Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2010 Start Wedman MVP Voting

The end of the baseball season brings some time-honored traditions in the late fall. The World Series (of course), hearing about Yankee mystique, putting Tim McCarver and Joe Buck on mute, and Elmer Fudd hats. But none of these things is quite as important or as fun as seeing baseball writers be dumbasses when submitting their MVP ballots.

I have always enjoyed examining the total voting points of each MVP every year. Without failure, I always find a few chuckles in seeing how the entrusted baseball writers of this country cast their ballots. Usually, most of them are pretty close in voting for the true MVP of each league since statistics over a long stretch usually support who was perceived to have the best seasons; although, often writers are swayed by which players have the best last few months to push their teams into the playoff single-handedly (hence, resulting in things like Frank Thomas finishing 4th in 2006).

But far and away, the best votes are the guys who mingle at the bottom with lowly one, two, and three point totals. These are the votes that will not count for shit. I suppose that some high and mighty writers believe that they should place the 10th actual best player in the league in that slot in order to honor the system, but those guys are delusional. That's why the best votes are the humorous ones like Steve Kline in 2001 or Andy Benes in 1994. Hilarious votes. Even made funnier because I bet that some of these votes I find so laughter-inducing were probably serious on the part of the writer. But that makes them even funnier.

That's why I decided that we had to have our own MVP voting process here at Start Wedman. The participants were myself, Zach, Garcia, Tristan, and Mr. Anonymous (who went wild with comments on each vote that were cut to save space on the interwebs) - so you will be able to guess where some of the random votes came from. Plus, I added in the top ten players for WAR in each league to balance out the silliness a little bit. I will keep my comments after each voting briefish so that we can discuss the results more in the comments.

Without further adieu, here is the result in the National League (number of first place votes is in parentheses next to the player's name):


1 Joey Votto (4) 57
2 Albert Pujols (2) 54
3 Carlos Gonzalez 41
4 Roy Halladay 34
5 Matt Holliday 20
6 Troy Tulowitzki 20
7 Ryan Zimmerman 14
8 Ubaldo Jimenez 13
9 Adrian Gonzalez 12
10 Josh Johnson 7
11 Jayson Werth 7
12 Ryan Braun 6
13 Martin Prado 6
14 Adam Wainwright 6
15 Ryan Howard 5
16 Adam Dunn 4
17 Andres Torres 4
18 Marlon Byrd 3
19 Clay Zavada's Mustache 3
20 Drew Stubbs 3
21 Rickie Weeks 3
22 Aubrey Huff 2
23 Omar Infante 2
24 Brooks Kieschnick 1
25 Andrew McCutchen 1
26 Colby Rasmus 1
27 Chase Utley 1  

Wow, look at that, we were able to have a pretty legit vote. I imagine that the real results will look similar to this when they are released - with Votto edging out Pujols just barely. I expect that Huff, Torres, and Lincecum might see a few extra votes with the Giants making the World Series. And I can only hope that Clay Zavada's Mustache fairs better with the real baseball writers.

The American League is a little wackier:


1 Jose Bautista 48
2 Miguel Cabrera (1) 47
3 Josh Hamilton (3) 44
4 Robinson Cano (2) 40
5 Evan Longoria 26
6 Paul Konerko 19
7 Cliff Lee 16
8 Adrian Beltre 14
9 Carl Crawford 13
10 Felix Hernandez 11
11 Vladimir Guerrero 9
12 Joe Mauer 9
13 Alex Rodriguez 7
14 CC Sabathia 6
15 Ichiro Suzuki 5
16 Ken Griffey Jr. 4
17 Nick Swisher 3
18 Shin-Soo Choo 3
19 Justin Verlander 3
20 Juan Pierre 2
21 C.J. Wilson 1

This one came out all sorts of messed up. First, Jose Bautista wins by one point despite not getting a first place vote, but he fell between second and fourth on every ballot. Josh Hamilton got ass raped by Zach, who didn't place the born again Christian anywhere on his ballot. Because of Hamilton not placing on Zach's ballot, Cabrera should have walked away with the MVP, but WAR had him ranked 9th in the AL, which led to Bautista's surprising victory. I can only hope the MVP voting works out this way in real life. Fuck Josh Hamilton.

