1977: The Year Tom Seaver Should Have Won His 4th Cy Young Award

In 1977, Steve Carlton won his second of four career Cy Young awards, based mostly on “wins”, which traditionally (and unfortunately) has been the important stat for many voters. Tom Seaver, who had an incredible finish to the season, perhaps should have won the award.

Compared to Carlton, Seaver had a lower ERA, more complete games and more shutouts. In fact, Seaver finished with as many shutouts as any other two pitchers in the league—combined.

Perhaps some voters mailed in their ballots early, as Carlton’s Phillies were on pace for 100 wins. If so, they missed Seaver’s amazing final stretch. After being traded from the Mets to the Reds over a spat with team ownership, Seaver scorched the league with 14 wins to only 3 losses. Over the last four months of the season, Seaver pitched 8 or 9 innings in all but three games. From August 6 to end of the season, Seaver went 11-1, with ten complete games.

On August 26, Seaver beat Carlton head to head.

If Seaver had not spent half the season with the last-place Mets, he probably would have won more games than Carlton (who won only two more games) and won the Cy Young. But either way, Seaver probably deserved it.

Mike Trout, MVP

Mike Trout will win the AL Rookie of the Year. The only question will be where the 20-year-old Trout’s season ranks with the greatest rookie seasons of all time.

He also deserves the league MVP.

When Trout was called up on April 28, the Angels were in last place, standing at 6 wins and 14 losses, and riding a 5-game losing streak. Since then, the Trout-led Angels are 51-33 and leading the wildcard race.

Trout himself? Leading the league in batting at .353, leading the league in stolen bases with 31 (and caught only 3 times), second in OPS (Slugging Average plus On Base Average). And when you factor in his hard-to-hit-in home park and look at his road numbers, he leads everyone—by a lot.

And he plays Centerfield.

Trout is clearly the best player in the league, and has spearheaded the Angels to a playoff run.

Trout deserves the MVP.

Not bad for a rookie who cannot legally drink.

Reggie Jackson and Bert Blyleven

So Reggie said he didn’t think Blyleven should be in the Hall of Fame? Facts are facts: Reggie faced 14 Hall of Fame pitchers in his career, and guess which Hall of Famer got Reggie out the most often? Bert Blyleven! (Reggie had a .264 on base percentage against Blyleven, compared to Reggie’s 385 against Palmer, .383 against Ryan, .382 against Sutton)

Highest Batting Average, Shortstop, 2012

The highest batting average for a shortstop in baseball thus far in 2012 (minimum 40 games) is…

Derek Jeter? No.
Jose Reyes? No.
Starlin Castro? No.
Robin Yount? No.

It’s NY Met Ruben Tejada!

Johan Santana Pitches the First No-Hitter in Mets History

With his career-most 134th pitch, Met Ace Johan Santana, who had completed only nine games in his entire Hall of Fame-caliber career, completed the first no-hitter in Mets history.

Bravo, Johan!


Let’s Go Mets!

If the season were to end today, the Mets, who have a better record than the Yankees, would make the playoffs.

a) Has the baseball world gone mad?

b) I’m not complaining!



2012 Maurice Fenichel Memorial MLB Predictions

2012 Playoff and World Series Predictions

American League:

Wildcard: Red Sox over Rangers
Division Series: Angels over Red Sox; Devil Rays over Tigers.
League Championship Series: Angels over Devil Rays.

National League:

Wildcard: Phillies over Giants
Division Series: Phillies over Cardinals; Dodgers over Braves.
League Championship Series: Phillies over Dodgers

World Series: Angels over Phillies

The American League BEAST

Any of the top three teams could as easily go to the World Series as miss the playoffs, even with the extra wildcard spot this year.  As happened last year, injuries could well determine who ends up where.   On this scale, the Devil Rays have the best chance to fare well, as they are, by far, the youngest of the three contenders, including the best young starting rotation in the league–but the worst offense of the three, by far.  Still, as the SF Giants showed two years ago, sustained starting pitching performances can carry a weaker offense.  That still leaves two potential wild card spots for the Yankees and the Red Sox, but with the loser of the Rangers – Angels division race expected to also contend for the wildcard (and with weaker division foes to accumulate wins against), it is overwhelming likely that the third place team in the AL East will miss the playoffs, perhaps with as many as 90+ wins!  Could the Yankees really fall out of the mix?  Boston is unlikely to repeat their massive injury woes of last year. While their closer already suffered a spring training injury, costing at least half a season, he’s still only a closer—and the Yankees have an old starting lineup.  The Yankees’ injury to Pineda, and questions about the rotation beyond CC Sabathia, portend danger for a long season, unless they trade some of their hyped prospects for in-season starting pitching help.  New Red Sox (and ex-Met) Manager Bobby Valentine has already stirred up Yankee-Red Sox trouble that is sure to continue brewing throughout the season, but he also brings an ethic and toughness (but no juice) in the clubhouse and acuity to the dugout that were absent from the tail end of the Francona years.  Red Sox players may not be as “happy” under Valentine, but, like the 2000 Mets, they will come to play.  And, if healthy, the Red Sox have a deepest lineup.  That, and a healthy rotation, may well get them one of the wildcard spots.

Toronto will slug with the best of them, and could well contend in another division, but not this division, not this year.   Baltimore continues the Wilponization of the AL East.

