Porcello wins the Cy Young

staz

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The cradle of the game.
Always liked Rick's upside, but never thought it'd be quite this high. Good on him.

Still, his rookie season hip toss of Youks remains his most impressive feat.
 

E5 Yaz

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Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer
Rick Porcello: "I honestly don't care" about strong reactions of Justin Verlander's brother and fiancée Kate Upton to Cy Young voting. "I've got a lot of people around me right now that I love very much and are instrumental in my success. And on top of that, we've got some really good bottles of wine that need to be drank."
 

snowmanny

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Well 65 Ks is nothing to sneeze at and if you look at the run support differential i think their records look a lot closer. At the very least he shouldn't have been completely left off two ballots. Which is kinda the point since it would have won it for him.
Right. I was saying that the graphic his brother posted included stupid statistics. Porcello bested Verlander in FIP and ERA+, not that those are golden stats but they are more impressive than winning in innings by four or starts by one and, especially, starts by one and innings by only four. When you look at the numbers two things are noticeably different: Verlander's K's and 22-4.
 

E5 Yaz

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Right. I was saying that the graphic his brother posted included stupid statistics. Porcello bested Verlander in FIP and ERA+, not that those are golden stats but they are more impressive than winning in innings by four or starts by one and, especially, starts by one and innings by only four. When you look at the numbers two things are noticeably different: Verlander's K's and 22-4.
You can make numbers say anything you want them to say. Jayson Stark, on why he would choose Verlander:

Verlander led all AL pitchers in WHIP, strikeouts, quality starts, double-figure strikeout games and wins above replacement. He finished second (by minuscule margins) in ERA, opponent average and opponent OPS. And what a finish he had, leading the league in second-half ERA (1.98), strikeouts (134 in 110 1/3 IP) and opponent average (.180). He also was the only pitcher to finish in the top three in the AL in ERA, WHIP and strikeout ratio.
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18016906/your-guide-mlb-awards-week
 

Andrew

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Who is Christopher Smith and what is the Springfield Republican? They have their own paper out there? Why is that guy voting for postseason awards?
I'm torn between chastising you for your cavalier disregard for the greatest half of this commonwealth and ranting about how terrible the Republican's sports section has become.
 

Sprowl

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Congratulations to Porcello and his very long neck for putting the league's best run support to good effect. He can really pound the strike zone with a lead. He turned his high 4-seamer with two strikes and brushback 2-seamer to LHB into devastating out pitches. I would have thought that major league scouts would have warned every batter what was coming (and they probably did), but the pitches worked anyway.

I'm torn between chastising you for your cavalier disregard for the greatest half of this commonwealth and ranting about how terrible the Republican's sports section has become.
I'm sure Trump will make the Republican's sport section great again.
 

Hagios

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It's glorious...
I thought she did a good job tempering her anger with humor. It was certainly a much better case of "WAG using the word fuck" then, errr, than we get around here.

A blast from the past:

 

jtn46

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Verlander's undoing was 3 starts where Ausmus for some reason (not judging really, could be that his bullpen was short) let him give up 7 or 8 runs. Porcello by contrast didn't give up more than 5 runs all (regular) season, and only did that twice (and in both cases the 5th run was unearned). Verlander had a good case and I get his ladyfriend's objections, but she should probably direct her angry tweets at Ausmus.
 

joe dokes

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Sometimes I just want to go full-on troll. "Porcello had many more wins. Case closed."

We haven't heard from verlander yet, have we? I assume he'll be gracious, as porcello probably would have been.
 

wilked

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Sometimes I just want to go full-on troll. "Porcello had many more wins. Case closed."

We haven't heard from verlander yet, have we? I assume he'll be gracious, as porcello probably would have been.
Plus he's already got one on the shelf. Probably eases the blow significantly
 

BestGameEvah

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Sometimes I just want to go full-on troll. "Porcello had many more wins. Case closed."

We haven't heard from verlander yet, have we? I assume he'll be gracious, as porcello probably would have been.

✔@JustinVerlander

Just want to say thank you to all the @officialBBWAA who voted for me.

8:46 PM - 16 Nov 2016


Also cool was Chris Archer's tweet about the TB writers!
✔@ChrisArcher22
Take it for what it's worth, I've been in Tampa for 4 years and I couldn't tell you what Fred Goodall looks like or who he is.

7:40 PM - 16 Nov 2016
468468 Retweets
742742 likes
 

Soxfan in Fla

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Just want to say thank you to all the @officialBBWAA who voted for me.

8:46 PM - 16 Nov 2016


Also cool was Chris Archer's tweet about the TB writers!
✔@ChrisArcher22
Take it for what it's worth, I've been in Tampa for 4 years and I couldn't tell you what Fred Goodall looks like or who he is.

