Friday, October 10, 2008

The Moral Victories Keep Rolling in

Anyone with a brain knows that dismissing the Jays as a "fourth place team" is dumber a concussed Hills castmember. It is so dumb in fact, that the good people at Baseball Prospectus are currently using the 2008 Blue Jays a measuring stick. The Best-Worst team in the divisional age! World famous Joe Sheehan had this to say about the 2008 Jays when another BP writer suggested the Jays were perhaps the best 4th place team in the Wild Card age:
The "perhaps" is unnecessary. The Jays had an amazing pitching-and-defense team this season. I might go so far as to say they were the strongest fourth-place team in the divisional era.
The article is behind the paywall, but I got peoples on the inside. Author Steven Goldman mentions the Jays third-order wins were good enough to rank fourth in all of baseball; despite early season gaffes named Shannon Stewart, Frank Thomas and Syracuse Chief Adam Lind. The article then compares the Jays position by position to the 1984 Pittsburgh Pirates that finished sixth in the old NL East (back when the Braves played in the West) with a 75-87 record. The teams were similar with strong pitching and defense offset by poor-to-average offense, and the '84 Pirates missed their Pythagorean projection by 12 wins! I should stop complaining about the Jays misfortunes.

After the positional comparison, the Jays come out on top at nearly every position outside of the rotation by number. So this Jays team moves on to face fortunes other red-headed step children, the excellent teams with poor results. Potential other best-worst teams include the 1969 Cardinals (Bob Gibson & Steve Carlton!), the 1971 Mets and the 1982 Tigers. (Note: 1982 in the American League was insane. The Jays finished tied for last with 78 wins! Parity indeed.) Hell, they could compare the 2008 Jays to the fourth place with 89 wins Blue Jays of 1983. Now that is an exercise in futility!

Straight Shillin

It's Thanksgiving weekend, but that is no reason to get unhooked from the world of baseball snark. I'll be doing my thing at Walkoff Walk all weekend long, including a live blog/glog on Saturday night. We WoWies are trying to do every playoff game, so stop by and say something sarcastic about Joe Buck. And be on the lookout for something that approximates a GROF season in review early next week. It won't be as good as The Blue Jay Hunters, but it will make reference to my incredibly inebriated state on Opening Day. Good times for all!

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