Far, far be it from me to criticize ANYONE for fetishizing the exploits of your favorite players. As anyone who reads this site regularly knows, I tend to focus in on the abilities of bit players and blow them up to legends in my own mind.
Additionally, I'm a big fan of Mike Wilner. Huge. Love what he does and hope he never changes his style. I don't always agree with him but that's understandable. He uses the pesky "reason" stuff so it is hard to argue too strenuously. Until today.
Catching up with Wilner's blog, I read his post after Jesse Litsch's great spring outing. Wilner is a big Litsch supporter, I get that. But what I read BLEW MY MIND (emphasis mine):
Jesse Litsch has been the favourite of plenty of Blue Jays fans to kick around the last couple of years, with the majority seemingly having completely forgotten that he was legitimately one of the best starting pitchers in the American League in 2008, and that as a 22 year-old in 2007, had a fine rookie season.Whoa.
I could go ahead and dig up a mountain of data to show that Jesse Litsch was, in fact, not one of the best starters in the American League. He was probably the third best starter on his own team.
In terms of innings pitched and runs allowed, he was about as good in 2008 as Josh Beckett. That much I can agree with. Does that make him one of the best? Beckett is pretty famous so shit, I don't know.
Nope, I know. Jesse Litsch was not among the best starters in the American League. Not now or ever. He just isn't.