Saturday, September 08, 2007

I'm Gonna Ramble On

Curtis Granderson hit his 20th home run yesterday, to join the 20-20-20 club: 20 homers, 20 triples and 20 doubles. The last two players to do this were George Brett in 1979 and Willie Mays in 1957. Shouldn't this be a bigger deal? I mean, when you do something that Brett and Mays were the last two to do, it sort of speaks for itself.

Wait, well-mannered white guys do steroids too? Who would've thunk it?

The whole Phillies rotation is getting hurt, but Brett Myers is still in the bullpen. Charlie Manual seems like a swell enough guy, but some of his decisions over the past few years have been pretty indefensible.

Memo to major league managers. Relief pitchers are able to pitch more than one inning in close games. Also, at some point, a manager will figure out that having his fourth or fifth best reliever in with a bases loaded, one-out jam in the seventh inning because he needs to save his three best relievers just in case he's winning later in the game makes zero sense. It may not happen in my lifetime, but it will someday.

If anyone would like to step up and win the AL Cy Young award, they should do so. A month ago, Beckett seemed like he would get undeserving votes for being the guy with a lot of wins. Now he might be the deserving winner. Among the top 10 in ERA in the AL, only Brian Bannister and Kelvim Escobar have lower HR allowed rates, C.C. Sabathia is the only one with a lower walk rate, and Eric Bedard and Johan Santana are the only ones with a higher K rate. In fact, Beckett is in the top six in the AL in all three of those categories. No other pitcher is in the top six of any two.

Sox fans complaining about Daisuke Matsuzaka being a "$100M bust" should quit whining. Without even being able to quantify the cultural learning curve, simply adjusting to batter tendancies in the AL has been a huge step. Most notably is how much better major league hitters handle off-speed pitches, particularly up in the zone. Any 26 year old - no matter how much experience, so never mind a rookie - who strikes out a batter per inning is worth being excited about. With a year of experience, he should be a top-five candidate for the 2008 Cy Young.

To answer the question "how does one make the best thing in the world even better" has added minor league stats from 1992 forward.