Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Streets of San Francisco: I won't say Jason Heyward got robbed, but...

...he got robbed. Starring Karl Malden. Also starring Michael Douglas - in COLOR. Granted, Buster Posey is everything and a can of corn, even though folks in San Fran think it's better to give your kids pot brownies than canned veggies.

A Quinn Martin production.

Tonight's guest stars:

- Buster

- Jason Heyward

- Gaby Sanchez

- A bean sprout pattie with soy cheese on a gluten-free bun

- Barry Bonds' head

- and June Foray as Tallulah Bunkhead.

Tonight's episode; Rookie..of the FEAR

Buster (there's just something about that name) is far from a bad choice for National League Rookie of the Year, which he won yesterday. He had an excellent season with the bat, a pretty good one behind the plate and, most importantly, he kept my fantasy team competitive until the last week of the season. But the facts as dug up by Karl Malden's nose show that Mr. Heyward had a better season and was more important to his team than Buster, even if only slightly.

Mr. Heyward played 142 games for the ATL and started 136. Buster started in 105 games, giving Mr. Heyward 180 more plate appearances. It is true that Buster hit better than Mr. Heyward. Oh wait, he didn't; Heyward's park-adjusted OPS+ was 131, Buster's 129. I bet Buster never leaves home without Mr. Malden's American Express traveller's cheques, which of course gives him an edge.

Okay, but if Buster hadn't been there, the Giants wouldn't have made the playoffs. That may be true as Buster had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement player, Baseball-Reference.com version) of 3.0, and if the Giants had lost two more games, they would have stayed home. So that puts him ahead of Mr..... - oh, hold it, it doesn't. Mr. Heyward's WAR was 4.4. True, the higher WAR is helped a little by Heyward's playing time advantage, but if the argument holds true for Buster, it holds true for Heyward - he was the Braves' Big Mac. Speaking of Big Macs, here's a word from our.....hey, isn't that J. J. Evans' dad? Dynomite!

It is true that Buster played a more important position; catcher. It is also true that Buster played that more important position for just 75 games. Granted, he was good those 75 games, but that was clearly due to his bat, not his mitt. Mr. Heyward, on the other hand, was an excellent defensive right fielder. In the end-of-season awards handed out by John Dewan's outstanding Fielding Bible, the real fielding awards (as opposed to the Gold Gloves, which are made with polysorbate 80 and high fructose corn syrup), Heyward finished 3rd in voting among all right fielders. Buster finished 10th among catchers. Ahhh, butter. Parkay!

What happened to Mr. Heyward is that he was a victim of - and I think someone got ripped a new one for warning of this ...maybe it was Kojak - his Spring Training hype. When he started hitting 600 foot bombs using only Chipper Jones' artificial leg, even the reserved Bobby Cox told the world that Mr. Heyward was The Lord, Muhammed, and Beastie Boy Mike D. combined. When he was one of the best players in the National League the first two months of the season, the media had no doubt he would hit 50 homers, overtake Lebron James for the NBA scoring lead and overtake Paris Hilton for the world scoring title. But the only baseball player who never slumped was Barry Bonds earlier this decade, and that only lasted until the day his gigantic head fell off and fatally crushed Dusty Baker's young son. And Mr. Heyward slumped badly in June. Then, he got hurt.

He played well the rest of the year, but Mr. Heyward finished the season with exactly as many homers as did Buster. Even though his other numbers were better than Buster's, the media voters expected Mr. Heyward to do nothing but give them thrill-up-the-leg moments such as his season-opening homer all season long. When he didn't, their "Dear John" letter to him was to give his award to Buster. Either that or they think Buster has a cute butt when he squats. It wouldn't be the first time. How do you think Derek Jeter has won five Gold Gloves from the managers? If anyone knows rear ends, it's a baseball manager. I hear they feel a lot like rich, Corinthian leather.

Buster had a very good season and, barring injury, should be an excellent player for a long time. His Rookie of the Year award certainly isn't the worst one ever given. He just didn't deserve it over Heyward. Now, freeze shot...throw your head back and give me a Sammy Davis, Jr. fake laugh. Hold it! Now, closing credits.

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