Poop Sundae Nominees: June 2009
June’s gloom cast its dark shadows on many this past month. Even All-World Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, Evan Longoria, felt its deep and unforgiving wrath. But did he receive a nomination for a Poop?
Hold on for a moment, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before we get to the May Poop Sundae winner, or June’s ten nominees, I need to get something off my chest. In a day and age in MLB, where competent but unspectacular veterans are out – What’s known is boring, people gravitate towards the unknown. The prize in the mystery box is much more appealing because there are endless possibilities to what treasure will be found inside. – and young phenoms are in, it’s disheartening and borderline depressing to see a young man oozing with talent ruined before our very eyes.
How would you feel if you went to see a Penn and Teller performance and instead of pretending to saw the hot blonde in half, they actually did? You’d be outraged right? Watching someone actually get murdered probably isn’t at the top of your list of things to do.
Watching a person as their career is slain isn’t exactly joyous either.
If their was an organizational Poop Sundae award, it would without a doubt be handed to the Seattle Mariners for the month of May.
(I’m sorry, since I have to deal with the Mariners on a daily basis, unfortunately you’ll have to as well from time to time. At least you can take solace in knowing when I speak of them, I’ll do so with the worst of intentions.)
Brandon Morrow is being abused, yet no one from the M’s organization is crying foul. Unless of course you count Mike Salk, a host on their flagship station (AM 710). I don’t count him. Because he is terrible.
Morrow’s role with the Mariners has been jerked around more than a 12-year-old boy’s dog’s favorite rope. For a guy with only 16 minor league innings to his credit, to have his role switched four times since spring training (closer to starter, to closer, to middle relief and back to starter again) to have to learn how to become a starting pitcher on the fly at the big league level,well it’s essentially career suicide. Or I guess I should say homicide considering the decisions are made by those in the suites.
So much of the game is about mental make-up, yet getting crushed by big league hitters isn’t helping him obtain the toughness upstairs necessary to succeed in the manor that may one day help him shed the, “drafted ahead of Lincecum” tag. I’m not going out on a limb by saying in all likelihood Morrow is going to eventually need a change of scenery to shed the negativity that is beginning to become ingrained in him.
So kudos, Seattle, you’re chasing away another major talent. Seems you’re pretty good at that.
With that out of the way, let’s go to the judges to find out our Poop Sundae winner for the month of May…
(If you are not familiar with the voting rules, you can find them here.)
May 2009 Poop Sundae Winner:
ARMANDO GALARRAGA: SP – Detroit Tigers – 0-5-W/L; 29.2-IP; 8.49-ERA; 1.82-WHIP; 4.55-K/9
This makes two months running where my vote has been needed to break a tie and crown the winner. I wrote the Poop Sundae blog almost weekly for most of the 2008 MLB season, for the old site and my input was never needed. I have faith voting will pick up and I won’t be needed again.
But back to honoring our winner. Armando, come on down!
I was tempted to cast a vote for Scott Kazmir as his WHIP was identical to Chris Carpenter’s ERA. But I couldn’t do it.
I wanted David Ortiz to pay for his hitting sins, thinking perhaps like Manny Ramirez, he too took a big bite of the knowledge of good and evil apple, to advance his career and win two World Series. But I wasn’t sold.
(Wait… was that a steroids metaphor? Aaaahhh! You caught me!)
In the end, the medley of horror, known as Armando Galarraga’s stats, won me over, with his 0-and-5 record on lead vocals and his 8.49 ERA on drums.
It begs an important question though – Exactly how much do we blame a starting pitcher for his win-loss record? History tells us that wins and losses are largely out of the player’s control. To win a team has to score runs. For a starter to win, his team has to score enough runs through at least five innings to ensure the game will never be so much as tied again.
So how responsible is Galarraga for his five losses in May? Well, considering he gave up 28 runs in only six games pitched, I’d say very responsible.
Congratulations Armando. You can expect thank you notes from Ortiz and Kazmir any day now.
June 2009 Poop Sundae Nominations:
JIMMY ROLLINS: SS – Philadelphia Phillies – .167-AVG; .498-OPS; 3-HR; 10-R; 3-RBI; 1-SB; 8-K
We have spent so much time focused on the demise of Big Papi (who seems to be turning things around) and Magglio Ordonez, we have done Jimmy Rollins a disservice by overlooking his failures.
For the record, Rollins hasn’t faired much better on the year, hitting at a clip of .205, but for this nomination we will only take his stats for June into consideration. And they are putrid.
Only one stolen base from a guy with 306 career swipes? Combine that with an OPS barely higher than Joe Mauer’s on-base percentage (.467) alone.
JOHAN SANTANA: SP – New York Mets – 2-4-W/L; 6.19-ERA; 1.57-WHIP; 4.46-K/9; .297-BAA
Four losses for the Mets ace isn’t going to get it done. Nor will it for fantasy owners. The pitcher whose average fantasy draft position was behind only Tim Lincecum, started out the season extremely hot, before running into an imaginary 18-wheeler in June.
Remembering we consider hitting .300 to be a benchmark for very good hitters, the fact that everyone combined to nearly reach that mark against Santana in June, well, that’s not so good.
I would say now is the time to buy low on him, but his first two months were so spectacular, owners will probably need to see at least four more terrible outings before they start fielding 80-90 cent offers.
