What we read while being thankful for the stuff we bought on Black Friday…
Are starting pitchers valuable?
First off, I should say that I am not against starting pitchers winning the MVP award. In fact, I think Pedro Martinez’s loss in the 1999 race is one of the award’s greatest tragedies. With that said, I would very rarely vote for a starting pitcher to win the award, and I would not have voted for Justin Verlander this season.
Nevertheless, it’s strange to me that there is such a bias against starting pitchers winning the MVP. The logic generally used against them—that starters only affect one-fifth as many games as position players—seems wrong to me. To make a point Tim has made before: Starting pitchers affect fewer games, but their impact on those games is far greater than any one position player. In other words, starting pitchers affect far more at-bats than everyday players: In 2011 Verlander faced 969 batters this season—no position player has ever had more than 778 plate appearances in a single season.
So the reason I’m usually against voting for pitchers is the opposite of the normal logic; to me, if you treated starters and everyday players equally in MVP voting, a pitcher would win the award every year. After all, if you were building a team from scratch, wouldn’t your first pick be a starting pitcher almost every time? Continue reading
What we read while Reagan’s ghost cleaned up the mess at UC-Davis…
What we read while rioting in Happy Valley, resigning in Italy, and, um, what’s the third one?
- NPI favorite Joe Posnanski finds himself in an awkward position, having moved to State College this fall to write his biography of Joe Paterno. Posnanski quasi-defends the coach at SI.
Like a snake eating its own tail, of course I have to respond to Tim’s response to my response to Dan Wolken’s response to the standard defense of the BCS. In his reply, Tim accused me of conflating his argument with “poorlyconceived” arguments from “low-hanging fruit.” This time, therefore, I’ve decided to confine my response to Tim’s own words.
The main point Tim makes is this: “People dislike the BCS not because it’s different, but because it’s unfair.” As Tim says, I myself have admitted that it’s unfair. This is true, but Tim’s dilemma is false: People dislike the BCS both because it is unfair and because it is different. The essence of my point is that, because the BCS is different, it seems more unfair than it really is.
The Double Bonus returns! With college basketball season officially underway–and Monday’s 24-hour marathon on ESPN being a reminder of how awesome college basketball is–John S and Tim return for their first ever in-person podcast! Together they break down their picks for each of the major conferences, discuss sleepers and POY candidates, and fondly reminisce about the good old days of the 2009 season. Click here to listen to the podcast that will change your life!