan Broxton, or with the Dodgers PA people, but there is definitely an issue. When Broxton came into the game to start the ninth, the PA played Iron Man by Black Sabbath a great song, a classic if you will, but is it really fitting? A lot of songs don’t really say anything other than well that guy’s a douchebag (like Josh Beckett’s Nickelback), that guy’s a jackass (Chase Utley’s Vengaboys), or that guy is kinda awesome (Craig Counsell). Also, just for the record, I use jackass as a term of endearment, all of my friend’s are jackasses, so I mean no harm by that term. However, some songs say a little more, specifically about the type of player you may be. Iron Man is one of these songs. Iron Man is reserved for people like Cal Ripken who played day in-day out without question or Pete Rose who played the game like his legs may be broken for gambling debts if he didn’t go first to third on a base hit in the eighth inning down by 14 runs. Iron Man speaks to the type of player you are, Jonathan Broxton, a good closer, maybe, but not an Iron Man.
I don’t know if you are one of those people who sits around thinking of reasons why the National League is better than the American League, but if you are here is another one: pitching. The NL has the better pitchers by far. So picking a Cy Young winner is not going to be the easiest job in the world. I’d like to spend some time on each pitcher but there are just too many that are capable of giving Cy Young worthy performances so I’m going to have to just pick a couple. Its Friday so I am lacking in patience and motivation.
The AL Cy Young, or as I’m deeming it this season, the Bridesmaid award. I’m calling it the Bridesmaid Award because, let’s be honest, the best pitchers in the world are all in the NL right now. Of the active players with a Cy Young 7 are in the NL and 5 are in the AL. However the NL has 10 Cy Young Awards in the league and the AL has 5. Further, only 2 in the AL are owned by legitimate contenders, C.C. Sabathia and Felix Hernandez. The other 3 are owned by Bartolo Colon, Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb. Colon looked decent this spring, but hasn’t pitched in a while and didn’t make the Yankees rotation. Also he’s fat. Peavy is still a dangerous pitcher, and a great singer, however he has really struggled with injuries for a few years now and again has found himself on the DL to start the year. Finally the other Cy Young Award winner in the league is Brandon Webb who had major surgery on his pitching shoulder in 2009 and is just now starting to make his way back. I think of these three Webb may have the highest upside because his pitching relies little on power and more on precision and downward movement. However it still baffles me how a guy can lead the league in walks one year then shave 60 walks off that total by the next season.
Anyways, this is not to say there aren’t good pitchers in the AL, however I am saying that the most highly acclaimed pitchers are now in the NL. Oh yeah, and there’s something else about those Junior Circuit lineups, they’re not friendly. So who’s going to win the Bridesmaid Award this year as the MLB’s second best pitcher? Read more…
Everyone who hates the Cardinals had a great day yesterday. It was my pleasure to watch the worst closer in baseball finally run out of luck. Ryan Franklin was a below average starter but somehow he has been able to pull save after nearly blown save out of his ass. Its probably the “genius” of Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa. When asked for comment, Adam Wainwright’s overused right elbow said, “Oh yeah. Fucking geniuses alright.”
Last night, sporting the classiest goatee outside of a West Virginia tractor pull, Franklin gave up the tying homerun in the ninth to wispy centerfielder Cameron Maybin. In Franklin’s defense Maybin is a powerhouse with a career 13 homers under his belt. In conclusion…..Go Cubs!
The Most Valuable Player award is supposed to go to the player who had the best season. Now we know that doesn’t always happen. For example, every Red Sox fan knows, even if they won’t admit it because thats just the way they are, there is no way Dustin Pedroia should have won the MVP in 2008. He didn’t even have the best numbers on his own team! But this isn’t about the past. There will be plenty of time to hammer everyone’s least favorite team. This is about this year. Who will be the new NL MVP?
Now the point of this exercise is not for me to pick who I want to be the MVP but who I predict will win. Naming a winner is not a clear cut case of who had the best season. It should be, but its not. Too much emphasis is put on how the team as a whole does. Instead of the best player winning the award it becomes the best player on the best team wins the award. So, what I am saying is that other factors need to be considered besides who has the best numbers.
Oh, the Junior Circuit. I’m doing my best not to be biased but I don’t care for A.L. baseball, hate most of the teams and don’t generally watch. I’m qualified to pick an A.L MVP like Cordell Walker is a peaceful negotiator. However, I’m going to do it anyways because, like David Eckstein, I do my damndest even if I’m completely unqualified. Josh Hamilton won the award last year absolutely tearing the cover off the ball despite injuries and jumping on and off the wagon like a kid playing Oregon Trail. Actually I think he was sober all of last year, but that picture is just too good. I think he has a lineup around him that will give him a serious chance at repeating, however there are numerous other candidates with a real chance at winning, and I’m not sure the Rangers will get the wins they piled up last year to support his bid. Thus further discussion is necessary.