Don’t Encourage Them
The candidates for the This Year In Baseball Awards are now available. You probably won't be surprised to learn that Bronson Arroyo has been nominated for the Starting Pitcher Award while Aaron Harang has again been overlooked. Just goes to show that hair outweighs performance any day of the week. I'm surprised Gary Majewski isn't among the nominated relievers.
If that weren't crazy enough for you, Jerry Narron is among the nominees for the Manager Award.
On the other hand, Ryan Freel's catch is among the highlight plays in consideration, so I'd recommend that you to put in a few hundred votes for that. Plus, Sean Casey not legging out that single is among the bloopers; definitely worth investing some clicks.
I hadn’t seen that Sean Casey clip. That’s hilarious.
(I was prepared to dislike Johnny Damon. Not only was he a former Red Sock, he took Bubba’s job [i]and[/i] his number. But he won me over early in the season, when he hustled on a routine popup…that was dropped. Damon ended up on 2B, because he ran hard right out of the box. Even though it was the eighth inning, and the Yankees were up by 10 runs.)
And I see the Jeter-/A-Rod play is also a nominee. Groan. I hereby nominate the Yankees clubhouse for the “Better living through no chemistry” award. 😛
Hate to break it to you RHM…but Arroyo was the better pitcher this year. Harang was great for us and tended to be more dominant when he was on, but Arroyo was the better pitcher.
In fact, Geki, Arroyo and Harang were remarkably similar. So much so, that considering one of them for an award without considering the other doesn’t make sense, unless, like I said, you put more stock in their differences in style than in their differences in performance.
If you want to convince me, you’re going to have to do more than just say things like “Arroyo was the better pitcher;” you’re going to have to provide some evidence to back it up. I think you’ll have a tough time demonstrating that Arroyo is clearly superior, unless you conveniently stop counting at his win number 9.
Arroyo: 3.29 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 146 ERA+, 240 2/3 IP, 8.30 H/9, 1.16 HR/9, 2.39 BB/9, 6.88 K/9
Harang: 3.76 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 128 ERA+, 234 1/3 IP, 9.29 H/9, 1.08 HR/9, 2.15 BB/9, 8.30 K/9
Harang allowed 3 less homers, 8 less walks, struck out 32 more, gave up 20 more hits, and allowed 10 more runs in 6 1/3 less innings than Arroyo. It was fairly close, and Harang is definitely a better bet moving forward, but Arroyo had the better year.
Ryan Freel definitely deserves a vote for that catch.
Nobody should vote for Narron! He gave up on the team before we were actually eliminated (i.e., trying Phillips at shortstop). He should have put the best nine on the field all year. This is not little league. We could have won something. Just look at the Cardinals!
Geki – It’s just not enough to justify nominating one over the other. If only one candidate is allowed per team, I think it’s a coin toss.
nm7 – There are so many reasons not to vote for Narron, apparently known only to Reds fans. The rest of the world seems to think he’s done great. Amazing how a little perspective changes things.
Then they coin-tossed correctly, because Arroyo was statistically superior this year.
I think that really depends on what stats you favor. (For pitchers, I’m partial to Strikeout/Walk ratio, Strikeouts Per 9 Innings, and Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched. Harang led in the first two and was very close on the third.)
Regardless, they had very good, very similar years.
I just hope they can both repeat it next year. Harang will; I don’t doubt his ability. But I’m a little nervous about Arroyo duplicating his career year.
Even if I were to buy that Arroyo was statistically superior, which I do not, it’s irrelevant, because this isn’t a contest of stats. If it were all about the stats, there wouldn’t be a vote; it would be like the batting title.
Over the course of a single season, ERA is by far the most important statistic for a starting pitcher. H/9, K/BB, K/9, HR/9, and WHIP, among others, are all excellent stats for judging trends. If a guy puts up a 3.30 ERA with a 1.50 WHIP, you can probably chalk it up as a fluke. Likewise, if a guy has a K/BB of 4, a WHIP of 1.15, and gives up less than a homer per nine innings yet still has an ERA of 4.70, that’s likely to shrink in the future. Harang’s peripherals this year would suggest that he’ll improve his ERA in the future while Arroyo’s would suggest that his will go up. But for this season, and this season alone, Arroyo was superior. Would I take Harang going forward? Absolutely. I fully expect Arroyo to have an ERA above 4 next year. That doesn’t change the fact that his ERA was a half a run better.
Oh, and this obviously isn’t a contest of stats. They wouldn’t have fan voting if it were a contest of stats. It’s a contest of popularity, and they tried to get representation from as many teams as possible so more people would vote for their team’s players. Arroyo being the more popular player doesn’t take away from him having the better year.
I’m not that much of a stathead, but most of the guys I know who are agree that ERA is not considered that an important a stat for determining a pitcher’s effectiveness anymore. They prefer WHIP or ERA+ (the latter being some sort of park-adjusted ERA stat. as I understand it).
FWIW, I agree that if you have the fans voting it’s going to end up being a popularity contest. I’m sure that’s why fans get to vote on some things (like who gets to play on the all-star teams) and don’t get to vote on others (such as who gets into the Hall of Fame).
P.S. – The emoticons are great. I like the one below the best. It’s cute. Yeah, I know it’s not a guy thing to say something’s cute unless you’re talking about RHM. But it’s still cute.
If I had more time, I’d probably research stats more. Some of them are interesting. Writing about them can be awful dry, though.
I checked the two pitcher’s ERA+ for last year, and they were both well above average, with Arroyo edging Harang. I like those two at the front of the rotation.
I like Harang better and think that overall he’s the better pitcher. But it is still a little irksome to me that both were completely shut out in Cy Young voting.
Yeah, yeah. That’s over and done with, and I should put it behind me.
But it was crap.