ADAM JONES: CF – Baltimore Orioles – .229-AVG; .609-OPS; 1-HR; 10-R; 8-RBI; 1-SB; 20-K
Like Johan Santana, Adam Jones is a guy who put up numbers that were just sick for two months. The difference is, Jones was almost definitely playing above his head. Jones is a career .275 hitter, though to be fair he has always been regarded as a top prospect, that and he’s still only 23 years old.
His June numbers speak for themselves, but a large part of why he cracks this list is the amount of hype he generated throughout April and May.
I’m going to go on the record by saying I don’t expect Jones to win the Poop, but still it’s always impressive when a guy manages to hit .100 points lower in a month than any other month to that point.
I’m reaching, I know. Deal with it. Jones is a nominee.
KELLY JOHNSON: 2B – Atlanta Braves – .125-AVG; .396-OPS; 0-HR; 5-R; 2-RBI; 2-SB; 12-K
Alright, finally, a major contender. Kelly Johnson – who was once a prize in the Braves organization – played so poorly he out-and-out lost his job.
Today’s theme seems to be comparing a stat from one player to a completely different one of another. Let’s stick with it once more to bang home another analogy.
Johnson’s .396 OPS was just four points higher than Joe Mauer’s season batting average.
Please reread that last sentence. Not just on base percentage, not just slugging, but on-base PLUS slugging. Geez.
Folks, we officially have a Poop frontrunner.
CHRIS DAVIS: 1B – Texas Rangers – .220-AVG; .675-OPS; 3-HR; 8-R; 8-RBI; 0-SB; 33-K
It’s tough to remember now, but once upon a time, – this past offseason – Davis was the “it” player. The guy everyone was talking about.
Well, everyone is still talking… about how awful he has been.
He received the pub thanks to 17 homeruns in only 80 games. Fans and fantasy writers quickly did the math, finding he would hit at least 30 bombs no problem, over the course of an entire season. Homeruns haven’t been the problem though. With 15 through June, Davis is well on his way to a 30+ homer season. It’s his average and strikeouts which are killing the Rangers.
Through 74 games, Davis has notched 111 K’s. Outstanding Chris. Simply outstanding.
The question is, was his June bad enough to beat out Kelly Johnson?
Chien-Ming Wang: SP – New York Yankees – 1-3-W/L; 6.35-ERA; 1.68-WHIP; 7.54-K/9
Look what the cat dragged in!
Apparently Chien-Ming Wang didn’t get enough poop for his liking in April. His numbers aren’t nearly as mind-numbingly atrocious this past month, but still, three losses and an ERA of 6.35 just might be bad enough to make him our first repeat winner of ’09.
It’s up to you folks.
You can make it happen.
Help me bring dishonor to the Yankee franchise.
RUSSELL MARTIN: C – Los Angeles Dodgers – .190-AVG; .567-OPS; 1-HR; 7-R; 1-RBI; 0-SB; 15-K
Can’t say I didn’t see this coming. Well, maybe not this, but I definitely figured his numbers would drop. Specifically the power and steals.
Russ is been no stranger to the Poop nominations, but didn’t finish the job and take home the award for April.
Worse than his .190 average, one homerun and zero stolen bases is the fact that his lone RBI came off a solo shot. Think about that for a moment… on the team with the best record in baseball, Martin only managed to knock in a single run.
Think of me when you check Martin’s name on our ballot.
DAISUKE MATSUZAKA: SP – Boston Red Sox – 1-2-W/L; 7.71-ERA; 2.09-WHIP; 9.16-K/9
Somehow Dice-K narrowly missed out a May nomination or dishonorable mention, but he got one in April and has been consistently terrible all year.
As a Dice-K owner in a dynasty league, it’s been tough to call it a season, or career for him. He pitched way too proficiently in 2008 and just as good in the WBC this past March. Call me crazy but I think once he returns from the DL, after resting his fatigued arm, he will work out his issues and return to form. His stuff is just too good.
But that won’t help him here. The only thing that may save him is his strikeout rate.
CHRIS YOUNG: SP – San Diego Padres – 0-3-W/L; 8.78-ERA; 1.80-WHIP; 2.70-K/9
After losing three straight in June, Chris Young finally went on the DL with shoulder issues.
I know I asked you to vote for Chien-Ming Wang to spite the Yankees, but if you don’t, consider sending a Padre a giant Poop.
There are three ways to make me a happy writer.
A) Insult the Yankees.
B) Insult the Padres.
C) Insult the Mariners.
I cannot stand any of those teams (as you already know) so the way to my sports’ heart is pretty easy to find.
MANNY RAMIREZ: LF – Los Angeles Dodgers – A dirty rotten cheater, but I still want to love him.
A weird stat line? Yes.
This is where the Poop voting gets interesting. Should a guy who didn’t play a single game for his team be as elligible for the award as someone like Chris Young or Kelly Johnson, who played and played like they were throwing and hitting with the wrong strong hand?
Honestly, I’m not sure. This is where you come in.
Manny cheated. He hurt his club. But dangit if I don’t still want to cheer for the guy. Cory had some nice thoughts on this in his, “What the Taint?” blog.
I probably should have included him in the May nominees, but I felt like that the field was strong enough on their own. This month the field seems a bit weaker and thus a good time to bring this idea up.
So tell me, what do you think? Should Manny receive a Poop and the scorn that comes with it, for not being able to suit up with the big club this past month?
Take haste to the polls, use your power of opinion to punish the right player with your vote. I have faith in you.
(*NOTE: I’m skipping the dishonorable mentions this month since I have to get up in about four hours to fly to Hawaii with my wife to celebreate the birth of our nation. I know, I lead a tough life.)