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Regarding Steve Phillips' idiotic pick of the Mariners to win the Wild Card, I wrote this in response to a post on the Stop Mike Lupica blog a little more than 1 month ago (8/16). It was kinda lengthy, so I trimmed it down a little, including only the important parts:

"Yesterday, Steve Philips went on SportsCenter and put together a flimsy argument to explain why the Yankees won't make the playoffs. He tried to argue that the offense can't stay as hot as they've been (which is true), and that they "Don't have the pitching to compete with the other teams".

First off, let's address the hitting. The Yankees are the top scoring team in the major leagues. Even if they stop averaging 7 runs a game and instead average say...5.5 runs a game, that still makes them one of the best offenses in baseball, if not the absolute best. Phillips seems to be assuming that just because the Yankees won't continue scoring 7-8 runs a game, they'll end up scoring 2-3 runs a gamne, which is not likely to be the case over a 40-game sample (25% of the entire fucking season).

As for the pitching...I dont know about you, but I think a rotation of Wang, Mussina, Clemens, Pettitte, and Hughes is pretty damn good.

The top 4 guys have a combined ERA of 4.12, and it's 4.14 if you include Hughes. For reference sake, that's lower than the team ERAs of all AL teams except the Red Sox, A's (not a contender), Blue Jays (not a contender), and the Angels

Plus, there are three legitimately good arms in the bullpen in Rivera, Chamberlain, and Vizcaino. Plus, whichever starter gets left out of the postseason rotation (probably Hughes) will be in there too.

Phillips then said that the Mariners will win the Wild Card. 5 seconds after saying the Yankees won't make the playoffs because of their lack of pitching, he picked a team with a starting pitching ERA of 5.02!!! That's even higher than the Yankees if you include the Yankees shitty pitchers (Karstens, Igawa, etc.)! Seattle's team ERA is 10th in the AL. TENTH!!!!

So, in summation, Steve Phillips thinks the team with the best offense in baseball will lose out to a team with much worse hitting and worse pitching. Makes perfect sense...

The Mariners have outscored their opponents by a grand total of 6 runs this year. Six. The Yankees have outscored their opponents by a grand total of 149 runs. The Mariners are the very definition of a team that has gotten lucky and has a much better record than they should have. I can almost guarantee that the Mariners go .500 or worse the rest of the way."

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The last paragraph is based on the simple bit of logic that a team that scores a lot more runs than it allows will win more games than a team who's run differential is close to zero. There are occasional exceptions (this year's D-Backs, for instance), but the logic usually wins out over the course of 162 games. And, the Mariners are a perfect example of that. They got extremely lucky in the first 120 games, and then reverted back to their true talent level for the last 30

I'm not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but the type of analysis I conducted above is really what the so-called "experts" should provide. Instead, we get morons like Steve Phillips and John Kruk who make predictions that are based on absolutely nothing whatsoever. One of the great things about baseball is that there is so much data we can use to figure out which players are good, which teams are good, etc, but lazy ESPN talking heads revert back to "gut feelings" to spew to the masses.

Anyway, enough about the shitty ESPN staff...I'm headed to the Stadium for the game tonight. Halladay's tough, but Wang is just as tough, and I just found out that Vernon Wells is out for the year, which should make things a little easier for the Yanks this series. And hopefully I'll see Joba in person for the first time...

Normally, I can't stand the enormous amount of Yankees/Sox coverage ESPN crams down my throat. But, with the enormous amount of New England Patriots and Notre Dame coverage now, I'd gladly welcome a 15 game Yanks/Sox series to be televised 24 hours a day until football season, or the dismantling of NEP and ND football.

Thank You

Tom,

Sound logic there. It amazes me that ESPN even hired Phillips. He was a horrible GM, and it cracks me up that he's the authoritative voice of baseball management on their shows.

A lot of times sports writes/pundits make outrageous predictions because if they come true, they can say "See I told ya so," and if they don't come true, no one remembers the predictions anyway. I think it's always worthwhile to take a look back at these predictions when all is said and done.

Have fun at the game tonight. I'm jealous, and I think you'll probably get a chance to see Joba. They're stretching the "Joba Rules," he came into the middle of an inning last game, which was against the original Joba rules. I think they're getting him ready for any situation he might face in the post season.

GM,

I hear ya. I always felt the same way about NHL highlights. I swear, the year the NHL was on strike was the best SportsCenter year ever.

A Yanks fan complaining about the lack of ESPN attention is the dumbest thing i've ever heard, no offense. Remember, not all of us live on the east coast, and Yanks clearly get more coverage then any team besides the BoSox.

I'm not complaining about the amount of Yankee coverage, I'm just pointing out the anti-Yankee, pro-sox bias and the complete lack of objectivity at espn. I could care less how much time they slot to the yanks, I actually only watch to see what's happening elsewhere.


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