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Voter fraud might not be a thing, but fraud voters in MLB sure are
Tepera benefits and Yu pays the price for idiotic baseball voters
Baseball award season is over, and honestly it was ridiculous that they even gave out awards for the 60 game cash grab during a plague, but a couple of interesting things happened that related directly to the Cubs.
I’m not sure if you remember, but the Cubs won 34 of the 60 “regular” season games they played, and nobody on the team tested positive for the Coronavirus (probably because Todd Ricketts was in charge of testing for the Cubs and he just kept putting the unchecked tests into a garbage can on the concourse).
The Cubs played the playoff minimum two games, scored one run and honestly, it’s hard to remember anything about the season now.
Well, other than 33-year-old middle reliever Ryan Tepera’s MVP run.
He pitched in more than a third of the Cubs’ games, he struck out 31 batters in just 20.2 innings, he posted the fifth best ERA+ of his six year career, and for the rest of his life his Baseball Reference page will show that he finished 18th in the National League in MVP voting.
He got one MVP vote, from 1,000 year old St. Louis Dispatch writer Rick Hummel, who claimed it was an accident and that he intended to vote for Nationals’ centerfielder Trea Turner.
How does that happen?
Voters log into a web portal and there are drop down menus for each of their selections. In the case of the MVP you can vote for 10 players, which in a full season is egregious, but in a 60 game season is absurd. You don’t have to vote for 10 guys, and honestly, you shouldn’t. The biggest shock is that Hummel didn’t vote for Yadier Molina, not multiple times, not even once.
Tepera was not the only Cub to get votes. Yu Darvish finished 14th, and he was named on six ballots. Ian Happ, like Tepera received one 10th place vote. Have we checked to make sure somebody wasn’t trying to vote for Brad Hand instead of Happ?
Here’s the best part of Tepera’s lone vote. Hummel didn’t miss by one spot. There were three names on the drop down menu between Tepera and Turner. He missed by a lot.
Then again, you have to question the eyesight of anybody who would think this hat looks good.
Hummel is from Quincy, Ill. (I mean he’s no Bruce Douglas) and has been working for that St. Louis bird cage liner for 49 years. He gave himself the nickname “The Commish” so he’s one of those guys, and he’s written three books. One of them is on his most memorable games, and I’m sure devotes at least 100 pages to how Mike Ramsey was the Doug Henning of sac bunters.
Another is Tom Seaver’s Scouting Notebook, co-written with Seaver and, I’m not making this up, the dumbest baseball writer in the world, Bob Nightengale. And, Hummel’s most recent book is a real doozy.
One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season, ghost written for…
Hey look, it’s The Genius, the current manager of the Chicago White Sox. Apparently Tony got tired of us using his 2007 mug shot from a DUI arrest in Florida and wanted to freshen things up with a new one in Arizona. The desert air does wonders for his hair dye.
As you all know by now, Tony hit a curb near Sky Harbor Airport outside of Phoenix back in February. A cop rolled up on the scene while Tony was chatting with roadside assistance on the phone.
Tony: “Let’s get Eck up in case we get to the middle of their order, but tell Fossas to hump it up since they have two lefties to start the inning.”
Roadside Assistance Rep: “Sir, this is roadside assistance, is this an emergency?”
Tony: “Damn right it is, our lead’s down to one run!”
The officer noticed a smell of alcohol on La Russa and just like in 2007, Tony didn’t exactly ace the field sobriety test. In 2007 he blamed it on a case of vertigo (it was a case of Merlot if anything), 13 years later he blamed it on a recent hip surgery.
Tony was asked to submit to a breathalyzer and he refused at first saying he didn’t “trust it.” It was, in his mind, the alcohol detection version of JD Drew.
Eventually he took the test and it showed he had a BAC of .090 (.08 is the legal limit), and Tony had to be disappointed because it was .003 off of his old personal record. I’m kind of surprised he didn’t pull an airline bottle out of his pocket, take a swig and go, “Gotta pump those numbers up. Those are rookie numbers.”
In 2007, Tony got testy with the police when he thought they were saying he wasn’t being cooperative. This time? Tony just wasn’t being cooperative.
