Nationals Baseball: Jamie MOYer

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jamie MOYer

would be the headline is Jamie Moyer becomes a coach and wins Manager of the Year. Gotta be.

Anyway Matt Williams won the award this year despite media and one set of fans believing he totally blew Game 2, and another, perhaps wiser, set of fans believing he blew game 4. Of course, these games are irrelevant, the vote does not take into account the post-season. That's silly. If we're going to have these awards you might as well take into account the part of the year that you consider most important but whatever. I don't get worked up about awards.

So... Matt Williams? Sure.

Look, the MOY is going to be the manager who had the most wins that had any sort of large improvement over the previous year. If there are two or more such managers we move on to tie breakers such as "best record", "have they won it before", "have they done better jobs by this measurement".  If we don't have any that we like we might pick a middling win team that had a huge improvement (but probably not). We're not looking to think too much here.

This year the best teams were the Nats, Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates/Giants. Williams' team won the most games and had the 2nd biggest improvement. Easy peasy. We're done here right?  That Hurdle was second was a testimony to the perceived lack of talent in Pittsburgh.  He actually won fewer games this year. Bochy in 3rd had the biggest improvement of the playoff teams but didn't win his division. Plus, Bochy has won it before (but only once.*) Mattingly, whose team won two more games and the 2nd most in the league overall, finished 6th, because I think someone smart said he was a bad manager and I don't want to look like a fool voting for him.

It's a nicety. A birthday card. It's a gesture that's appreciated but is meaningless because there are set goals in sports that mean everything. Williams didn't win the World Series, get there, or even win a playoff series. He didn't have a good managing season in my book. But bully to you on that MOY thing.

On trading Zimmermann:

There were rumors the Nats and Cubs were talking about a ZNN deal. There's a good deal of sense in the plan on some level. The Cubs need pitching, are located in ZNN's beloved Midwest, and have an abundance of top prospects to send in a deal. ZNN is one year away from FA and looks like he'll try to maximize his value. Of course on another level it makes next to no sense. The Nats are a playoff team trying to win it all and ZNN has been the pitcher that's gotten them the best results during this window. And not by any fluke - he's a really good pitcher. The Cubs on the other hand will probably sign a pitcher but if they can get a young good one for a young good bat (which any team should do as bats are more reliable) that's probably the way to go.

That the rumor was out there serves as a warning shot. The next two offseasons are going to clarify the Nats position. Are they in it to win it? Or more likely are they in it to be in it and if they win it - hey great! All the impressions I get is that the Nats want to be a consistently good, let's say... "upper middle class" payroll, team. Don't be cheap but no bank breaking. Go for 92 wins, getting to 102 is meaningless. Win enough, get in enough and you'll chance into a series or two. Under that thinking dealing ZNN makes sense. They'd still be good enough without him and they could get a young player who will help them a couple years from now on the cheap. Sustained success instead of peaks of excellence. We'll see. Again just my impression.

*Should he have won it again? Based on the criteria probably not. He won 98 games with a 22 game improvement in 1998, but Dierker won 102 games on an 18 game improvement. Bochy finished 2nd. In 2004 he got to 87 wins on a 23 game bump but had managed 5 straight losing seasons and had lost credibility (I know! The current BEST MANAGER OF ALL TIME had 5 straight losing seasons!). Finished 6th. He won 88 off a 16 game improvement in 2009, but Jim Tracy would come along and be standing in the right spot when the Rockies took off and ended up winning the West despite a 18-28 start. (UNDER CLINT HURDLE! We're full circle now.) He'd finish 4th behind Hurdle and the "always going to get votes" LaRussa and Torre who didn't do anything special that year but had last names of LaRussa and Torre.


cass said...

I do give Matt Williams credit for the improvement in base-stealing and stopping opposing base-runners with basically the same roster as last year. Not sure he does anything else terribly well, but that's quantifiable and almost certainly due to coaching and he's the head coach. Davey specifically didn't let pickoffs be called from the dugout, for example.