7:40 PM - 16 Nov 2016
468468 Retweets
742742 likes
I've lived down here 16 years. Have no idea who this Fred Goodall guy is either.
 

snowmanny

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Can you imagine how pissed she would have been if she'd been Ellsbury's girlfriend in 2011?
 

Norm Siebern

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Someone should tell Kate (and Verduci) that the baseball season has two halfs. If you only want to count the second half, then Kevin Gausman should get the Cy Young.

Congrats to Porcello. Good for him and well deserved.
 

DJnVa

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Someone should tell Kate (and Verduci) that the baseball season has two halfs. If you only want to count the second half, then Kevin Gausman should get the Cy Young.
I think this somewhat misses the point.

Those writers left him COMPLETELY off the ballot. You can argue the merits of him finishing 1st or 2nd, but he likely should have been on ballot. Secondly, if they didn't think he was even deserving of being on the ballot do you think they really did a deep dive into his 1st and 2nd half splits?
 

VBSoxFan

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Joe Pos takes Baseball Reference to task over their WAR calculation methodology and how that may have influenced Cy voters giving Verlander so many first place votes. I am not particularly stat-savvy but he lays out his argument pretty convincingly.

Summary:

And I wonder how many of them realized they were voting for a defensive adjustment. I love the concept of WAR, and I appreciate the efforts to make it better all the time. And I know the Baseball Reference people do not claim that it is the perfect statistic or that anyone should base their entire award ballot on it. But WAR does have real sway in the baseball commuinity. And in this case, I think it was pretty misleading.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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The article also does a great job of demonstrating the differences between Fangraphs pitcher WAR and B-Ref pitcher WAR. Great read all around.
 

Max Power

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A few weeks ago I noticed that Baseball Reference had Teddy Higuera with a higher WAR than Roger Clemens in 1986. That was all I needed to dismiss their pitcher WAR as nearly useless.

I don't know why anyone would look at a single roll-up stat when deciding on these awards anyway. We have easily accessible traditional stats, advanced stats, and splits of every kind. Look at those, give them the weighting you feel comfortable arguing for, and place your vote. Relying on a single number is just laziness from the people who are entrusted with the responsibility to vote.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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I don't know why anyone would look at a single roll-up stat when deciding on these awards anyway. We have easily accessible traditional stats, advanced stats, and splits of every kind. Look at those, give them the weighting you feel comfortable arguing for, and place your vote. Relying on a single number is just laziness from the people who are entrusted with the responsibility to vote.
I think the answer to your first bolded bit is in your second one. The trouble with "the weighting I feel comfortable arguing for" is that this will inevitably tend to become "the weighting that produces the answer I am comfortable arguing for". This is the problem sabermetrics was born to solve. Good stats should surprise us. They should tell us when Teddy Higuera was actually a better pitcher than Roger Clemens (which he wasn't, of course, as Fangraphs' superior version of pitcher WAR makes exquisitely clear). They should make us look again at what we thought we knew, and at least occasionally force us to admit that we didn't actually know it.

We all know by now how imperfect a tool WAR is for this job. But we don't often acknowledge how imperfect the alternatives to WAR also inevitably are. The problem with WAR isn't that it's useless, it's that it's so useful that it's too easy to overestimate its usefulness and treat its answers as definitive when they're not.
 

Max Power

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Do you believe there's a true, calculable player value that can be expressed in a single number and we just haven't discovered it yet? Or is value always going to have a subjective component to it? If it's the latter, then these awards exist to facilitate that discussion. Sure, they're supposed to honor the player who wins, but it's really something for fans and writers to talk about when there's nothing else going on. Giving it to the guy that the WAR machine says is best is a lot less fun.
 

snowmanny

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Well output depends on the input, and there is a lot of data that is imprecise or nonexistent or not really incorporated into the measurements. (For example, between Verlander and Porcello, we really don't know who benefited more from pitch framing, or their team's defense, or the parks they pitched in, or the lineups they faced, etc). Also, something like WAR takes everything out of context, and it seems reasonable to consider context to some degree (and that degree is reasonable to debate). The notion that when it comes to award voting a bases empty double by a player on a last place team in a 10-0 game is equivalent to a bases clearing double by a player in a 3-3 game in the middle of a pennant race seems wrong to me.

