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Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012 Bad Quarterback League Update: Week Seven

1) Adam

Total Points: 576
Points This Week: 32

Miami: ---
St. Louis: 5
Kansas City: ---
Cincinnati: 27

2) Cahal

Total Points: 556
Points This Week: 30

New York Jets: 12
Tennessee: 12
Chicago: 6
Philadelphia: ---

3) Colleen

Total Points: 478
Points This Week: 98

Cleveland: 2
Oakland: 12
Buffalo: 5
Baltimore: 79

4) Ben

Total Points: 461
Points This Week: 51

Jacksonville: 8
Minnesota: 50
Tampa Bay: -17
Carolina: 10

5) Bryan

Total Points: 415
Points This Week: 114

Arizona: 40
Seattle: 42
Washington: 5
San Francisco: 27

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Box Score Tonight: Monday Night Football Bears vs. Lions

Box Score Tonight is a bit originally created by The "Bright" One on my old site. He would do the baseball stuff and I started to do the football stuff. It is extremely time consuming to do every weekend and since I am working full time and out of law school I have essentially stopped it completely. But with my beloved Bears playing last night I decided to write up a few things about the game:

- You know that scene in The Avengers where The Hulk grabs Loki and throws him around like a rag doll? That's what I saw when Ndamukong Suh grabbed Jay Cutler and threw him down on that awful sack

- Jay was clearly playing hurt after that play. I assume after hearing all the shit he got after sitting out that NFC Championship game a few years back he decided to play. I personally never questioned his toughness but the dude is a damn rock. That being said Jason Campbell should have played that second half. That's why he was brought in here for and was paid all that money

- I never was a fan of the Mike Tice hire to begin with but after the first six games he's been pretty solid. However, this Lions game for some reason brought out the worst in Tice. The offensive game calling was so timid and so simple that I thought the Bears had rehired Ron Turner for this game.The Lions secondary is atrocious and their front seven didn't play THAT great. This should have been a huge day for Brandon Marshall

- If you're Megatron and you're gonna get shut down, it might as well be by a guy who is so tiny that his nickname is "Peanut" right? Charles Tillman had a phenomenal game against Calvin Johnson and he was on him like white on rice for the ENTIRE game. He's challenging Houston's J.J. Watt as the Defensive Player of the Year

- Holy cow did Matthew Stafford look awful. The Bears D-line was not as dominant as it could have been (although still really darn good) but Stafford consistently missed wide open receivers for this entire game

- You know you're a bad offense when 2012 Brian Urlacher is making big plays and big stops

- I still believe in Illinois' own Mikel LeShoure but the Bears made him look silly as they do all running backs and after his inaugural game has not done much for fantasy owners or Lions fans. Joique Bell is a solid fantasy option as well as he is the clear LeShoure back up

- Jon Gruden is really bad at what he does. There must have been something in the Tampa Bay water 10 years ago because in a sea of great football announcers and analysts right now Gruden and Trent Dilfer sink to the bottom. Jon Gruden made John Madden sound like Cris Collinsworth in this game. I was all for only having two guys in the MNF booth but they should have kept Jaws- a man who is great at breaking down plays and have Gruden be the one that goes

- More great Jon Gruden stuff  with some of his quotes. (Although I really wish I had a transcript of the game so I could write a huge FireJoeMorgan-eqsue post): "The key to neutralize Devin Hester is not to punt", "The Lions must have read the scouting report on the Bears. They knew Jay Cutler likes to throw to Brandon Marshall.", & (after a Lions fumble) "That's what the Bears do. They allow you to run 10-12 plays and then expect you to make a mistake"

- I'm convinced the NFL is colluding against the Bears by giving them the worst audio equipment ever. That's the only logical explanation I can think of for burning a time out early in the first quarter for like 22 straight games. I'm seriously sick of them calling stupid time outs over and over again because the correct offensive play isn't called in on time. I haven't seen any other team call time outs for this like the Bears do.
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Which NFL Team Has The Best Weapons In Football?

