- NotGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/not -

My 2011 Sigh Young Award Picks


In my last post, I gave you my early picks in each league for the extremely uncoveted Least Valuable Player award. Today we take a look at my Top 4 picks in each league for the equally uncoveted Sigh Young Award, honoring those courageous men who put their elbows, shoulders, and faces on the line every day for your entertainment.

Let’s jump right in.

AL Sigh Young:

1. Brad Penny 

While Brad Penny’s inability to get strikeouts (3.74 K/9) doesn’t do him any favors against Major League hitters, it has apparently been a blessing in his dealings with members of the opposite sex. If she is in showbusiness and she is attractive, Brad Penny has probably been with her at some point.

I don’t understand it. He’s Brad freakin’ Penny. Which is to say: they can’t be with him because of his pitching abilities and they can’t be with him because of his looks (unless he has cornered to market on women who are into guys that look like ogres). There must be some piece of this puzzle that is missing. Fangraphs has a stat called E-F, which measures the difference between a pitcher’s ERA and FIP — a shorthand way of determining whether a pitcher has been lucky or unlucky. I would like to propose a new stat: E-D, or, ERA minus desirability of the pitcher’s significant other (on a 1-10 scale with 1 being most desirable and 10 being least desirable). Brad Penny currently has a 4.07 E-D. Brad Penny is getting extremely lucky. This run is almost certainly unsustainable.

2. Francisco Liriano

He was the first pitcher I drafted in my fantasy league and he has done nothing but disappoint me all season. There was some talk early on that Twins management was trying to get Liriano to “pitch to contact,” which, if true, would be a real shame. Telling a pitcher to “pitch to contact” is basically like telling him to intentionally suck at pitching.

3. A.J. Burnett

Personally, I just find Andy Dick really annoying.

4. Doug Fister

A pitcher has one job when he takes the mound: to get TEH WINZ. Doug Fister does not know how to get TEH WINZ — he has only six of them to go along with 13 losses.

Also, his name is homophonous with someone named Doug being instructed to perform Chip Caray’s favorite sex act.

NL Sigh Young:

1. John Lannan

As I’ve noted elsewhere, John Lannan is a reckless maniac with utterly no regard for the sanctity of human life. He has demonstrated a pattern of hitting Phillies’ batsmen since his Major League debut in 2007, when he broke Chase Utley’s hand and perhaps cost him an MVP award. Thus, Lannan will be my default number one pick every year until he is out of baseball. Never forget.

2. Matt Cain

Cain makes the list for having the gall to have made a career out of defying DIPS. Consider his inclusion revenge of the nerds.

3. Kyle Kendrick

War criminal, insurance fraudster, serial killer, identity thief, Ponzi schemer, good pitcher, kidnapper, mafioso, grave robber, drug lord, bootlegger, improper disposer of toxic waste, poacher, gun runner, shoplifter, jaywalker, pirate, telemarketer, imperialist, cyber stalker, arsonist.

One of these things Kyle Kendrick is not.

4. Bronson Arroyo

Saturn Nuts is the only pitcher in the Majors with at least 80 innings pitched and a negative WAR. You have to respect a man who can sustain such awfulness over such a large sample. Kudos!