Folks, meet William Plaschke Shakespeare. William Plaschke Shakespeare, the younger, less talented and evil twin brother of the great William Shakespeare, has struck the world with more blithering non-sense and even worse hypocrisy in his latest column.
Being prepared for this moment, I must first provide you with some background…
Growing up together, William Plaschke Shakespeare was always envious of his older brother’s work. After the elder William’s triumphant successes with “Romeo & Juliet,” “Hamlet,” “Lady MacBeth,” and more, William-Plaschke killed his older brother and immediately ran away to California, thus he was his only mother’s son, and a desperate one.
After awaiting the next 425 years to find work, he was hired by the L.A. Times in 1987. Since then, he has been extracting revenge on the audience that supported his brother through his miserable columns.
So, in his latest article, Plaschke, affectionately known as just WPS, argues that, essentially, the Dodgers don’t have an ace and, if they don’t get one, then they screwed!
Let’s take a look… hit it!:
There is nobody who will take the mound on a chilly fall night and
refuse to leave until morning. There is nobody who will grab the ball
in October and refuse to give it up until November.
Well, of course not. October is when Billingsley has his weekly canasta games, while Kershaw likes to keep tabs on his fantasy football teams. Wolf likes to go hiking, while Kuroda likes to spend the offseason pursuing a budding rap career. How can you blame them for not wanting to show up?
What a nice way to start this article off: blast the entire pitching staff’s character and motivations. Apparently, Plaschke can peer into the hearts of men. Neat trick. But while he derides their toughness, then we get this:
There is power here, there is speed here, there is brashness and belief and as much bullpen intensity as bullpen ivy.
So, on one hand, they’re weak and refuse to step on the mound in October, yet they’re brash and full of belief? Yeah, that really follows, William.
You win regular-season titles by using dozens of arms, but you win
championships with one, a guy who can carry the load and the pressure
and the strain.
Yeah, an ace.
Wow, so if we get Roy Halladay, not only is he going to start for us, but he’s going to relieve himself, too?! OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!!
Yeah, a moron.
During the last nine seasons, no world champion has had a starting
pitching staff that was ranked lower than ninth in the league in
The Dodgers’ starters currently rank 14th.
During that same time, no world championship bullpen was ranked in the top 10 in its league in innings pitched.
The Dodgers’ bullpen currently ranks second.
Wait, you mean World Series winners had a bullpen, too? But you said that all of them have this really supercool pitcher who can do it all by himself! Liar!
Seriously, this is such a meaningless statement, but also asinine. First off, Plaschke needs to show why starters throwing more innings and relievers throwing less innings pitched directly correlates into winning titles. I’m not saying it isn’t a preferable thing, it is, but he assumes that as long as the Dodgers fail to meet these goals sufficiently, then they’re not going to win the World Series, because past champions met the criteria while the Dodgers don’t. But he’s leaving out other factors. For starters, just because the pitching has thrown more innings, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be bad innings and, despite what Plaschke is assuming, you don’t win titles just solely on pitching, much less purely on how many innings they pitched.
Secondly, not all World Series winning pitching staffs are equal. In other words, just because you win a title, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you had elite pitching. Three of the top four pitching teams last year in ERA were everyone else that made the playoffs in the NL: the Dodgers, Brewers, and Cubs. The Phillies were middle of the pack. You can also have a non-World Series caliber team and have excellent pitching (see 2003 Dodgers). What he’s arguing just doesn’t follow.
And, yes, it’s tough to sell anyone on prospects when most scouts
believe that most great Dodgers prospects are already at the major
But, hey, this is an organization that somehow acquired Manny Ramirez
for nothing, so surely there is something they can figure out.
Plaschke is suffering from the fallacy of equivocation on the word: “nothing.” If he means “nothing” in the sense of talent, then it’s just a false statement (see: LaRoche, Andy). If he means “nothing” in terms of money, that’s correct, but that’s completely separate from prospects. He’s using “nothing” in both senses or, at the very least, using it irresponsibly.
Coincidentally, Plaschke is also committing the fallacy of being a freaking moron. Yeah, we were able to get Manny free of charge last year, and while Ned gets big props for that, that was also a huge byproduct of Boston desperately wanting to get rid of Manny with the way things were going south.
They are a pitching staff that can lead the Dodgers to the league’s
Yet somehow that makes them…
But right now, they are a pitching staff filled only with decent arms
Yeah, gotta love that.
and daring souls and just enough heat to meld together the next two months.
Why, because you said so? And if that’s the case, then what’s the point of getting a Roy Halladay? If our staff falls apart, then not even he will save us. Oh yeah, that’s right, you said that these special cyborg, “ace” pitchers pitch all the time, right? Argh, now you’re lying again. Make up your mind, dammit!
but you know what that guarantees them? Ask the other best
teams from the last 15 years, and duck, as only one of them actually
won a World Series.
Yeah, so you know what would really help us, then? A big 8 game losing streak! Yeah, that’ll do it!
And it gets worse. From the caption:
Averaging 6 1/3 innings, Chad Billingsley doesn’t qualify as an ace.
Oh geez, so because he averages 6.3 innings per start, therefore, he’s
not “ace” enough? Yeah, you know who also shouldn’t qualify as an
ace? Johan Santana. That average arm is only averaging 6.5 IP/9!
Not much better. 6.6 IP/9. Should have looked this up, William.
There is no Cole Hamels, no Josh Beckett, no David Wells.