I am upset about the Zimmermann rumor. I'm a Team Stephen guy, but I recognize that Team Jordan has become an equally valid position as well and there's no reason to choose between them.

I sound like a broken record, I'm sure, but it'd be an insult to the fanbase not to extend him given how much Nats fans pay.

Chaz R said...

I definitely see the "sustained success" logic in trading ZNN for a good return, but I think it would need to be more than just young prospects. There would have to be at least one MLB ready middle infielder in there- Castro?

Most likely the Cubs are not going to give Rizzo the return he would want for ZNN. And we will be happy with at least one more year of the ZNN Pitching Machine as part of the best starting staff in baseball.

Anonymous said...

eh, it's early in the offseason - Rizzo would have to be pushed over by an offer right now for Zimm to make a deal...I would also suggest it would have to include a mlb ready 2nd/ I would think the deal would be something like Zimm/Difo/B level pitcher for Russell/Ancantara(mlb ready?)/B+ level pitcher.

It simply doesn't get done - because Rizzo doesn't need to make this deal yet - and the cubs would be stupid.

Anonymous said...

That would be a boatload as mzuk wrote. How much better is Ancantara than Difo? Is the idea Ancantara starts now? Looked over matched at the end of last year -well his numbers suggest it - can't say I saw him play.

Why would the cubs deal for Zimm anyhow, they and any other team can sign him next year - minus a 130 mil and a 1st round draft pick.

Anonymous said...

8:31 Anon here - the idea that 803 suggested means Zimm = Russell, Difo + Sp = Alcantara..doubtful we would get a pitcher back.

John C. said...

Is Kershaw going to lose the MVP or NL Cy Young because he got rocked every time he pitched in the playoffs? Nope. Complaining about the post-season not counting for any MLB award is, at best, beating a dead horse.

Interestingly, although Torre is in the HoF, he only won MoY twice. Once (in a tie vote) in 1996, when the Yankees hadn't made the playoffs in 15 years (hard to believe now) and the other in 1998, when he managed a team that is in the conversation for best team of all time.

I've seen the argument that Williams shouldn't have won the award because he "was handed the keys to a [insert favorite luxury car brand here]" and mostly didn't drive it into a ditch. With the injuries the Nats had, a better analogy was that Williams was handed the keys to a Fiat (FIAT = "Fix It Again, Tony"). And he kept the motor tuned and the car on the road despite a constant series of mechanical breakdowns and failures, in part by putting into place processes that addressed longstanding problems (baserunning, and stopping opponents' baserunning). In a year where no one really stood out from the pack, that was enough. Congratulations, Matt Williams, on a solid first season. here's hoping that you and your team continue to hone your craft going forward. I have no reason to think that won't happen.

K.O. said...

Would you do Zimmerman for Castro and Alcantara? Maybe they throw in a guy like Kyle Schwarber too?

Wally said...

MoY - I think its a stupid award, to be honest, because it is extremely hard to quantify a manager's performance. So it sometimes generates really odd results: Matt Williams, a manager that apparently would get fired by polling the majority of team's fans, gets named the best manager in the league. I am not even taking a side, just saying something is wrong if you get such a weird result. You never hear someone say of the MVP or Cy Young guy - 'this guy sucks, we ought to cut him'. But I can't get too worked up either way.

As for JZ, I agree with Cass that it will be disappointing if they don't find a way to keep at least two of the big three, but I disagree with those saying that JZ (or Stras or Fister) shouldn't bring back a high return, even with 1 year left, in eh case of JZ. The youth/skill package puts him as elite, and the right to have exclusive negotiating rights for 1 year is a big deal, and worthy of paying a premium for. Those that are saying that the Cubs (or any other team) can just wait a year and sign him for just money are being terribly flip about those odds. If you are prepared to offer market for him, and no one should consider any of those three guys without being prepared to offer market, you would certainly pay something valuable to be able to get him with a year and offer him a 6/$140m deal now, when it is just the two of you talking. As opposed having those discussions with probably 5-10 other teams as well talking to him, running the risk that someone does something crazy and/or the market makes a step change higher in a year. That, coupled with the reality that many prospects do not just continue to move up levels and succeed (see Bogaerts/Polanco/Singelton, etc), means that if a team decides a particular pitcher stands out from the rest, you'd pay to get access to him.

