Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Thursday Morning Hot Links

Join me, as well as the entire Astros organization, on offering the most fervent of distracting congratulations to Justin Verlander on winning his 2nd Cy Young Award. Verlander got 17 first place votes and 13 second place votes. Gerrit Cole got 13 first place votes and 17 second place votes. I have no opinion on this. I would have been fine if Cole had won and Verlander came in second. Anyhow, Verlander is the 4th Astros pitcher (Mike Scott, Roger Clemens, Dallas Keuchel) to win a Cy Young Award. Eight seasons between Cy Young Awards is the longest in MLB history.

Here's how the BBWAA writers voted, by BBWAA chapter (each AL MLB city gets two writers to vote):
Baltimore: Verlander
Boston: Cole
Chicago: Split
Cleveland: Split
Detroit: Cole (shocking)
Houston: Verlander
Kansas City: Split
Los Angeles: Cole
Minnesota: Verlander
New York: Verlander
Oakland: Verlander
Seattle: Cole
Tampa: Verlander
Arlington: Split
Toronto: Split's writers explained their vote. The rationale for Verlander over Cole ranged from the number of innings pitched, body of work, Verlander's no-hitter, consistency. Click the link. Gerrit Cole's reaction:
Justin Verlander is a stud. It was a pleasure to run alongside him this summer. Congratulations!

It's Verlander's 8th Top-5 Cy Young finish, he's finished 5th twice, 3rd once, 2nd three times - most recently losing in 2018 (17-13) to Blake Snell. Verlander:
It was starting to become disappointing every time I came so close and it just didn't happen. I put up some historic numbers in the history of baseball [in 2018], and every time somebody had done something similar, they had won the Cy Young. Is it meant to be for me to win another one? I don't want to call [winning a second] a relief, because it wasn't. It just put things in perspective and made it all the better, all the more exciting for me and my family.

So let's talk about Verlander's previous three 2nd-place finishes:

David Price: 14 1st Place votes, 20-5, 211IP, 2.56 ERA / 1.10 WHIP,  150 ERA+, 4.3 fWAR
Verlander: 13 1st Place votes, 17-8, 238.1IP, 2.64 ERA / 1.06 WHIP, 161 ERA+, 6.9 fWAR

Rick Porcello: 8 1st Place votes, 22-4, 223IP, 3.15 ERA / 1.01 WHIP, 142 ERA+, 5.1 fWAR
J. Verlander: 14 1st Place votes, 16-9, 227.2IP, 3.04 ERA / 1.00 WHIP, 140 ERA+, 5.4 fWAR

Two Tampa writers - Fred Goodall and Bill Chastain - did note vote for Verlander at all (1st-5th Place). The 2016 vote led to this legendary tweet. Goodall "talked to guys" and Chastain sent his ballot in a week early.

Blake Snell: 17 1st Place votes, 21-5, 180.2IP, 1.89 ERA / 0.97 WHIP, 217 ERA+, 4.8 fWAR
Verlander: 13 1st Place votes, 16-9, 214IP, 2.52 ERA / 0.90 WHIP, 164 ERA+, 6.6 fWAR

It's reasonable to think that this should have at least been Verlander's 4th Cy Young Award.

Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are the fourth pair of teammates to finish 1st & 2nd in Cy Young voting, first since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2002, and again in 2001. Verlander and NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom are the 20th and 21st pitchers in MLB history to win multiple Cy Youngs Cys Young. 15 more facts and figures about the 2019 Cy Young Award winners. Verlander, on Cole:
One of the great things about the way we pushed each other is the conversations we would have after, about what we saw and felt and adjustments we could make one way or another. Just always really trying to help each other but push each other at the same time.

*Meanwhile, this report says Scott Boras (more like Bore Us, amirite) says Gerrit Cole is unlikely to sign before January. You could look at Gerrit Cole's reaction to Verlander winning the Cy Young as coming from a guy who, in his Age 29 season, will start the first of a multi-year contract worth over $250m...somewhere else because he's a SoCal guy. Scott Boras says NAY to all of that:
I don't think geography much as what matters is the continuance of winning and being able to achieve their goal of getting that rare win.

And on that January thing? Boras:
I heard today that Gerrit Cole wasn't signing until January. I have no idea who said that or why. It's completely inaccurate.

Boras also said that MLB's system is corrupt. Do we believe anything Boras says on November 13? Stay tuned.

Add the Phillies to a list of clubs that should, in total, number 30, as to who could benefit from Gerrit Cole in their rotation.

*A new report from The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich says that Hinch, Cora, and Beltran are all connected to the sign-stealing debacle. The most notable thing in this new report, MLB's investigation into the Astros has already begun.

There are two fairly well-defined camps on this:

1. You have blind allegiance to the Houston Astros and literally nothing they can do will change that. That's certainly A Way to live.

2. You have to admit that the Astros have done some shady things in the past. Part of the point of my little recap of the last four seasons of Astros and sign-stealing was to show that other teams, and specifically named were the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, and Rangers, are at least credibly accused of sign-stealing in the same manner. To me, and you can get on Twitter and refer to me as a part of the female anatomy because of this, the Astros currently make me feel gross and I want a break from this team for a while (probably won't happen, but whatever). This is not why I like baseball, but baseball has a funny way of reflecting what's happening in society.

I caught a whole bunch of shade from Ramger Fans I work with who barely know anything about baseball and would rather have Rougned Odor than Jose Altuve yesterday. That's fair. The Athletic's report is literally the best thing that has happened to them since 2011. Yankees fans are going to be salty because the Astros have ended their season in three of the past five years. That douche from Dazed & Confused is gonna get up in Bregman's mentions (and if anyone knows about cheating it's Mike Clevinger). It's open season on the Astros, and we all just have to understand that. Gonna have to wear this one for...a good long while. It's how it is now.

Yahoo!'s Tim Brown: This could be the final nail in the Astros' reputation coffin.

Beyond the Box Score: MLB needs to suspend Jeff Luhnow. Trigger Warning: This article is a hatchet job. But it's worth reading to find out how the Rest of Baseball feels.

The Nationals had a plan to counter the Astros' dUGouT hIJinKs.

*Dr. Meredith Willis has an interesting astrophysicist look at what happened to the baseballs in the postseason.

*The Atlantic: How America Ends.

*A Musical Selection: