My Pathetic Attempt at a Tribute to Fire Joe Morgan

If you may have heard, the website Fire Joe Morgan is pretty much dead. Ken Tremendous and his buddies have decided to stop using their time to humiliate moronic sportswriters. They were the hilarious face of baseball statheads for many, and they will be solely missed. Deadspin has a great post with a few of their greatest hits here. I wish they were still around to rip apart this article themselves, but I’m going to try myself. This is going to be ugly, so I apologize in advance. I also apologize for the absence of food metaphors.

The following article was written by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with regards to MVP voting. If you’re not familiar with the FJM style, the original article is in bold, while my comments are in regular type. You probably could’ve figured that out.

St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols claimed his second NL MVP award today, collecting 18 of 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The BBWAA continues its streak of voting for the right guy! What is going on this year? Did FJM actually have an effect? Did they quit at the height of their influence?

Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard, with 12 first-place votes, finished second in the balloting, with 308 points to Pujols’ 369 points. A player is awarded 14 points for a first-place vote, 9 for second, 8 for third, etc.

Nevermind.

Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun was third in the balloting with 139 points, one point ahead of Los Angeles left-fielder Manny Ramirez. Left-hander CC Sabathia was sixth with 121 despite playing only half a season with Milwaukee.

Oh God, it’s getting worse.

Philadelphia closer Brad Lidge, who didn’t blow a save all year, claimed the other two first-place votes and finished eighth in the voting.

Well, he was at least better than Francisco Rodriguez.

Pujols, who won even though St. Louis finished fourth in the NL Central,  finished second in the NL with a .357 batting average to go with 37 homers, 116 RBI, 104 walks, a .462 on-base percentage, .653 slugging percentage and only 54 strikeouts in 633 plate appearances.

Those are videogame numbers right there. Poo-Holes is truly not of this earth. MVP indeed.

Howard led the majors with 46 homers and 146 RBI but also batted just .251 and struck out 199 times, second in the NL.

Cementing his status as the black Adam Dunn, arguably an upgraded version. More home runs, more strikeouts.

I had an MVP ballot and voted for Howard first because he almost single-handedly carried the Phillies to the playoffs by batting .352 with 11 homers and 32 RBI in September.

Using the same logic, he almost single-handedly doomed the Phillies by hitting .172 in April — unless there was a new rule incorporated this year that multipled the outcome of September games three times over.

I like to weight my voting to teams in the playoff hunt because I think that puts more pressure on players and separates the men from the boys. There’s little pressure on players having big years if their teams aren’t playing for anything at the end.

Exactly what would Pujols need to do to garner your first-place vote on a fourth-place team? Pujols OPS’d 233 points higher than Howard. I can’t even believe that as I type it. I feel like you’re a guy that’s impressed by counting stats – maybe if Pujols had someone like Utley in front of him, he might have had a few more RBI. And you know what, fuck this, while the Cardinals were still in the fight in August, Pujols was at his hottest.

With the Cardinals finishing fourth, I voted Pujols seventh on my ballot. I don’t consider MVP to be “the most outstanding player” award and therefore don’t just go by who had the best stats. I like to credit players for lifting their teams to the post-season or at least keeping them in the race until the very end.

And I like to credit mediocre slutty chicks for lifting their slightly more attractive friends to even greater heights in my mind. Maybe you’re on to something here.

I understand that the Cardinals would not have been even close to the wild-card berth without Pujols, but I still like players who elevate their game in crunch time and lift their teams to new heights.

Howard certainly raised his team to new heights in terms of errors.

And I thought Ryan Ludwick had just as much to do with keeping the Cards in the hunt as Pujols did. St. Louis did stay in the wild card race until mid-September, but mainly because the Brewers and Mets were gagging at the time.

How exactly did Ludwick do this? His OPS was lower in every month except for July. You don’t think maybe Pujols is just so good every time he steps up to the plate that you just don’t notice that he’s better than pretty much everyone else even when someone else is at their very best? Just a thought.

It’s a subjective vote and every writer has his own preferences. That’s why I voted for Sabathia second and Ramirez third because even though they played in the league only half a season they were primarily responsible for putting their teams in the playoffs.

Well, you’ve made your subjective analysis clear by now, but did you know that one of the criteria by which you’re instructed to vote for the MVP is number of games played? Just giving you a heads-up.

Here’s the way I voted:

This is going to be worse than that time I tried to rank the top 10 hip-hop albums of all-time.

1. Ryan Howard, Phil

MVP = Guy with a lot of homers and RBI in the month of September for a team that makes the playoffs.

2. CC Sabathia, Mil
3. Manny Ramirez, LA

You didn’t pay heed to my heads-up!

4. Carlos Delgado, NY

Where in the name of all that is Hispanic did this come from? I can only surmise that you have a hard-on for poor fielding first basemen who follow up shitty first halves with much better second halves (It is supposed to be halfs or halves? Am I going to have to [sic] myself?). Second halves that are still inferior to the second half of a first baseman who has yet to show up. Not to mention the almost half-dozen players on Los Mets that any sane fan would tell you was better this year.

Oh no, I just looked at the results and I see that he received 5 third-place votes. FIVE. How could something like happen? I hope Obama makes this a top priority. Nothing like this should ever happen again. FIVE PEOPLE THOUGHT CARLOS DELGADO WAS THE THIRD MOST VALUABLE PLAYER IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2008 — a more upsetting true statement than The Simpsons being in its 10th consecutive shitty season.

5. Aramis Ramirez, Chi

I can’t speak on this. I don’t even care enough to look up his stats. I’m too depressed.

6. Prince Fielder, Mil

The first-basemen-not-named-Albert fetish continues. Maybe he got brownie points for being a vegetarian — which has to be total bullshit, by the way. There is no way that fatass is a vegetarian. How many apples does he eat a day? Does he have his salads hauled in with dump trucks? I really would love to see a Michael Phelps-like breakdown of his daily calorie intake.

7. Albert Pujols, Stl

Surprised to see that Pujols was in reality the fourth most valuable first baseman in the National League this year. Thank you for clearing this up for me.

8. Ryan Ludwick, Stl

I’ve got nothing here.

9. Ryan Braun, Mil

The .208 average and .661 OPS in September plainly displays Braun’s ability to withstand the pressure of a wild-card race. And you are a Milwaukee sportswriter?

10. David Wright, NY

Did you miss his two massive strikeouts in the 9th inning of games down the stretch? He can’t stand the pressure. His team missed the playoffs as well. Why is he anywhere near your ballot? Nice job sticking to your guns.

I voted Fielder higher than Braun because Fielder had a much better September when the Brewers were clawing to get in the playoffs. Braun was ailing, as we discovered, and did have the homer that put the Brewers in the playoffs, but I just felt Fielder did more down the stretch.

I could understand voting Fielder higher than Braun, but only if they were both about 10 spots lower than where you put them on your ballot.

This is an inexact science. With 10 names on the ballot, you could move guys around and drive yourself nuts putting them in the spot you feel is best. But that’s the way I voted. In sheer offensive numbers, Pujols certainly is tough to beat, which is why it’s understandable that he got so much support.

Did anyone else read that as “I thought I actually voted for Pujols, but I was a dozen beers under when I voted, so I’m as surprised as you are”?

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~ by CajoleJuice on November 18, 2008.

2 Responses to “My Pathetic Attempt at a Tribute to Fire Joe Morgan”

  1. To be fair, the whole “brownie points” thing is a liberal food metaphor, no? Granted, FJM usually picked them up in the articles.

  2. I have to admit your article yesterday regarding Pedroia’s MVP kinda gave me this idea.

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