Not everyone is pleased with my view that CC Sabathia is not deserving of the Cy Young this year. Take this delicious rant from reader DiamondDuq:
So you think some stats geek who locks himself in his mother’s basement should pick the award winners? When someone can apply an statistical adjustment that accurately depicts the difference between pitching with a 5-run lead vs. in a tie game then maybe I’ll be willing to listen to you freaks. The fact of the matter is, which you wouldn’t know since you’ve probably never set foot on a baseball diamond past little league, high school at the latest, if at all, that the entire approach to pitching is different depending on the situation in the game . . .
. . . Predictably my argument will be disreguarded and ridiculed by the booger-eating basement dwellers but suffice it to say there’s more to the game than you allow yourselves to see because you haven’t fabricated a statistic for it yet and because of that you’re not fully capable of enjoying a beautiful game!
As Craig Allen Calcaterra, who has played and watched thousands upon thousands of baseball games – you see, I do have a rough idea of how the game works – I sympathize with DiamondDuq. Craig Allen Calcaterra is a booger-eating basement dweller, his blog should be run off the Internet and a committee should be formed to boycott him. You may, if you can form such a committee, put me down for a contribution of one thousand dollars.
On the other hand, I am the writer of HardballTalk. As such, it is my duty – and I’ll let you in on a little secret, it is also my pleasure – to see to it that the decent, hard-working booger-eating basement dwellers of this world are not treated like idiots by a bunch of narrative-chasing baseball writers who disdain actual baseball excellence because it does not make for a good story. Because, God help them, they have no one to look after their interests!
I’ll let you in on another little secret, Mr. DiamondDuq. I think I’m the man to do it.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.