Remember Opening Day? That was a month ago already! Just like you, the season isn't as young as it once was. Also, your rent is due. With the turning of each calendar page, Rob and I will be discussing our picks for:
- AL Pitcher Of The Month
- NL Pitcher Of The Month
- AL Position Player Of The Month
- NL Position Player Of The Month
- Biggest Surprise Of The Month
It's like the Oscar's but with more swearing, less dancing and the exact same amount of pills. Sometimes we can be a little harsh on the dudes that play our favorite game, but my lips are still chapped from all asskissing you're going to see after the jump. Let's get to it.
Note: This discussion took place last night before Cliff Lee gave up a home run in his start against the Mariners and before Josh Hamilton hit a 4-Run King Dong.
Camp Tiger Claw: American League Pitcher
Rob: you go first
Camp Tiger Claw: Ok, my top two candidates are Cliff Lee and Cliff Lee
Rob: i'd agree with Cliff Lee but I have some problems with Cliff Lee
Camp Tiger Claw: He just struck me out while I was typing that.
With all the hype over CC and Fausto, he's been completely lights out
Rob: his numbers are fantastic. He is striking folks out, walking next to no one, and has given up zero home runs. This man is having a near perfect month.
Camp Tiger Claw: If they get all three in step... that's gonzo, baby.
Rob: The only problem I have is the Steve Phillips endorsement.
Camp Tiger Claw: It's an issue, to be sure.
Ok National League Pitcher
Rob: Also, his low BABIP indicates that he will come back down to earth eventually. But for now he can savor the Walkoff Walk AL Pitcher of the Month for April.
Camp Tiger Claw: oops
That's his Batting Average for Balls In Play, right?
Rob: That's right. A super-low one indicates either luck or a great defense behind him.
I'll vote for a little bit of both in this case.
(Cliff Lee has a .153 BABIP right now)
Camp Tiger Claw: MoMA means "Museum of Modern Art."
Rob: Don't tell that to my MoMA or she'll smack you with a wooden spoon.
Camp Tiger Claw: National League Pitcher
Rob: Okay NL Pitcher of the Month. I got Tim Lincecum
Camp Tiger Claw: I got Brandon Webb
Rob: Defend your pick, partner.
Camp Tiger Claw: ok hold on
i'm in the numbers machine
printing out numbers
Rob: Be careful in there. Don't drown in the RER.
Camp Tiger Claw: Alright I'm back.
Rob: Did you find my lost sunglasses?
Camp Tiger Claw: no
actually, can I change my mind?
Camp Tiger Claw: Jake Peavy
Rob: That is another solid choice.
Camp Tiger Claw: He's averaging thiiiiiis close to a K per IP
(although I know your boy is averaging more than that)
Rob: 1.1 K's per inning for Lincecum
but that's almost a wash
Camp Tiger Claw: His WHIP is exactly at 1.
And he gets on the mound every start and stares a whole through each batter he faces.
or you know, a hole.
Camp Tiger Claw: Tell me about Timmy
Rob: Lincecum is as strong as any other pitcher in the league and stands just 5'11".
His curveball pairs so well with his fastball and has struck out everyone including your Gramma.
Camp Tiger Claw: And her BABIP is crazy
Rob: Most importantly, he's doing it all for a team that scores 3 runs per game and plays defense as if they were all made of granite.
Camp Tiger Claw: They win when he's in there.
and they don't win when anyone else is.
i can't argue with your pick.
Rob: Indeed. He's 4-1 and has allowed just seven runs in 36 innings.
Camp Tiger Claw: And you know, all three guys we mentioned
Webb, Peavy and Linececum
Rob: He also has a .400 OBP which is the second highest on the team.
Camp Tiger Claw: Those are three guys who's stuff would carry over in the AL
Camp Tiger Claw: Is that true about his OBP?
Rob: It is.
Camp Tiger Claw: That's fucked up.
Rob: Small sample size though.
Camp Tiger Claw: It's still fucked up.
Ok, AL Position Player
you go first on this one
Rob: I'm stumped on this one. Very few AL players are making waves this season, so I'll have to take a stab in the dark and go with the best player on the Angels.
Yes, Casey Kotchman is my choice.
Camp Tiger Claw: He's good.
Rob: He's emerging as the best first baseman in the AL with a great OBP and a nice glove to go with it.
Plus, he's got six ding dongs.
And he's struck out but 5 times.
Camp Tiger Claw: He hasn't walked all that much... but yes.
Rob: Any time your ding dong count is higher than your strikeout count, you're in Joe DiMaggio territory.
Camp Tiger Claw: That's less than David Ortiz, but more than Albert Hoffman
/pouring one out
Rob: Who you got?
Camp Tiger Claw: Same division.
Historically filthier piss.
Rob: I'm slightly surprised neither of us took Manny.
Since he's probably the one guy we both adore.
Tell me about Hamilton.
Camp Tiger Claw: He's got 28 RBI
only Emil Brown (??) has more than 20 in the AL
Rob: That's crazytown.
Camp Tiger Claw: He's hitting .336 and almost has equilibrium between his K's and BBs
Rob: How's his center field glove?
Camp Tiger Claw: He's what old white guys would call "gritty."
In fact, it's funny you mention it...
another factor in me picking him is that I'm 97% sure he's going to hurt himself in the outfield and this may be his only totally healthy month
Rob: Nice of you to throw him a bone. I'm sure his agent will be putting the WoW Player of the Month award at the top of Josh's _resume_.
Camp Tiger Claw: But like you said, no eye popping numbers.
All of those are in the NL
Rob: Hamilton is the best hitting CF in the AL, no doubt.
Maybe he'd be more comfortable in right though.
Camp Tiger Claw: As a side note... Hideki Matsui is raking quietly.
Rob: I hear him.
Camp Tiger Claw: I'm a big Matsui guy.
He's always scared me more than any other Yankee in big spots.
Rob: Anyone who plays "Paperback Writer" as an at-bat song is cool by me.
Unless, you know, Judith Krantz became a pro ball player.
Camp Tiger Claw: That's what my Gramma comes up to. Before Tim Lincecum whiffs her on high cheese.
NL Position Player
Rob: Chase Utley already got my MVP vote for the year.
Camp Tiger Claw: Yeah.
Rob: I fully expect him to win every month too.
Camp Tiger Claw: Me too.
He's not my player of the month.
Rob: If you can come up with one bad thing to say about the kid, I'll give you a shiny nickel.
Camp Tiger Claw: CHIPPER JONES IS HITTING .432
Rob: And yet Utley is outslugging Jones.
Camp Tiger Claw: I love Utley... really do. Love his whole game... but Chipper is hitting 70 POINTS HIGHER.
Rob: Ten tater tots for Chase.
Camp Tiger Claw: Well yeah, Utley has 10 ding dongs.
You're a Slugging over Avg guy?
Rob: I'm an "all around performance" over average guy.
Camp Tiger Claw: Hmm, I see where you're coming from...
Rob: The OPS is so very close between the two.
Camp Tiger Claw: BUt a .432 average is like amazing cleavage to me.
Call me old fashioned
I can't look away.
Rob: They're so very close.
Camp Tiger Claw: And it's not like a Boggs or an Ichiro average... he's still a legitimate power threat.
Oh they're very close. I have nothing bad to say about Utley
Rob: Right, of course.
Camp Tiger Claw: I drafted him first with every fantasy team I had the opportunity to do so.
Rob: I'd say the power and patience are so similar between the two.
But I'll take Utley's youth in the field.
Camp Tiger Claw: What gets me about Chipper is, having a first month like this...
it's almost like pitchers want to see if he still has it.
And he does.
Camp Tiger Claw: Rob, what's your surprise of the month?
It can be a team, a player... anything.
Rob: If I hadn't predicted it before the season started, I'd say the Rays' success.
Camp Tiger Claw: Oh you mean their mild success?
Rob: For Tampa Bay, any flavor of success is an improvement. Like sweeping Boston.
Camp Tiger Claw: Toosh
Rob: But I'm taking Nate McLouth's emergence as someone with a heartbeat as my surprise of the month.
Camp Tiger Claw: He's good
I picked him in that Player Pick Pool on the Daily News that's taking the world by storm.
You know someone recognized me at the grocery store the other day?
Rob: Buzz Bissinger decried it as pure harlotry.
Camp Tiger Claw: "Hey, aren't you that guy from Jesse Spector's Player Pick Pool that picked Nate McLouth before anyone else was talking about him?"
It was embarassing. I spit at the guy.
Rob: You struck while the iron was hot on that one.
Camp Tiger Claw: My surprise pick is the Oakland A's.
Rob: Okay! Good one.
Camp Tiger Claw: You know what gets me about them, is that NO ONE predicted even meager success.
Not one person.
Rob: At least I knew they'd be better than the Mariners.
Camp Tiger Claw: And with the million people that now talk about/predict this kind of shit you'd think at least one person would have said "I don't know anything about these guys, maybe they'll be ok."
And you know, it's early. Maybe they'll shit the bed.
Rob: Baseball Prospectus projected them to finish 2nd, albeit with a losing record.
Camp Tiger Claw: I don't even know why gold miners are talking about baseball.
Rob: They got excellent value in the Dan Haren trade: their two best pitchers were Diamondback prospects.
Dana Eveland and Greg Smith
Camp Tiger Claw: Both of whom have been ready for prime time thus far.
I need to read this Baseball Prospectus preview you're talking about.
Rob: They hit few home runs though...if only they could pick up a veteran bat with some power for very cheap on the waiver wire.
Camp Tiger Claw: I think they use Witch MAgic
Camp Tiger Claw: Mike Sweeney.
Rob: He actually leads the team in VORP.
with just 76 plate appearances.
That's how much the lineup is struggling.
I think Jack Cust has polio.
Camp Tiger Claw: I think he has "Lack Of Untraceable Steroids"