The Simmons Review- V.6 Part 1

Thursday, August 17, 2006

So Simmons is bringing the columns fast and furious these days. I'd like to think he's somehow seen these posts, but probably not (even though I'm going to still pretend like he has).

So Bill, an All AL article huh? Showing a little East Coast Bias? 9 printed pages totalling 5,000 words??? I'm just telling you from the start that it's not looking good for you, but I'll give you a shot.....I'm a fair person (or am I?).

Here's how it's going to work. This thing is huge, so there will be three parts much like The Simmons Review V.2 Since Simmons has ideally ranked all 14 American League teams we'll split those in half so Part 1 will have 14 to 7 in reverse order (KC, BAL, TB, SEA, CLE, TEX, TOR, OAK) and Part 2 will have 6 to 1 in reverse order (MIN, LAA, BOS [yes he ranked boston 4th!], CWS, DET, NYY). I will throw in a comment or two on his review of each team, and we will finish with the conclusion and grading in Part 3. Let us begin.


14. Kansas City- Here's what I don't get about the Royals: They have no money and no chance to compete for a title any time soon. We know this. So what's the point of spending 1/9th of your salary cap on Mike Sweeney, or shelling out a few million every year for over-the-hill vets like Reggie Sanders and Mark Grudzlenakalaksksak? Why not spend your available funds on your farm system
That's a pretty dead on assessment of the Royals, but I'm pretty sure the entire world has known that about this organization for years. You're not really breaking any new ground here Billy.

13. Baltimore- (P.S.- Since this is "my team" this might run-on awhile....feel fr
ee to skip ahead) Another train wreck, but for a different reason: The Orioles' pitching staff stinks to the point that somebody in the front office actually said the words, "Let's call Russ Ortiz, maybe he can help." (very good point).

We also know that it's a really, REALLY bad idea for an AL team to trade full value for an NL starter because of the adjustment from Quadruple-A to the majors -- there are so many guys that could be mentioned here, I don't have enough words, and this is the Internet -- and yet, the O's gave up Jorge Julio (a quality reliever in an era where everyone's looking for quality relievers) for Kris Benson (currently working on a 4.74 ERA).
Okay, here's our first problem. Jorge Julio was/isn't/nor will ever be quality. If he was that "quality" why would the bullpen starved Mets have traded him??? I'm not a huge stats guy, so I hope the guys over at Sportszilla dive into this one for me, but the year before Julio got traded from Bmore his ERA was 5.90. Before the Mets traded him his ERA was 5.06. That seems like quality to me. And on a side note there was not a reliever in O's history that pissed me off more than Julio. Yep, not even Armando "I give up homers to Tony Frickin' Fernandez who had 4 on the year" Benitez.

So who's left? Erik Bedard (a solid No. 3 starter on the right team)
A #3?!?!?! Okay Billy....first of all Bedard is currently a two starter, but let's do some comparison here. Let's take just the number 2 starters for each of your top 5 teams.

Bedard: 12-8, 3.81 ERA, 125 Ks, 148.2 IP
Mussina: 13-5, 3.54 ERA, 148 Ks, 165.1 IP
Buehrle: 9-10, 4.87 ERA, 74 Ks, 157 IP
Beckett: 13-7, 5.02 ERA, 126 Ks, 152.1 IP
Bonderman: 11-5, 3.69, 159 Ks, 165.2 IP
Escobar: 8-10, 3.89 ERA, 106 Ks, 138.2 IP

Now just going by know the same stats that make you think that Ortiz is the best thing since sliced bread.....Bedard is better than at least 3 of the #2 starters from the top 5 teams. All this while playing for (as you say) the #13 ranked team in the AL. Riiiiiight.....moving on.

12. Tampa Bay-
Baldelli tweaked his hammy again, which is now becoming the Fred Taylor's Groin of baseball body parts. Star prospect B.J. Upton came up and completely crapped the bed
(Good Point and funny.)

Blah Blah Blah....fantasy league.....blah.....AL Only.......blah buddy Hench.
NO ONE CARES ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S FANTASY TEAMS!!!!!!!!! And another thing what fag (not that there's anything wrong with that) shares a fantasy team??? Seriously? Do any of you do that?

