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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Michael Young Skipping Stupid Meaningless Baseball To Play Stupid Meaningless Baseball

Had to do it. Ok…back to my all-night tribute to Lloyd ‘Charmers’ Tyrell .

Yes, Young has decided to skip one of the stupidest, useless and biggest wastes of time in professional sports, The World Baseball Classic, and instead will focus on being the best Philadelphia Phillie he can possibly be by spending the entire spring in Clearwater.

Either that, or he’s real keen on finding out what that Tom Cruise has been talking about for so long.

This decision will surely come as a disappointment to the people of America, for whom Young could have played in the WBC, or our fine amigos in Mexico, for whom he is also eligible to play, given the Mexican descent of his mother.

However, this selfless decision by Young will surely be welcome news to the franchise that just traded for him, especially as he attempts to come back from a season in which he posted a WAR of -2.4.

That’s really, really bad, to those who don’t know.

Young’s decision to blow off a bunch of meaningless games to prepare for and play in a series of other meaningless games is actually kind of a big deal, especially considering how terrible he was in 2012.

The Phils are counting on Young to revert back to the form that made him a top-10 MVP candidate in 2011, and spending a month playing in a stupid tournament that means absolutely nothing to anybody would greatly hinder that effort.

So, as Young brushes off the weighty expectations of two countries, both hungry for that long-sought after World Baseball Classic championship, Phillies fans grow more confident their star offensive acquisition of this offseason is truly devoted to his new team.

Now if only he can get that WAR over zero.

Repoz Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:49 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   1. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4334441)
Young’s decision to blow off a bunch of meaningless games to prepare for and play in a series of other meaningless games is actually kind of a big deal, especially considering how terrible he was in 2012.

The Phils are counting on Young to revert back to the form that made him a top-10 MVP candidate in 2011, and spending a month playing in a stupid tournament that means absolutely nothing to anybody would greatly hinder that effort.


Why would this "greatly hinder that effort"? I could see moreso if he were a pitcher, but why would playing in these particular games as opposed to Florida games make a huge difference?
   2. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4334447)
What kind of a jerk would write an article like this? Who is this smarmy #######?
   3. Spivey Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4334449)
The great news for America is that Michael Young won't be on our team.
   4. Greg K Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4334460)
I came across this on a staged "sports analyst" yell-a-thon on The Score last week. Two guys were yelling at each other about the World Junior Hockey Championships (which I'm sure the vast majority of the world is blissfully unaware of, but start every Boxing Day, and are teh site of a national panic if Canada does not win).

On the one hand, one analyst argued that the NHL lockout should bring in more viewers, and the other (very angry) fellow was aghast that so many Canadians are duped into caring about a tournament that means nothing every year. It just seems like a very odd perspective. I mean, this is sports we're talking about...not constitutional law, or the study of physics. "Meaning" isn't inherent. It's existence is determined by how much the participants (fans, players, owners, coaches), and of course how many of them there are. If who wins is important to enough fans and players than that game is by definition important no matter what trophy you get at the end of it. Considering the amount of coverage and support the World Juniors get I don't think "meaningless" is an accurate description. Though, I should point out that I don't really care about the tournament...except to root for Canada if they're playing the US in the final, or root for anyone other than the US if they are playing Canada in the final.

I guess I always think of Bill James' essay on baseball being a business. Sure it's a business to the owner, or the guy getting paid to play...but that's no reason for it to be a business to me. This year is a bad example because there's a chance the Jays could contend, but in both 2006 and 2009 the WBC was a more meaningful tournament than the MLB playoffs to me. I realize I'm in a minority among the baseball fans of the world in believing that, but I get a bit annoyed with the WBC is treated as intrinsically meaningless. For probably the majority of baseball fans it doesn't really matter who wins the WBC so at this point "meaningless" may be a fair assessment in a general, comparative sense. But there's no reason it can't grow into a meaningful tournament.

Also, I'd have to think Michael Young would be welcome on Mexico...do they have many hitters? They seem to produce a ton of pitchers, but very few position players.
   5. Greg K Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4334461)
Postscript:

My dad says he read somewhere that Russell Martin volunteered to play SS for Canada. Speaking of nations with holes in the lineup, who is the best Canadian SS in history? I can't think of many off the top of my head.

Is this something that could actually happen? As in, would the Pirates allow it? Or is it just an off-hand remark on his part?

