Joba: “Robbed”

We all know the BBWAA isn't the most reliable arbiter of value, and once again they have proven themselves not up to their own charge, in this case the naming of the Rookie of the Year. We won't quibble with the winner, Evan Longoria, who won in a landslide with all 28 first-place votes. But seeing Joba in 9th, with but one measly third-place ballot and behind the likes of Armando Galarraga—that stings, even if reasonable case can be made for some of those above him. Jacoby Ellsbury's .280/.336/.394 line certainly makes him a dubious third-place finisher.

25 comments… add one
  • Ellsbury’s line actually is surprisingly good. Given his struggles all year, I’m always surprised when I see his average near .300 and his OPS over .700 (OK, that’s not so hot, though for a rookie, it’s not terrible). Plus he led baseball in stolen bases, not an unimpressive accomplishment.
    Chamberlain missed the first part of the year, then was shut down with an injury. Health is a specific requirement for ROY (as Papelbon’s case in ’06 made clear). Though Papelbon did finish second, so obviously it didn’t keep him from getting votes.
    Anyway, that’s my devil’s advocate position. I was surprised Ellsbury finished as high as he did and Chamberlain so low.
    On a semi-related note, that BBWAA page is an abomination. A group of journalists needs to have a better-looking page than that. It’s like Kermit threw up all over it. It’s an embarrassment to those of us who write AND enjoy good design.

    Paul SF November 11, 2008, 11:11 am
  • Also, the Red Sox did not have a single player receive a single ROY vote this decade until 2006. They’ve now had five players receive votes in the past three years — including one winner and a finisher in the Top 3 each year.

    Paul SF November 11, 2008, 11:25 am
  • “Chamberlain missed the first part of the year, then was shut down with an injury. Health is a specific requirement for ROY (as Papelbon’s case in ’06 made clear). ”
    Joba did not miss the first part of the year. He was a dominant RP during this time. He then transitioned very nicely to SP. He was only hurt in early august and missed 1 month which is 1 week less than the 5.5 weeks that Longoria missed with his wrist injury at roughly the same time in the season.
    Im also not saying that Longoria shouldn’t have won but Joba 9th is really an abomination. Joba’s numbers at both RP and SP were fantastic and although I havent looked this up id be surprised if there were many rookie pitchers at either position. Then again, as the guys over at river ave blues pointed out, these same writers were the ones who gave 3 second place votes to Ednison Volquez who wasnt even eligible for the reward!

    Sam-YF November 11, 2008, 12:16 pm
  • * that should have read Rookie pitchers out there with similar or better numbers to his.

    Sam-YF November 11, 2008, 12:18 pm
  • It seems Longoria was such a foregone conclusion that every other contender was an afterthought for the writers this year, whom I suppose chose to spend their time on more arguably valuable pursuits than trying to parse pitching lines, hence Joba’s token mention. Aviles and Span were regarded pretty fairly IMO. Like Paul noted, Ellsbury was _awesome_ on the paths, though I disagree with Paul in his optimistic view of that abysmal batting line; if that was “surprising”, what was expected? Ramirez was an average player. I agree with YF that Galarraga snagging nine third-place votes despite a scary HR rate and being essentially the same pitcher as Blackburn, who shouldered five more starts and only got one third-place vote, shows brutal laziness. Probably just because he shares a last name with Big Cat. Devine was indeed divine in his 46.7 IP, and snagged a plausible second place vote. Probably deserved a bit more consideration. Ziegler’s scoreless inning debut streak was more impressive than Ellsbury’s swipes in my opinion; Ziegler had a _great_ year but nabs only a token third-place. Meanwhile, Corey Wade and Jose Arrendondo didn’t muster a single vote for whatever reason. So, Longoria was such an easy pick for the writers that the rest really didn’t matter. If you ain’t first, you’re last. I guess the writers thought that Longoria was so Firsty it makes little sense throwing crumbs to the rest. I disagree, but I guess I just like scratching my navel.

    attackgerbil November 11, 2008, 1:55 pm
  • I doubt it really had anything to do with anything, but I am curious if the “head-hunting” thing with Youk took some luster off of Chamberlain in the eyes of the voters. Idly wondering.

    attackgerbil November 11, 2008, 2:12 pm
  • I doubt it ag, it doesnt seem to me that the writers pay even close to enough attention to factor that in….

    Sam-YF November 11, 2008, 2:16 pm
  • Why is “robbed” in quotes in the post title? Did Joba say he was robbed? Someone else? Or is YF saying Joba was robbed? Or, “robbed”, with (quoting Jon Stewart) “dickfingers”? And anyhow robbed of what? Robbed of finishing higher in the voting? I can hear the phone call to WFAN now, with someone yelling “how could Joba NOT HAVE FINISHED FOURTH?!”, since we all remember those lower position votegetters in offseason awards balloting down the road. Unless, of course, they were named Pedro and left off a ballot entirely.
    There’s really nothing going on in baseball w/r/t the Sox and Yanks if we’re resorting to discussing how far below Evan Longoria Joba really should have finished in the voting. Oy.