11. Seattle-
(A) A little too much hype for King Felix. When he stumbled for the first three months, it seemed to take the wind out of their sails. Even I cooled on him since my typically overexcited column last year, mainly because of his body (did he hire Bartolo Colon's chef?) and his bizarre tendency to look great for five out of six innings and completely self-destruct in the other one (I call this the Rodrigo Lopez Syndrome...and a great band name). I'd put him behind Liriano, Kazmir and Weaver at this point. Disappointing. Should we have nicknamed him Prince Felix? I feel like we failed him in some way.
Okay.....a few things here. Felix was way overhyped, but so isn't every young pitcher? But how can you throw Kazmir in that category???? This is technically his second full year and third in the bigs.

(C) Their big-money sluggers (Beltre and Sexson) are killing them. Again. And that's not even a surprise. The most common mistake in pro sports? A franchise overpaying a name player who isn't a sure thing, with the reason usually being, "Look, we spent all this money, we're serious, we want to win!" (Just look at what happened in the NBA this summer -- Peja for $64 million, Nene for $60M and whatever Al Harrington ends up getting … this might be the first summer where 90 percent of the teams actually got worse.)
Very Very good point. Which will be highlighted not be Harrington but by whichever team sign Bonzi "Contract Year" Wells.

10. Cleveland-
(Note: Normally I'd have more to say, but I'm tired of Cleveland readers complaining every time I write something even mildly negative about one of their teams, no matter how accurate that assessment might be. Now I'm thinking that Cleveland fans are like women -- if they ask you how they look, just tell them, "You look fine, you look great" or else you're in for 20 minutes of pure hell. So to recap, the Indians look fine, they look great. Let's move on.)
It's funny cause it's true.


9. Texas- First of all I don't see how Texas has a "Punchers Chance", but okay. (On the bright side, they can still look forward to the day when Buck Showalter resigns and they win a World Series 12 months later. Good times.)
I can't wait for that either actually.

8. Toronto-
(A) Roy Halladay reminds me of the pitchers I grew up watching (like Catfish Hunter or Jack Morris), one of those rugged guys with a cool name and kick-ass facial hair, someone who seems like he'd welcome any slugger charging the mound, the kind of guy who gets pissed when his manager walks to the mound in the ninth because he wants to finish the game. He's just a horse. Love that guy. Great baseball name as well. Sounds like a new character on "Deadwood" or something.
I couldn't agree more. Another thing I didn't realize is that Halladay is only 29! He's been in the league for 9 years. If Halladay averages 15 wins a year and plays until he's Randy Johnson's age he will finish with 289 wins. So 300 wins isn't that far out of reach for him....barring injuries.

7. Oakland-
I can't take the A's seriously -- no home-field advantage, not a single dangerous bat, no Rich Harden, a 1-2 punch of starters (Zito and Haren) who seem to get shelled every three weeks (only their statistics don't reflect this for some reason), and a good bullpen that's helmed by the exceedingly hittable Huston Street (trust me, he's on my AL-only team; even when he's shaking hands after the save, you're still waiting for something bad to happen). And did I mention the legacy of playoff losses? They're like the Memphis Grizzlies of the American League. Whatever.
While the playoffs part is true.....I don't see how you CAN'T take the A's seriously. They are crushing your 5th place team right now Bill and Harden is coming back relatively soon. They have a 6 1/2 game lead on the Angels, 9-1 in their last 10, and their next series is versus the Royals.

The other thing Bilbo should note is that if his team happens to make the playoffs they would most certainly not want to play the A's in a five game series (not that this would happen because no one is catching the Tigers). To put the A's behind the Twins and Angels is retarded. And to put Boston ahead of the Twins is ridiculous as well (Another team that I would NOT want to play in a five game series)

Part 1 was average. The writing and jokes weren't bad, but some of the stats were out of wack. Let's see if he can bring it back around in Part back later today.