This list is designed to see which team has the best set of receivers- wide outs, pass catching tight ends, and pass catching running backs. This is somewhat of a difficult task because pass catchers are made better or worse by the system that they are in and how good (or bad) their quarterback is. But as smart NFL fans we can distinguish between the talent and skill of a "weapon" versus the overall numbers they are producing. In 2010, I made the argument that Larry Fitzgerald deserved to be a Pro Bowler despite the fact that he was producing average numbers. Larry Fitzgerald was doing everything in his power that he could (running the correct route, catching the catch-able balls that went his way, etc) but there's nothing even a great receiver like Fitzgerald could do for awful, awful quarterback play. I will attempt to use that same logic here today.

For the purpose of this list I am asking myself which set of pass catchers would the Bears want. The reason I choose the Bears is because 1) I'm biased and 2) The Bears have an average QB, an average offensive scheme, and an average offensive line. My biggest defense of Cutler is that historically he has had a horrible team around him which in turn made him look bad. But if he had a great team around him he would look better. Maybe the Bears aren't the best example but the point I am asking myself is which set of weapons will make an average team better.

Another factor that went into this list was depth. Not only do I care about whether a team has an elite receiver on it but I ask myself how many of them. Teams like the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, and Arizona Cardinals have an elite pass catcher on it, but I don't think any quarterback in the league would look at those receivers as a whole and proclaim that they want their full set of receivers.

I am also assuming that each receiver is in full health relative to their age and career.

So with all those disclaimers and set up, let's begin!....

The tenth spot for me was tricky. In my first draft of this list I had the Cincinnati Bengals here. But then I looked at it closely and I couldn't in my right mind justify any list that included both "Andrew Hawkins" and "Jermaine Gresham" on it. In my second draft I was debating between the San Francisco  49ers and the Houston Texans. I like the Texans but Andre Johnson isn't the same guy that he was two years ago and the Texans have never been able to find a second receiver to play opposite of Johnson. I like the depth of the 49ers but their best wide receiver (Michael Crabtree) would probably be the least talented guy on this list. Therefore I finally chose....

10) Baltimore Ravens

Weapons: Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta, Ray Rice

NOTES: My hesitation to initially even consider the Ravens came from the fact that I didn't believe Torrey Smith was an elite receiver. But then I looked up his numbers. Smith ranks 6th in the NFL among wide receivers in DYAR (total value) and 7th in DVOA (value per play) this year according to Football Outsiders and 13th in WPA and 12th in EPA this year according to Advanced NFL Stats. What does this all mean? That Torrey Smith has emerged as an elite wide out. What's even more impressive is that I don't think his QB is very good... Anquan Boldin is a solid #2 receiver and while not the same guy that he was in his Arizona days, he is still very capable... While Dennis Pitta may have fallen recently for fantasy football, the guy has always been an average to above average pass catching tight end. I think his biggest problem is his team's refusal to pass to him... Ray Rice is one of the best pass catching running backs in the league despite the awful year he's having pass catching in 2012.

9) Denver Broncos

Weapons: Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Joel Dressen, Jacob Tamme

NOTES: Demaryius Thomas is a first round draft pick and is 6'3" 229 lbs. This guys is fast and big and is a great deep threat. Eric Decker, despite being a whitey, is 6'3" 218 lbs and is fast and a pretty darn good route runner. Scouts across the league say that Thomas and Decker are the best athletes Peyton Manning has ever played with, and the dude has played with Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. These Denver guys are beasts... Joel Dressen has always been a sneaky good TE in Houston and now he's a sneaky good TE in Denver. The guys goes out and does whatever is asked of him... The jury is still out on Tamme but whenever he's gotten a shot (granted, it's always been with Peyton Manning) he's done pretty well with it.

8) New Orleans Saints

Weapons: Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Darren Sproles, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson

NOTES: Jimmy Graham is either the best or second best tight end in the league next to Rob Gronkowski. Playing basketball most of his life, Graham is just an excellent athlete. The guy is also 6'7" and 265 lbs. He's a physical beast... Sproles is arguably the best pass catching running back in the league (although I personally would argue that it's Matt Forte, but I'm also biased). Last year Sproles finished with 86 receptions- which was good for 5th best in the league... Marques Colston is not an elite wide out and did not come into the league with any pedigree (he was a 7th round draft pick) but he has emerged as a damn good wide receiver and the combination of him PLUS Lance Moore (who surprisingly can do it all) PLUS Devery Henderson (a darn good deep threat) and you've got yourself one helluva receiving corps. The only reason the Saints aren't higher is because they play with an elite QB and in the best system ever and I think that inflates their true value.