If you think he is no different than 10 other guys on the market, then you wouldn't.

John C. said...

Wally, if your criteria for MoY eligibility was whether a majority of the team's fans would vote to fire him, the list of eligible managers would be incredibly short and would exclude some really good managers. For every team there is a subset of its fans that hates the manager, think he's incompetent and should be cashiered.

It's hard to say whether Williams would fall in that category. If you tallied by number of internet comments, rather than individual fans, you'd have your majority for firing him. But the pissed off legions comment disproportionately, for their anger is white hot and self-righteous. How disproportionately is the question. To those who burn, the answer is simple - all right thinking people agree with him/her, therefore a majority wants Williams canned. As a survey technique that doesn't measure up very well though.

Harper said...

cass- Yes. But that was more of just doing what everyone else was doing rather than what Davey was. Davey actively hurt those things, hard for Matt not to improve.

Chaz R - Yes, I don't see common ground being reached. Nor do I see the Cubs great need.

Anon #1 - Deal doesn't get done because it makes more sense not to do it than to do it, for both teams.

Anon #2 - Yep that's it. Ancantara is a now trial. Difo might be two years away. Talent wise - eh.

You'd trade now to get the inside track on a deal and to avoid that draft pick loss. Also everyone loves the Cubs making a big jump. Maybe they buy into their own hype.

B back is a little high. A throw-in would be possible in that scenario

JC - it's not a real complaint because awards whatever, but if you are going to say this is the best player/pitcher/manager it's kind of silly not to at least consider post-season. IMO

Managing the Yankees makes winning awards tough. You either have to catch a bounce back or win 105 games. Dodgers kind of same vein.

I don't know - there were really two time frames for Matt. The injury riddled start and the all healthy time. When all healthy the Nats killed it and well... is that Williams or the roster? When injured - they kind of did exactly what I thought they would and honestly looking at how they performed when all hands were on deck, might have underperformed a little. It's all opinion. There's no GOOD reason he shouldn't have won it and no better option.

K.O - Zimmerman? or Zimmermann?

Wally said...

John C - that's fair, but can you think of another award where it even gets close to that by a team's own fanbase? That is why I think it is a sillier award than most, because there is no way to judge it objectively.

I mean, maybe ..maybe .. the way GG used to be, when Raffy won as a DH. But even then, you rarely had a sizable segment of the fanbase thinking the guy was terrible.

Jay said...

I think it proves that players win games. If you asked all of the experts who wins between the Orioles and Royals. Buck Showalter vs. Ned Yost. Orioles had just swept the Tigers with their Cy Young pitchers. Orioles even won the first game. 99% of experts would have predicted Orioles win.

Matt Williams is part of why the won 96 game and part of why they lost in the playoffs. But if the Nats hit at all then maybe they win that series. If Drew Storen gets an out in game 2 it's a different series. If they hit or if Thornton or Barrett make quality pitches maybe they win that game 4. Don't miss the fact that the Nats made Peavy, Hudson, and Vogelsong look like Pedro Martinez. Those guys weren't too great the rest of the playoffs.

They scored 2, 1, and 2 in the games they lost. It's tough to win games with so little offense.

akın sürmeneli said...

10 yılı aşkın bir süredir ümraniye dudulluda sex shop ve erotik shop sektöründe faliyet gösteren firmamızda dünyanın en ileri gelen markalarının seks shop ürünlerini güvenle alabilir ve kullanabilirsiniz
yurtiçi ve sürat kargo ile teslim alırken kapıda ödeme yapabilirsiniz, isterseniz kargolarınızı ikamet adresinizden yada seçtiğiniz kargo firmasının size en yakın şubesinden teslim alabilirsiniz, maximum kartlara kapıda 6 taksit yapabiliyoruz