For years, people have mocked former Cincinnati Red and current ESPN broadcaster Joe Morgan for his rudimentary takes on baseball. There's even a famous website, FireJoeMorgan.com, to do just that.
This morning, ESPN's Sports Guy Bill Simmons got in on the Joe Morgan mocking and it was Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez's Cy Young candidacy that got Simmons talking.
As we've documented here in detail, Hernandez is a strong American League Cy Young award candidate despite little run support (support of any kind, really) from his teammates. Morgan, for whatever reason, does not believe Hernandez belongs in the debate, despite strong statistical evidence, simply because he doesn't provide wins for his team.
I think it's a joke to have that kind of debate. What Sabathia has done is be the best pitcher in the AL from opening day to this point. I don't buy into the point that if Felix is pitching for someone else he'd have more wins. They said that about Cliff Lee when he left Seattle, but he's lost more than he's won since he left Seattle. The name of the game is to win and he's won. And if you're looking at a second guy, it has to be David Price. It's amazing to me that we have let computers define him rather than performance. His job is to win the game, not just pitch 5-6 innings. I don't think there should be a debate between Felix and Sabathia.
Bill Simmons then took to Twitter to mock Morgan and express disbelief.
Joe Morgan is anti-Felix for Cy Young: "Felix had a fabulous year but his teammates didn't support him. And it's still a team game." What???
With so many other influential voices in baseball looking past the raw wins number to support Hernandez, it is surprising Morgan would cling so strongly to his straightforward approach. But then again, that's why he is Joe Morgan.
Unfortunately for all parties involved, especially Hernandez, he will close the season with 13 wins as Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik announced yesterday that Felix is being shut down for the rest of the season.