He stuck to the same story he did in Florida saying he only had “one glass of wine with dinner.”
“‘I’m a Hall of Famer baseball person. I’m legit. I’m a Hall of Famer, brother. You’re trying to embarrass me.”
If Brooks Boyer resists the temptation to have HALL OF FAMER BASEBALL PERSON on Tony’s jersey nameplate next season, I’m going to be very disappointed.
All that said, no matter how drunk Tony was, he didn’t use an MVP vote on Ryan Tepera.
The arrest occurred on February 24 and through processing delays due to Covid…and Arizona, Tony wasn’t officially charged until the day before he was named the White Sox manager. Oh, what bad luck for Jerry Reinsdorf, I’m sure if he’d known, there’s no way he’d have hired Ton…what’s that? Oh, Jerry knew? Ahh yes, a useful reminder that the Rickettses aren’t the only garbage baseball owners in town.
Darvish finished second in the NL Cy Young balloting, and I wasn’t going to make a big deal out of it because, as I’ve written before, I think it was asinine to give out individual awards in a half-assed season, especially one in which you only played against four other teams in your own league.
That said, it galled me that he finished behind all-around asshole Trevor Bauer. Anyone who had a ballot and chose Bauer over Darvish was choosing to reward a nihilistic douchebag over one of the coolest players in professional sports. Too many sportswriters and broadcasters buy into this idea of Bauer turning himself into a pitcher through copious amounts of junk science. Darvish throws 11 pitches and unlike Bauer doesn’t need pine tar to make any of them work.
Both pitchers benefitted from pitching against some of the worst offenses in baseball. Five of the six lowest scoring offenses in the National League were in the NL Central. And, for good measure, four of the six lowest scoring offenses in the American League were in the AL Central.
But, if you were going to give the award, voters needed to take it seriously. Bauer finished well ahead of Darvish, with 27 first place votes. Yu got the other three first place votes and 24 second place votes. But Yu didn’t appear on all 30 ballots, which, of course is complete horse shit.
And who was the idiot who didn’t vote Yu? Did Rick Hummel accidentally vote for Daniel Descalso instead?
No. It was some dope named JP Hoornstra. In a tediously long explanation about why he left Darvish off a ballot with five National League pitchers on it, this moron made the point about the Centrals being made up of terrible offensive teams, and he clung to Baseball Prospectus’ Deserved Run Average stat. All you need to know about Baseball Prospectus is that over the years basically all of the talent that used to write there has left, enough so that a Twitter troll who declared the Theo Epstein era a “failure” writes for them.
But anyway, Hoornstra wanted to prioritize DRA over any other stat and I don’t care enough about that or any of his other half-assed methodology. You could assume from his explanation about leaving the best pitcher in the NL off his ballot that he penalized the other NL Central Cy Young candidates—Bauer and the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes—equally.
Oh, no. He didn’t. He ranked Bauer first. Then he put Jacob deGrom second, Dinelson Lamet third and Aaron Nola fourth. He claims to have agonized over his fifth spot, and finally gave it to Brewers’ rookie Devin Williams. Two NL Central pitchers, no Yu.
Did Hoornstra, who covers the Dodgers for the Southern California News Group make Yu pay for his turd of a seventh game start against the Astros (who were cheating, by the way) in 2017? Oh, of course not.
Why, Hoornstra came right out in the column and said, “It’s nothing personal.”
[Narrator: It was totally personal.]
Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor will be calling the plays in tonight’s game against the Vikings. Matt Nagy is finally giving up the Denny’s menu for the worst offense in the NFL.
At one point last year Nagy was also under fire for his lousy offense and said, “If we change who calls the plays, you’ll never know.”
So we have that to look forward to.
I guess it makes sense. It’s still his crappy offense, no matter who is the one trying to find a play, any play, that will work.
Mike D. and I remembered some Vikings crap in anticipation of tonight’s loss…I mean, game.
And, Mike P. and I broke down the Bears loss to the Titans, and looked ahead to tonight’s Viking game so you don’t have to.