American League Central

A division of one have, and four have-nots.   It is difficult to imagine Detroit not running away with this division, with the rest of the division in future mode.  The White Sox have a surprisingly solid starting rotation but no other team here has a Verlander at the top of their rotation or the double-superstar prowess of Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

American League West

A cross between the East and the Central, the West is as powerful at the top as the East, and as weak at the bottom as the Central.  Los Angeles and Texas may fight it out for first all year, while Seattle and Oakland languish 20+ games behind.  Japanese import Yu Darvish is the “wildcard”.  If he dazzles as expected, and contends for the Cy Young, Texas can easily win the division and make yet  another World Series run. If he falters, Texas will still be great, but not the best.  Texas has a deep rotation and the deepest lineup in the division and perhaps the league.  However, the Angels have more workhorse stud starting pitchers than any team in baseball.  Baseball had 14 pitchers last year who pitched 223 or more innings, and the Angels have four of them.  Oh, and they added as good a hitter as we may ever see, Albert Pujols.   That’s a recipe for success, and Pujols may indeed win his second consecutive World Series.



Devil Rays
Red Sox — Wildcard
Blue Jays


White Sox


Rangers — Wildcard

American League MVP: Miguel Cabrera.  If they pitch to Cabrera ahead of newly acquired Prince Fielder, then instead of last year’s 108 walks, he could hit 50 homers.
Runner up: Home Run Champ Jose Bautista could win the award if he had a team to back him up.

American League Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Angels, who takes advantage of the weak-sister offenses of the Athletics and Mariners in the West.

Runnerups: Verlander, Wilson.

American League Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore, Tampa Bay’s latest young stud.

Runnerups: Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes.

National League East

Almost did it.  Almost picked the Mets for last.  But just could not do it. So, next to last.  Yes, the Mets can beat out the Nationals. Sure, with young phenom Steve Strasburg having returned to dominance after surgery and hitting phenom Bryce Harper soon to become an OF fixture for years to come, this might be the last time the Mets can beat out the Nationals until the Mets fix their finances.  But here’s to hoping they can.  What’s more interesting is whether the old and injured reigning division champ Phillies can hold on for one more division title, and title run, before being supplanted by young upstarts Braves and Marlins.   The Braves have the pitching to tangle with the Phils, but the Marlins do not.

National League Central:

The World Series-winning Cardinals lost their best player since Stan Musial in Pujols, and their veteran manager in Tony LaRussa, but they added a resurgent Carlos Beltran, and the  rest of the division is a  mess.  The Reds and Brewers have enough young talent to contend for a while card spot, while the Pirates, Cubs and soon-to-be-departing Astros are just fodder for the top of the division.

National League West

This division could be up for grabs.  Was Arizona’s 2011 success was largely due to the fumbling of the rest of the division? In 2012, the Giants and Dodgers have the pitching to charge for a division title, with the loser in line for the extra wildcard spot.   The Giants have a deep rotation, but a weak offense.  The Dodgers can match talent of any team’s top five players, but they lack depth. But they do have Don Mattingly running the show. And this could be the year that Donny Baseball gets his revenge for the Yankees rejecting him as manager in favor of Joe Girardi. Imagine if Mattingly get the Dodgers into the post-season and Girardi fails to do the same for the Yanks?








National League MVP:  Matt Kemp

Runners Up: Tulowitsky, Votto,

National League Cy Young:  Halladay
Runners up: Cliff Lee, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw.

Wilpons settle with Madoff Trustee for $162 million

Wilpons settle with Madoff Trustee for $162 million.

No, the Madoff trustee does get the Mets.


MLB Playoff Predictions 2011

Division Playoffs:

Tampa Bay over Texas
Is there any stopping this team? On a roll and on a mission.  Maybe it was a miracle that got them into the playoffs, but they have the starting pitching to last.

Detroit over Yankees
Never has a Game 1 been so important for each Ace and each Team.  Just don’t like CC’s post-season performance historically.  Verlander has never had postseason success, but appeared only as a rookie.  If Verlander beats CC twice, can the Yanks sweep all of the other games?

Philly over St. Louis
Pujols is great; Stud Starting Pitching is greater.  St.Louis lacks the pitching firepower to stay with Halladay, Lee, et al.

Milwaukee over Arizona
Brewers pitching gets the Ks, and the Brew Crew hitters shine at home.  Milwaukee Braun over Arizona Brains.

Pennant Fever:
Detroit over Tampa Bay
Spunky Devil Rays meet Detroit’s lineup but Verlander misses too many bats for the TB lineup to recover.  But the Devil Rays have the starting pitcher depth to stay with the Phillies’ staff if they get past Detroit.

Philly over Milwaukee
Philly starters are by now clichéd for their dominance, but starting pitching does usually win.

Philly over Detroit.
There’s only one Verlander, but there are two Halladay/Lees. Not to mention Oswalt and Hamels, and, wow, just too much.

Blyleven Finally Takes His Place Among his Hall of Fame Peers

Congratulations again to Bert Blyleven, who on Sunday finally takes his rightful place in the Hall of Fame alongside his peers.

Let’s review some reasons why Hall of Famers are Blyleven’s peers:

1. Blyleven Ranks 5th all-time in strikeouts since 1921 (the next 10 all are in the HOF or will be).
2. Blyleven ranks 4th on the all-time shutout list since 1921 (the next 18 are all in the HOF).
3. If Blyleven had played on good teams throughout his career, he probably wins 320+ games and he’s in 15 years ago.
4. Blyleven was one of the greatest post-season pitchers ever.
5. Every series Blyleven pitched in the post-season, he outpitched all the pitchers both on his team and on the opposing team.
6. Blyleven was the best post-season pitcher on 2 WS winning teams.
7. Over Blyleven’s first 10 years in the Majors, he had a better ERA than Nolan Ryan 8 times (Ryan won only a single year, and they tied one year).
8. Blyleven won more games than Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, Robin Roberts and Whitey Ford.
9. Blyleven’s 15 1-0 victories are the most in baseball since 1921.
10. Among the top 60 pitchers with at least 3500 innings, Bert is 5th all time in K/BB.

Bonus Reason: Roysaidit!

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