The awards parade continues at 1:30 Eastern today, as the NL Cy Young Award is going to be announced. Guys like Javier Vazquez and Josh Johnson could get some love, but most folks (including this folk) believes it will come down to one of these three guys:
Tim Lincecum: the incumbent had a lower ERA than he did in 2008. He walked fewer guys than he did in 2008. He struck only four fewer across a nearly identical number of innings. The only place where he took a hit was in his win total, and that’s largely on the Giants’ offense. If Greinke’s award showed anything it showed that the writers are smarter about wins these days, so that shouldn’t be fatal to his chances, but they’re still all about storylines. Greinke was the new young stud to most BBWAA members. Lincecum was that last year. It would not surprise me at all if the writers did here what they so often do and vote for a fresher face, even if he had a lesser arm.
Chris Carpenter: Not a fresh face, but certainly a comeback story and writers LOVE comeback stories. That aside, he’s not all storyline. In fact, he’d be a great choice as he led the league in ERA, didn’t allow home runs, didn’t walk anyone and was absolutely essential to the Cards race to the division title.
Adam Wainwright: Won more games than either Carpenter or Lincecum, but allowed more baserunners and stuff too (his WHIP: 1.210. Lincecum’s: 1.047; Carpenter’s: 1.007). He’s the freshest face here, though, and even if the wins won’t be the determining factor, at least a couple of writers may go in with that in an otherwise close race.
If you put a gun to my head I give it to Carpenter, though I’d be happy with Lincecum too because (a) it’s close; and (b) man, he’s pretty awesome to watch and dammit this is my blog and I’m allowed to credit him for that. I think the writers will go with one of those two first and Wainwright in third.
Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.
Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.
Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.
A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.
The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:
- Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
- Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
- Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
- Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.
As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.
The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.
La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.