Is Los Angeles too much trouble? Try San Diego!

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My kids want to go to California, so I am planning on taking them to California on a vacation sometime this summer.  The first thought was to head towards Los Angeles, or at least somewhere near there like the Orange County beaches.

But it’s expensive!  The airfares are pretty steep to LAX at the moment, and the hotels and resorts are no bargain either. So I’ve been rethinking.  The current candidate: San Diego. Much cheaper to get there from here. And, even though it is not as glamorous, I think it’ll be pretty darn nice, even if it means I have to visit my brother too.

A similar dynamic is going on with baseball team sales at the moment. As Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, the bidding for the San Diego Padres is now open. And, not surprisingly, a lot of people who first thought L.A. was a great idea are now interested in San Diego:

Citing confidentiality clauses and the sensitivities of embarrassed losers, Greenberg and Moag declined to discuss potential bidders Tuesday. Still, Greenberg has a history with hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, who lost out in the final bidding for the Dodgers …Two baseball sources Tuesday identified former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley as an interested party. Another baseball source believes former player agent Dennis Gilbert may get involved with the Padres once he’s recovered from losing out on the Dodgers.

It’s still warm, the accommodations are still fabulous and, while it may not be quite as glamorous, my kids and those old rich dudes will probably like San Diego just as much as they would have liked L.A.

At least I hope so, or else next year it means I’m going to Disney World.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

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In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: