Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick Hits: King Felix, McNabb/Vick, LeBron

-Felix Hernandez should win the AL Cy Young award. There, I said it. I know it seems likely that it will come down to David Price and C.C. Sabathia, two left-handed aces on contending squads. But if this award is supposed to go to the best pitcher in the league, then it's King Felix and it's not even close. Just check out the numbers.

Hernandez: 249.2 innings, 2.27 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 232 strikeouts, 13-12 record
Price: 207.2 innings, 2.73 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 187 strikeouts, 19-6 record
Sabathia: 237.2 innings, 3.18 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 197 strikeouts, 21-7 record

Hernandez is averaging nearly 7.5 innings per start and has been absolutely dominant in most of his starts. He has 30 quality starts this season out of 34 appearances, compared to 26 for Sabathia and 25 for Price. He may only have 13 wins, but the Mariners have scored just 104 runs in his starts, just over 3 runs per game.

You may look at those stats and say hey, Hernandez pitches in the AL West and Price and Sabathia pitch in the AL East, a much tougher division. Excellent point. Curious as to how Hernandez has pitched against AL East teams this season?

In seven starts, Hernandez is 5-1 over 57.1 innings (over 8 innings per start) and has allowed FOUR earned runs (0.63 ERA). In four starts against the Yankees and Red Sox (he didn't start against the Rays, whose lineup stinks anyway), King Felix threw 33.1 innings, allowed 2 earned runs and struck out 40.

If that isn't enough to tell you who the AL's best pitcher is, then I just won't win this argument. Wins are not the best way to distinguish the best pitcher but since the goal of sports is to win, a pitcher probably won't win the Cy Young with just 13 wins. Put Felix on the Yankees or the Rays and he wins 23-25 games. And then, nobody argues his award.

-Everybody is choosing sides in Donovan McNabb's return to Philadelphia this Sunday, but why do people feel the need to pick one quarterback to root for? I like both guys and feel no need to root for or against either of them. I just want to see a great division rivalry game, which I think is what we'll get.

McNabb was always the scapegoat in Philadelphia. The guy did nothing but perform and win, yet Eagles fans never truly appreciated him for what he was: a perennial Pro Bowler who could end up in Canton when his career is over. And now Vick is the savior? Please.

The story behind Vick's resurgence is great; it shows what happens when unreal talent meets hard work. It's a shame that he needed jail to figure this out; he could have been one of the league's all-time great quarterbacks if he had worked at it from the start.

It would be great to see McNabb come in and put up an all-time performance to spite the fans who loved to spite him. But I don't see it happening with all the issues the Redskins have on both sides of the football. I'm taking the Eagles in a close game, 24-21.

-LeBron James thinks race is a factor in his declining public image? Give me a break LeBron, it's comments like this, if anything, that are a major factor in that declining image. If a white NBA superstar (rare these days, I know, sorry Nash and Nowitzki) ditched his hometown team in an egotistical public spectacle like LeBron did, the backlash would have been just as strong.

I commend James for raising $3 million for charity from "The Decision," I really do. Mark Cuban thinks he cost himself billions in brand equity (and he's right), but if you'd rather give $3 million to charity instead of $10 million out of your future billions, then go for it. It's a terrible business move. Just don't use your skin color as an excuse for what you did.

You publicly humiliated a team and a state where you were raised. If you ever go back to Cleveland outside of an armored bus that will be necessary to transport you to games, you might get shot. And your assailant could very well be black. Don't tell me that race plays a factor in your negative public image; your actions are the only factor.

So do me and everybody else a favor, LeBron: Shut up and play basketball. Everybody hears the reports of how serious you are in training camp and how focused you are on winning. If that's the case, go out on the court and prove it. That's the only way you will get your fans back, not by complaining that your race is making people think negatively of you. People liked you when you were in Cleveland and last I checked, you were still black then.

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