Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nick Cafardo is a Homer

I've never had much against Nick Cafardo, but his recent awards column deserves some special attention.

I don't disagree much with his 2 MVP top 3s, but his AL Cy Young picks are borderline mentally challenged.
1. Josh Beckett, RHP, Red Sox: The 20 wins, the consistency, the toughness, and what is generally regarded as absolutely nasty stuff put Beckett slightly over the top. He didn't do himself any favors by not pitching well in his last start, but this was quite a turnaround from a 5.01 ERA last year to 3.27 this year.

2. (tie) John Lackey, RHP, Angels: Will win the ERA title (3.01) and is tied for second with 19 wins.

2. (tie) Fausto Carmona, RHP, Indians: "There isn't a pitcher in baseball with the movement he has on his pitches," said Seattle manager John McLaren. How can you not respect a guy who a year ago was getting lit up (1-10, 5.42 ERA in 38 games, seven as a starter) and this year was virtually unhittable? He had a 3.06 ERA and 19 wins.

4. C.C. Sabathia, LHP, Indians: He threw 241 innings, making him the workhorse of the league and certainly the best lefty (after Erik Bedard got hurt).
This list is seriously flawed and makes Cafardo a homer. Everyone who knows baseball knows that Beckett is not the Cy Young; CC Sabathia (Sabbathia, to Steve Phillips) is and will win handily. Beckett has thrown 41 fewer innings and has 15 fewer strikeouts and a higher ERA. Those 41 extra innings that Sabathia threw with the lower ERA and good K rate make him Cy Young. And you can't have a tie. The correct answer for 2-4 is Beckett, Lackey, Carmona because of innings pitched and strikeouts. Their ERA and wins are all virtually the same, so the strikeouts and IP set certain guys apart.

And these guys are all lucky that Erik Bedard played with a bad bullpen and then missed the end of the season. This guy was a lock for Cy Young and single-handedly ruined two of my fantasy teams when he got injured, knocking me out of first in both.

Then Cafardo goes on to pick co-winners for NL Rookie of the Year. Picking co-winners is a cop out. If the votes end that way, fine. But you need to make a pick. Mine is Tulowitzki.

Cafardo picks Eric Wedge for Manager of the Year, which I don't have a problem with, but says Torre is #2, which is the most ridiculous thing I've heard all morning. Joe Torre ran his bullpen into the ground and had to be saved by Brian Cashman, who should be Exec of the Year. Cashman completely revamped that bullpen and starting rotation as the season went on, saving Torre's ass. Torre is so bad with his bullpen that the organization had to come up with a page of rules to keep Joba Chamberlain from being overused. And no, I wouldn't put Francona 2nd; the Sox actually underperformed according to their Expected W-L record and the 100-win preseason expectations.

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