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Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Return of Joltin' Joe Crowley

So Joe Crowley wrote an article on Toby Hall trying to conceal Sammy Sosa's corked bat and he painted Hall in a positive light(ed Note---you can read more about this article at FJM). Seeing as how I hate cheating (I am a teacher afterall), I wrote Cowley an email and called him on being the moron he was for promoting the coverup of illegal activities. He responding that "I didn't praise anyone pal. I simply told a story."

Yea, and Bonds never knowingly used steroids either. So after receiving this email, I thought a little bit. I wonder if this was the same guy who voted Jeter 6th on his AL MVP ballot behind Jermaine Day (2nd) and Frank Thomas (4th) (ed. Note---Yea, I know had Jeter 7th on my MVP ballot. In retrospect, Jeter should probably be higher, but I think my criteria was slightly different as I put both Ortiz & Hafner in the top 4; more towards best/valuable player rather than best player on a playoff team). The fact that he had Jeter 6th wasn't even bad; it was his other choices. Dye (2nd), which I'm sure is just a coincidence seeing as how he is from Chicago, and Frank Thomas ahead of David Ortiz. Here you have 2 players who play the same position (DH) so you have 1 metric of comparison: offensive production. And Ortiz clearly beat Thomas in 2006 in every category. So I wrote to JC and asked him "So David Ortiz beats Frank Thomas in every offensive category (except number of days on the disabled list due to leg injuries), yet you vote for Thomas ahead of him. How?? "

His response: "Since Frank Thomas carried his team on his shoulders and into the playoffs the last six weeks of the season, that would make him more valuable."

He also started his email by addressing me as "Johnny Blog" and called me "Meat" to end the post. My first question was which gay fraternity this guy belonged to in college. Then it occured to me that he probably never went to college. So I decided to look at his claim that Frank Thomas "carried his team on his shoulders and into the playoffs the last six weeks of the season"

Below is the email/argument that I sent to Cowley on 3/15/2007...His response is above:

Hey Joe, Wouldn't want to let the facts get in the way of your misguided opinions. Let's examine the statement "Frank Thomas carried his team on his shoulders and into the playoffs the last six weeks of the season,"

1) Sept 2006 numbers:
OPS: Swisher: 1.062, Thomas: .938
Runs Created: Swisher-23.2, Thomas 18.6
So Swisher got on base more frequently than Thomas (OBP .450 vs .336), covered more bases with his base hits than Thomas (SLG-.612 vs .602) and overall outperformed Thomas in terms of run producing performance (5 more RC) in Sept. Yet, Thomas was the one who carried the team on his back. This is the whole point of statistics. So you can definitely prove beyond a reasonable doubt who actually did "carry his team on his shoulders" instead of allowing idiots like you to make unsubstantiated hypotheses.

2) The Oakland A's went 15-13 in September/Oct. Wouldn't a team that had a player carrying it usually finish better than that. They went 21-6 in August 2006 (when Thomas was their best run producing player) and 18-8 in June 2006 when Thomas was tied for 6th in RC. They certainly didn't need him to "carry the team on their backs" then now did they?

2A) The Boston Red Sox went 14-14 in Sept/Oct, almost identical to the Oakland A's. David Ortiz had 22.8 RC and Thomas had 18.6. So two teams which had nearly identical records and 1 team had a player that performed better (Ortiz) than the other (Thomas)---who wasn't even the best offensive player on his team during that period. Also, the next best player on the Red Sox produced half of what Ortiz did. Yet, Thomas "carried" the Athletics (ed note: This word was erroneously typed as Red Sox originally; it has been corrected for this post). What did Ortiz do then? What do you call it when one player produces ~22% of his teams runs (22.8/102), another player produces only 13% (18.6/145) of his teams runs and the second player "carries the team on his back"? Sportswriter idiocy.

3) Even if Thomas outperformed Ortiz during the last 6 weeks of the season (which we already have shown he didn't), does that make up for the other 4.5 months where David Ortiz clearly destroyed Frank Thomas offensively? When Frank Thomas was sitting out half of June with a leg injury (coincidentally the A's went 8-5 during that time which showed they had no problems winning without Thomas) Ortiz was cranking 5 HR and 13 RBI's.

4) The reason the Red Sox didn't make the playoffs---and the A's did--(which is clearly a criteria for you to consider MVP voting relevancy) was their horrendous August (9-21) as compared to the A's (21-6). What caused this difference in outcomes (21 wins vs 21 losses). Let's see: The A's scored 140 runs, the Sox 132. That's pretty close. Oh yeah, pitching. The part of the game that David Ortiz has absolutely no fucking control over.

A's team ERA Aug 2006: 3.25 (best in AL) ;
Red Sox team ERA Aug 2006: 5.81 (worst in AL).

So that pretty much disproves your theory that Thomas was the sole reason the A's won all their ballgames and made the playoffs and Ortiz should be held responsible for the Sox not making the playoffs.

5) Please enlighten me on how David Ortiz could control the Red Sox pitching staff and their terrible pitching performances, including giving up 49 runs over 5 games to the Yanks over 3 days in August. Because that is the reason the Sox didn't make the playoffs. Yet, you don't vote for Ortiz because the Sox didn't make the playoffs, so I'm curious to see how he his responsible for those terrible pitching performances.

So, let's see here, we have effectively proved that every part of your premise is false. Thomas did not carry the team (Swisher was actually better), the A's weren't even that good the last month of the season (they coasted at .500 level), Ortiz actually "carried his team" more than Thomas did during Sept 2006, and that Ortiz had not control whatsoever over the Red Sox playoff fortunes since he does not pitch. That pretty much sums it up.

P.S. In the NL MVP race, the voters chose the gawdy stats no-playoff guy (Howard) over the guy (Pujols) who led his team to the playoffs. Care to explain that (since (you) (ed note: the word you was erroneously left off in the original email; it has been added here)voted the exact opposite way on Thomas/Ortiz)?

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