Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wang for Cy Young, Squirrel for President?

I kind of want to expand on a point in my last post.

Chien Ming Wang now has 17 wins.

He's not been an all-star. The Baseball Tonight guys still can't pronounce his name. He doesn't ever seem to show any emotion during the game. If he strikes out a guy, people get concerned because it's not a ground ball out.

He's won 17 games.

You'd never know it, unless you follow the Yankees religiously, or you're a pitching coach, or you live in Taiwan.

When asked who the Yankees' number one starter is, you're more likely to say Andy Pettitte. When asked who the Yankees' MVP is, if not Alex Rodriguez, you'd be more likely to say Pettitte or even Posada.

Yet every time Wang goes out, you probably don't get nervous...not the way you do with many of the other pitchers.

Every time Wang goes out, you know that in all likelihood the other team's not going to score more than three runs.

You know that if Wang starts having more fly outs than ground outs than there's something to be concerned about, but you probably don't realize that if you're concerned about how your pitcher is making outs, as opposed to whether or not he gets them at all (like with Mussina), then you've got something special.

He's not flashy like Beckett, and he doesn't rack up the Ks like Santana, but, lest you forget, he took a perfect game into the eighth on 5 May, and a no hit bid into the 7th last week.

And he's young.

Wang isn't a 30-year-old journeyman having one good year; it's his third year and he's been nothing but consistent.

He probably won't get the Cy Young this year; voters probably have forgotten he missed April and would otherwise almost certainly have 20 wins, but he should certainly finish in the top three.

Just, don't expect anyone to notice.


  1. Hi Rebecca,

    I'm an Italian 21y old Yankee fan and I've enjoyed reading your comments on Peter Abraham's blog.
    As often I totally agree with your point of view on Wang.
    Good luck for the blog (that looks great) and for your studies in Syracuse (for mine too, I need it LOL) but GO BRUINS as I am an UCLA fan!:D
    Obviously....GO YANKEES!!!


  2. Yer right-on concerning CMW. He's just so low-key. One thing I liked from earlier this year, it seemed that he was indeed working with Roger and Andy; I noticed a bit more velocity and a little more bite on his slider. Imagine a groundout, strikeout machine!
    Rebecca, congratulations on yer 1st international blog posting!!

  3. One of the nice things about Wang, as strange as it sounds, and you alluded to this, is that when he is having an off-day, you know right away and it's no big mystery through the early innings. The other nice thing about Wang is that when he isn't having an offday, it's pretty evident by his dominance!

    I really wouldn't be surprised if he ends up leading the AL in Wins at the end of the season, that he may just pick up the Cy Young award. It just seems like the last few years the W column is what the voters look at most. I could just imagine the look on his face if he does win it.

  4. Luca--Buono e Grazie. I think. I don't really speak Italian...UCLA is more than welcome to do what it wants, just as long as they don't beat Syracuse!

    (How crazy would it be if they beat USC?)

    Charles--Thank you! A groundout/strikeout machine would be crazy, especially if he can adapt to the team he's facing. the game against Toronto it only took the second or third batter to know Wang didn't have it that night.

    If he did win it, Taiwan might just go crazy...

  5. Rebecca, great new blog! I enjoy reading your posts at Pete's and I'm happy to see you have your own "place" now. I'll check in regularly, because your writing is very good. Come by and check out my "new" site as well when you have a chance -

  6. wolf in pinstripes: Sure thing, us bloggers gotta support each other, right?

  7. Yes, we do! LOL My site is more of a message board - just trying to get some memberships built up. I'll be glad to put a link up for your blog when I get home from work tonight.

    Regarding Wang, I think after his '06 season, a lot of people wanted to write him off as a flash in the pan, but this year has (thankfully) shown that not to be the case. It's hard for a lot of to look at him as being a staff ace even after his dominance, simply because of the fact that he is a groundball pitcher and not a power pitcher. As far as I'm concerned though, he is our staff ace. Pettitte has been amazing in the sceond half, but Wang is the future and we may have Andy one more year at best after this season if all goes well.

  8. Buono e Grazie is quite a nice base to build up your italian! LOL
    I hope UCLA beta USC, especially on the bball court even if with the Trojans there's our third italian in the USA after Bargnani and Belinelli: Dani Hackett!!
    And in a few years we hope to have some italian born players also in mlb with two guys that in this season have played in the minors (both A, Peoria and Wisconsin) and a 17y old coming up.
    What's your feeling for tonight game?A W could be HUGE at this time of the season!

  9. Wolf in Pinstripes: Thank you! I've seen a lot of message boards, and you seem to know what you're doing!

    Wang kind of reminds me of Glavine a bit. He's just always there, and you never get nervous.

    Luca: It seems there are a lot of Italians in baseball--historically, as well. Berra, Rizzuto, Campenella, etc.

    Tonight? HUGE. Without a doubt. HUGE.

  10. Yep, you're right Rebecca but Rizzutto & C. are american born players with italian origins while I was talking about italian born players. They're the relief pitcher Alex Maestri of the Peoria Chiefs (amazing season for him) and the 3B Alex Liddi of the Wisconsin Timberrattlers! ;)

  11. Here's a little ritual I follow when time and $$$ permit: I live on the outskirts of Saint Louis ['til next month] and about 30 miles away, near downtown, is a quaint old Italian-American neighborhood, The Hill. It's where Joe Garagiola and Yogi Berra grew up, Jack Buck as well. On one corner is Rigazzi's, a restaurant I like to go to. I enjoy the "Chicken Giambetti", which is chicken breast in garlic butter, with capers. The "Giambetti" part, I swear, brings luck to our own Giambino.
    Fishbowl of Newcastle Brown Ale from the draught to seal the deal.
    Hey, couldn't hurt, right?

  12. Charles--That's great! That's amazing that you live so close to that...

    Luca--Ah, okay! Still, it seems that there are more Italians in baseball than any of the other major sports...

  13. I usually go to The Hill on Saturdays [not a lot of things are open on Sunday, there]... game's not on until six [central], so maybe I'll sneak over and have the special :-) Skinny Jason needs our help!!

  14. Hi, I am a Taiwanese. Actually, they really (not might) go crazy about him. Sometimes the game would be started at 1:00 am, and I was always filled with the people's energy when I went to a vender for a night snack. They chated in Taiwanese dialect like "Wow, finaly, a-rod had his 500th homer!"or "Hey! The Posada with big butt wanted to get the 2rd base, so crazy." I enjoyed with that. By the way, depends on the affection for Wang in Taiwan, I think that could be possible: Wang for president -- I'm not kidding you. :)

  15. That's pretty cool, Toby. Back in the old days, we used to marvel that Henry Aaron had such a large butt. It had to have helped him generate bat speed, though :-)