Archive for Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The real Royals ratings

October 6, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated October 6, 2009, 3:10 p.m.


As I saunter through the newsroom, I often walk past the desk of Journal-World entertainment editor Jon Niccum.

Every now and then Niccum, who is a bit of a closet sports fan, will ask me a question about the Royals or the Chiefs or the Jayhawks.

This time he wondered if I thought Zack Greinke would win the American League Cy Young Award. I told him I didn’t think so.

Who would I vote for, Niccum queried, looking a bit surprised. My answer was Justin Verlander. Why? Verlander tied for the league lead in wins and led the league in strikeouts. He’s the horse the Tigers rode to a share of the AL Central pennant.

Yes, I know Greinke won 16 games for a dreadful team and that he led the major leagues in earned run average. But Greinke missed his chance to lock up the Cy Young on Saturday when he was only so-so against the Minnesota Twins.

Greinke was in the spotlight that day. The writers who vote on that award were paying particular attention. If Greinke had squashed the Twins, he would have been a cinch. But he didn’t and Verlander won, in my opinion, with his clutch performance in the Tigers’ Sunday win over the White Sox.

Obviously, Greinke will be voted the Royals’ pitcher of the year and first baseman Billy Butler, who hit .301 with 21 home runs and 93 RBIs, will be tapped player of the year.

On the flip side, here are some awards the Royals won’t be handing out:

Most Likely to Avoid First Base: Miguel Olivo. Sure, the veteran catcher led the club with 23 home runs, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio was atrocious. Olivo whiffed 126 times and walked just 19 times.

Most Likely to Leave Runners Stranded: Mark Teahen. Mr. Versatility can play just about anywhere. But he drove in a mere 50 runs. Leadoff hitter David DeJesus played in the same number of games and drove in 71.

Most Likely to Be a Starting Pitcher Nowhere Else: This is a tough call. Sidney Ponson was 1-7 with a 7.36 ERA before being pink-slipped. Bruce Chen was 1-6 with a 5.78 ERA. And the immortal Lenny DiNardo was 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA. I’ll go with Ponson.

Most Likely to Give Up a Key Hit in Middle Relief: Kyle Farnsworth. While decent in non-pressure situations, Farnsworth usually faltered when the game was on the line, as evidenced by his 1-5 record and only five holds.

Most Likely to Drive Trey Hillman Crazy: Luke Hochevar. Sometimes the Royals’ No. 1 draft pick in 2006 pitches like Cy Young, but more often he throws like Loretta Young (Those of you under 50 may have to Google that name).

Most Likely to Remain an Ongoing Mystery: Alex Gordon. This former minor league player of the year has morphed from being compared to George Brett to becoming the next Carlos Febles.

Most Likely to be Compared to Shane Costa: Mitch Maier. Given an opportunity because of injuries to Coco Crisp and Jose Guillen, Maier responded with a .243 batting average and three home runs.

Most Likely to Strike Out or Hit a Solo Homer: Mike Jacobs. One-dimensional player who had more than twice as many whiffs (132) as RBIs (61).

• A previous version of this story contained an error.


frazzled 8 years, 7 months ago

Let me summarize the first part of this article:

  1. Greinke may lose the CYA to Verlander because the voters will look at this one game instead of the whole season.

  2. Chuck Woodling agrees with this.

1 is sad, but possibly true.

2 is indefensible.

Drew Alan 8 years, 7 months ago

You should probably at least get Verlander's name right if you are going to vote for him for CY Young over the OBVIOUS choice of Greinkie. He is JUSTIN. Not Jason.

Sulla 8 years, 7 months ago

sierraclub: Chuckie never liked the Royals even when they were good in the 70s and 80s.His baseball knowledge doesn't extend farther than yokel local Legion ball if that much. Shows you what intellect this prima donna has when he bases his would-be vote on ONE GAME(everyone knows that Saturday Trey Hillwoman should had told Zack to put Mauer on,anyway);Greinke is near the top or at it(ERA) in all pitching categories. If Zack doesn't get the CY the most deserving is Hernandez, not Verlander; Verlander even admitted that Zack in 2009 is the best pitcher in the game. Sheesh!

aks7 8 years, 7 months ago

Whittling down the Cy Young award down to one game is ridiculous! It seems like it got down to the last weekend, and you realized that you needed to vote soon, so you decided you better watch a little baseball. In my opinion you should not have a vote. Flat out responsible.

jmonley 8 years, 7 months ago

If you are going to pick against Greinke for the Cy Young, you would look a lot more credible if you picked one of the guys that could actually win the award. If Zach doesnt win it, likely it will be Felix Hernandez. Beyond that the only guy with a shot is CC Sabathia and that is mainly because he plays in NYC (insert appropriate east coast bias argument here).

Picking Verlander based on wins and K's is a great example of a way of thinking thats time has (hopefully) passed us by. Most sportswriters today realize there are other stats that are at least as important as Wins and use them to make their decision as well. Chuck Woodling clearly isnt one of them.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 7 months ago


Try watching a baseball game once in a while instead of just writing editorials. I've watched many of Zack's starts and many of Verlander's as well.

Zack wasn't just the best pitcher in the AL....he was the best pitcher in the majors this season!!!

FYI, since Morneau went on the DL, the Twins are 17-4!!! That's after losing an MVP!!!

Besides the Tigers didn't win sh**!

This is why I stick to the KC Star for pro sports coverage.

heybluekc 8 years, 7 months ago

you would let the pitcher with the lowest ERA in the American League since Pedro Martinez in 2000 slip under your radar. Nice job Chuck one or our finest for sure. You even know what ERA stands for? Ane Its Justin Verlander not Jason. Seriously you got to vote. MLB needs to reevaluate some things.

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