7) Dallas Cowboys

Weapons: Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin

NOTES: Jason Witten might have the best hands out of any tight end currently playing the game and in my mind is a Hall Of Fame tight end who's still playing at an elite level... Dez Bryant and Miles Austin taken together SHOULD make the Cowboys a top five (or even three) dynamic duo but both have shown their weaknesses in the past few years. Austin has missed some easy and clutch catches over the years (most notably in 2011 against the Giants where he quote "lost the ball in the lights" and missed a sure fire touchdown which would have eliminated the Giants from playoff contention and made Dallas the winner of the NFC East) and Dez Bryant still has a lot to learn when it comes to basic route running (see: his Monday Night performance in Week 4 versus the Bears). Don't get me wrong, both have great potential and a super high ceilings and both have performed very well over the past few years but their obvious weaknesses drops Dallas only to 7.

6) Pittsburgh Steelers

Weapons: Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmnuel Sanders, Heath Miller

NOTES: Mike Wallace might be my favorite non-Bears receiver in football right now. In 2010 he lead all receivers in both DVOA (value per play) and DYAR  (total value) and in 2011 he was top ten in both. While Mike Wallace was on pace to finish top 2 in DYAR and DVOA again in 2011, the emergence and greatness of Antonio Brown "ruined" Wallace's value. Both Wallace and Brown can stretch the field or only go out five yards- which is an amazing skill to have as a wide out and to have two players who can do that is incredible... Emmanuel Sanders is a fine third receiver and Heath Miller is a fine tight end and both are decent but middle-of-the-pack pass catchers but combined with Wallace and Brown make the Pittsburgh Steelers #6 on this list.

5) New York Giants 

Weapons: Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden, Martellus Bennett

NOTES: Last year Victor Cruz was the 3rd best receiver in terms of DYAR (total value) and the 6th best in terms of DVOA (value per play). This year Cruz is 11th in DYAR... Hakeem Nicks would be top 15 in both DYAR and DVOA if he could just stay healthy. In 2010, in Nicks' breakout and "full" healthy season he was 6th in DYAR and 13th in DVOA. Nicks' talent and skill from what he showed in 2010 has translated into his 2011 and 2012 season but his health has not... Luckily, the Giants have a talented crop with Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden to fill in when Nicks isn't playing... Bennett was always a pretty darn good passing tight end but he played most of his career behind Jason Witten so he never really got the opportunity. In 2012, when he became the full time tight end he has proven himself to be very good. He ranks 11th right now in terms of DYAR among tight ends.

4) Philadelphia Eagles

Weapons: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, Brent Celek

NOTES: I had a discussion with a friend of mine about this list. He thought the Giants and Eagles should be flipped- which is a fair argument. But then I asked him, "Which speedy guy would you rather have: Victor Cruz or DeSean Jackson?" Without any hesitation he said, "DeSean Jackson". As great and amazing as Victor Cruz has been within a year and a half (and he has) I would also choose Jackson. I think Jackson and Jeremy Maclin is an elite, top tiered dynamic wide out duo who have mainly be hindered by the terribleness that is Andy Reid and Michael Vick (granted Jackson's numbers have also been hindered by his own apathy which in turn affects Maclin). Even if you agree that Nicks + Cruz is better than Jackson + Maclin, I think LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek tip the scales in favor of Philly.

3) Green Bay Packers

Weapons: Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Jermichael Finley

NOTES: A fair criticism of this selection is that these receivers are made infinitely better by Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy's amazing spread offense but I think the Packers wide outs are super talented and extremely deep no matter what... Greg Jennings, when healthy, is an elite stud no matter who's throwing it to him or what system he's in... Jordy Nelson is also a borderline elite player. People (including NFL defensive backs) underrate Nelson because they think he's another slow white guy but the dude is 6'3", 215 lbs, and ran a 4.45 40 time. In 2011, Nelson finished 2nd in DYAR (total value) and FIRST in DVOA (value per play). The guys is very talented.... Through six games this season, the Packers have THREE wide outs that are top 15 in DYAR [Randall Cobb (7th), Jordy Nelson (8th), and James Jones (15th)] and two within the top 15 in DVOA [Randall Cobb (4th) and James Jones (12th)]... Jermichael Finley, the super talented 6'5" 247 lbs tight end, is easily the least talented guy in this group- mainly because he can't stop dropping the ball. A pretty incredible list when Jermichael Finley is the WORST receiver out of a group of five guys.