He is a pretty versatile player after all...he scored two goals against Man City today.
   6. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4334470)
Aren't these baseball games? Featuring pretty good players? What kind of so-called baseball fan slags that?
   7. Greg K Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4334475)
Aren't these baseball games? Featuring pretty good players? What kind of so-called baseball fan slags that?

Hell the qualifiers were baseball games featuring not so good players, and some of those were pretty entertaining.
   8. bobm Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4334481)
[5] Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, Born in Canada, From 1901 to 2012, Played 50% of games at 2B or SS, sorted by greatest WAR Position Players

                                                                                
Rk            Player WAR/pos From   To   Age   G    Pos                       Tm
1    Kevin Nicholson     0.1 2000 2000 24-24  37   /*64         SDP Vancouver BC
2    Brian Ostrosser    -0.1 1973 1973 24-24   4    /*6         NYM  Hamilton ON
3         Shorty Dee    -0.2 1915 1915 25-25   1    /*6         SLB   Halifax NS
4          Jim Riley    -0.5 1921 1923 26-28   6   /*43     SLB-WSH  Bayfield NB
5         Dave McKay    -3.6 1975 1982 25-32 645 *45/6D MIN-TOR-OAK Vancouver BC

   9. bobm Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4334483)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, Born in Canada, From 1901 to 2012, sorted by greatest WAR Position Players

Top 20 batters:

                                                                                                                                  
Rk           Player WAR/pos From   To   Age    G   PA       Pos                                                                 Tm
1      Larry Walker    69.7 1989 2005 22-38 1988 8030 *9/387D45                                 MON-COL-TOT-STL     Maple Ridge BC
2        Jeff Heath    34.0 1936 1949 21-34 1383 5561     *79/8                                 CLE-TOT-SLB-BSN    Fort William ON
3        Terry Puhl    26.2 1977 1991 20-34 1531 5480   *987/3D                                         HOU-KCR        Melville SK
4        Joey Votto    26.2 2007 2012 23-28  728 3064      *3/7                                             CIN         Toronto ON
5      Corey Koskie    22.6 1998 2006 25-33  989 3950     *5/D9                                     MIN-TOR-MIL           Anola MB
6         Jason Bay    21.8 2003 2012 24-33 1210 5022    *7/8D9                                 TOT-PIT-BOS-NYM           Trail BC
7    George Selkirk    20.7 1934 1942 26-34  846 3322     *97/8                                             NYY      Huntsville ON
8    Justin Morneau    19.2 2003 2012 22-31 1151 4807       *3D                                             MIN New Westminster BC
9    Russell Martin    18.9 2006 2012 23-29  925 3674    *2/5D4                                         LAD-NYY       East York ON
10        Pete Ward    18.6 1962 1970 24-32  973 3512  *573/946                                     BAL-CHW-NYY        Montreal QC
11    George Gibson    13.3 1905 1918 24-37 1213 4190      *2/3                                         PIT-NYG          London ON
12      Jack Graney    11.7 1908 1922 22-36 1401 5581    *7/891                                             CLE      St. Thomas ON
13      Matt Stairs    11.6 1992 2011 24-43 1895 6024   9D37/84 MON-BOS-OAK-CHC-MIL-PIT-KCR-TOT-TOR-PHI-SDP-WSN        St. John NB
14     Larry McLean    10.2 1901 1915 19-33  862 2833      *2/3                         BOS-CHC-STL-CIN-TOT-NYG     Fredericton NB
15      Goody Rosen     9.9 1937 1946 24-33  551 2162     *89/7                                         BRO-TOT         Toronto ON
16       Nig Clarke     8.1 1905 1920 22-37  506 1711      *2/3                             TOT-CLE-SLB-PHI-PIT     Amherstburg ON
17     Brett Lawrie     7.6 2011 2012 21-22  168  707     *5/6D                                             TOR         Langley BC
18   Bunk Congalton     5.1 1902 1907 27-32  309 1276     *9/78                                     CHC-CLE-TOT          Guelph ON
19       Oscar Judd     3.3 1941 1948 33-40  206  356        *1                                     BOS-TOT-PHI          London ON
20        Rob Ducey     2.5 1987 2001 22-36  703 1478     79/8D                             TOR-TEX-SEA-PHI-TOT         Toronto ON


.
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4334484)
My dad says he read somewhere that Russell Martin volunteered to play SS for Canada. Speaking of nations with holes in the lineup, who is the best Canadian SS in history? I can't think of many off the top of my head.

As far as I can tell the ONLY Canadian SS in, literally, living memory, is Dave McKay. Who was not a SS but did play a few games there in six separate seasons between 1975 and 1982.

