- I think that Cliff Lee doesn't have a win because 1) the team has generally played like garbage this year and especially during Lee's starts and that has cost him wins 2) Lee hasn't pitched well enough in some games to get the win.
The reason I felt the need to make the above statement is due to the recent increased intensity of the argument between those who feel that Lee is under-performing an those who blame the winless season on poor team play and bad luck. While it should be obvious that Lee's winless season is due to a combination of these reasons, there are still a lot of people who feel that it is one or the other. These people, on both sides, are idiots.
Lee is still a great pitcher. He's pitched a handful of great games that deserved to end in a 'W' for Clifton. He has 77 Ks in 77 innings and 1.12 WHIP. In the words of the late Al Davis, "He a great player. Get over it."
However, if you feel that Cliff Lee is absolved of responsibility for his poor record because of his xFIP, or SIERA, or because of 'bad luck,' you are dead wrong and I suggest actually watching a baseball game every now and again while reassessing your unconditional devotion to numbers. Giving up 12 hits to the Blue Jays is not bad luck. Giving up a three run home run to Who's-That Tolleson with a three run lead is not bad luck. Giving up 4+ runs in more than a quarter of his starts is not bad luck. It's called occasionally inadequate pitching resulting in a no-decision.
There's not hope for the people who think Cliff Lee is not good. Those 'fans' should give up their interest in baseball and become Yankee fans already. But those with a fundamentalist devotion to statistics (sabermentalists? fundastatitions?) need to intermittently abandon the cause and admit that the numbers don't always tell you everything you need to know. They need to accept that a players poor performance might actually effect his outcome and that a great player can actually perform poorly on occasion without using statistics to blame something else.
- I think that Joe Savery is an idiot. While in the stretch, staring directly at first base, he decided to throw over despite having no defensive player occupying the base. Balk. Ummm, what???
A right handed pitcher could at least argue that he thought the first baseman was holding the runner as he doesn't have the clear view of the base. When I was a young pitcher, the first baseman left the base after I had gone into the stretch and I didn't notice before I threw over. That pick-off attempt did not go well. It happens. But Savery is looking directly at the base. He knows where every body on that side of the field is. So either 1) he doesn't know the rules 2) he balked on purpose 3) he had a partial seizure that resulted in uncontrolled left movement in an upward then forward motion, thus projecting that ball toward Ty Wiggington or 4) he's a complete moron who has no explanation for his actions.
- I think that if Chad Qualls is the best option for holding a small 8th inning lead, this might be the worst bullpen, outside of the closer, in the league. I'm so glad the Phillies demoted Raul Valdes. His 2.13 ERA was killing this team. If only he would have just thrown with his right hand and raised his ERA over five, he would have kept his spot in the 'pen...
- I think that if Chad Qualls is not the best option for holding a small 8thin inning lead then Charlie Manuel is terrible in-game manager and is costing this already bad team some much needed wins. For years, WSBGMs opinion on Charlie Manuel has essentially been this: he's great if the team is really good and doesn't rely on wit, guile or strategy from the manager to win games but a mediocre or worse team will struggle because his in-game deficiencies will cost victories. We've gotten beat up pretty hard because of our opinion that a manager can influence a significant number of games, even though 4-5 games a year can be the difference between the playoffs and higher draft pick. It can also be the difference between winning or losing a playoff series.
Now, I'm not calling for Charlie Manuel to get fired. Firing the manager when half of the team is hurt and the GM can't put together a decent bullpen would be ridiculous. I'm just saying that Manuel continues to be a poor in-game manager and the more the Phillies need wins, the more this becomes painfully frustrating.
- I think I'll not watch the game today in protest of garbage baseball (and because I won't be near a television, but let's still use the 'protest' reason...)
- I think that I don't want to go to work this morning, that Tiger Woods totally choked yesterday, that this was a pretty cathartic Sunday morning rant, that 'Grepolis' is a fun waste of time that I will tire of in one week, that this season is probably over but I won't give up hope, that Euro 2012 is terrific so far, and that many future posts will deal with which players to trade before August...