You know how bullies will grab the arms of weaker kids and make them hit themselves in the head while asking “why are you hitting yourself?” over and over? That weak kid is ESPN, the head is, counterintuitively, Joe Morgan, the arm is Rob Neyer, and the bully is a group of very clever commenters.
First, from the JoeChat!
A lot of people didn't like the Wild Card when it was instituted, but I think the Wild Card has really helped baseball down the stretch each year. Without the Wild Card, we'd only have one race right now. I think the Wild Card is a great concept and in fact, I think we should expand the playoffs, if baseball is willing to shorten the season. All of the other leagues have expanded playoff formats and I think we should do the same.
Adam (Walla Walla, WA)
My Blue Jays have a 24 run differential yet are 11 games below .500. What gives?
It just tells you that the run differential doesn't mean anything. It doesn't. It's just a number. If you beat a team 11-1 today and you lose 1-0 the next day, you're run differential is 9, but you're at .500. Run differential is not the way to grade a team. If you look back over the last 5-6 years, you will find that run differential doesn't tell you nearly as much as total pitching stats and total offensive stats, BA with runners in scoring position, etc. It just tells you when they're good, they're really good and when they're bad, they're really bad.
Simple question, Joe. Who gets your vote for AL MVP and why?
That is a very difficult question for me and I think we have to wait. If Joe Mauer has a big series against Detroit, then I would have to give him my vote. If he doesn't have a big series, then you have to start thinking about players like Mark Teixiera, Derek Jeter and my darkhorse guy that I give my props to is Kendry Morales in Anaheim. When Guerrero and Hunter were out, he provided the pop until they were back.
Steve (Middletown, CT)
Sabathia for Cy Young? He has more wins than Greinke.
I would vote for CC, but not so much for that reason. I would vote for him because when he came to the Yankees, he was under extreme pressure to do three things: 1) win games; 2) be the ace of the staff; 3) beat Boston. The only thing left to do is lead them in the playoffs, but the votes will be in before the playoffs. There have been a lot of guys that they brought to that staff to be the ace and haven't, guys like Randy Johnson. CC will have more innings pitched, Greinke may have better other numbers. But for me it's innings pitched and wins and losses. But you can not take away from what Greinke has done. I would not argue with anyone who votes for him.
Now, what do you think happens when Rob Neyer is asked about Joe Morgan’s answers without knowing he’s being asked about Joe Morgan’s answers? This happens:
Rob, a friend of mine said that CC should win Cy Young because he did the three things he was brought to NY to do: win games, be the ace, and beat Boston. Please explain to him what a ridiculous argument that is.
Gee, Jay. He's your friend, and he'd probably listen to you more than me. I'll just say that while those arguments make a good case for Sabathia having a wonderful season, I can't see how they push him past Greinke (or for that matter, King Felix).
Rob, a friend of mine said Joe Mauer MUST have a big series against DET this week or he won't win the MVP. Is my friend as well as Jay (PA)'s friend insane or what?
It's just not true. Mauer's got all the buzz right now, and will win
Rob, run differential is a meaningless stat. If a team wins one game 11 to 1 but then lose the next game 2-1, they have a run differential of 9 (which is good) but a .500 record (which isn't). I mean the fact that the top 4 teams in the AL in run differentials is NY, Boston, LAA and Texas yet Texas isn't in the playoffs just proves the point!
That fact doesn't prove any such thing, Pete. Next time you see me, I'll explain why.
Nice work everyone. You’re all heroes in my book.