Then you have Kevin Nicholson who apparently started 30 games for the 2000 Padres after the team decided Damian Jackson had to move to 2B.

All Canadian-born players who've played more than 5 games at SS, ranked by most games played at SS:

947 Arthur Irwin (born 1858)
336 Pop Smith (born 1856)
289 Frank O'Rourke (born 1893)
95 Milt Whitehead (born 1862)
45 Dave McKay
35 John Irwin (born 1861)
31 Sam LaRocque (born 1863)
30 Kevin Nicholson
23 Sherry Robertson (born 1919)
21 George Wood (born 1858)
17 Chub Collins (born 1857)
12 Abbie Johnson (born 1871)
9 Pete Orr
7 Danny Klassen

Among those tied at 1 is Brett Lawrie, so maybe he'd be your choice. The 2B/SS/3B available for Canada are him, Pete Orr, Taylor Green, and a bunch of minor-leaguers. Meanwhile Kottaras, Martin, and Nickeas are all vying for time at catcher, and they have two MVP first basemen.
   11. bobm Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4334485)
Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, Born in Canada, From 1901 to 2012, sorted by greatest WAR for Pitchers

Top 20 pitchers:

                                                                                                                              
Rk             Player  WAR From   To   Age   G  GS  GF   W   L W-L%  SV     IP ERA+                                         Tm
1      Fergie Jenkins 77.4 1965 1983 22-40 664 594  37 284 226 .557   7 4500.2  115     PHI-TOT-BOS-TEX-CHC         Chatham ON
2         John Hiller 29.6 1965 1980 22-37 545  43 363  87  76 .534 125 1242.0  134                     DET         Toronto ON
3           Russ Ford 29.6 1909 1915 26-32 199 170  28  99  71 .582   9 1487.1  124                 NYY-BUF         Brandon MB
4       Ryan Dempster 19.5 1998 2012 21-35 547 322 185 124 124 .500  87 2215.2   99         FLA-CIN-CHC-TOT         Sechelt BC
5         Rich Harden 16.9 2003 2011 21-29 170 160   2  59  38 .608   0  928.1  117         TOT-CHC-TEX-OAK        Victoria BC
6      Paul Quantrill 16.5 1992 2005 23-36 841  64 228  68  78 .466  21 1255.2  118 BOS-PHI-TOR-LAD-NYY-TOT          London ON
7         Erik Bedard 15.2 2002 2012 23-33 192 189   0  63  64 .496   0 1077.0  112         BAL-SEA-TOT-PIT           Navan ON
8      Kirk McCaskill 12.2 1985 1996 24-35 380 242  55 106 108 .495   7 1729.0   99                 CAL-CHW     Kapuskasing ON
9          Eric Gagne 11.0 1999 2008 23-32 402  48 269  33  26 .559 187  643.2  119             LAD-TOT-MIL        Montreal QC
10       Jeff Francis 10.4 2004 2012 23-31 205 204   0  67  73 .479   0 1178.2   96                 COL-KCR       Vancouver BC
11    Phil Marchildon  8.9 1940 1950 26-36 185 162  18  68  75 .476   2 1214.1  100                 PHA-BOS Penetanguishene ON
12        Jesse Crain  8.5 2004 2012 22-30 494   0 111  43  27 .614   4  495.1  136                 MIN-CHW         Toronto ON
13     Jeff Zimmerman  7.2 1999 2001 26-28 196   0  84  17  12 .586  32  228.2  151                     TEX         Kelowna BC
14      Rheal Cormier  7.2 1991 2007 24-40 683 108 105  71  64 .526   2 1221.2  105 STL-MON-BOS-PHI-TOT-CIN         Moncton NB
15        Dick Fowler  6.8 1941 1952 20-31 221 170  36  66  79 .455   4 1303.0   97                     PHA         Toronto ON
16   Reggie Cleveland  6.1 1969 1981 21-33 428 203 111 105 106 .498  25 1809.0   96         STL-BOS-TOT-MIL   Swift Current SK
17         Ron Taylor  4.5 1962 1972 24-34 491  17 282  45  43 .511  72  800.0   91 CLE-STL-TOT-HOU-NYM-SDP         Toronto ON
18         Oscar Judd  3.6 1941 1948 33-40 161  99  32  40  51 .440   7  771.1   94             BOS-TOT-PHI          London ON
19     Claude Raymond  2.8 1959 1971 22-34 449   7 270  46  53 .465  83  721.0   96 CHW-MLN-HOU-ATL-TOT-MON        St. Jean QC
20        John Axford  2.7 2009 2012 26-29 206   0 166  15  12 .556 106  208.2  132                     MIL          Simcoe ON


   12. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:10 AM (#4334514)
Kirk McCaskill.

