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Thursday, August 28, 2003

20,030 at Stade Olympique today. Fuck Selig! Can I say "fuck" on Blogger? Fuck Blogger!
Unless Loaiza falls apart (and Pedro doesn't), that spanking on the Yankees pretty much assured Loaiza the Cy Young. Like Tejada's game winning RBIs last year, or Chipper Jones' Mets bashing over two weeks in '99, it's the kind of thing the voters seem to remember and reward. Pedro's still the better pitcher, but he's had so many fewer starts... whether they show up as wins or not. (Win Shares ranks Hudson slightly ahead of Loaiza, but something about Hudson's phenomenally low strikeout rate makes me a little suspicious of what he's doing--although I should be no less suspicious of that than of Loaiza being the Cy Young front runner.) Interestingly, something similar--albeit much more surprising--is happening in the NL. Everybody not named Phil Rogers (and all those people voting on ESPN's website) knows Bonds is having a better year than Pujols (1.275 OPS v. 1.100 OPS), but the two are actually tied in Win Shares. And with Bonds on the bereavement list again, Pujols is primed to pass him. As of August 19th, the good people at Major League Baseball Graphs calculate that Bonds has 30.76 hitting WS and 2.32 fielding WS, for a grand total of 33.08 or 33 WS. Pujols has 31.34 hitting WS and 1.39 fielding WS, good for 32.73 or 33 WS. Yes, that's right. Despite Bonds' massive advantage in OPS, Pujols actually leads Bonds in hitting WS. In fact, Barry wasn't so far off when he undermined Pujols's candidacy for not playing a regular position. If Pujols where the Cards' everyday LF, he'd likely be ahead of Barry. Here's why. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with the one category other than Batting Average that Pujols has a substantial lead over Barry: playing time. Pujols currently has 538 TPA in 125 games v. 455 TPA in 108 games for Barry. That the two of them are still tied in WS is staggering. But if Barry keeps missing more and more games due to personal tragedies and nagging injuries (a luxury the Giants can afford to keep him healthy and focused for October and beyond), Pujols might deservedly win the award despite being the inferior player. Playing time might be the one excuse in which an inferior player might realistically be called "more valuable" than a better player, regardless of how their teams respective perform. For once, the idiots will be right. - Jurgen Mass

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