Thursday, September 07, 2006

Rob Neyer: Dick? Or Total Dick?

Mike (St. Louis): Travis Hafner is the best hitter in baseball every season???? I think Albert Pujols might disagree with you.

Rob Neyer: If Pujols played in a real league he'd be lucky to bat .260 with 20 home runs.

--ESPN chat log, 8/25

I heard about this while I was on vacation in St. Louis. The message board which my Cardinal fan friend got this tidbit from also reported that John Mabry had been traded to the Phillies, so my natural first reaction was to think that there was a message board out there which was committed to preserving the fantasy world in my head. (Sadly, untrue.)

B-Diddy (Chicago): .260 and 20 HRs for Pujols in the AL!! So you're saying a guy like Torii Hunter is a better hitter? Care to recant?

Rob Neyer: That's exactly what I'm saying. And if Neifie Perez played in the National League he'd bat .320 and draw 75 walks.

SAME CHAT LOG. Let's look at some facts.

1) Clearly, the AL is FAR tougher to play in than the NL. And Neifi could, in fact, walk 75 times in a season in the NL. (He would only need 1,940 plate appearances in the season to do so.)

2) Neifi's been bad everywhere he's played. It's not like he's never been in the NL before. This comment is basically inexplicable.

3) Was Rob Neyer drunk when he wrote this? Or hanging out with Darren Daulton?

Brett (Denver): What's your favorite planet? Mine's the sun.

Rob Neyer: Mine's the other Earth that we can't see because it's on the other side of the sun.

I have no idea why Rob Neyer's favorite planet is the subject of an ESPN chat log question. But, it sure does clear up a whole hell of a lot.

17 Comments:

At 9/07/2006 5:19 PM, Blogger Pandrew said...

Not to mention the fact that Neifi has been in the NL NEARLY HIS ENTIRE CAREER while putting up .269/.298/.377, with a 162 game average of 27 BB. There have only been two three-year periods (1997-99, 1998-2000) in which he had more than 75 walks.

Neyer could not have been serious. I can't accept it.

 
At 9/08/2006 7:01 AM, Blogger Junior M said...

I did a quick look-up to counter Neyer's possibly unfounded statement of Pujols's supposed fall to mortality if he were to hit in the AL.

The top 10 teams who are currently leading the majors in ERA are:

1. Tigers
2. Padres
3. Mets
4. A's
5. Angels
6. Twins
7. Astros
8. Dodgers
9. Giants
10. Yankees

I know that ERA is a bit of a raw stat, but 5 out of the top 10 teams are in the NL, which argues that Albert basically has an equally likely chance to hit well in the AL.

And in case you were wondering, top 10 teams leading in K's:

1. Cubs
2. Angels
3. Twins
4. Astros
5. Brewers
6. D'Backs
7. Phillies
8. Mets
9. BoSox
10. Padres

7 out of the top 10 teams leading the majors in strikeouts are in the very league Pujols currently plays in. Very interesting.

 
At 9/08/2006 12:23 PM, Blogger Pandrew said...

This year the NL played 56 games under .500 in interleague play (98-154). Last year they were twenty games under (116-136). In 2004 they were four games under (125-129). But while it is possible that the AL is just a better league, here are the average HR allowed per team in both leagues:

AL 155.4
NL 154.5

DH value = .9

This could mean that NL hitters are better, or that NL pitchers are worse. It's a ridiculous argument either way, because there is no way to prove either. Based on win-loss record alone, which is pretty susbstanial this year, the advantage goes AL, but as far as individual performances go the leagues are practically identical. You can make the argument that Hafner is a better hitter than Albert Pujols this year --over their careers, Hafner is not even close -- but Pujols is only 26, while Hafner is 29 and in his prime.

Pujols, career, has 105 more walks than strikeouts. By the time he is Pronk's age, he will have nearly 400 HR and 1200 RBI. He is going to retire as the best hitter ever. Unless he moves to the AL, of course.

 
At 9/08/2006 1:15 PM, Blogger Pandrew said...

Okay. Last on this:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=99959

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=99957

The AL and NL are putting up almost identical numbers this year.

 
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