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Malik (11/15/10)

For the first time in far too many seasons, the Seahawks have swept the Cards. Yes, the Seahawks are now alone at the top spot in the NFC West after laying the hurt down on Arizona and with San Francisco pulling out a win in a pretty tight game on the other side of the NFC West. You put those together, and the NFC West is, for once, without any position being tied. Seattle is one game over the Rams and two games over the Cards.

I'd love to say that this was a great example of who the Seahawks are this season. However, it is far too soon to say anything about the remainder of the season. After all, this was only the 9th game of the season, and the 'Hawks have seen both small winning streaks and small losing streaks this season. Plus, while a 36-18 victory is impressive, it was against the Cards. I mean it was a victory by the best team in the worst division over the third best team in the worst division. This is not something that will necessarily apply to next week and the road game in New Orleans that Seattle now faces.

However, after last week and the start of the second half yesterday, it is safe to take one message away from this team; Whitehurst is not ready for prime time. When Whitehurst played the Giants at home, he looked nothing short of bad (with an occasional up-tick when the receivers looked bad and couldn't handle any of his good passes). Then starting the second half, while Hasselbeck's non-throwing hand was being checked out, Whitehurst again looked like a little kid in a league of adults. The Seahawks, for now, need Hasselbeck. They don't need a former third string QB from San Diego anymore than San Diego needed him.

It's also safe to say one more thing about Seattle's team; BMW (Big Mike Williams) is having one of the greatest come back seasons ever seen. He is not just coming back from two years of inactivity, but he's coming back like he was never out of the game. Once again, like he did a few weeks back, Williams had 11 catches against the Cards. He also piled up triple digit yards and looked like one of the most impressive and oppressive receivers in the league. If he can keep healthy and keep up with his level of dedication, I can see BMW being a receiver that Seattle will need and want for the rest of his, hopefully long, career.

Anyway, like I said, next week will be a more important test. How well can the Seahawks hold up, on the road, against the current Super Bowl champs? It may be a good game, but that's up to the starting offense. Seattle has had seven different offensive line configurations this season, over nine games, due to injuries. If

Seattle can get back some players, like Okung, then New Orleans should be a good game. If anyone else gets hurt, and no one returns, bad things will be coming.


Malik (11/18/10)

First off, the AL Cy young Award went to Felix Hernandez. I cannot say that I'm sad to hear this, since Felix is one of the few good features on my hometown M's. Plus, he pitches like a man possessed with an ERA to kill for year after year, massive blasts of strike outs, a large number of complete games, a few shutouts, a low opposing batting average, high ratio of quality starts, more innings pitched than one can expect from anyone who is not a top tier pitcher, and...well, let's just say that his stats can be bragged about and analyzed all day without even mentioning his specific amazing plays. The only thing he lacks is in the win-loss column.

This, however, is a point of debate, for some backwards thinking people. I'm sorry if I sound closed minded by calling this issue something for idiots, but I think that about sums up these type of baseball fans. I mean, in a improbable, but entirely possible season, you could find the opposite stats on a pitcher. Let's say you have someone like in the glory days of MLB, when a solid pitcher could get 25+ wins in a season. Ok, so you have, and let's even go beyond those numbers, a guy with 30 wins. Holy crap! 30 wins is insane! By the logic that wins are all that matters in Cy Young voting, we have our winner!

Now let's examine his team a bit...

While picking up his wins, he managed to play on a purely offensive team. He plays with the second comings of Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Ken Griffey Jr. Let's even throw in a non-juiced player with Barry Bond's power. His entire team of pure awesome even has Franklyn Gutierrez error-proofing. Damn, this is a team for the ages!

Now, let's look at his stats...

He is rocking out a 7.5 ERA, maybe 30 strike outs, an opposing batting average of 0.425, but he definitely has a ton of innings pitched. Is this likely to happen? No. Is it possible? Hell yes. Since he has the super pretend team to give him run support, he will win games. After all, if two opposing pitchers play complete games, even if they both give up double digit runs, one has to record a W. Now, while pretend pitcher may be a massive winner, he's looking like one hell of a loser who has a coach who doesn't know how to bench his sorry ass. So, if he rocks out with 30 wins in a season, and the next best is a 18 win recorder, the question begs to be asked of the fools who say Felix is undeserving due to his W-L column; does this imaginary pitcher deserve the Cy Young? If wins are all that matter to you, can you still stick to your guns, or will the ERA and opposing batting average, along with double digit strike out change your mind?

My main point is this; the Cy Young Award is to recognize the best pitcher of the year in both the AL and NL. While a great pitcher will usually have a great number of wins, it's not always the case. Just like how a horrible pitcher (the imaginary one above) could look like a winner due to an amazing team, a truly amazing pitcher (Felix) can be crap in the W's if he has a team that ranked lowest in the MLB for runs per game.

However, that is a team performance that brings in the W or the L, and like with golden gloves and silver bats, it's about the individual for the award. That's why stats like ERA matter. ERA eliminates the problem of a team mate missing a crucial out due to an error. The L still has to awarded in the case of any game, but the individual stat of ERA can be left alone. Same goes for strike outs, opposing average, and so forth. If the Cy Young is for the best pitcher, one must remember at all times that the Mariners exist...I know sometimes even I, a Seattle native, would like to forget this. However, the current pattern for the M's is that good players exist, but a team that ranks among the worst of all time also is dragging down those good players. The truly great, like Ichiro, Gutierrez, and Felix can still stay afloat despite the team trying to bring them to the depths of hell.

To see why the W was never in Felix's hands, all you have to do is look at what type of offense his pitching was not being supported by. I'm talking about historically bad hitting. I should say, this link was from the middle of September, but things never really picked up for the M's (who in previous years would make a surge in September of a bad season to make themselves look a little less like crap when the season ended). However, when only about two weeks remained in this season, the highest home run total for a Mariner was 15 for Branyan and 11 for Gutierrez. Any other team and the number one big bat for the M's would have not even cracked the top three. Guti also was leading the M's for RBIs...with 58?! In the end, there was no run support, so there couldn't be many Ws. I mean not even Felix is powerful enough to have a negative ERA (which is needed for the many times Seattle was shut out).

In a nut-shell, individual awards are for individuals. Team based stats should not be considered. Gutierrez is one of the best defensive center fielders in the MLB (maybe the best on defense), and his first Golden Glove is in his hands because of the fact. Should he have it revoked because, in the flawed Cy Young Award logic, "if his team is losing 100+ games, then he obviously can't be good on defense."

Anyway, enough of MLB. It's November, so unless something amazing happens, I'm letting the ghost of the sad and lame 2010 MLB season go to sleep.


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