Man he and Witt were fun to watch in 1986.
   13. John Northey Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:17 AM (#4334517)
Wow, for some reason I thought there were more good Canadian pitchers, but just Jenkins over 30 WAR, and 2 others over 20 (Dempster should join that group soon). Bit of a surprise. The hitters I knew due to a bit of hype back in the 80's about Puhl reaching some Canadian records and how low those records were pre-Walker.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:35 AM (#4334524)
13 Jeff Zimmerman 7.2 1999 2001


I never would have guessed Zimmerman only pitched three seasons in the majors. A pretty good pitcher, broken.
   15. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 30, 2012 at 04:57 AM (#4334532)
15 Dick Fowler 6.8 1941 1952 20-31 221 170 36 66 79 .455 4 1303.0 97 PHA Toronto ON


His BB-Ref sponsorship comment is worth a look...
   16. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2012 at 06:26 AM (#4334537)
Martin has played 3B so Lawrie at SS and Martin at 3B would seem to work better. Unless Pete Orr has a hot week during the warmups.

Wow, for some reason I thought there were more good Canadian pitchers, but just Jenkins over 30 WAR

Only 199 pitchers have hit 30+ WAR. So 1 out of 200 is a Canadian which is their HoF percentage as well, yeah? You guys suck.

That's not a bad pitching staff though with a peak killer bullpen. Maybe we should enter a Canadian team in the birthday tournament, they might finish in the top 10.
   17. Adward Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4334543)
Shockingly absent from bbref are Eastern Saskatchewan travel ball records from the 60s and 70s. Though I'm sure this will be rectified soon enough I'll note here that Terry Puhl played a shallow left field between the second and third basemen where he put up a short season +7,341 DRS. I'm told by reliable sources it would have been even higher if my dad hadn't struck out so many opposing batters.
   18. bfan Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4334549)
bitter, mean-spirited, pointless article.
   19. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: December 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4334588)
The WBC is super awesome and this guy is dumb.
   20. morineko Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4334603)
Have they even made noise about who's making the Team Canada roster? This has a real potential of emptying out the Brewers spring training camp. (Or maybe not, considering Aoki's comments to the Japanese press about management discouraging him from WBC participation.)
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4334609)
The WBC is super awesome and this guy is dumb.


quoted for the absolute truth.

I do not get why people have a problem with this thing.
   22. Chris Fluit Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4334618)
It's essentially an Onion article, though from a different occasionally serious source. You either find it funny or you don't, but it's kind of pointless to argue about it. Personally, I find the article funny, think the WBC is cool and generally go bonkers for hockey's World Junior Championship (it's like the Final Four to Canadians, but with national pride thrown in).
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4334621)
How does Ryan Dempster have barely twice as many pitching WAR as Jesse Crain?
   24. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4334635)
It is rare that any mlb season produces a game as "meaningful" or exciting as last tournament's Korea/Japan final.
   25. morineko Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4334672)
How does Ryan Dempster have barely twice as many pitching WAR as Jesse Crain?


1998-2003 with the exception of 2000, 2006-07, 2011, half of 2012....

Crain's only had two bad seasons and he's only worked in relief.
   26. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 30, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4334675)
16 Nig Clarke 8.1 1905 1920

As you probably know, Clarke is credited for hitting eight home runs in a minor league game in 1902. His wiki article contains this line: "At the time, it was considered the #2 most famous feat in Minor League Baseball history. Unfortunately, the most famous Minor League Baseball feat was not recorded." I LOL'd.

I do not get why people have a problem with (the WBC).

(1) It wasn't around when they were kids.
(2) It's "nationalistic", whatever the hell that means.
(3) They're afraid a player on their favourite MLB team will get hurt.
(4) They're just @ssholes.

   27. Gamingboy Posted: December 30, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4334723)
One thing I've often found is that people who hate the WBC usually haven't watched a WBC game once. And if they have, they only watched a few innings, or are Red Sox fans who blame Dice-K's injury history for everything bad that has happened since 2009.

But, yeah, RMC basically gets it:
It wasn't around when they were kids.

