Reflection on the Miguel Tejada signing
When the offseason began (and Jazz Hands Uribe bolted for a multiyear deal in LA), talk was trending towards the Giants going after Tampa Bay SS Jason Bartlett, Minnesota SS JJ Hardy or free agent Miguel Tejada. Yesterday at the Winter Meetings, deals for Bartlett (update: the trade may not go through now) & Hardy were finalized and we can now look at how each of the three turned out. And you’ll see, I’m coming around to actually liking the Tejada deal.
Sports Chat Daily with Scott Mizuno
scottmizuno asked: MLB Awards: Who are your top three for each?
1. Josh Hamilton 2. Robinson Cano 3. Miguel Cabrera
MVP is all about who had the most impact on the league and their team in my opinion. Miguel Cabrera may have posted the best offensive season of all, but his team has been M.I.A. for the last two months. Josh Hamilton’s incredible season was cut short by injury but his impact pushed the Rangers into the driver’s seat over a month ago, before the injury. He was simply dominant. Cano has been the driving force for the Yanks and put up one of the best years by 2B in recent history. He finishes a close 2nd.
1. Joey Votto 2. Carlos Gonzalez 3. Albert Pujols
Each guy had a monster year, but when it comes down to it Votto got the Reds to the playoffs, and surprisingly at that. Votto was a Triple Crown threat the entire season and not only put up one of the top offensive performances on the year, he also was the team leader for Cincy, putting them in the playoffs for the first time since 1995. Without him, the Reds would not be in the playoffs.
AL Cy Young
1. Felix Hernandez 2. CC Sabathia 3. David Price
While MVP has to do with impact on the game, Cy Young is for the best pitcher, period. Sure CC topped 20 wins while Felix ended the season with almost a .500 record but that tells nothing about the season he’s had. Here’s the two stats the explain it all: 30 out of Felix’s 34 starts were Quality Starts, meaning he game his team the chance to win. A better one: of the 30 QS, 25 of them he kept under 2 runs. CC only had 12 games of 2 runs or less.
NL Cy Young
1. Roy Halladay 2. Adam Wainwright 3. Tim Hudson
At midseason it looked like Ubaldo Jimenez would run away with it. And then he disappeared…and Roy Halladay reemerged as the top pitcher in all of the MLB. Yeah, I said it. 21 wins and a 2.44 ERA, we was simply dominant. He easily could have won 25 games this. I don’t want to take anything away from Wainwright who tied Halladay with 25 Quality Starts, nabbed 20 wins and a 2.42 ERA. He had 6 less K’s (219 to 213) in 20 less innings. Then why are we giving it to Doc? Well, he was the definitive ace of his team and led them to the playoffs.
AL Rookie of the Year
1. Neftali Felix 2. Austin Jackson 3. Danny Valencia
In a very thin class, Feliz and Jackson stood above the rest of the AL Rookies. Feliz gets the nod for me because he really made an impact on the Rangers and became one of the top closers in the entire league in just one season. He got over the 40 save mark, held a 0.88 WHIP and only blew two saves. When Texas needed a win and the game was close, they felt confident handing the ball to Neftali. Jackson had a great year too, eclipsing the 100 run mark while grabbing 27 steals and a .293 average. In my opinion though, if Valencia got the chance to play an entire year he would have been able to make a strong case for ROY honors. He was simply stellar in the second half.
NL Rookie of the Year
1. Buster Posey 2. Jaime Garcia 3. Jason Heyward
I can make a case that these 3, Ike Davis, Mike Stanton and possibly even Madison Bumgarner could win the AL ROY. That’s how deep this NL class was this year. At the top of it though is Mr. Posey. The only knock on his NL ROY case is that he played just 108 games, but from the moment he stepped onto the field in early June the kid made a tremendous difference. His .505 slugging was second among all rookies, he kept a .305 batting average on the year with 18 HR and 67 RBI and he did so while playing the toughest position in baseball for the best pitching staff. To top it off, his phenomenal second half essentially put the Giants in the postseason for the first time in 6 seasons.
This is one of many “Sports Chat Daily with Scott Mizuno”. Every day we hope to answer sports questions on our respective blogs regarding NBA, NFL, MLB and maybe even some college. For more fantastic sports commentary go check out & follow his blog.
Sports Chat Daily with Scott Mizuno
scottmizuno asked: As a Giants fan, to get to the World Series, it looks like they would have to go through the Phillies. It looks like they’re going to play the Braves in the first round, but hypothetically, would you rather play the Phillies in the first round since its a short series? Or is it just better for the psyche to advance to the NLCS even if it makes advancing to the World Series more difficult since they would have to beat the Phillies four times instead of three?
It’s a good things are shaking out this way with us likely against CIN because I don’t want anything to do with the Phillies and their trio collectively known as H2O in a short series. This year the top team in the league (PHI) got to pick which day to start their Division Series, Wednesday or Thursday (while the other games line up). Philadelphia opted to start on Wednesday which means their Game 1 starter, Roy Halladay, gets an extra day of rest and doesn’t have to pitch Game 4 on 3 days rest. So, you are guaranteed to see H2O (Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt) go out there all 5 games if necessary. And they have been devastating lately.
I’m convinced the Giants have the best pitching rotation in all of MLB. But when it comes down to who has the best three, Philadelphia may challenge SF for that title. Their trio went 13-1 with a 2.13 ERA in the month of September. Meanwhile, Timmy, Cain and Jonathan Sanchez went 11-2 with a 1.81 ERA in that same frame. Touche. Here’s the question however, who is our number three starter in October? Sanchez? Zito? And rumor has it that we’re going to be running a four-man all postseason so who is our four then? Bumgarner? Mad-Bum & Sanchez have been stellar to say the least and I’d love to see them go out there every 4 days in October, but Zito is the only one with playoff experience and he’s shown flashes of brilliance this year.
So to answer the question, I’d much rather take my chances against Atlanta in round one. The Braves’ staff is much weaker than the Giants’ or Phillies’ and we match up extremely well in a short series against them. Lincecum will kick back into Cy Young mode with playoffs on the line (vs. Hudson) and Cain is deadly at home (8-3 with a 2.52 ERA & 0.96 WHIP) (vs. Lowe). We should get off to a 2-0 start from homefield advantage and that’s what the short series is all about. When you have two workhorses like our two aces, you’re pretty unstoppable. Philadelphia looks less intimidating when looking to the Championship Series already simply because they have to toss Joe Blanton in Game 4. I feel much more confident in an ‘our 4 vs. their 4’ series than in one where Philadelphia is pitching just their trio. Zito (who gave up 4 ER in 5 IP to PHI in August) vs. Doc is terrifying. Lincecum/Cain vs. Doc is much more manageable. Plus, you never really know what might happen once in the playoffs. Halladay and Hamels are awesome but they’ve gotten lucky with very high strand rates this season…who said Votto, Bruce or Rolen won’t cash in one of these times? It could be Cincy in the NLCS.
For now though, let’s cross our fingers than Bochy calls on Sanchez & Mad-Bum.
This is the first of many “Sports Chat Daily with Scott Mizuno”. Every day we hope to answer sports questions on our respective blogs regarding NBA, NFL, MLB and maybe even some college. For more fantastic sports commentary go check out & follow his blog.