Sunday, January 09, 2005

Wake Up Dodger Fans

Well, as of tonight, Shawn Green is a goner. Cool guy, overpaid, threw gloves to handicapped kids, hit homers occasionally, played through the pain. He's being replaced with Dioner Navarro, and indirectly Derek Lowe.

People who are into stats love to finagle stats to show that even though Lowe has sucked for two seasons, he will play well in Dodger stadium because of the quadrangle west coast defense that DePodesta has set up with Izturis and Kent, and the fact that Dodger stadium makes every pitcher good. Tell that to Nomo.

The reason we got Lowe was because there was NO ONE LEFT. Not because he is the hidden gem in the rough that only a statmaster recognizes, but because he was the last dude left to fill the kickball team roster, and it was either him, or the worst shit imaginable, Estaban Loiza. No thanks.

I love stats, but I love reality a lot more, which is why I can't get over stats like UZR that say Jeff Kent is a good fielder. Jeff Kent is the worst fielding second baseman in baseball today, and that's a fact. What tells me this? My fucking lying eyes. There is no good stat to show defensive abilities. The only way you can get a good idea if someone is a decent defender is by watching a video clip of 100 or so balls hit towards them during a game. Then you'll know if they are out of position or not, if they dive or not, if they are just playing for the cameras. One of the biggest lies the media makes, besides that we are winning the war in Iraq because giving frozen turkeys to a village makes up for bombing a schoolyard filled with toddlers, is that Barry Bonds is a good outfielder. Barry Bonds is the worst outfielder in the majors today because he routinely boffles grounders because he is top heavy and slips and falls. He plays very deep, to make it seem like the clever hitter named Neifi Perez hit a clever fly ball that turned into the gap to create a single. If Barry was capable of running, we know that he could have got that ball. Watch the 2002 World Series, that man's fielding was singlely responsible for the Angels winning the series. But instead all we talk about is how many dongs he hit. Anyway back to Kent.

Kent sucks at defense. He really does. The stats may show that he is capable of turning outs, but many of the balls hit to him, are rated as not even belonging to him to make a play BECAUSE HE DOESN'T EVEN GO FOR THEM. He'll make a half hearted run at the ball, and let the outfielder take care of that shit. Kent is smart, and a veteran. He knows to avoid boos, that all he has to do is trot to the ball as it whizzes past him. That looks like effort. Then later in the game, he'll hit a dong, and all is forgiven. An ugly goblin like Cora will dive at the ball, let it bounce off his glove, and hurt his defensive stats. He's responsible for more balls, because he makes a real effort for more balls. Therefore his stats suck. I bet if you counted the number of grounders hit towards Kent, you'd find that they were mysteriously low, whereas Craig Biggio was doing terribly fielding wise. Look at Biggio's and Beltran's win shares on Houston this year:

Biggio 3.2
Beltran 3.8

And Kent is 7.2. Coincidence that the center fielders behind him sucked at fielding? Bill James who knows a bit about stats orgasms over the complete player that Biggio is, and his remarkable defense. Yet these stats show him to be average. The truth is, if you watch games, you realize that Kent allows balls to go to the center fielder and make it their problem. That makes Kent look good, and them look bad. Why is this an issue for the Dodgers?

Because we just signed Lowe. And what kind of pitcher is Lowe? A groundball pitcher. So every time a left handed batter is playing, get ready for angry Bradley to break his body diving for a ball that should have been Kent's. And get ready for Bradley to confront the ever confrontational Kent. I predict a lockerroom fight by late May. Should be fun. Moral of the story: DePodesta blows.

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