WAR and stats in general do point out some glaring errors when it comes to award voting - and Roger Clemens finishing second in CYA voting to Bob Welch when their b-ref WARs were 10.6 and 3.0 is obviously one of those. But sometimes the numbers are pretty close, as they were in this year's AL CYA race, and it's
reasonable for voters to give data and events the "weighting (they) feel comfortable arguing for," as you say.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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WAR and stats in general do point out some glaring errors when it comes to award voting - and Roger Clemens finishing second in CYA voting to Bob Welch when their b-ref WARs were 10.6 and 3.0 is obviously one of those. But sometimes the numbers are pretty close, as they were in this year's AL CYA race, and it's
reasonable for voters to give data and events the "weighting (they) feel comfortable arguing for," as you say.
Yeah, WAR is a starting point, not an answer in and of itself. I think Savin is mostly correct in that the biggest danger with WAR is that it's easy to overestimate its value and lean on it too heavily. In this case, a lot of Tigers fans seem to be leaning too heavily on Baseball-Reference WAR while not digging deeply enough to see why a gap exists between Verlander and Porcello there (as Joe Pos's article does a nice job of teasing out). And so you get a lot of vitriol on twitter and facebook and message boards with people being outraged that their guy didn't win without realizing that the basis for their outrage is a house of cards.

Both pitchers had tremendous seasons. As did Kluber, Sale, Quintana, Tanaka, etc... Porcello winning was completely justifiable, as would Verlander or Sale or Kluber if they'd been the winner. When you dig a little deeper you can make a case for each of them. Hell, even David Price, for as bad as his results looked (ERA in particular) stacks up surprisingly well with the AL Cy Young candidates.

7th in fWAR, 8th in FIP, 5th in xFIP, 5th in K/BB, 13th in WHIP, and 8th in ERA-FIP (highest of any AL Cy Young contender by far at 0.39. Kluber was next at -0.12).

So I also agree with Max that just selecting the guy with the best <insert favorite metric here> would be boring as hell. The subjectivity is what makes these awards worth having.
 

snowmanny

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And as I alluded to earlier, citing WAR as the be-all end-all when your guy previously won an MVP award without leading the league in WAR requires chutzpah.

(2011 B-ref WAR: Zobrist 8.7 (16th in MVP), Verlander 8.4, Ellsbury 8.1 (2nd), Bautista 8.1 (3rd); fangraphs WAR: Ellsbury 9.4, Bautista 8.1, Pedroia 7.8,
Granderson 6.8 Alex Gordon 6.6, Miguel Cabrera 6.5, Velander and Sabathia 6.4, Zobrist 6.3.)
 

Reverend

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Good for Rick. A great comeback from a miserable first season in Boston, and his quiet excellence was an important foundation piece that made the division title run possible.
Of course, there is ample evidence here to believe that the miserable first season wasn't solely his fault.

One of the reasons some people love baseball is that there is simple linearity with respect to quality and our ability to assess who the best players are. One of the reasons some of us love baseball is that while this often appears to be true, it's actually utter nonsense and it remains a team game despite all appearances to the contrary.

Look carefully at the numbers. One interpretation could be that Verlander had way more Ks despite them having similar WHIPs, so he must be the more dominant pitcher. But another is that he needed way more Ks to achieve the same WHIP. Some might say that just means that Porcello benefitted from playing in front of a better defense. Others might point out that that just means he was the right player for that team--and that's a good thing.

It's entirely possible that if you switched Porcello's and Verlander's teams, they could have both seen their numbers suffer. It's still a team sport.

And let's not forget that there is every reason to believe that Porcello was brought in as part of a larger strategy of bringing in groundball pitchers in combination with good infield defense and slid pitch framing, it just didn't work out that way last season, in large measure not due just to a failure of groundball pitching.

Cherington's redemption


Verlander would have been an OK choice but that graphic.....honestly,,,,,,,,led in starts by one, in WHIP by .01, in innings by four....who the fuck cares?
Students of the game.

I think this somewhat misses the point.

Those writers left him COMPLETELY off the ballot. You can argue the merits of him finishing 1st or 2nd, but he likely should have been on ballot. Secondly, if they didn't think he was even deserving of being on the ballot do you think they really did a deep dive into his 1st and 2nd half splits?
How has Ted Williams not come up yet?

We need to up our game, people.

I think the answer to your first bolded bit is in your second one. The trouble with "the weighting I feel comfortable arguing for" is that this will inevitably tend to become "the weighting that produces the answer I am comfortable arguing for". This is the problem sabermetrics was born to solve. Good stats should surprise us. They should tell us when Teddy Higuera was actually a better pitcher than Roger Clemens (which he wasn't, of course, as Fangraphs' superior version of pitcher WAR makes exquisitely clear). They should make us look again at what we thought we knew, and at least occasionally force us to admit that we didn't actually know it.

We all know by now how imperfect a tool WAR is for this job. But we don't often acknowledge how imperfect the alternatives to WAR also inevitably are. The problem with WAR isn't that it's useless, it's that it's so useful that it's too easy to overestimate its usefulness and treat its answers as definitive when they're not.
Even the "proper" weighting, though, as per above, would require knowledge of the context the player was inserted in to to understand what the proper weights should be.