So, given that Cole Hamels is only averaging 5.8 IP/9, this season, does that mean that the Phillies have no ace, either? Oh yeah, the ace of the other team the Dodgers might see in the playoffs, Chris Carpenter, is averaging 6.6 IP/9, not too much better than Billingsley. So, no acehood yet for him, huh?
Given his experience, the man here should be Billingsley, but he still
needs to prove he has emotionally recovered from last fall’s two awful
starts against the Philadelphia Phillies, when he gave up 10 earned
runs in five innings.
Emotionally recover? What does that mean? What, does he need to go on “Dr. Phil” and bawl his eyes out or spend a month in Hawaii with Dr. Landy? Also, if you want to be consistent, C.C. Sabathia, a bonafide ace with lots of creamy veteran goodness and fits every criteria Plaschke sets in this article, not to mention also having a freaking 260 ERA+ with the Brewers last year to boot, also got totally shellacked by the Phillies in the playoffs, last year. Does he still need to prove that he’s emotionally recovered, as well?
Remember that? All the momentum the Dodgers built in a divisional
series sweep of the Chicago Cubs was wiped away with one Brett Myers
pitch behind Manny Ramirez’s behind.
Pardon my French, but: bullshit. The Dodgers came back after that miserable game 2 and won game 3 and were leading 5-3 in the 8th inning in game 4 until Cory Wade and Jonathan Broxton completely imploded and Matt Stairs essentially got a knife and twisted it in the heart of every fan in L.A. That’s when the momentum pretty much went to hell. Yet we don’t see any articles about how we should acquire an elite closer, do we? No, and for good reason.
Look, Billingsley’s been getting a lot of flack lately in all of these “we need an ace” articles, so can we just settle this now? Yeah? Alright, good…
This NLCS fiasco needs to go. Really, just stop. No, it’s not to exempt Billingsley: he sucked donkey balls. But for those who keep saying that he “needs to emotionally recover,” first off, what the hell do you mean? He’s been, for the most part, one of the better pitchers in the league for most of the season, including absolutely shutting down that Phillies team in a 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 BB, 9 K performance against them. The other problem is that if you’re going to accuse Billingsley of helping kill the momentum of the team last year, then you must also give him credit in sustaining it before that, namely his performance in the NLDS, when he went a commanding 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 7 K against a 97 win, heavily favored Cubs team. Or when he threw some scoreless relief innings as a 21 year old in the 2006 NLDS.
It’s simple: if he gets the blame for killing the momentum, then he should also get the credit for sustaining and building it through the NLDS. Similarly, if all of his troubles are essentially attributed to mental weaknesses, then his successes must be attributed to mental toughness. Why the asymmetry? Or do the latter instances not count? At least be consistent.
No Dodgers starter stood up then.
They need somebody to stand up now.
They need somebody to take the mound this October and stalk it, stomp
it, own it, because, as certain as browning leaves and buffeting winds,
another fight is coming.
Yeah, an ace.
Don’t you love how whenever Plaschke wants to advocate the Dodgers to do something, he always words it like the freaking apocalypse is coming?
Yeah, a nincompoop.
So, to sum up, what have we learned on the blog, tonight, Vin?
Well, according to Bill Plaschke, we need to get an ace because, apparently, our starters want to vacation beginning October 1st and they don’t want to pitch until the morning. Here’s the kicker, and this has been somewhat of a theme, lately: notice how nearly all of these arguments are never really backed up with numbers, but merely attacks on character? In other words, forget the fact that the Dodgers’ pitching ranks the best overall ERA in baseball, and, statistically speaking, have an elite rotation and bullpen. Forget that; why? Because there’s no “big nerved, cold starting pitcher.” Because Clayton Kershaw isn’t going to walk up to the mound come October (if he even shows up, of course) and rip off his jersey and yell at the batter: “Whatcha gonna do when the Kershawmania comes after you… brother?!”
Basically, instead of realizing that a trade for this Halladay like figure would pretty much be a case of “the rich getting richer,” most of these so-called journalists feel the need to degrade the pitching staff in order to make some point. Look, of course getting a Halladay would make this staff better, and it would improve the team and give us a deadly staff come October… duh! But that doesn’t mean that the Dodgers haven’t had great pitching, as it is, and to argue otherwise is insane. Just because we had major pitching concerns coming into the season doesn’t mean that we necessarily do, now. Yet, for some mysterious reasons, these so-called journalists feel the need to degrade the pitching staff in order to make a point and, sadly, the guy who has taken the fire the most lately for it has been Chad Billingsley. He had a bad NLCS and apparently his regular season numbers aren’t enough to show how “emotionally recovered” he is, either because 1. the journalists are just flat out irresponsible and not bothering to look or 2. the numbers likely don’t carry much weight because it’s only the regular season and in order to “prove himself” he needs to show it in October.
But in this article, it’s likely the latter and note the contradiction. Plaschke doesn’t really seem to care about how the Dodgers’ pitching staff has done this year, instead making judgments on Chad Billingsley based on two games in the NLCS, and essentially tossing aside or at least not caring much about the great success of the pitching. But If we aren’t to place much emphasis in regular season numbers, as Plaschke has done with the Dodgers pitching, then that should also apply to Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. After all, they’ve yet to throw a postseason game in their careers, so you’re essentially bolstering regular season numbers, too. But why is it O.K. with them, but what our staff has done over the course of the season (specifically Billingsley, in this article) is just sort of tossed aside? It’s inconsistent and dishonest.
But what else do you expect? It’s Plaschke.
Now it’s 8:14 A.M. I’ve yet to sleep. Goodnight!