Saturday, June 17, 2006

Shooting fish in a barrel

Seriously, Bob Smizik: Are you really suggesting that Ian Snell belongs on the All-Star team? He's one of the 12 best pitchers in the National League based on a half season in the majors?

Absurd. And the reasoning--that Snell belongs because of how hard it is to have a winning record on a losing team--is equally absurd. Although Snell has been our best pitcher this year, his won-lost record, like all won-lost records, is dependent on all kinds of other variables that have nothing to do with his performance--things like who the opponent was, who the opponent's pitcher was, how well the guys were hitting when he pitched, how well the guys were fielding when he pitched, and so on.

Josh Fogg's relatively good won-lost record (relative to other stats that describe performance more precisely) was often cited as evidence that he had a certain indefinable something--moxie, guts, competitive spirit, bulldogishness, whatever. I liked Fogg just fine. He was a guy who, like Bob Walk and Jim Rooker, got the most out of his talent. But in a big game, I would rather have had Doug Drabek or John Candelaria, thanks.

I think that the All-Star Game has to take careers into account as well as performance in the first few months of the season. Snell might make an All-Star team some year, but he's not ready yet.

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