Do you believe there's a true, calculable player value that can be expressed in a single number and we just haven't discovered it yet? Or is value always going to have a subjective component to it? If it's the latter, then these awards exist to facilitate that discussion. Sure, they're supposed to honor the player who wins, but it's really something for fans and writers to talk about when there's nothing else going on. Giving it to the guy that the WAR machine says is best is a lot less fun.
As per above, it's imaginable, but the equation would have to involve endogenous weights that floated dynamically with the stats of each and every other player on the team to include all interaction effects--many of which there is reason to believe we haven't fully identified yet--and even how their performance affects usage to assess the team as a whole of all the interaction effects, and even perhaps all the players on the teams faced based on schedule.

So it's theoretically possible but, as much as I love baseball, if you could do it, you should probably be working in something more important like contacting alien civilizations or something.

Well output depends on the input, and there is a lot of data that is imprecise or nonexistent or not really incorporated into the measurements. (For example, between Verlander and Porcello, we really don't know who benefited more from pitch framing, or their team's defense, or the parks they pitched in, or the lineups they faced, etc). Also, something like WAR takes everything out of context, and it seems reasonable to consider context to some degree (and that degree is reasonable to debate). The notion that when it comes to award voting a bases empty double by a player on a last place team in a 10-0 game is equivalent to a bases clearing double by a player in a 3-3 game in the middle of a pennant race seems wrong to me.

WAR and stats in general do point out some glaring errors when it comes to award voting - and Roger Clemens finishing second in CYA voting to Bob Welch when their b-ref WARs were 10.6 and 3.0 is obviously one of those. But sometimes the numbers are pretty close, as they were in this year's AL CYA race, and it's
reasonable for voters to give data and events the "weighting (they) feel comfortable arguing for," as you say.
I'm not sure you meant to announce that you don't understand how WAR is calculated, but unless I am grossly mistaken, I think that's what just happened here.
 

snowmanny

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I'm sure others understand it better, but the problem is that even if a calculation of WAR tries to take all those factors into account, the variables I mentioned aren't precisely measured. Hasn't B-Ref re-calculated some numbers over the years as they got more data? And isn't it plausible there will be additional data to compare these pitchers as the years go by? And if I'm wrong about the context aspect I'm surprised.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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I'm sure others understand it better, but the problem is that even if a calculation of WAR tries to take all those factors into account, the variables I mentioned aren't precisely measured. Hasn't B-Ref re-calculated some numbers over the years as they got more data? And isn't it plausible there will be additional data to compare these pitchers as the years go by? And if I'm wrong about the context aspect I'm surprised.
I'm pretty sure Rev is focusing on this paragraph.

Well output depends on the input, and there is a lot of data that is imprecise or nonexistent or not really incorporated into the measurements. (For example, between Verlander and Porcello, we really don't know who benefited more from pitch framing, or their team's defense, or the parks they pitched in, or the lineups they faced, etc). Also, something like WAR takes everything out of context, and it seems reasonable to consider context to some degree (and that degree is reasonable to debate). The notion that when it comes to award voting a bases empty double by a player on a last place team in a 10-0 game is equivalent to a bases clearing double by a player in a 3-3 game in the middle of a pennant race seems wrong to me.
There's a lot in here that suggests you don't really understand how WAR is calculated. You can see a comparison of all the different WAR metrics here, which breaks them down by all the various input data:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained_comparison.shtml

In short, things like park factors, run environments, defense, etc... are all included. The degree to which they are done well is debatable, but they are there.
 

Reverend

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Yep. And, of course, to build on that, linear weights, the basis of offensive WAR, very explicitly considers the different run expectancies attendant different on-base and out situations, so citing an equivalency between two different situations as a indictment of WAR as per above seems very precisely wrong.

Bracketing the playoff performance issue, of course, but I don't think it makes a lot of sense to resurrect the "clutchiness" debate in this context, eh? ;)

At the most fundamental level, I cannot lie: snowmanny appears to like "big buts."
 

the moops

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Yea, kind of an odd choice. Last year was slightly out of line with his career, but not nearly as much as this year. So he came back, but he went above and beyond. If there was a most improved award, I think that would be a better fit.
 

Reverend

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Huh.

My first instinct was to think, "Oh God, another argument about the semantics of award names."

And then it suddenly occurred to me, for the firt time, well, maybe that's god, yeah? Like, if we could keep some of the negativity of people complaining about it and, like, have a conversation about what these things mean in baseball? It would be like a real conversation about what quality means, right?--in baseball, I mean.

That's kind cool. It makes me wonder why I've always whined about such discussion in the past.

I mean, besides me being a jerk and stuff. But whatever.