2) New England Patriots

Weapons: Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker

NOTES: Again, another criticism I've heard about this selection was the fact that it's still a Bill Belichick system and it's still Tom Brady throwing these guys the ball. But if you too have this criticism let me ask you a question, what already created system has two amazing tight ends as its focal point? Gronk and Hernandez are just amazing physical and athletic creatures that are benefited by the fact that their head coach is a football genius. Gronk and Hernandez make the New England Patriots better, not vice versa. Gronk is 6'6" 265 lbs and Hernandez is 6'1" 245 lbs. These guys would be great no matter what team they played for... This is Brandon Lloyd's first year on the Patriots and really hasn't done much but his tenure in Denver and St. Louis prove that he's one of the best deep threat wide receivers in the game (who is actually being hindered in New England because he's being used poorly)... Wes Welker is really the only guy in New England who is benefited by that system and that QB but you still can't deny him the fact that in four our of the past five seasons Welker has at least 111 receptions and at least 7 TDs in three of those seasons.

1) Atlanta Falcons

Weapons: Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez

NOTES: This team was really the reason this list came about. I've had plenty of discussion about how good Matt Ryan really is in the past few weeks (spoiler alert: he's not *that* good) but he's putting up incredible numbers because of the talent he has around him. The fact that I don't believe Matt Ryan is all that a bag of chips and the Falcons are still an elite offense is further testament to how good Atlanta's weapons are... In my opinion Roddy White is the best player out of any pass catcher on this list and is the second best wide receiver in football behind Megatron. White can do EVERYTHING and do it at an elite level. He has amazing hands, he can go deep, and he can do a five yard curl route. He's very good.... While Julio Jones hasn't been consistent week to week this year the guy is just a physical force to be reckoned with and would probably be the #1 wide out on 30 out of the other 32 teams in this league. He ran a 4.39 at the combine and has a 135 inch broad jump. Every scout you talk to about this guy has nothing but great things to say about him... Tony Gonzalez is 36 years old, a guaranteed Hall of Famer, one of the best tight ends that have ever played the position, and is amazing even in 2012. Right now he has THE BEST DYAR in the league among tight ends and is 6th best is DVOA. He's still got it.

So there you go, my top ten list of which teams have the best weapons in football. Coming up soon, my list of the Top Five Teams With the WORST Weapons in Football....
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Safe Is Your Coach's Job? (Early 2012 Edition)

This list is a compilation of current 32 head coaches in the NFL (as of the writing of this post) as I see fit according to my own personal opinion. Two factors went into the creation of each category as well as where each category ranks among each other. The first and main factor is how safe do I think each individual coach's job is. The second factor, and actually the factor that takes a backseat to the first factor, is how good of a coach do I think each coach is. This is somewhat related to the first point but not really. A coach can be bad at his job but due to his unique situation he will not be fired at the end of this year or be really good at his job yet still get fired no matter what.

Remember, this is not a list of how I think the best coaches in the league are (hell, ESPN creates a list like that every week). This is a list of how safe do I think each coach's job is.

Won't Be The Head Coach Next Year Because He's The Interim

- Aaron Kromer (NO)
- Bruce Arians (IND)

Guaranteed To Get Fired After This Year

- Dennis Allen (OAK)
- Romeo Crennel (KC)

Tipping The Tightrope

- Jason Garrett (DAL)
- Chan Gailey (BUF)
- Rex Ryan (NYJ)

Playoff Or Bust

- Leslie Frazier (MIN)

Should Be Fired But Won't (Too Young On Team)

- Ron Rivera (CAR)

Too Soon To Have An Opinion

- Mike Mularkey (JAX)
- Greg Schiano (TB)
- Pat Shurmur (CLE)
- Mike Munchak (TEN)


- Pete Carroll (SEA)
- Jim Schwartz (DET)
- Mike Shanahan (WAS)

Should Be Fired But Won't (Too Old On Team)

- Andy Reid (PHI)
- Marvin Lewis (CIN)
- Norv Turner (SD)

