Murray Chass Doesn’t Read This Blog

Because Murray Chass hates blogs and is not a blogger, no, not now, not ever, even though he has a blog. And even though, like many bloggers, he feels that he should always blog his bad and wrong thoughts all over his blog. Blog blog blog.

Blog.

The article is called “ONE WIN = $2 MILLION,” and it’s all in caps just like every other blog post title on Murray Chass’ blog because putting the title in all caps means it’s REAL JOURNALISM.

The standard started dropping in 2009 when Zack Greinke won the American League Cy Young award with 16 wins and Tim Lincecum won the National League award with 15 wins. It fell even lower last year when Felix Hernandez won the A.L. award with 13 victories.

Looks like someone didn’t read what I wrote about Andy Pettitte.

Now the standard has hit rock bottom. Ross Ohlendorf has won his salary arbitration case despite having won only one game last season.

I’m confused. First you were talking about the standard for the Cy Young Award (wins and nothing else, apparently) and now you’re talking about the standard for baseball arbitration cases (wins and nothing else, apparently). Should we even bother to keep other pitching stats, or just wins and fuck-offs? I say “fuck-offs” because the word “losses” just doesn’t carry enough emotional weight. We need to really make sure that pitchers with no run support and bad bullpens know that they’re totally worthless pieces of shit for not winning.

One victory equals $2,025,000, the three-member panel of arbitrators ruled last week. The $1.4 million salary Pittsburgh submitted wasn’t enough of a raise from the $439,000 salary Ohlendorf earned last year.

I’m pretty sure that’s not what they ruled. I would challenge you to go to the arbitration ruling and find where it says that one win equals $2,025,000.

Nonetheless, it is still a pretty sad moment for a  Pirates organization that just can’t seem to collect too many sad moments.

But times have changed for pitchers. They don’t have to win games any more. Just throw some good-looking statistics out there other than wins, and they can win Cy Young awards and salary arbitration cases. My goodness, even arbitrators have gone over to the dark side.

My goodness, can you believe that people who are employed to determine the financial value of Major League Baseball players use more than one statistic to do it? It’s almost like they’re taking the decision seriously! You better call Han Solo up, ’cause these motherfuckers are building some kind of enormous baseball Death Star!

Pictured: FanGraphs headquarters. Odd spot for the seam, don't you think?

They basically emphasized statistics other than wins and losses, especially the run support the Pirates provided Ohlendorf. In the new age of judging pitchers run support has become a telling factor. That’s why Hernandez won his Cy Young award.

It’s good that you understand that, Murray.

Under this new-age thinking, if a team doesn’t score more than three runs a game, a pitcher isn’t expected to win. No longer is a pitcher expected to win 3-2 or 2-1. If his team doesn’t score at least four runs, it’s not the pitcher’s fault if he doesn’t win.

Never mind, apparently you don’t understand it at all.

It’s well and good if you win 3-2 and 2-1; everyone endorses winning even when your team doesn’t score a lot of runs. But the fact of the matter is that you can be a good pitcher — or, in Ross Ohlendorf’s case, a sort-of-not-terrible pitcher — and still not win a lot of games because you have a bad bullpen or your team doesn’t score a lot of runs. It’s a lot easier to win games  when your team scores runs because as a pitcher, you can’t be perfect all the time. It also helps you win when your team has a bullpen that doesn’t blow games for you and a defense that catches the ball behind you. Are you really arguing against this?

There was once a time when pitchers were expected to win unless their team scored no runs, and then they were expected to tie.

What fucking time was this? This is a made-up time. This time never happened.

There was once a time when pitchers were expected to win unless their team scored no runs, and then they were expected to tie. But those days disappeared with the advent of the quality start, the questionable creation of a Detroit writer, John Lowe, a nice guy but a little off in his thinking.

If a pitcher pitches six innings and gives up three or fewer earned runs he is credited with a quality start. Never mind that three earned runs in six innings computes to a 4.50 earned run average; that’s a quality start.

At least you know that ERA exists. That’s good.

If they had been dealing with at least occasional paycuts, arbitrators this year might have looked at Ohlendorf’s 1-11 record and said don’t give me that nonsense about poor run support and other impressive statistics. Pitchers are paid to win games, and he didn’t win games. He won one game.

No, pitchers are paid to pitch. Teams win games. You’re aware of this, right? Baseball? Team sport? You’ve heard about this, yes?

Roy Halladay led all MLB in complete games last year with nine out of his 33 starts. That’s barely more than a quarter of his starts. Pitchers don’t pitch complete games anymore. That means that even the best starting pitchers control less than half of the outcome of any given baseball game. The rest is up to the offense and bullpen. Wins are not a good pitching stat because wins are not a pitching stat. How fucking complicated is that for you to understand, Chass? Get with the program.

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