I haven’t been around here in a while, so I figured now would be a good time to toss out a nice little blog post. Oh, and in case anyone’s paying attention, that sweep of the Royals just jumped us to 4.5 games behind Detroit, and we basically got ourselves right back into the picture. Quite satisfying, thank you.
As you all probably recall, I was pretty down on Torii Hunter when he left, and I didn’t like the attitude* he was showing towards the team and towards his teammates, and I didn’t think he’d age that well, and I thought his contract with the Angels would quickly turn into an albatross. That might still happen, but so far he’s been more than worth what the Angels are paying him. Of course, Gleeman still takes an opportunity to point out that he’s been right all along about Torii’s big tough-guy talk being a big load:
Torii Hunter’s tough-guy act took another hit recently, as he spent six weeks on the disabled list with a groin injury and then delayed his return thanks to “flu-like symptoms” after dining at the Olive Garden. Seriously. Hunter spent his final season in Minnesota publicly criticizing Mauer for not possessing the toughness to play through injuries, yet has missed 56 of a possible 284 games since signing with the Angels and has been in the lineup just eight more times than Mauer during the past five years.
I guess Torii shouldn’t have gone with the never ending pasta bowl. That’s something that seems like it sounds a lot better than it actually is. And yes, I basically just posted that quote to point out, once again, how ridiculously awesome Mauer is.
* Although my dad pointed out something interesting about Torii’s “attitude” in his last couple years with the team. He’d come up with a different generation of prospects, and all his friends were gone. The new core was already forming, and the team was clearly built around Mauer and Morneau. It’s got to be kind of tough for a guy, the face of the franchise, to sit there and watch as he’s slowly ousted from his perch in the center of the fans’ collective heart. And why would he listen to the new silent lead-by-example leadership of Mauer and Morneau when he’s several years older than they are and has been a vocal leader for years? Everything about how he wanted out makes sense to me, and I just can’t be annoyed with him for it.
And speaking of players who left, check out these two stat lines:
Player A: 3.78 FIP, 7.88 K/9, 2.48 BB/9, 1.08 HR/9, 1.21 WHIP, .296 BABIP Player B: 4.06 FIP, 7.40 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, 1.36 HR/9, 1.17 WHIP, .291 BABIP
Those aren’t that different, and if Player B could just keep the ball in the park a little bit more his FIP would probably drop down and be right in line with Player A’s. They’re remarkably close to the being the same pitcher. So … which one would you rather have? Let’s look at some more numbers:
Player A: 30 years old, $20M in 2009, $118M owed after 2009 Player B: 27 years old, $750K in 2009, $23.75M owed after 2009
Yeah, you probably know now who the players are. But which one would you rather have at this point? Is 0.28 points of FIP really worth $21.25M?
Just so we’re clear, Player A is Johan Santana. Player B is Scott Baker.
Does that change your answer?
For as bad as Baker has been, and for how discouraging that has been, just imagine if he had the big name like Johan, and we were paying him 25% of our payroll, and he was doing the same thing. You’d feel worse, wouldn’t you?4 comments