Seems Like A Good Coach Because His Team Is Outperforming Expectations

- Jeff Fischer (STL)
- Joe Philbin (MIA)

Good, Underrated Coaches

- Lovie Smith (CHI)
- John Fox (DEN)
- Ken Whisenhunt (ARI)

Good Coach Starting Poorly Out Of The Gate

- Mike McCarthy (GB)

Bad Coaches Starting Excellent Out Of The Gate

- Gary Kubiak (HOU)
- Jim Harbaugh (BAL)

Good Coaches Having Excellent Seasons

- Jim Harbaugh (SF)
- Mike Smith (ATL)

Guaranteed To Have His Job For Life But He Is Not Good 

- Mike Tomlin (PIT)

Safest Job In The NFL

- Bill Belichick (NE)
- Tom Coughlin (NYG)
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2012 Bad Quarterback League Update: Week Six

1) Adam

Total Points: 544
Points This Week: 100

Miami: 8
St. Louis: -6
Kansas City: 56
Cincinnati: 42

2) Cahal

Total Points: 526
Points This Week: 33

New York Jets: 32
Tennessee: -5
Chicago: ---
Philadelphia: 6

3) Ben

Total Points: 410
Points This Week: 44

Jacksonville: ----
Minnesota: 48
Tampa Bay: -4
Carolina: ---

4) Colleen

Total Points: 380
Points This Week: 57

Cleveland: 5
Oakland: 21
Buffalo: 31
Baltimore: 0

5) Bryan

Total Points: 301
Points This Week: 101

Arizona: 41
Seattle: -12
Washington: -2
San Francisco: 74

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why Mike Trout Deserves To Win The AL MVP Over Miguel Cabrera

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you do not understand the advanced statistic WAR please read this article. While it is not a "traditional stat" it is still the best statistic we have to judge baseball players. If you refuse to keep an open mind about this statistic or refuse to even considered it in your analysis and will blindly judge players based upon numbers used solely in fantasy baseball then I don't want you reading this article because you're not smart enough to talk about baseball. I encourage you to get informed about how to better judge baseball players. Even has wised up

Mike Trout was the best baseball player during the 2012 MLB season. This is just a fact. I will help prove this fact throughout this post but this is truth. Not only was Mike Trout the best player in the American League, but he was the best player in all of baseball.

The best evidence of how great Mike Trout was in 2012 is mainly proven by his 10.0 WAR*. By far and away the best WAR in baseball. Second best was only 8.0* done by Buster Posey. That is a full two points higher for Trout and while 2 points may not seem like a lot, it actually is because mainly tenth and hundredths of points separate players. A 160 LSAT score is significantly better than a 158 LSAT score. 

Not only does Trout have the best WAR in baseball but he is one of the few players in baseball to actually hit the 10 WAR plateau. This is a rare feat that does not often happen. Since 2000, only three players have managed to get a WAR of 10.0 or better: Alex Rodriguez once, Sammy Sosa once, and Barry Bonds thrice.** The fact that Trout hit this bench mark is an incredible feat on its own and really should be praised more.

What is even more incredible about this feat is that Trout did it while missing the first sixth of the season. Mike Trout did not get called up in the majors until about a month into the season. To get a high WAR not only do you have to produce numbers (obviously) but you need to accumulate at-bats as well. Generally speaking, an average player who plays 162 games will have a better WAR than a great player who only plays for 82 games (this may or may not be true but the concept and logic behind this statement is true). It doesn't matter on a per game basis that the latter player was a better player than the former when it comes to WAR. But it does matter in Trout's case that he was able to generate that high of a WAR while starting a whole 22 games less than Cabrera.

The mere fact that Mike Trout hit the 10.0 WAR bench mark and the fact that he had the best WAR in all of baseball should be reason enough to award Trout the AL MVP but sadly this has become a debate and a debate I fear Mike Trout will actually lose when it comes to how actual voters will cast their ballot for who should win the AL MVP. 

The biggest hurdle against Trout is Miguel Cabrera and the fact that Cabrera won the AL Triple Crown- he lead the American League in batting average, home runs, and RBI's. This is an incredibly hard feat to accomplish and that has only been done 13 time prior since the 20th century. The last triple crown was done in 1967. I give all the credit in the world to Miguel Cabrera for doing what he did and he should get showered with all the praise in the world. But the fact remains that earning a batting triple crown is just not good enough to automatically win an MVP. Baseball has come a long way since stats were first created and recorded and even within the past five to ten years we have become smarter and more knowledgeable with not only how to calculate how good a player is but also how to determine which player is the best.

