Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Manager of the Year

As sad and pathetic as it is there are actually psychopaths out there who truly believe Ron Gardenhire is a great manager.  Well to those of you who are out there I am sorry to tell you that a great big giant fist just ripped its way through the anus of your argument today, because Gardy started Ben Revere in right field tonight against the Red Sox.

Assuming you have heard of baseball you are no doubt aware that one of the main prerequisites for a right fielder is a good arm, owing to the fact that at times you'll have to make the throw from right field to third base - basically the longest throw in the game.  In fact I'd say the only prerequisite to playing right field is having a decent arm given the list of nearly immobile stiffs who've patrolled right in baseball history.  Instead tonight Gardy put Ben Revere out there, the player with one of the worst outfield arms in history and the guy who throws the ball in a way generally reserved for women, children, invalids, and Shannon Stewart.

And who was in left field, typically the outfield position given to the player with the worst arm?  Delmon Young.  Now, Delmon's arm will never be confused with Roberto Clemente or Carlos Gomez or that kid from that movie, but just watching the games you know his arm is far, far better than Revere's.  We can even go into nerd stats a bit to prove this, although full disclaimer:  I don't know how good these fielding stats are, but they're better than nothing.

According the the Arm Runs Above Average stat Delmon's arm has been that of a completely average outfielder this year, at 0.1 runs better than the average, and over his career his arm has actually been very good, mostly due to a couple of great throwing years in Tampa, including 2007 where he threw out an impressive 16 runners on the bases, all of which coming as a DUH DUH DUH right fielder. 

Revere's arm on the other hand has been 2 runs worse than average, meaning his arm alone has given teams 2 more runs than an average arm would so far this year, so you're looking that an arm that costs the team about 4 runs in a full season, and that's as a CF/LF (note:  he more than makes up for that with his range, but that's not what we're talking about).

So we have clear evidence, both quantitative as well as qualitative, that Revere has a terrible arm and much worse than Delmon Young.  So why would Revere play in right and Young in left?  I can think of two reasons, and neither is flattering for your favorite manager.

The first possibility is that Delmon Young said "I'm not comfortable playing Right Field" which doesn't make any sense because that was his main position when he was with Tampa.  It also doesn't make sense because when a player says "I don't want to do this" when it's something that clearly would help the team a good manager would say "Tough, do it or sit or be traded."  Since we've seen Gardy roll over like a frenchman in the past when it comes to letting the players run the team this is, unfortunately, a distinct possibility.

The other reason I can come up with is that Gardenhire is a moron.  You know how a lot of times in the past (and present) whenever he'd do the lineup if somebody was filling in for a regular he'd just put them in the same spot in the batting order?  So like, last year if Casilla was playing for Hudson he'd hit Casilla second even though it greatly weakened the lineup or Mike Redmond batted third a bunch of times when Mauer would sit?  I'm betting there is a good chance this is the same stupid crap.  Kubel would normally play RF but with a tough lefty on the mound he's sitting for Revere (who, by the way, is also left-handed and is hitting 73 points worse vs. lefties than Kubel this year).  So rather than do the smart, logical thing and shift Delmon to right and play Revere in left, he just plugs Revere into Kubel's outfield spot because apparently not only is shuffling a lineup similar to solving Fermat's Theorem, but changing around the outfield is akin to figuring out the alchemical fucking formula to turn lead into gold.

Honest to god.  So the two options are either the manager is incompetent and lazy, or spineless and stupid.  Manager of the Year though, and they can't take that away from him.  I looked it up.

- As long as I'm here I might as well tell you guys about the latest Danny Dan Gladdenism I heard on the radio, and no I have no idea why I've heard so much Twins radio this year, it's not like I'm a long haul trucker.  So about a week ago whoever the new announcer guy is brings up the Moneyball movie that's coming out.  Gladden says, and I'm paraphrasing here but the the same points remain, "Yeah I know about Moneyball, that book by Billy Beane.  I just don't think that kind of stuff works.  I'm not going to see that movie.  I didn't read the book and I'm not going to see the movie."

The book isn't by Beane, it's just about him, and he doesn't think "that kind of stuff" works but he never read the book and thus can't possibly know what it talks about other than "stats" which is not really the point of the book anyway.  Just a beautiful way to sum up Dan Gladden, and all of the staunchly "old school" guys who hate the idea that there are newer, more advanced stats that can help understand some parts of the game at a different level.  God I miss Fire Joe Morgan.

-  Lastly, take a look at these two rotations and tell me which you'd rather have.

Pitcher 1:   3.21 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.75 K/BB
Pitcher 2:   4.71 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 2.10 K/BB
Pitcher 3:   5.00 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 1.47 K/BB
Pitcher 4:   4.58 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 1.54 K/BB
Pitcher 5:   4.56 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 2.23 K/BB


Pitcher 1:   3.45 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.40 K/BB
Pitcher 2:   3.56 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.50 K/BB
Pitcher 3:   3.81 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.88 K/BB
Pitcher 4:   3.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2.44 K/BB
Pitcher 5:   4.41 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.34 K/BB

The first group is the current Twin rotation, the second group is Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Phil Humber, R.A. Dickey, and Livan Hernandez.  Isn't that the most saddest depressing thing you've ever heard?  Seriously if it wasn't for the tens of dollars I'm making from advertising on this site I'd burn it to the ground.  Through the computer or something.  I heard if you put a match in the USB port cool shit happens.

-  Lastly, and this time I mean lastly, I just want to mention that there is a already a sequel filming for the world's most awesome movie, and everything about it looks awesome.  From the name (Piranha 3dd) to the new additions to the cast (David Hasslehoff, the guy who plays Todd Packer on the office, and the incomparably insane Gary Busey) everything looks just right.  Usually sequels have a low % chance to be good, but the first one was so good as hitting everything you want in a creature/horror movie (hot chicks, boobs, gratuitous nudity, making the bad guy the true star, lots of killing, and creative deaths - second only to the Friday the 13ths here) that I totally trust them here and can't wait to see this.  Between this and Shark Night it's a banner year for killer fish movies.

No comments: