I am a sports and music fanatic from Farmington, CT, currently attending Saint Joseph's University in Connecticut. I am mainly interested in College Basketball, CIAC High School Basketball, and Major League Baseball, though I follow just about all sports closely.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Now we all know how good Beckett has been in his young postseason career, throwing an amazing 3 postseason shutouts in just 6 postseason starts. We also know that Beckett is a strong contender for the Cy Young Award this year after winning 20 games and acheiving an E.R.A. of about 3.20, but from the way he pitched yesterday, his numbers should have been much, much better than that. I don't think I've ever witnessed a pitching performance quite as strong as Beckett's last night, not Buchholtz's no hitter, Schilling's ALCS bloody sock performance, or the Pedro shutout I saw live in 2004. Hitters were already in a whole when the went up to the plate for Los Angeles, as almost no matter what Beckett would get ahead 1-0. His fastball was reaching 98 on the gun, his sinker was dropping off and staying at 96 MPH, and his off-speed pitches were extremely effective as well. With the way he was pitching yesterday, he wasn't ever going to give up a run, no matter how long he had to pitch, but yet he still gave up more than 3 runs per 9 innings in the regular season.
The question to pose is, why does Josh Beckett appear so much better in the postseason than in the regular season. I understand the concept of adrenaline, but as a Red Sock he should feel that same adrenaline rush in Yankee games, but he does at time struggle against the Yankees during the regular season. Maybe he's just conserving his energy in the regular season, waiting for October to come the whole time. If so, I respect him for that, and if he can put up those kind of regular season numbers with even better postseason numbers, than I'll be happy. But, I don't think Beckett's the type of guy to do that. Maybe it's just pure luck. Maybe he always just happens to have his best stuff during October, or maybe it's the colder weather. Whatever it is that's advancing his play, in one way I can't say I mind it, but I'm still confused as to why he isn't as dominant during the regular season. I'd love to see Beckett's final stats in a season if he threw a shutout every other game in the regular season like he does in the playoffs. We'll probably never know.
Here's a stat to close out with that absolutely blows my mind. In the postseason Josh Beckett has thrown 3 shutouts in 6 starts, a 1:2 ratio. But amazingly in regular season play he has only thrown 2 shutouts in 166 starts, a 1:83 ratio. Explain that.
Monday, October 1, 2007
American League MVP:
Alex Rodriguez, 3B NYY .314 54 HR 156 RBI
Now of course I hate to admit it, but A-Rod's winning of the MVP award should probably be very close to unanimous. He absolutely destroyed the rest of the league in Home Runs and RBI's, and had an extrememly respectable batting average as well. Maybe some crazy Tiger fan on the panel will give Magglio a 1st place vote, but whoever does deserves to be smacked across the face. Remember though, this is the regular season MVP, so it won't count his future choke in the playoffs
Mike Lowell, 3B BOS .321 24 HR 121 RBI
Magglio Ordonez, OF DET.363 28 HR 139 RBI
Vladimir Guerrero, OF LAA .324 27 HR 125 RBI
American League Cy Young:
Josh Beckett, SP BOS 20-7 3.27 ERA 194 K
Now, this may be where a little bit of the bias has to come in. As much as I'll be the first to say Beckett probably hasn't been the most dominant pitcher in the American League, I think that reaching that valuable 20 win marker will put him over the edge. Also, Sabathia will split votes with Carmona, while Lackey and Escobar may split some votes, giving Beckett the edge.
C.C. Sabathia, SP CLE 19-7 3.21 ERA 209 K
Fausto Carmona, SP CLE 19-8 3.06 ERA 137 K
John Lackey, SP LAA 19-9 3.01 ERA 179 K
American League Rookie of the Year:
Dustin Pedroia, 2B BOS .317 8 HR 50 RBI
Pedroia should be an obvious choice here for rookie of the year, as he has been one of the better hitters on one of the strongest teams in baseball heading to the postseason. He plays better than his above average stats show, and is on a popular, winning team, unlike some of the other contenders. He may split some votes with Daisuke or Okajima, but should get enough to win the award.
Brian Bannister, SP KCR 12-9 3.87 ERA 77 K
Delmon Young, OF TBD .288 13 HR 93 RBI
Joakim Soria, RP KCR 2-3 2.48 ERA 75 K 17 SV
American League Rolaids Reliever of the Year
J.J Putz, RP SEA 6-1 1.38 ERA 82 K 40 SV
Although not on a playoff team, Putz showed throughout the entire season (minus the all star game) that he was the most dominant reliever in the major leagues. His WHIP was an incredible .698, as he walked just 13 batters in the 71 innings he pitched. Putz should be the obvious choice for this award, so obvious that even my Papelbon bias is beaten out.
