Saturday, 5 April 2014

Giants Take Series from Dodgers (GIFs)


Some GIFs of the Giants highlights today from their 7-2 win over LA.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Giants Take Season Opener from DBacks


After what looked like a horrific start to the year, the Giants came all the way back to top the DBacks in regulation. Below are some GIFs from the game.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Giants Beat a Struggling Kershaw, Hicks Impresses

I really don't care that Clayton Kershaw might be struggling this spring, and that his command is most of the reason for it. The Giants beat him fair and square. And what's more. the the "boring, not suited for a Sunday sellout crowd" Giants starter in Escobar, flat out out-dueled kershaw. Those are a couple of the things the etch-a-sketch minded Vin Scully accused Edwin Escobar of being. He went on to say that it wasn't fair to the crowd that the Giants would start him, as if entertaining the Dodgers spring training crowd somehow registered as a higher priority than evaluating talent.

The game itself was on the less than exciting side of things, highlighted only by a Brandon Hicks two-run bomb to the opposite field off Clayton Kershaw. Mind you, that's a pretty stellar highlight.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

CIN @ PIT Wildcard Game in GIFs

Tonight, the Pittsbugh Pirates won their first playoff game since 1992, when I was one freaking year old. Here were some of the highlights.

Mike Trout is Once Again the Rightful MVP


There aren't nearly enough opinions on this MVP debate, I'll throw mine into the ring.

To start, I think that Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in baseball. One would be hard-pressed to argue that. He slugs the ball like very nearly no one else, and gets on base at a staggering pace via both walks and immensely impressive command of both his bat and plate discipline. And he seems to do it with relative ease. But there's plenty more to baseball, all of which is just as important as what a player does with the bat in his hands. Not nearly enough attention is paid to this, and so instead the award for "best player" turns into some warped award for "hitter who most often appears in headlines" or "hitter whose team made it deep in the playoffs". Those last two scenarios are totally ridiculous, and yet occur all the time. To better attack this argument, i'll break everything down into subheadings.

The Triple Crown Factor

With how far we've come incorporating advanced metrics and stats into the game, I'm puzzled as to why the Triple Crown still holds as much relevance as it apparently does, in its unmodified, archaic state.

Batting Average, while nice, is not as useful as On Base Percentage (henceforth referred to in its abbreviated state). Someone who doesn't ever walk could hit .330 and have a poor OBP, which is more important than whatever his batting average is.

Home Runs, are awesome. There's not much to be talked about here. Hitting home runs are always useful and admittedly a highly sought after commodity.

RBI, are a sticky topic. All of national media's dinosaur writers will praise the RBI stat as a greatt tool for measuring run production and how many runs a player generates. What they fail to recognize is how a players chances at an RBI are drectly determined by the players hitting in front of him. If you don't have a quality group batting in front of you, you aren't going to get as many opportunities at an RBI. This ruins the legitimacy of the RBI used for the aforementioned purpose. Many other metrics do a better job.

The Triple Crown shouldn't count for a thing in its current state. It means very little in today's modern era baseball. As far as i'm concerned, the fact that Cabrera has "two thirds of the Triple Crown locked down" means absolutely nothing.

Defense

We know that Mike Trout is no slouch defensively. Even on a down year from his fantastic 2012 campaign, he is still putting up above average numbers in the field, and certainly not costing anyone any games with his play. He's saved -8 runs this season - which isn't fantastic - putting him at just about the middle of the pack for AL outfielders. The highest is 25 and the lowest is -20.

Miguel Cabrera has saved the fewest runs of any AL third baseman to log any amount of time at the position this season. If you count NL third baseman, he's second to last after Michael Young. His range and athleticism at the position are nonexistent, and really only a liability.

All year long you'll hear and read about some extraordinary defensive plays and how these defensive players are helping their teams. Come MVP voting time, it's like these things just don't matter anymore. They just bring up the default offensive stats, have a quick skim and make a choice. That's sad, because defense is so important to teams, that some of them are willing to employ hitters who are an obvious liability at the plate, simply for their defensive prowess. Can you imagine that, BBWAA?

Baserunning

Mike Trout is fast, and Miguel Cabrera isn't. Done. But, for the sake of detail I'll digress.

Trout has stolen 33 bases this season, while his speed has undoubtedly led to him taking extra bases where slower runners couldn't, and beating out infield hits that others simply aren't fast enough to. This obviously also applies to his ability to get to balls in the field. Fangraphs' baserunning metric gives him an 8.1, 5th highest in MLB.

Cabrera is not a quick runner, and his situation essentially directly contrasts Trout's. He has 3 stolen bases, and Fangraphs credits him with a -4.3 baserunning score.

What It All Means

Miggy is having the best offensive season of his career, and his production totals can't be matched by anyone in MLB, let alone just the American League. The fact is, that's where his value stops. He can produce runs like no other, but basically nothing else - and his albeit impressive offensive output is NOT enough to outweigh what others (Ex. Trout) have done on all sides of the ball, including an immensely impressive season at the plate of their own. The kind of season Miguel Cabrera is having perfectly fits the criteria for just one award - the Silver Slugger. You know, the award concerning specifically and only hitting.