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 10:23 AM


just based on stats, look at Felix's xFIP and compare it with other AL starters. maybe he was slightly overhyped based on last year's rookie #'s, but he's still one of the best pitchers in the AL (ahead of every guy simmons mentioned unless Liriano avoids being the next Mark Prior) and doesn't turn 21 until the beginning of next season.

the m's problems are due to mike hargrove (his trust in the veteran leadership abilities of carl everett are reason alone) and mediocre starting pitching, which simmons did nail in point #2. the offense is streaky, but it doesn't matter anyway if you start out the game down 5-7 runs.

jason said...
Aug 17, 2006, 1:39:00 PM  

AA - I’ll be interested to see your part 2, but I do want to say that this was my favorite Simmons column in sometime. Perhaps that’s because baseball’s my favorite sport, but I thought this was really well done. What made this column good included all the reasons I like reading Billy: meta-thinking on sports, a few jokes, and reasoning that gets you thinking (because it’s often off-base). Here are a few of my thoughts on Part 1:

-Billy’s analysis of the Orioles was indeed absolutely terrible. I think the Benson-Julio trade wasn’t as bad as he made it seem (an AL starter with a sub-5.00 era is a decent commodity to me), and he is WAY off base with his remarks on Corey Patterson. As a Chicago guy who watched Patterson with the Cubs first-hand, I can tell you that pretty much everyone in Chicago knew he was going to have success with a different club. The Cubs couldn’t have handled Patterson worse, and even then he still had flashes of excellence. Everyone knew he was talented as hell, and yes he sucked with the Cubs, but they’re the Cubs! It is neither lucky nor surprising that Patterson is having a good year with the Orioles. And the Bedard thing on top of all that - piss poor section here.

-His thoughts on the Indians are one of the reasons I read Billy - most every experience I’ve had with a Cleveland fan has mirrored this.

-Great thoughts on the Rangers, I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this. The Rangers win the West this year if they don’t deal Soriano.

-I completely agree with Billy’s thoughts on the A’s, and thus respectfully disagree with your analysis. As a diehard White Sox fan, there isn’t a playoff contending team that scares me less than the A’s. Remember, this column is ranking team’s likelihood to win a championship, and thus I think he is dead-on with his rankings, especially regarding the A’s & Angels. Look, the A’s will likely make the playoffs, but there is little to no chance they will win more than 1 game once there. The A’s are utterly beatable, and I don’t have any reason to be afraid of them, regardless of how they’re playing now. They don’t have any pitchers that scare me in October (Zito is the most un-intimidating ace in baseball), and they’re lineup looks like its ready to lay down about a .200 batting average with 4 runs scored in their inevitable playoff sweep. The Angels only have an outside chance of making the playoffs, but if they get in they have all the pieces to make a serious run (solid starters, good bullpen, good manager, playoff experience). Right now if someone from the future told me the Angels went on to win the World Series, I could reasonable put together the story of how things shook out for them. If someone from the future told me the A’s wound up winning the championship, I would be absolutely shocked because I just can’t imagine a scenario where they rise above everyone to take it. I think this is a case of proven results vs. potential results - while the A’s have had a better season to date, the Angels have a much higher ceiling for achievement.

the good doctor said...
Aug 17, 2006, 2:04:00 PM  

Someone's a cranky Orioles fan. I don't see why you think Simmons is so bad. Now, if you were to complain about Skip Bayless I'd be right there with you.

Rick said...
Aug 17, 2006, 2:21:00 PM  

While I agree in part on the A's being just dreadful in the playoffs don't you think that by making the playoffs you have a 100% better chance winning the entire thing than a team that doesn't? That was only point. I also glossed over the rangers part, which I shouldn't have that was good analysis.

And one more question on part 1....The O's are 8-5 vs. Tampa Bay this season and are 4 games up on are they ranked behind them?

AwfulAnnouncing said...
Aug 17, 2006, 2:21:00 PM  

Yes Rick...yes I am, and I used to think Simmons wasn't that bad (check V.1) but he's dreadful now. The Good Doctor has summed it up best as the LA Effect. I'm just trying to get the old Simmons back, but that might not happen.