    SF November 11, 2008, 2:36 pm
  • Ahh, you’re right, Sam, re: Joba. Allow me to shift my argument a little: I wonder if the fact that he left the pen to join the rotation, essentially missing a month in the process (through the transition in which he was heavily pitch-counted) and then not being as lights out as he had been previously hurt him. Something like being a victim of his own well-deserved hype. Not that it’s fair, but I wonder if that’s what played into it. Of course, if that’s the case, Ellsbury should have been more severely punished for his sub-par line. Expectations for him were ridiculous heading into the season, and the only place where he fulfiled them was on the basepaths. His line doesn’t look so bad to me as long as I ignore what we all felt sure he would do entering the season.

    Paul SF November 11, 2008, 2:37 pm
  • > we’re resorting to discussing how far below
    navel scratching, like I said.

    attackgerbil November 11, 2008, 2:44 pm
  • Tim Lincecum wins the NL cy young. Well-deserved considering the garbage team he played for.

    Sam-YF November 11, 2008, 2:56 pm
  • I’m gonna sit this one out.

    I'mBillMcNeal November 11, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • No, I’m not.
    By the end of the season, he had pretty much fallen from the baseball conscience
    (and actually he was tied for eighth.) He got a single third-place vote, which means that at least one of the two voting New York writers left him completely off the ballot.
    He’s a fine pitcher, but because of injuries and the transition to the rotation, he wasn’t a viable candidate for ROY at the end of the season. He wasn’t deserving of a top three slot. Mind you this is no commentary on his propects in 2009 and beyond.
    I give the BBWAA props for getting the top three right. Alexei Ramirez was the appropriate runner-up. I figured he’d get lost in the shuffle.

    I'mBillMcNeal November 11, 2008, 4:01 pm
  • CORRECTION: Delete the “transition” part from my argument. That should have had no bearing.

    I'mBillMcNeal November 11, 2008, 4:04 pm
  • Ok, you want “robbed”? How about Brandon Webb finishing ahead of Johan Santana in the NL CY voting. Santana, but for the Mets’ bullpen, might have had 25 wins this year. I imagine a bunch of voters saw the “16” in Santana’s line and stopped looking right then. F*ck his league-best ERA, or his higher strikeout total, better WHIP. It’s all about the wins, and Webb had more.

    SF November 11, 2008, 5:39 pm
  • I’m not going to ranks snubs. But (a) I disagree with IBM about his value and (b) in the case of Webb, it was a close vote with both players receiving votes. Webb is a bit hard to judge by standard metrics as he relies so heavily on gb. Compare his hr total to Santana’s and you have a legit reason to vote for him beyond wins, which do count for something, but obviously not all or Lincecum wouldn’t have won in the first place.
    The quotes were my way of saying that some fans might call it “robbery,” but i think a less harsh term is more applicable. The voters, as usual, didn’t rank the players according to their value. I’m not really concerned with what player a or b DESERVES (who cares?) but with a properly objective analysis of reality.

    YF November 11, 2008, 6:18 pm
  • Lincecum wins the Cy? YES! I was going to be furious if Webb won it over him.
    And wow, that website IS horrible. I need to get them to hire me to fix it! (Selfish self-promotion: if anyone needs a website head over to

    Atheose November 11, 2008, 6:52 pm
  • Ath – get it working before you link me to it!! hahaha.

    Brad November 12, 2008, 11:26 am
  • 9th is a bit low. My impression was that (and I could be wrong) that there are plenty of rookies who didn’t play the entire season who won anyhow. Tough to argue Longoria though.

    Lar November 12, 2008, 12:27 pm
  • Looking at the voting you have to believe that the writers only paid attention to ROY in the second half. Denard Span was very good but he only played in the second half, Brad Ziegler was great as the set up/closer for the As from the middle of the second half on.
    I would definitely agree with the top 2 vote getters. Alexei Ramirez really turned it on, played outstanding defense and covered 3 position (CF, SS, 2b).

    walein November 12, 2008, 2:27 pm
  • Yankees re sign Marte to 3 year, $12 million contract…got a lefty for the bullpen. Hopefully Coke can continue to improve as well.

    krueg November 12, 2008, 5:00 pm
  • Lou and Maddon getting the nod. Kind of amusing if you think about it.

    Lar November 12, 2008, 6:55 pm
  • RE: Lou.
    Interesting how that “best players, best record argument” doesn’t play in the AL. Or maybe that was only when it involved Tito or Torre.

    I'mBillMcNeal November 12, 2008, 11:27 pm
  • Cliff Lee wins AL CY Yong. Dice-K finishes 4th!!! he was robbed!!! I kid, he should have finished behind Lester (who didn’t I didn’t see on the list), and I would have picked Doc Halladay.

    dw (sf) November 13, 2008, 3:49 pm
  • Eh, don’t worry there Yankee fans. You wouldn’t want those grapes anyway. I’m sure they would have been sour.

    Hit Dog November 14, 2008, 11:56 am

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