For starters, we know know how useless RBI's and batting average are as statistics on their own. Batting average alone is a bad stat because it has been proven that the best way to score a run is to get on base. On-base percentage is a much better measure for how runs will get scored. It does not matter if you get on base because of a hit or because of a walk, you just need to get on base. In 2012, Trout (.399) has a better OBP than Cabrera (.393). RBI's are also a bad stat because you can be a great player but if no one gets on base in front of you, then you can not generate an RBI. A great player can generate low RBI totals if few people get on base in front of them and a bad player can generate high RBI totals if the players in front of him in the order continually get on base time and time again. 

The fact that Cabrera (44) has more home runs than Trout (30) is a knock against Trout but what we really should be doing is trying to figure out who is the better offensive player. That is the underlying assumption people make when they make the "Cabrera for MVP" argument. Even though Miggy has a triple crown, Mike Trout is the better offensive player. The best way to determine who the best overall offensive player is by looking at their wOBA. (If you do not understand what wOBA is then read this great article). Mike Trout has the best wOBA in baseball with .422 and Cabrera has MLB's 3rd best wOBA with .416.

Trout is a better offensive player than Miguel Cabrera even though Cabrera won the triple crown is because 1) as mentioned earlier, two of the three triple crown statistics are bad measurements to begin with for measuring offensive output and 2) Mike Trout does EVERYTHING on offense well. While Miggy does have Trout beat in the home run department, Trout does have pretty darn good power (.238 ISO, albeit much less than Miggy's amazing .277 ISO) plus he is an elite base runner. He's third in the league in BsR (Fangraph's base running statistic), leads MLB in stolen bases with 49 and rarely gets caught stealing. Trout has only gotten caught stealing five times. A high stolen base total is not inherently a good thing if the player gets caught stealing a lot however in Trout's case his 49 SB is more impressive as he only had 54 attempts. 

Simply put, Mike Trout has been a better offensive player in 2012 than Cabrera. Trout can hit, hit for power, walk AND is a great baserunner. The sum of the whole is better for Trout than it is for Cabrera.

The bigger factor that gets overlooked is defense. 30 years ago we had terrible statistics for how to measure defense. Today we have many great stats. Because this post has gone on for so long I won't bore you with too much detail (although I do have the statistics to back up my point if need be) but Trout is by far the better defender, Trout is an amazing defender at a tough defensive position (centerfield) while Miggy is just a bad defender posting negative defense at third base. Posting a negative defense actually means you are costing your team runs. 

While it is true and a great counterpoint that Cabrera is playing 3B for the benefit of his team and everyone agreed beforehand that Cabrera should not be playing third so it is no surprise that he's bad at it. That is a fair point, but here is my counter. First of all, even if Miggy played 1B or DH like he should have from the get-go he still would have produced negative defense. Miguel Cabrera has never had a positive defensive season when he played first base in his entire career and all DH's produce negative defense by inherently not playing defense. No matter what, Cabrera is a bad defender and that hurts his team. While he most certainly makes up for his bad defense with his incredible offense, we should not overlook defense. Players play defense just as much as they play offense and just because it's harder to calculate and because it is not as mainstream as their offensive categories that does not mean we should completely discount it. We are judging the best player in baseball and that includes BOTH offense and defense.

The aforementioned arguments are reason enough for why Trout should be the AL MVP but sadly there are STILL critics to Trout. Here are some of the counter arguments against Trout that frankly don't matter but I will still discount them anyways:

- The Detroit Tigers made it to the playoffs and the Los Angels did not. Because Miggy put the team on his back and made it to the postseason and Trout did not, Miggy still deserves the MVP. 