Congrats to Joey Votto and Jose Bautista for winning the first YSSW MVP Awards - I hope it means a lot to them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

2011 Cubs Payroll…Seriously?

So I was watching some sweet CLTV while I was working out and they were talking about how the Cubs are trying to cut money from their payroll for 2011. They threw up a chart of the guys who are guaranteed money next year and how much they are due, their graphic was far less cool than my spreadsheet I made below (As many of you know, making spreadsheets is one of my favorite past times, the more unnecessary the better):

Player Name

Length / Total Value (salary + p-r bonus)

2011

Soriano, Alfonso

8 yr/$136M (07-14)

$19,000,000.00

Zambrano, Carlos

5 yr/$91.5M (08-12)+13 opt

$18,875,000.00

Ramirez, Aramis

5 yr/$75M (07-11)+12 opt

$14,600,000.00

Fukudome, Kosuke

4 yr/$48M (08-11)

$14,500,000.00

Dempster, Ryan

4 yr/$52M (09-12)

$14,500,000.00

Silva, Carlos

4 yr/$48M (08-11)+12 opt

$12,750,000.00

Byrd, Marlon

3 yr/$15M (10-12)

$5,500,000.00

Samardzija, Jeff

5 yr/$10M (07-11)+12 & 13 opts

$3,500,000.00

Grabow, John

2 yr/$7.5M (10-11)

$4,800,000.00

Total

$108,025,000.00

Jim Hendry you suck!!! Maybe Pat Quinn can lower the Cubs payroll instead of lowering taxes and other stuff. Seriously how tired is everyone of these stupid campaign commercials (best one, not from IL though)? They have made me not want to vote for anyone, I may write in George Ryan. Anyone want to play Illinois politician who is/was/will be in jail bingo? I’m not hating, just saying. That’s the Chicago way,” but back then they didn’t get caught as much, they killed people.

Back to the point: The cubs suck and they are paying guys a ton of money to guy who outright suck, and/or underperform. Seriously relook at that chart, it’s crazy. Nice work Jim Hendry. How are you still employed? Someone please tell him re-signing Jim Edmonds and Aaron Miles is a bad idea, again. I’m sure he already has calls into their agents.

Let’s dive into the crap here Slumdog Millionaire style.

Soriano: $19 million next year to continue to suck. Cannot play the outfield, yet people think he is still getting used to it and are making excuses for him. He has been out there since 2006! Also he still cannot hit a curveball…mindboggling. He will also be around until 2014, fist bump Jim Hendry next time you see him. My favorite attribute he has brought to the team is his (promised) speed, he had 5 steals last year.

Zambrano: I personally am a fan of paying people not to play, shows signs of a good investment. Let’s give a huge contract to a pitcher whose career stems on mediocre pitching, mental instability and swinging like a crazy man every time he gets to the plate. I really hope next year the Cubs treat him like Pedro Cerrano.

Ramirez: Hopeless optimism is key to being a good Cubs fan, so that’s what I am sticking with for Rami. Next year he will be back over 100 RBI.

Fukudome: He was good the first game he played for the Cubs. Since then the only good thing we have to show for it are racially insensitive shirts that vendors sell outside the stadium, along with the Fukudome Headband (I think they are 10 for $1 now). $14.5 million to a spot start fill in outfielder. I believe we should all simply greet him with the first part of his last name (sound it out).

Dempster: He won 15 games last year which means next year if he does the same he will get just about $1 million per win… I hope Quade moves him back out to the pen next year so we can enjoy more of his bullpen antics, it really distracted from his crappy relief work.

Silva: He got hurt last year because he was fat. Enough said.

Byrd: The man should get a medal for playing through the crap around him last year. He also has a double animal name (sound it out again). Marlon Byrd, 10,000 cool points to the flying fish.

Samardzija: Really long name and loving El Amigo means guaranteed 5 year contract.

Grabow: Not wasting my time, it’s John Grabow. Right handed hitters hit .811 against him, seriously?!?

So am I hopelessly optimistic for next year? Of course. Do I wonder how the Cubs are going to win more than 45 games next year? Absolutely. Having over $100 million committed to mainly crappy players is not a good formula for building a good team, i.e. last year’s fiasco of a season. Do I have a solution? No, other than just get better players and do not pay bad ones as much as they are now. I merely wanted to point out the stupidity of Jim Hendry and the absolutely huge hole the Cubs are starting with for next year.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heath Bell Greatness

While checking my fantasy rosters for this weeks football match ups, I stumbled across a quick link on the Yahoo homepage about players wearing titanium necklaces. As boring and mundane as this story was, it got me clicking away at several of the links only to find this gem of a picture.



I feel I need to shard this image with all of you. As a blogger I feel the need to implore our masses to come up with a witty caption which fully captures Heath Bell's attitude. As a reader of many other blogs, I know no one likes these caption contests. A compromise must ensue!

I'm imploring all of you: either fulfill the blogging standard in the caption contest, or berate me to the best of your abilities. (or do both!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Derek Jeter has AIDS

This may or may not actually be true. I actually have no fucking clue. However, Fangraphs ran a post a little while ago that stated all you need to get some internet traffic is a catchy title. Let's see if that works.

What I am really here to talk about is FJM'ing the shit out of George Vecsey of the New York Times for this shit sandwich that he presented us with a week or so ago. On with the show...