Francisco Rodriguez, RP LAA 5-2 2.81 ERA 40 SV
Bobby Jenks, RP CHW 3-5 2.77 ERA 40 SV
Jonathan Papelbon, RP BOS 1-3 1.85 ERA 37 SV
American League Silver Sluggers
C: Jorge Posada, NYY
1B: Carlos Pena, TBD
2B: Placido Polanco, DET
SS: Derek Jeter, NYY
3B: Alex Rodriguez, NYY
OF: Magglio Ordonez, DET
OF: Vladimir Guerrero, LAA
OF: Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
DH: David Ortiz, BOS
American League Gold Glove
C: Kenji Johjima, SEA
1B: Kevin Youkilis, BOS
2B: Placido Polanco, DET
3B: Akinori Iwamura, TBD
SS: Orlando Cabrera, LAA
OF: Coco Crisp, BOS
OF: Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
OF: Melky Cabrera, NYY
P: Chien Ming Wang, NYY
National League MVP
Matt Holliday, OF COL .340 36 HR 135 RBI
This decision may change if the Rockies don't win their playoff game tonight, but for now it's a pretty sure fire thing that this guy deserves the MVP. He's put up the best numbers out of any hitters in the league, and the way he's led the Rockies to a possible playoff spot with such a dramatic late season run has been remarkable. His biggest competition would have been David Wright or Prince Fielder, both of who did not make the playoffs.
David Wright, 3B NYM .325 30 HR 107 RBI
Prince Fielder, 1B MIL .288 50 HR 119 RBI
Jimmy Rollins, SS PHI .296 30 HR 94 RBI
National League Cy Young:
Jake Peavy, SP SDP 19-6 2.36 ERA 234 K
Although he does play in the National League, Peavy has definately been the most dominant pitcher in all of baseball this year. His ERA of 2.36 is almost a full point lower than Beckett's in the American League, and unlike any of the contenders in the AL his has over 210 strikeouts. If he struggles in the one game playoff today, though, his chances may be hurt.
Brad Penny, SP LAD 16-4 3.03 ERA 135 K
Brandon Webb, SP ARI 18-10 3.01 ERA 194 K
Carlos Zambrano, SP CHC 18-13 3.95 ERA 177 K
National League Rookie of the Year:
Ryan Braun, 3B MIL .324 34 HR 97 RBI
Obviously this year rookies have made a much bigger impact in the National League than in the American League, and this guy has been by far the best. Although his fielding has been subpar at best, his offensive numbers put him almost MVP worthy, and is the best offensive performance from a National League Rookie since Albert Pujols in 2001.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS COL .287 24 HR 98 RBI
Josh Hamilton, OF CIN .292 19 HR 47 RBI
Hunter Pense, OF HOU .322 17 HR 69 RBI
National League Rolaids Reliever of the Year
Jose Valverde, RP ARI 1-4 2.66 ERA 78 K 47 SV
This was a very close one for me between Valverde, who had more saves, and Takashi Saito, who had a better ERA. I went with Valverde because he led all of baseball this year with 47 saves, put up a pretty dominant ERA, and was on a winning team. The funny thing is that this year Valverde almost put up as many saves (47) as he had his previous four seasons as
Takashi Saito, RP LAD 2-1 1.40 ERA 78 K 39 SV
Francisco Cordero, RP MIL 0-4 2.98 ERA 86 K 44 SV
Trevor Hoffman, RP SDP 4-4 2.53 ERA 44 K 42 SV
National League Silver Sluggers:
C: Russell Martin, LAD
1B: Prince Fielder, MIL
2B: Chase Utley, PHI
SS: Jimmy Rollins, PHI
3B: David Wright, NYM
OF: Matt Holliday, COL
OF: Carlos Lee, HOU
OF: Barry Bonds, SFG
P: Micah Owings, ARI
National League Gold Glove
C: Josh Bard, SDP
1B: Todd Helton, COL
2B: Brandon Phillips, CIN
SS: Omar Vizquel, SFG
3B: Ryan Zimmerman, WAS
OF: Aaron Rowand, PHI
OF: Jeff Francouer, ATL
OF: Andruw Jones, ATL
P: Greg Maddux, SDP
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Maybe this is biased because the Steelers absolutely crapped on my 49ers last week, but the Steelers are easily among the leagues best.
Donavon McNabb and the Philadelphia offense showed me something by abosolutely destroying a weak Detroit defense. Now let's see them beat someone decent.