Here are some bullet pointed counter arguments:

- The Angels (89) ended up with more wins than the Tigers (88). The Tigers benefited from an AWFUL division where their only competition was my beloved and terrible White Sox. Angels had to play with the Rangers and A's and still finished with a better record. If the Angels were in the AL Central and the Tigers were in the AL West, the Tigers would not make the playoffs and the Angels would have
- Getting your team to your postseason is not a prerequisite to win an MVP. See: Pujols, Albert
- The Tigers have three of the top 15 players in the AL not named Miguel Cabrera with Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander, and Austin Jackson. Miguel Cabrera was not the only one who got this Tigers team to the playoffs
- On paper the Angels had a great rotation with Dan Haren, Jered Weaver, and C.J. Wilson. They also added Zack Grienke to this mix. In reality, while Weaver was amazing, Haren was bad with injury issues, Wilson was really bad, and Grienke was horrible. I'm sorry Mike Trout doesn't pitch well enough to get his team into the postseason 

- In 50 years we'll still be talking about Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown but we won't be talking about Mike Trout.

What a dick grandparent you are then not telling your kids about this incredible season by Trout? No one told you not to talk about Trout! For starters, four players have gotten a Triple Crown and not won an MVP and we still don't talk about them. But if you're really using this "memory" argument then I disagree with you. I think we will be talking about Trout because if he wins like he should then he'll be an another elite group- he'll have won the Rookie Of The Year award and the MVP in the same season. We'll remember that. Also, Trout has put up once in a lifetime numbers while only being 21 years old. All we talked about this year was Mike Trout and he was recently on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. If Miguel Cabrera didn't win the MVP we would still talk about Mike Trout 50 years from now...

- The award is mVp, Most "Valuable" Player not Most "Outstanding" Player which means we have to vote for the player that is most valuable to their team.

Well then we should give this award to Billy Butler of the Kansas City Royals considering he was the only player who decided to put up any sort of numbers. Out of the Royals 25 man roster, Butler was really the only person that seemed he wanted to play. Think of how many more games the Royals would have lost without Butler! 

First of all, can we please all agree while the technical title is "Most Valuable Player" what we really mean is "Most Outstanding Player"? That is historically the reason this award is given out every single year since its existence in all sports. We determine who the best player in the sport/league is and give that player the MVP. Secondly, even if we went by this inane "valuable" versus "outstanding" argument Trout still wins.  As mentioned earlier the Tigers have the best pitcher in baseball with Verlander and two other great offensive players in AJax and Prince Fielder. Even with Pujols (who's more name than machine) Trout was a huge reason why the Angels won so many games.

- If any GM was the general manager of the Tigers, none of them would trade away Miguel Cabrera right now for Mike Trout.

None of them? Really? You asked all 32 GM's this hypothetical question and they all said they'd rather keep Cabrera? That's cool you have that kind of insight into baseball and you're buddy-buddy with all these baseball hot shots!

This was an actual argument I heard from someone who was defending Cabrera. Why don't we ask Angels GM Jerry Dipoto if he would trade his young hot shot star for an aging veteran, huh? Not only did Trout have a better overall season than Cabrera in 2012 but Trout is 21 and under a rookie contract whereas Cabrera is 29 and making a boat load of money. I honestly believe more GMs than not would give away Miguel Cabrera straight up for Mike Trout right now. 

However none of that matters because that is an inane way to even judge who should be MVP and is not a legitimate arguing point. 

I'm sure there are more argument in favor of Miguel Cabrera and against Mike Trout but I neither have the time nor the patience to entertain those notions. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and the best player in the American League. He deserves this MVP award hands down and as great of a season as Miguel Cabrera has had and as amazing of an accomplishment getting a triple crown is, it does not mean he deserves to win the AL MVP.

*As judged by
** Source:


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2012 Bad Quarterback League Update: Week Five

1) Cahal

Total Points: 493
Points This Week: 102

New York Jets: 19
Tennessee: 50
Chicago: 5
Philadelphia: 28

2) Adam

Total Points: 444
Points This Week: 106

Miami: 10
St. Louis: 27
Kansas City: 49
Cincinnati: 20

3) Ben

Total Points: 366
Points This Week: 128

Jacksonville: 89
Minnesota: 10
Tampa Bay: ----
Carolina: 29

4) Colleen

Total Points: 323
Points This Week: 108

Cleveland: 10
Oakland: ----
Buffalo: 72
Baltimore: 26

5) Bryan

Total Points: 200
Points This Week: 60

Arizona: 15
Seattle: 30
Washington: 10
San Francisco: 5

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2012 MLB Wrap Up Special and Post Season Predictions

