Monday, October 17, 2005

Some Random Stuff

--The Tigers were dreadful in one-run games in 2004. They finished an amazingly bad 12-27. It was noted by many experts that the only thing keeping the Tigers from breaking through was their record in such games. The Tigers actually improved considerably in 2005 in which they finished 22-26 in one-run games. Conversely, the 2005 Cleveland Indians lost 36 one-run games. Yes, that’s 3-6. The Indians only lost 69 games total. It’s been close to forty years since a team has had a bigger percentage of overall losses come from one-run games. Yet, that did little to prevent the Indians from winning 93 games. On the other hand, the 2003 Tigers (one of the worst teams in MLB history) won over 50% of their one-run games. Needing to improve the bullpen was a good company line entering the season but the Tigers stunk in 2004 and 2005 because the team stunk. On the other hand, the Indians were good in 2005 because their team was good. Hopefully, any notion that the Tigers haven’t been good because of their inability to win one-run games or some other quick fix explanation can be put to rest. Just like people said last season, “imagine how good the Tigers would be if they had just fared .500 in one-run games” the same people could say “imagine how bad the Tigers would be if they hadn’t improved their record in one-run games”. Here are some links on predicting or not predicting one-run games for anyone who is interested.

--Last week, I wrote a post about the AL MVP race. I concluded that the race really shouldn’t be close and that no writer in America could reasonably make an argument for David Ortiz over Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez outperformed Ortiz with the bat and he plays exceptional defense. Remember, Ortiz plays no defense—literally. Anyhow, the statistic came out that David Ortiz had hit 19 home runs that either tied or gave Boston the lead this season. As you would expect, this sent Red Sox nation into hysteria. Never mind that nobody knows what that actually means. Personally, I have no idea what the significance of 19 home runs tying or giving a team the lead means. Is that good or bad? How can someone know just by rattling off a number like that? I was curious as to how Arod stacked up in this category. Thankfully, an article in Sports Illustrated answered my question. It turns out that Arod also hit 19 home runs that either tied or gave the Yankees the lead. In this same article, Boston pitcher Mike Stanton, says that Ortiz should clearly win the MVP race because he’s hitting “.380” after the seventh inning. First, even if Ortiz was hitting .380 after the seventh inning, there are nine innings at a minimum in a MLB game. Each inning is as important as any other inning. Second, it would help Stanton’s argument if Ortiz actually did hit .380 after the seventh inning and NOT .290 (which is what he actually hit after the seventh inning) which is lower than Ortiz’s batting average for the entire season. The David Ortiz-clutch hitter campaign was in full force during Boston’s first round playoff series against Chicago. Now that Boston has been eliminated, maybe that campaign is over. But, to Ortiz’s credit, he hit something like .600 when facing left handed pitchers named Jason after the 13th inning in games decided by 10 or more runs. So, maybe he should win the MVP.

--The Detroit News had an interesting article this morning about Amare Stoudemire’s surgery that will keep him out of action for four months. This surgery was the same one performed on Penny Hardaway, Terrell Brandon, Jamal Mashburn, and Allan Houston. None of those players ever came close to being the player that they were before the surgery. The article mentions that players undergoing micro-facture surgery often experience a noticeable reduction in explosiveness around the basket. As we all know, that’s Amare’s “bread and butter.” For those who haven’t seen Stoudemire play, he’s an unbelievable talent. Think Antonio McDyess ten years ago but ten times better. At 22, he had a real shot at becoming the most dominant power forward the game has seen. He dominated the Spurs (and Tim Duncan) in the playoffs this past season and he’s only 22 years old. I hope that Stoudemire can come back from this injury. It would be too cruel for a player with that much talent to go the way of Penny Hardaway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amare had one of the greatest playoff performances I've ever seen last year. Who knew he had a money 15 foot jumper and decent post up game? He was the best player on Phoenix during the playoffs and considering they have Nash, who was also unreal, that says a lot. It would be a complete shame for him to lose his explosiveness, because at 22, he was already the best power forward in basketball, better than an aging Duncan and a less passionate Garnett.


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