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Obligatory Rantings

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Update [2005-5-10 6:54:14 by Matthew Kizner]:So it was brought to my attention that BP believes IP are worthless. Unlike BP, I do not believe IP to be worthless, I still use them as a measure of relative pitcher work. There are so few pitchers in baseball who can consistently throw 200 innings a year regardless of the number of pitches thrown (like Livan Hernandez).

This is why I included pitch counts for most of the guys. However, if you'd like more BP kool-aid, here are the PAP (Pitchers abuse points) and stress.

Carlos Zambrano:

PAP AVG PAP STRESS

2005 54672 7810 70

2004 158715 5119 45

2003 110824 3463 32

So far in 2005 his PAP and stress put him 2nd behind the aforementioned Livan Hernandez. He's third in 2004 behind Hernandez and Jason Schmidt. He's 10th in baseball in 2003 behind a handfull of pitchers (coincidentally, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood are among them).

Kerry Wood (I'm not including 2005 because he's pitched so little and under such watch because of injury)

2004 67576 3071 30 (he only pithced 22 games and was 16th in all of baseball, ahead of pitchers who made up to 10 more starts) 2003 261206 8162 73

His 2003 totals put him behind only Vazquez. I hope you're all starting to see a trend.

Mark Prior (I'm not including 2005 because again, he's pitched so little and under watch due to injury, and his 2004 numbers are badly skewed because he was under watch for his injuries)

2004 36854 1754 17 2003 232397 7746 68

His 2003 numbers put him fourth in all of baseball, and he had the highest avg number of pitches per game at almost 114.

So, there's some shiny stats to back up what I was saying. As I said, unlike BP I still like innings pitched, and much as I think those numbers don't lie, so to do these numbers not lie.

END OF UPDATE

Normally, I don't ever deviate from our stat based forum we have here (and I'm going to try and work em  in anyhow), but there's been a lot on my mind baseball related that's been irritating me lately, and since I have a giant baseball forum, I'm going to rant about it, one thing in particular.

- There is a man in baseball for whom my hatred excedes that of even Derek Jeter (although I still hate the Yankees more than him on principle). This man, whom I honestly believe was sent to earth to plague the lives of fantasy baseball gm's and statisticians everywhere, has been what I like to refer to as the bane of baseball for sometime now.

Some clues as to his identity.

Pitcher A has a blister problem and arm cramps, and has for the week. Pitcher A throws 136 pitches in his next start.

Pitcher B missed almost all of last year with elbow and arm injuries. Pitcher B is brought in in a non save situation, and blows out his arm, AGAIN!

Pitcher C, a young up and comer, was asked to pitch 211.1 innings in his first full major league season (and this does not include his work in the playoffs). Is it any surprise Pitcher C missed most of the next season and the beginning of this season with elbow problems? Oops.

Pitcher D, someone for who the entire league was ready to dub the next Roger Clemens, throws 211 innings and 5 pitches more per game than his career average in my favorites managers first season with the team (this is after a 213 inning season before this). Is it any wonder Pitcher D got hurt and missed most of last year, and is on the DL with shoulder problems this year.

By now, I'm sure you've figured out I'm talking about Dusty Baker, the yin to EVERY OTHER manager's yang. Dusty's system for using his pitchers is surely derived from some complicated formula somewhere (I believe it has to do with a monkey, Gallagher, 10 mimes, and the one armed drummer from Def Leppard pouring sugar on them).

Pitcher A is Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano is one of my favorite young pitchers, and really the only one Dusty hasn't killed yet, but my god, WHY IS HE PITCHING ALMOST 140 PITCHES WHEN YOU HAVE A 3 RUN LEAD GOING INTO THE NINTH AND HE HAS ARM PROBLEMS AND BLISTERS? Did I mention in young Carlos's first full 2 seasons as a starter, he's pitched 209.2 and 214.0 innings, and averaged 106 and 111 pitches per game. Way to ease him in Dusty. I think Dusty wants him on the DL too, so eventually he can use Latroy Hawkins as his ace, since he can never be allowed to close.

Which brings us nicely to pitcher B, Chad Fox. After you miss a good chunk of 2004 with injuries, a manager generally tries to take it easy your first year back, pitch counts and what not. Now, factor in your regular closer, Borowski, is already hurt (and we won't even get into Dusty's role in that), so your bullpen is already thin. Now let's bring in Fox, an injury prone guy, in a non save situation when he's the team's closer. Hope he doesn't get hurt..darn. Well, at least you have Hawkins, but he probably shouldn't close, but , I hear he plays a dandy shortstop while Nomar is out!

Pitcher C is Mark Prior. The ace of tomorrow, today, until Dusty pitches his arm off (see 2004). In his first full season, Mark throws 211.1 innings. HE'S 23, in his first full season, and not including playoff work, you ask him to pitch 211 INNINGS. WHY? SOMEONE PLEASE GOD EXPLAIN THIS TO ME! He's already on pace for 192 innings this year, and we know that number is going to go up as we go down the stretch and Dusty realizes instead of bringing in his setup man and closer, he can just make Prior pitch 2 extra innings every 5 days. Now that's efficiency. In 2003, Prior threw 113.4 pitches a game. Nothing says young arm like dead arm!

Pitcher D, Kerry Wood. This is someone who has already had MAJOR reconstructive arm surgery before, missing an entire season. He threw 200 innings plus in 2002 and 2003 (not including playoff work). Is it any wonder he had a shortened 2004 after Dusty rode him to death in the playoffs in 03? Wood is on the DL again already this year because of his shoulder, and you have to wonder how long before he's under the knife for major surgery again.

This is all a pretty disturbing trend. Now, I am all for destiny, coincidence, and even luck (or lack there of), but at some point, a degree of responsibility has to be taken, and when pitcher, after pitcher, after pitcher (locusts fall from sky), after pitcher goes down, a finger has to be pointed somewhere other than coincidence or luck, and I point it squarely in the direction of Dusty Baker.

I hope this rant has shown the abuse Dusty puts his pitchers through, and I hope someday, one of you out there, can find a way to stop his madness. I'm just thankful none of his hitters enjoy pitching like Wade Boggs, because I'm fairly sure he could blow out a knuckle ballers arm.

Back to blowing minds with stats tomorrow, I just had to get this off my chest.