This is probably the number one reason, although nobody will say it outright because it will make them look like angry old coots. Fact is that WBC doesn't have the cache yet because it just started. This happens to a lot of big events. The Olympics, for example, were an afterthought until the 1908 games in London. The first FIFA World Cup only had four European teams bothering to take the trip. And while the "Dream Team" of 1992 was a success, every other USA Olympic basketball team after 1992 and before 2008 had the same type of dropping-outs and half-heartedness that Team USA in the WBC is accused of. It's an event that hasn't grown up yet, hasn't had some type of moment to grab everyone's attention yet, in the USA. Making the championship game would help.

(2) It's "nationalistic", whatever the hell that means.


Yeah, I don't know what that means either when it comes to sports, and if so, why it is a bad thing. Nations going at it on a playing field is a helluva lot better than a battlefield.

(3) They're afraid a player on their favourite MLB team will get hurt.

Really, this is only a problem with pitchers. And even then, it forgets the fact that players get hurt ALL THE FREAKING TIME IN SPRING TRAINING. How is it any different if it's against Puerto Rico than if it's against a split-squad game against the Braves?

(4) They're just @ssholes.

DING. DING.
   28. beer on a stick Posted: December 30, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4334827)
(1) It wasn't around when they were kids.


It wasn't around when I was a kid, but then again, neither was the Google machine on the Interwebs thinigie and I think both are great. I just wish the timing of it was better, although I'm not sure that a better time than ST is possible. And yes, there have been some damn compelling games and stories over the course of the tournament, my favorite probably being the Curacao team that almost pulled the rug out from everybody a few years ago.

(2) It's "nationalistic", whatever the hell that means.
,

I have always thought that the Olympics would be a much cooler thing than it already is, if only they eliminated the damn flags from the equation. Just invite the worlds greatest athletes no matter who they are or where they come from. I'm pretty sure that would eliminate political boycotts and maybe even lessen the possibility of another Munich. Might even go a little ways toward fixing the doping problems if you could somehow keep all these national comittees out of the equation.

I realize that doesn't work well for team sports, but that's what we have things like the World Cups in various team sports for. Let the flags fight it out over soccer, hockey, team handball, etc., and even baseball.

(3) They're afraid a player on their favourite MLB team will get hurt.


That is a reasonable fear, if your an MLB GM and your job is on the line if guys don't perform to contract. The average fan should be happy to see his/her heroes playing the game, even if they are playing for Upper Slobovia, instead of the Red Sox.

(4) They're just @ssholes.


Yeah? So sue me.

   29. Flynn Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4334842)
When was the last time there was a real Olympic boycott? As far as I can tell nobody has failed to show up for political reasons since 1984. If Taiwan can compete in an Olympics held in mainland China then the window has shut as far as Olympic boycotts have gone. I'm pretty sure nowadays the IOC and sponsors would step in to prevent anybody of any consequence from boycotting.

my favorite probably being the Curacao team that almost pulled the rug out from everybody a few years ago.


Curacao doesn't compete. It's the Netherlands.

   30. beer on a stick Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4334845)
Curacao doesn't compete. It's the Netherlands.


You are correct. Why did I think It was Curacao?

Growing old can really suck sometimes (sigh).
   31. Gamingboy Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4334881)
I'm reasonably sure that the vast amount of money from corporations involved basically means that no top country will ever be boycotting any Olympics again.

That said, I think it's safe to say that North Korea will boycott the 2018 winter games in Pyeongchang.
   32. Flynn Posted: December 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4334887)
To be fair Glenn, half the team is from Curacao. I forgot Cuba boycotted Seoul in 1988 - that's probably the last time a team that actually had a chance of getting medals boycotted an Olympics.
   33. Gamingboy Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4335006)
Yeah, the Netherlands team represents the KINGDOM of the Netherlands, not the country of the Netherlands (there's a difference), so it was and is a mixture of players from Curacao, Aruba and the Netherlands proper. If memory serves, the pitchers were mainly (but not entirely) Dutch, while the position players were mainly (but not entirely) from the Caribbean.
   34. Greg K Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:42 AM (#4335055)
Yeah, the Netherlands team represents the KINGDOM of the Netherlands, not the country of the Netherlands

Imagine if there was a team made up of the subjects of Queen Elizabeth!

It would be team Canada...but with Grant Balfour, and a 50 year old Devon White.
   35. Squash Posted: December 31, 2012 at 05:16 AM (#4335140)
I think a lot of the fervor against the WBC is that it's a one and done tournament, and that therefore "the best" country (i.e. the US) has no more chance of winning it than anyone else. Though they go on and on about playoff mentality, even the old coots know that a one-game playoff system is just a series of coin flips.

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