Thames, Schooled in Yankee Way, Plays His Role

The title is what really grabbed me in on this one. No way could a title this horrible not be followed by a completely ignorant story, not a chance.

The Yankees taught him well. Marcus Thames was a raw talent, with only one year of high school ball, but the organization knew how to prepare him.

Here are the steps that the hallowed Yankee franchise took to prepare Marcus Thames (Sidenote: I had no idea his last name was pronounced "Tims", I had been saying it Thhhames, as a gay would. My brother set me strait with a toungue lashing on this earlier this year).

1) Draft Marcus Thames
2) His overall crappiness kept him in their farm system for 7 years.
3) Give him 14 plate appearances in 2003
4) Trade him to the Rangers.
5) Sign with Yankees 7 years later after actually receiving big league experience from other teams. Works as a platoon player for the majority of the year.

That is it. That is what it takes to be taught the Yankee way. 7 years of shittiness in their farm system. Guys like Alex Rodriguez who did not flounder in the Yankees farm system for 7 years will never receive such intense training in the "Yankee Way"

Don Mattingly came down to the instructional league one fall,” Thames said, recalling how the retired Yankee star worked as a part-time instructor, just to pass along the Yankee techniques, the Yankee mystique.

I've often tried to pass along my techniques and mystique but most people aren't very receptive. If only I knew I should be pedaling the "Yankee Mystique". This consists of be a grindy non athlete while George Steinbrenner buys real baseball players.

But really, it was everybody,” Thames said, with Champagne falling all around him in the Yankee clubhouse on Saturday night, after the Yankees had beaten the Twins, 6-1, to sweep their American League division series. Thames, 33, in his second tour of duty with the Yankees,

The first tour consisted of 14 plate appearances and lots of mystique learned.

hit a two-run homer to double their early lead to 4-0 as they poleaxed the Twins, their foils from the Central Division.

Someone found the Right Click->Synonym function on his Word 2000

“Eight more to go,” Thames said, in a quote straight out of the Yankee Handbook of Standard Phrases to Maintain a Sense of Entitlement.

This handbook can be found at the corner of I'd Like to Kill George Vecsey Lane and I Just Threw Up A Little Drive.

The Yankees still teach him well.

Fucking fuckass. The first time I read this I remember being furious. Then I completely forgot about it due to my recent vacation. When I started reading it again for this piece I felt calm. Now, I'm willing to drive a stake through 4 strippers hearts.

They brought him up in 2002 and sent him away in a trade. But in the ancient manner of the Yankees — giving a second chance to useful players —

Tell that to Bernie Williams, I do not think he has officially retired yet.

they brought him back this year as a role player, and it was like taking a refresher course in Yankee-ness.

I would like to shove my foot-ness up your Yankee-ass-ness.

Even when the Yankees stumbled in the final week, losing the division title to the Tampa Bay Rays, ceding the extra home game in the first two rounds, they acted as if they ought to be playing right into the World Series, if everybody did his job.

“Derek and Georgie never got down,” Thames said, referring to Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, the good-cop, bad-cop tandem that has been running the Yankee clubhouse for over a decade.

They also double as the giver and the taker during most of the Yankee road trips.

This domination may be all about money, the payroll that the Yankees wield to recruit the never-end of Sabathias and Teixeiras, the high end of stars, but the Yankees also know how to incorporate their backup players, their platoon players, their bench players.

They are the only team that has figured this out in the history of baseball. I still have no idea how they Yankee Gods decide these overpowering baseball intricacies such as subbing in bench players.

Somewhere in the fillings of their teeth, all Yankee players are receiving a loop message from the now gone but nevertheless vibrant Hank Bauer, rasping his annual spring message to new teammates: Don’t mess with my World Series money, kid. It still works.

THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING!!!!! THEIR FUCKING FILLINGS SPEAK WISDOM TO THEM.

Fillings to Derek Jeter: "Fuck hitting a home run or getting to that ball in the hole, just keep hitting singles.

As the Yankees often had their way in the Steinbrenner age, there were times when they squandered home-grown talent in the lust for expensive free agents. But order was restored when the Boss was banished in the early ’90s. The Yankees stopped eating their young.

Four of their foundation blocks — Jeter, Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera — played roles in the gracefully brief dispatching of the Twins. But this modern, purposeful organization — love it or hate it — now runs in an orderly fashion. When it needs a right-handed spare outfielder, it goes for a proven quantity like Thames.

Thames came back, in the grand tradition of Yankees who were farmed out to the old major league outpost of the Kansas City A’s. Once upon a time, players like Ralph Terry and Bob Cerv were sent out to work on their game, and Clete Boyer was salted away in Kansas City to learn the infield trade. When the Yankees needed them, they brought them home.

This entire ordeal makes me want to puke. I'm sad I read this a second time.

