Monday, April 23, 2007

The Stupidest Thing I've Heard All Day, April 23

Guess what: It's from another Steve Phillips chat.

Dan (Philadelphia): Steve, is Brett Meyers ultimately going to be the closer for the Phillies? If so, what can they get for Tom Gordon?

SportsNation Steve Phillips: The Brett Myers move is one of the most perplexing I've seen in the recent past. I understand Jonathan Papelbon moving to the closer's role this spring, because the Red Sox had three other potential aces. The Phillies aren't as lucky, and removing Myers from the number 1 spot in the rotation to pitch him in the eighth innning doesn't make sense to me. I know the Phillies have concerns about the physical well-being of Tom Gordon to handle the closer's role for an entire season. If Myers goes to the bullpen, he has to close. For instance, he came in and pitched the ninth inning in a 9-2 game. That's a complete waste of Brett Myers' ability. He needs to start if he's not pitching in critical situations. Gordon doesn't have much trade value right now because everybody interprets the Phillies' moves to be as much about the eighth inning today as the ninth tomorow. If the Phillies could trade Gordon for a proven, consistent, top-flight eighth inning pitcher, they should jump at it now. they could move Myers to the closer's role and have more predictability out of the bullpen. I just don't think that deal is out there.

First of all, while I may not agree with some very smart people (and dumb people) who believe the Myers' move was the right one to make, using the term "perplexing" usually indicates that there's really no viable explanation. There are arguments to be made (even some good ones) that moving Myers to the 'pen is actually a masterstroke. It depends; I'm thinking about writing a post about how it could be a great move, but likely will be mismanaged. But that's neither here nor there; what's important is that "perplexing" is overstatement.

Further, holding up an example of how the Phillies have already starting mismanaging Brett Myers out of the 'pen doesn't illustrate your point, asshole. Of course Myers shouldn't be out there in a 9-2 game, but he should have been out there sometime in the first two weeks of the season when the Phillies were choking away leads in the late innings.

Finally, there is a truly "perplexing" argument made by Phillips, here, that made me laugh out loud. Here is the argument, presented in order of chronological premises and ultimate conclusion:

1) Brett Myers is the ace of the staff: .47 VORP (Veracity Over Replacement Premise, with 1.00 representing a completely and verifiably true statement)

2) (Implied) Brett Myers, as the "ace" of the starting staff, is immediately also the team's best pitcher in the bullpen: .13 VORP

3) Brett Myers would only have value to the Phillies bullpen if he were the closer, because only closers come up in "critical" situations: -.99 VORP (a negative VORP like this one indicates that it's actually the complete opposite of the truth)

4) Tom Gordon does not have trade value: -.41 VORP

Those are the four main premises to the following argument, which have a combined VORP of -.80, which means that there is no possible way that Phillips could possibly reach a viable conclusion. Yet he soldiers on with this gem:

Conclusion: The Phillies should consider trading Tom Gordon for an eighth-inning pitcher, despite the fact that Steve just said that eighth-inning pitchers aren't all that important because they don't pitch in "critical" situations. Furthermore, Brett Myers, upon receiving the magical "C" tattoo on his left ass cheek, will immediately become a great closer because there's no possible way a talented guy could possibly not be suited to short relief roles after spending his entire career starting and he's put up numbers this season that make Russ Ortiz look like Walter Fucking Johnson but who cares about that shit because Myers has the "look" of a great closer, unlike Tom Gordon who I hate because he looks like a nice dude that wouldn't hit his wife on a crowded, public street.

Yes, Steve, it all makes sense to me now. Thank ye.

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