Friday, October 31, 2014

Ranking Baseball's Positions

During game 7, Harold Reynolds continued his postseason of saying stupid shit when he casually said that third base was one of the weakest positions in the league. This random remark was immediately proven wrong when me, Jon, and Steve being the nerdy nerds that we are just started texting each other names of good third basemen. So take that Harold, with your stupid name.

Anyways, now that baseball is done, let's rate the top positions in baseball. These ratings will look at the overall crop of players at each position. The point is not to say that catchers are worse than first basemen at hitting; this we know. It's about figuring out if there are clusters of good or bad players at the positions right now.

Here we go:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ranking the NBA's Best Backcourts

Noted idiot Dion Waiters got into some Twitter fight or something with John Wall this week over who was the best pair of starting guards in the NBA, the Wizards' Wall and Bradley Beal or the Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Now Waiters might have rested his case with a Youtube clip of him scoring 24 points on contested 2s, but we at The Whole 42 Minutes like to dig a little deeper (Andy a little deeper?).

What follows is the comprehensive ranking of NBA guard units, including backups.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How Good Derek Jeter Actually Was

Derek Jeter's farewell tour is mercifully over, and the Yankee captain of the past decade is finally hanging up the spikes. We've all seen the fanfare around Jeter's exit, and also the vomit-inducing hagiography, and the backlash to that hagiography. Jeter is a player who had a great career, but his legacy is buried under piles and piles of bullshit from both sides. I'm here to right the wrongs, and give Jeter exactly the objective farewell that he has earned (at least, as much as I am able to as a Red Sox fan).

I'd like to focus on something that has plagued Jeter's legacy in the last few weeks: cherry picking stats. It's easy to argue against those who call Jeter the greatest Yankee, or in some cases, the greatest player of all time. That's just crazy talk. But people on both sides of the Jeter conversation -- the knob slobbers and the haters -- have been cherry picking stats to make Jeter seem the way they want him to seem. That's obviously unfair, and for any player with a 20-year career, you could find stats that make him sound like the best or worst. Two examples of this cherry picking are Keith Olbermann's rant against Jeter's legacy and Jayson Stark's very stupid article detailing Derek by the numbers.

Clayton Kershaw For 2014 MVP

Clayton Kershaw is fighting a battle on two fronts for the NL MVP award. Since pitchers have the CY Young award, voters have been reluctant to vote for pitchers - not only does Kershaw have to best the rest of the NL, he has to best historical trends. I think he will and deserves to do win the award this season.

First, Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet. His numbers this year put him in a class above everyone else, and it’s been a great year for pitchers. Corey Kluber, Felix Hernandez, Chris Sale in the AL and Johnny Cueto and Adam Wainwright in the NL all put up fantastic seasons, and yet Kershaw will win the CY Young unanimously and would in either league. He has the best WHIP, ERA and FIP, of course, but the underlying numbers are there too. Kershaw put up the best strikeout rate in baseball and 7th best walk rate so he did everything he could to avoid balls in play and unnecessary baserunners. He also induced weak contact: 15th best ground ball rate and third best infield fly rate (the best types of contact for a pitcher as they have the greatest correlation to outs). No other pitcher can match this arsenal of strikeouts, control and run-suppressing contact.