Not that Thames could see a master plan.

What?

He marveled at his journey on Saturday night, in the clubhouse as the players frolicked with the obligatory Champagne.

Which forced you to frolic with the obligatory "Screw Journalism I'm just going with Standard Yankee Hyperbole" piece.

(Clubhouse boys and the unused Joba Chamberlain squirting the most riotously; Pettitte, a teetotaler, slipping behind the plastic covers, retrieving his dry clothing and retreating to a back room.)

So Joba's only friends are the Clubhouse boys and Andy Pettitte hates everyone. Good to know.

“I didn’t have a job, brother. Trust me,” he said Saturday night.

Thank you for slipping in that quote from the Hulk Hogan interview you did a few years back, George.

There is a few more paragraphs to this nonsense, but my head is about to explode and I still have half a day left to get through at work. I can't possibly read this idiots story any further.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roy Halladay is Good

A lot of people will do some over exaggerating these next few days about the legend of Roy Halladay. I am not one of those people. I am also not a dumbass, and will not even come close to saying Roy Halladay is a mortal pitcher.

I think you all know how great Roy Halladay is. He is so great, he became the focus of one of the most ludicrous bets I have ever made. Allow me to set the stage...

I am at a local watering hole the night of Roy Halladay's perfect game earlier this year. The bartenders at said watering hole have a propensity to get me as fucked up as humanly possible all in hopes of embarrassing me and making fun of me for the next 6 months. (They succeed every time I go to that place).

Roy Halladay is in his 9th inning on the hill with the perfect game still in tact. From what I can tell I am into roughly my 20th Jameson shot. Feeling a great rush of overconfidence and the ever surging man love for Doc growing in my loins I decide this is the perfect time for a bet. I turn to my side and infrequent commenter, frequent Doug Glanville lover, Chris is willing to accept my terms. The bet was made, if Roy "Doc" Halladay throws another no hitter this year I will win.

What do I win you may ask? A large sum of money? More free shots?

Well, I don't fucking remember (please note, my memory was failing I was on roughly #20 of the Jameson shots. I'm not Jimmy McNaulty!)

Flash forward to minutes ago (I'm bringing this post to you like an episode of The Event. Wait, no one watched The Event, shit) Halladay completes the no hitter and I throw my arms up in triumph. I've won the bet that caused me much ridicule over the past few months. Allow the haters to hate, all I do is win!

I then call Chris to gloat about my victory. To my dismay, he PROTESTS! See Chris feels that our bet only lasts through the regular season. As he recants, "The terms of the bet were that he would not throw another no hitter, this season (emphasis on season)". Chris unwisely believes that the post season somehow does not count as apart of the 2010 season. Bullocks! This is a poor man grasping at straws!

I need your help. We need an arbiter for this bet (I'm not sure if Cooly was there or not). I need the help of the masses to persuade Chris to accept his fate and either pay me massive amounts of money or buy me massive amounts of alcohol. (Also, I know he remembers the terms of the bet, however he is claiming to have forgotten them, MORE BULLOCKS!!!!) Please leave your thoughts in the comments below with the person whom you are siding with.

#84

This website is predominantly dedicated to baseball musings. However, when something this fantastic happens, I feel obligated to bring it up on our site. #84 Randy Moss will be returning to the Vikings, most likely to win a Super Bowl come February.

Why am I so happy about this? I am a Vikings fan, that grew up with Daunte Culpepper chucking bombs to a wide open Randy Moss, and watching Moss leap peasant defenders while pulling down miraculous catches.

I relate Moss' return to the Vikings would be like Walter Payton coming back to the Bears for Mr. Anonymous (and most of our readers), Dan Marino coming back to the Dolphins for Cooly, and Kerry Collins coming back to the Panthers for Tristan. Moss coming back is the equivalent to Christmas, your birthday, and getting a BJ all at the same time.

Thank you Randy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Laugh With/At Us

For everyone's reference, we made some picks at mid-season to predict how the final season standings would end. Although some of the awards look ridiculous now (Boesch for AL ROY, which he choked away, and my Ubaldo argument), those are forgivable since they were made based on who had the better first halves of the season. (However, someone else still thinks David Price should take home the Cy Young)

I will also proudly gloat that I had the most correct picks, in fact, I only missed the winner of the NL Central since all of the rest of my picks made the playoffs. Tristan did quite well, too, since all his incorrect picks (White Sox, Rockies, Padres, Cardinals) were at least in the race through late September.

What is unforgivable though is Zach and Mr. Anonymous thinking the Mets were going to make the playoffs. So let us now take the time to ridicule them for believing a team under the tutelage of "Oh no" Omar Minaya had a hope of sniffing the postseason. I'm ashamed, but kind of excited since I get to hold this over your heads, that you two thought that the Mets were playoff-bound at one point.