A whole lot of random stuff

I might be pulling for the Phils to make the playoffs but I have to give credit where it’s due to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Talk about taking care of business, the Dodgers did just that in Colorado….and James Loney, wow! 9 RBI!  Dodger fans should hope their guys can keep the momentum going this weekend against the rival Giants. One of the best rivalries in baseball, hopefully it will live up to its billing.  The two season-ending series between these squads that comes to mind are 1993 and 2004, right down to the end with the Dodgers spoiling the Giants hopes in 1993 and Steve Finley’s grand slam to win the NL West in 2004 (one of the most underrated walk-off home runs I’ve seen).

What else can be said about Houston? Last week, they’re barely alive. Now it looks like they will go into the final weekend ½ game behind St. Louis. It also appears half the free world might have jumped on the Astros bandwagon. Roy Oswalt put forth another fantastic outing today, I believe he’s 5-0 in September. Another name for Cy Young consideration (more on that later).

As I write this, I was hoping to go to the Phils-Nats game tonight but the inclement weather forced me to reconsider. I hope they don’t end up finishing this at 1:30 am or something. What would Major League Baseball do if this is rained out? Play Friday morning? Monday? There could be a couple makeups Monday. SF-Stl comes to mind! We’ll see how this plays out

Worst kept secret was revealed today. Washington Manager Frank Robinson is not coming back next season. Robinson held down the fort for the Expos/Nats during some very rough times. He wasn’t given the deepest team by a long shot and in fact was voted worst manager in baseball in a Sports Illustrated poll I believe. Coachingwise, he definitely left himself open to criticizing at times. Once the sale of the Nationals became final around the All-Star Break, one had to figure Robinson would finish out the season before being dismissed and the owners would want their own choice of manager.

Still, he walked into a no-win situation and did the best he could. Was he going to take the Nationals to the next level? Probably not.

I don’t expect Washington to be a playoff conteder for at least two more seasons and the minor league system needs a ton of work. 

Why am I bringing this up? This evening, a Washington area television sportscaster went on a verbal tirade about the fact that sources had reported Robinson would not be back next year.  The story first appeared in the Washington Post. This sportscaster suggested that whoever ran the Nationals website should look for work for posting such a story as well as the source who leaked the story for starters. One on hand this sportscaster clearly was mad that the source seemed to have betrayed the Nationals ownership group by assisting in a big story involving huge information.  He also went on to state that Robinson deserved better than this.

What’s the point? Stories involving sources happen every day. It’s not going away. Welcome to a society where people need their information and breaking news now. I’ll save the Journalism 101 for real professionals.

Robinson not getting his contract renewed isn’t a big shock at all. If the sportscaster is bitter on how the situation is being handled, that is his opinion. He has the right to say the situation should’ve been handled better. 

The Washington Post Nationals beat writer, Barry Svrluga, does a fine job covering the team. I would assume he has built reliable sources on the beat and used some of those sources to get information on this story. 

Nats fans will believe Robinson should’ve deserved better than finding this out in the papers. They will be upset that the Nationals didn’t get a chance to announce it first.  These fans will learn that sometimes the media will beat you to the punch. That’s just how it goes. Still, this notion that Robinson was shocked to see this in the paper is one I can’t grasp. 

The story was going to come out sooner or later. The thought of Robinson coaching his final game then surprising everyone by stating he was not coming back would have surprised no one. While it might have been nice, it didn’t happen. I had to get that off my chest.
I could go on and on about how much Robinson has meant to the game. Any baseball fan knows.  The fans will show their appreciation this weekend for everything he has done for the team over the past several years.

Onto the Cy Young.  A Cy Young Award winner who is a starting pitcher should have a ratio of games won to games lost of more than 2:1. I can’t see why Chris Carpenter at 15-8 would get the Cy Young. A 16-8 or 16-9 record isn’t a very Cy Youngesque record unless you have a sub-2.00 ERA. Spare me the no-decision argument, it’s happened to practically everybody in the NL.

Brandon Webb is 17-7 and maybe he goes 18-7 or 17-8 but at least he’s more than doubled his win to loss output. I’m hoping Webb can do well on Sunday to solidify his bid.

There’s a lot of stats out there that can spin this to favor Webb, Carpenter, Zambrano and Oswalt.

Still, Zambrano, who could and Webb are the only two starting pitching contenders with a win-loss ratio greater than 2:1.  Zambrano could get win No. 17  Friday against Colorado.

I’ve wrestled with the Hoffman debate. I won’t be surprised if he wins. I’m not on the bandwagon though. If you mention Hoffman, you have to mention Wagner. Should Wagner get some Cy Young votes? Probably. The Mets bullpen is the best in the NL, the Padres are 2nd. The argument can be made that Wagner was the top NL closer this year for the NL’s best regular season team.

It seems any pitcher considered for the NL Cy Young has some pluses and minuses. It looks like the voters won’t have any easy choice this year.


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