Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Mike Hllywa

It's a good thing we actually got baseball in earlier because otherwise it would look like we just sit around and pat each other on the back here at Off Base Percentage. And believe me, we do way more of that over text messages and Twitter. But I can't let Mike Hllywa's birthday nearly pass without wishing him a happy one filled with empty promises of Carvel Ice Cream cake. Cookiepuss haunts my dreams at night.

Mike, of course, is a crazy Angels fan and can be found writing at Halo Hangout and Gammons Daily and here and probably a few other places. If I wasn't so bad with birthdays despite writing about them frequently, I had planned on getting a Kickstarter together so we could pay Peter Bourjos enough to deliver a singing-cowboy-birthday-telegram. A regular one costs about $90 so I figure Bourjos would do it for, what, like $900? I might be underestimating pro athletes' general dignity by a wide margin. Thanks, Jose Canseco.

On to the birthdays! So, Mike shares a birthday with Zac Hanson of the "MmmBop" famous band Hanson. And, if you know Mike, he's totally a Zac. Ichiro. Jonathan Lipnicki turned 23 and the last Tom Cruise movie I watched was Magnolia. Robinson Cano. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, now of Modern Family fame, was in The Class with Lizzy Caplan who was in Party Down with Adam Scott who is in Parks and Recreation which was created by Michael Schur who is Ken Tremendous from FJM and gave us this...

I could go on but I wanted to share the amazing t-shirt, which hopefully he markets and sells, that his mother-in-law made for his birthday...

I approve. Happy birthday, bud.

2013 BBA Award Ballot

“Recently I made a chair. When I was finished, I thought it was a good chair. I submitted it to the Indiana Fine Woodworking Association who felt it merited consideration for an award. It’s been a real whirlwind.” - Ron Swanson

I imagine this is how Mike Trout feels around award season. But then the BBWAA gives his award to Miguel Cabrera because the Tigers' back deck didn't collapse when it rained like the Angels' season did. See, in this metaphor baseball is woodworking or... Just go ask Ken Tremendous what point I was trying to make. He writes gooder words than me.

Around this time last year, I submitted my ballot for the BBA (Baseball Bloggers Alliance) and resisted the temptation to vote Mike Trout for every award including Homecoming Queen and best rapper since Biggie. Trout did take home the BBA's Stan Musial for best player and Willie Mays for best rookie. Of course, Miguel Cabrera and his Triple Crown trounced Trout in the BBWAA's voting despite the youngster's historic season. One year later, does Mike Trout face the same fate? You betcha.

AL Stan Musial (top player)
1. Mike Trout
Trout followed the greatest season ever by a 20-year-old with the greatest season ever by a 21-year-old. He improved his walk rate and decreased his strikeout rate and set a new record for the amount of times I just say "Mike Trout" to random people in a year by 250. I have the first recognized case of Trout Tourette. Anyway, Trout led baseball in fWAR again by more than two wins. This year he beat out Andrew McCutchen 10.4 to 8.2 and was the best player in baseball despite an underwhelming defensive season according to advanced metrics.
2. Miggy Cabrera
He's the best hitter in baseball when healthy. And the Tigers make the playoffs. And Topps still prints RBI numbers. So, all of the BBWAA's old school criteria is met. Hand that man another MVP.
3. Josh Donaldson
.301/.384/.499 with good defense and baserunning that did not resemble a sleepy puppy. That gets you a 7.7 fWAR and a top five MVP vote.
4. Chris Davis
5. Evan Longoria
6. Robinson Cano
7. Manny Machado
8. Max Scherzer
9. Felix Hernandez
10. Adrian Beltre

NL Stan Musial
1. Andrew McCutchen
Cutch was second to Trout in fWAR and has a similar skill set. Cutch also has the luxury of not having to get his dress shirts with a customized neck size. Shoulders. Shoulders is Mike Trout's neck size.
2. Yadier Molina
Molina missed time but he's probably being underrated by Wins Above Replacement for his defense. Points deducted for only finishing third in the Molina family pie eating contest. Bengie came in first and second.
3. Clayton Kershaw
4. Carlos Gomez
CarGo 2.0 now with less injuries!
5. Paul Goldschmidt
6. Matt Carpenter
7. Adam Wainwright
8. Joey Votto
9. Troy Tulowitzki
10. Matt Harvey

AL Walter Johnson
1. Max Scherzer
21 wins and a 2.74 FIP. He has something for everyone.
2. Felix Hernandez
3. Yu Darvish
4. Anibal Sanchez
5. Chris Sale

NL Walter Johnson
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Adam Wainwright
3. Matt Harvey
4. Cliff Lee
5. Jose Fernandez

AL Willie Mays (top rookie)
1. Wil Myers
2. Jose Iglesias
3. Brad Miller

NL Willie Mays
1. Jose Fernandez
2. Yasiel Puig
3. Julio Teheran
3B. Shelby Miller
3C. Gerrit Cole
And that's without Hyun-Jin Ryu. The NL was loaded with rookies.

AL Connie Mack (top manager)
I more or less throw some names into a hat and pick three. Is this Jim Riggleman's year?!?!
1. Joe Maddon
I don't put his name in the hat because he's awesome.
2. John Farrell
3. Terry Francona

NL Connie Mack
1. Clint Hurdle
Hahaha. I really don't put much thought into these. Nor should I.
2. Mike Matheny?
3. Don Mattingly?

AL Goose Gossage (top reliever)
1. Koji Uehara
2. Greg Holland
3. Drew Smyly

NL Goose Gossage
1. Craig Kembrel
2. Kenley Jansen
3. Trevor Rosenthal