I know there have already been many postseason games that have been played and predicting the winner of the Oakland-Detroit series when the Tigers have already won their first two games seems like a crock, but I'm going along with this post anyways. For starters, I already predicted the post season winners after Friday's Wild Card game, one game playoffs from my Twitter account (Feel free to double check my time stamped Tweets) and secondly I wasn't able to write any posts this weekend as I was up in Madison, Wisconsin to see my beloved Illinois Illini get crushed by the Wisconsin Badgers- leaving me no time to post. I also was not going to make any predictions until after Friday's Wild Card games because it is useless to try to use any sort of logic or reason to determine the outcome of only a single game (you hear me baseball gamblers!). Anyways, here are my post season predictions:

Divisional Round

American League
Detroit Tigers def. Oakland A's
Baltimore Orioles def. New York Yankees

National League
Cincinnati Reds def. San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals def. Washington Nationals

Championship Round

Baltimore Orioles def. Detroit Tigers

Cincinnati Reds def. St. Louis Cardinals

World Series

Baltimore Orioles def. Cincinnati Reds


- I do not seriously believe the Baltimore Orioles are even remotely good enough to get to the World Series nevertheless win it all, but then again they were really not that good of a team during the regular season as well. I just think through the randomness that is the MLB playoffs something so screwy and unexpected is going to happen and it's going to be the crappy Orioles winning it all.

- I know one of these play-in wild card teams will win it all because that's how I feel it will work in this rookie year of having two wild cards, but I really think I picked the wrong one and should have gone with the Cardinals.

Not only do the Cardinals always seem to undeservingly win it all (see: 2006 when they barely went over .500-they only won 83 games-and were terrible on paper but they ended up defeating the 96 win Detroit Tigers and the truly better team in the World Series) but dumb, stupid luck / bad officiating that goes in teams favors (like the "in field fly" rule that went in the Cardinals favor on Friday night) always goes towards teams that do well in the post-season. Because the in-field fly rule went in the Cardinals favor they probably will win it all. Don't yell at me, that is just how baseball karma works. Need an example?

In 2005, White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski reached first base on a terrible "dropped third strike" call that was not really a dropped third strike during an Angels-White Sox game. Getting AJ on base during that play helped the White Sox win that game and the ChiSox ended up winning the World Series. It's stupid  and extremely controversial things like that that only happens to Champions. #JustSaying

- If I was using logic to make post-season predictions I would have the Detroit Tigers come out of the A.L. (and still probably have the Reds in the N.L). Even though Mike Trout's Angels won more games than the Detroit Tigers (more on this to come, probably in a different post), I still think the Tigers have the best overall team in the American League. Their rotation of Verlander-Fister-Scherzer is really good,  they can close out games with Jose Valverde, and they can hit with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the heart of that order. The Yankees have rotation issues, the A's have talent issues, and I can't name you a single Oriole in that pitching staff- or really on that team.



Who Will Win It: Miguel Cabrera (DET)
Who Deserves To Win It: Mike Trout (LAA)


Who Will Win It: Buster Posey (SFG)
Who Deserves To Win It: Buster Posey (SFG)

AL Cy Young

Who Will Win It: Justin Verlander (DET)
Who Deserves To Win It: Justin Verlander (DET)

NL Cy Young

Who Will Win It: Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
Who Deserves To Win It: Gio Gonzalez (WAS)

Rookie Of The Year

AL: Mike Trout (LAA)
NL: Bryce Harper (WAS)

Sophomore Of The Year

AL: Chris Sale (CWS)
NL: Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012 Bad Quarterback League Update: Week Four

1) Cahal

Total Points: 391
Points This Week: 123

New York Jets: 47
Tennessee: 73
Chicago: 5
Philadelphia: -2

2) Adam

Total Points: 338
Points This Week: 74

Miami: 15
St. Louis: 15
Kansas City: 44
Cincinnati: 0

3) Ben

Total Points: 238
Points This Week: 37

Jacksonville: 21
Minnesota: 21
Tampa Bay: 5
Carolina: -11

4) Colleen

Total Points: 215
Points This Week: 61

Cleveland: 34
Oakland: 12
Buffalo: 19
Baltimore: -4

5) Bryan

Total Points: 140
Points This Week: 48

Arizona: -1
Seattle: 53
Washington: -16
San Francisco: 12