AwfulAnnouncing said...
Aug 17, 2006, 2:25:00 PM  

I'm going to disagree with ya, AA. I thought Simmons did a great job with this. It came out of no where and showed that he knows a lot more about baseball than most of us probably knew. I'm actually a little disappointed he doesn't write more about baseball (like would it be too much to ask him to write three less NBA columns and three more baseball?)

As for the 'stats'... it's hard to argue with any of his ranks (besides the Yankees of course, but that was done for obvious and acceptable reasons). The O's really do suck big time (the Russ Ortiz joke was fantastic), the Angels are a 'scarier' team come October than the A's imo, and yes the BoSox should be behind the Twins, the Twins without Liriano aren't the same team. I think you’re being a little hard on Simmons here.

If anything, he should be taken to task for putting the Tigers ahead of the White Sox who just swept the shit out of the Tigers.

Otter said...
Aug 17, 2006, 3:13:00 PM  

I still think he's good enough. When he started his column they were practically revolutionary and since he's the only remaining great Page 2 writer (HST & Wiley the others) I think we just have to deal with the fact that he's not as sharp as he once was. He's still a mile better than clones like Dan Shanoff. Whitlock is pretty good too.

Rick said...
Aug 17, 2006, 4:30:00 PM  

Ask and ye shall recieve: Jorge Julio, who I actually did like in a Mets uni. The Mets traded him for starting help, and to be fair El Duque has helped them more than Julio had.

Julio was a mediocre reliever with a wealth of talent. Last year his K's were down to 7.28 after being 9.15 the year before. His control was better at 2.42 K/BB but that's still not great. You can't fault the O's in dealing him and his closer type money for a starter.

The problem was that they traded him and John Maine for Benson. The O's took back salary AND gave up a decent arm for an overpaid #3. Maine is just 25 and pitching well for the Mets (in fact I just included him in my latest column). That's what makes it a poor trade.

They took back salary for a guy with limited upside while giving up a guy who could be better than Benson within a year. And even if Maine reverts back and never pans out, you can find plenty of Kris Bensons out there if you look hard enough.

Oh and as Jason said, Felix is very good. Simmons just looks at ERA and figures that's the tell all for a pitcher. It's not.

Ben Valentine said...
Aug 18, 2006, 3:41:00 AM  

The fact that billy (a boston fan) called Cleveland fans neurotic and narcissistic is laughable. Yes, the Indians suck! Yes, the Browns suck! We readily admit it! Its ok! We have other things to look forward to (go buckeyes!) Boston fans are the ones who have to be talked off a ledge every time their Red Sox lose two games in a row.

And bill was still complaining as recently as LAST MONTH about a pass interference no-call in the Patriots-Broncos playoff game!

Im sorry, I took offense to that..

Aug 18, 2006, 11:25:00 AM  

The thing that bugged me about this was that it's all AL. Dammit, I'm tired of everybody bagging on the NL all the time. No love for the Dodgers (or the Mets)??? I'm telling you, it's a traveshamockery.

Nyssa23 said...
Aug 18, 2006, 11:34:00 AM  

Aside from the Bedard comment the thing that pissed me off most about this article was the fact that he said that Doc Halladay sounded like a character out of Deadwood.

This is an asinine statement because Halladay, who is from Denver, was clearly named after fellow Coloradan and infamous gunslinger Doc Holliday, who was more of a badass than any TV show character could ever be.

This is so clear that if Simmons had even bothered checking Halladay's Wikipedia page he wouldn't have made a fool of himself.

zach said...
Aug 18, 2006, 4:01:00 PM  

Oh yeah, also the fact that he completely disregards the NL and bashes it throughout the whole thing.

Just makes me want an NL team to win the WS that much more.

zach said...
Aug 18, 2006, 4:07:00 PM  

Simmons didn't mention the NL because they've got no chance, yet lists every AL team. I'm pretty sure the Mets have a better chance at winning the WS than the Royals do. Heck they've got a better chance than the Angels.

Hey wastingcompany, I bet he didn't mention the Indians because he'd have to mention Travis Hafner, who's posting better numbers than his guy whos' on Larry Bird's level of clutchness. (Thus making Simmons seem like a moron)

Ben Valentine said...
Aug 18, 2006, 7:13:00 PM  

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