I’m not in the habit of doing Fire Joe Morgan style stuff, but MASN graphics are just very bad at being… good? (helpful? informative?) I believe the internet word for that is FAIL. Usually my yelling about this stuff is reserved for short Twitter comments and my roommates ears, but he requested a post (and I’m happy to oblige – minus the famous FJM cursing, but with food metaphors (sort of)! Yaye!):
[Edit: MASNSports.com recently expanded their Orioles blogroll, and didn't include this site. That was understandable, since I assumed they didn't really know about it. Contacted them a few times, and so far no dice. I don't know if they just haven't or they won't for whatever reason, but I imagine this won't improve my chances. Also like to add that everyone I've contacted has been very nice personally. Anyway, back to the action.]
(1) Via Twitter (don’t forget to follow CamdenCrazies) Sep. 29th: “MASN MVP candidates: Joe Mauer & 3 first-basemen with similar stats (worse than Mauer’s). That is such a difficult, difficult choice. “
Just for reference, the top 6 guys in the AL in Wins Above Replacement are:
Joe Mauer -8.2
Ben Zobrist (really) – 8.0
Derek Jeter – 7.4
Evan Longoria – 7.0
Chone Figgins – 6.1
Franklin Gutierrez (what a glove) – 5.6
Then we get three 1B mentioned; Miguel Cabrera (5.5), Mark Teixeira (5.4), and Kevin Youkilis (5.2).
So MASN is just the normal kind of dumb, not taking into account position or defense. Then the broadcasters continued it by not realizing that if three first-basemen have almost exactly the same stats – and a catcher has better stats – then maybe none of those first-basemen should win the MVP.
(2) Via Twitter, Sep. 25th: “MASN doesn’t include Brett Anderson amongst their Rookie of the Year contenders. Haven’t looked too deep yet, but he may get my vote.” and
Sep. 29th: “The more MASN doesn’t include Brett Anderson as a Rookie of the Year candidate, the more I think he might be deserving of the award.”
Brett Anderson easily leads AL rookies with 3.8 WAR, and yet MASN apparently doesn’t think he’s one of the top 5-6 candidates because they keep leaving him off their ROY contenders graphics. Maybe none of the announcers know who he is.
(3) Via Twitter, Sep. 18th: “MASN excusing Jeremy Guthrie’s 10-14 record due to opposing a lot of good pitchers. That explains his 5.06 ERA, 5.24 FIP too?”
In fairness, good pitchers may be more likely to appear on good teams (that also have good offenses). Maybe? In any case, that’s clearly pretty dumb, but I understand they’re trying to look for positives.
(4) Via Twitter, Sep. 16th: “MASN puts up graphic of AL Cy Young contenders. Includes Scott Feldman but not Zach Greinke. Fail, MASN. Massive Fail. Just so much Fail.”
Maybe this will do as a comparison (K/BB ratios, with Greinke in orange and Feldman in green), after adding that Greinke: 9.1 WAR, Feldman: 3.1 WAR.
Zack Greinke is WAY better, and has been WAY better this year. It’s not close. Greinke : Feldman :: Fillet Mignon : Whopper. This was probably the worst offense by MASN, though Greinke probably only had 12-13 wins at the time. Idiots.
That’s as far as I’ll go back, but I’ve got one to add that isn’t on Twitter. I did exclaim loud enough to scare my roommate though.
They showed a graphic of four team’s records and run differentials. I don’t remember exactly which teams, but I believe it was:
NYY: 102-57, +165
TOR: 75-84, +37
OAK: 75-84, +5
SEA: 83-76, -51 (that’s a negative sign there)
So what lessons did Jim Palmer draw from this information? Was it that the Yankees were really, really good; that the Jays were pretty good despite their bad record; that Oakland was actually an average-ish team; and that Seattle got a bit lucky with their record as they’re not that great? Could that extremely reasonable thing be what Palmer gleaned?
No, of course not. Jim Palmer decided that the reason Seattle had a winning record, despite giving up a bunch more runs than they’ve scored, is because they have good pitching*. You see, their pitchers don’t give up a lot of runs… so they win games. Even though their offense scores less runs (thus the negative run differential). It’s like, the M’s pitch a shutout and the M’s offense** scores -1 runs. Since that’s not allowed, the other team gets disqualified or something. Runs allowed is actually in the run differential. It’s like half the formula. I just don’t understand Palmer’s thought process there. In fact, I’m having a difficult time expressing just why it made me so mad (not actually angry though). Maybe it’s because he was so close to saying something productive and helpful, and then veered off into pointless/wrong land.
* The Mariners’ 4.42 FIP is middle of the pack. Bullpen FIP of 4.36 is also middle of the pack. It’s really the +84.5 run defense (according to UZR). That will sure help with the run prevention.
** The M’s are last in the AL with a .313 wOBA and 630 runs scored (over 40 fewer than even the Royals).
Things are getting better, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. The mute button is often the best course of action.