Mike’s Mailbag 9/9

Mike’s Mailbag 9/9

The Baseball Page

Mike's Mailbag

Mike’s Mailbag 9/9

Friday equals Mike's Mailbox.....Watch for it!

I’m planning on sticking to the tradition of Mike’s Mailbag every Friday.  It's a good way to wind down the week and get my last shots in before the weekend.  This week I got questions about Dodgers award chances, top rookies, Beckett vs Drew, self-tying shoes, and football. Remember if you want your emails posted, send them to

Helen (Los Angeles):  What are the chances that the Dodgers can win both the MVP and Cy Young while having a losing record?

Matt KempThat would be quite a feat.  The 1987 Cubs finished the year 76-85, 18½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.   That year Andre Dawson won the MVP and Rick Sutcliffe finished 2nd in the Cy Young voting.  That’s the closest that it’s been.  This year could be the first.   Matt Kemp is 3rd in the NL in runs (94), hits (167), home runs (32), RBI (107), average (.318), OBP (.398), and OPS (.962) He’s 2nd in stolen bases (37), SLG (.564), and he leads the National League in total bases with 296.  He is clearly in the discussion.  With Cy Young, Kershaw is 2nd in the National League in wins (17),  ERA (2.45),  innings (205.2), average (.214), WHIP (1.02), OBP (.264), K/9 (9.71), Hits/9 (7), and he leads the league in strike outs with 222, OPS (.566)  and SLG (.302).  Both these guys are top three in every category listed.  There is no doubt that they are in consideration.  Being on a losing team will hurt both of their chances and I’m not sure how many writers will list both as their top choice.  I am very interested to see how the voting ends up.  But yes, it’s possible this year.

Everyone (every bar I’ve gone to):  Are you excited for football?

Yes. Stop asking, I’m trying to watch the game.

Josh (Pittsburgh):  Who are some of the young/rookie players that you think will end up being the best?  What about Pedro Alvarez?

I’ll answer the 2nd part first.  I’m not overly impressed with Pedro Alvarez.  Granted, he hit 16 home runs in 95 games last year, but he hasn’t progressed, as far as I can tell, this year.  Even in the minors his career average is .278.  So don’t expect better than that.  .278 is a good average if he can deliver the power numbers but he’s hit .233 so far in the majors.

I’ve heard experts say that the Pirates should move him to 1st so he doesn’t need to work on improving his defense as much, focus more on hitting.  Maybe that will help him.

With rookies, I think Michael Pineda is the top of the class for pitchers.  He will be great.  

The Braves have some solid young arms too.  Last night Julio Teheran looked good.  They also have Minor and Beachy.  Could the Braves be setting the stage for another big three?  For position players, Mike Trout will be an amazing all around player, and Brett Lawrie is going to be a beast at the plate.  Here’s what I don’t get, Desmond Jennings, he’s so exciting to watch and a good player, why wasn’t he up sooner?  Was this just a way to get another year of service?  Since coming up he’s played 44 games, hitting .302, with a .392 OBP, .544 SLG, and .936 OPS, he has 9 home runs, 21 RBI and 15 stolen bases.  If he was with the club all year could the Rays have closed up the 6.5 game difference behind the Sox? - Maybe by at least a couple games.  Was he being held back by the legend of Sam Fuld? Maybe it will pay off for the Rays in the long run, we will see.

Back to the Future shoesScott (Boston): Are you going to get the “Back to the Future” shoes?

Oh my god! I wish I could afford them. Did you all see these?  Nike has made the auto tying shoes and are auctioning off 1,500 pairs.  I’ve compiled a list of things that would be cooler than those shoes.

  • Hoverboards
  • Cherry 2,000

That’s the end of the list.


Tom (MA): Can you compare J.D. Drew to Josh Beckett?

I got this message shortly after my last mailbag and a couple days ago they were talking about this on the radio.  Tom was way ahead of the game.  Since being in Boston, Beckett has averaged 28.3 starts a year.  Timed by 5 is 141.6 games a year.  I only multiply it by 5 to see if he or Drew is more durable.   Drew has averaged 120.4 games a year with Boston.  I have a feeling that Beckett will pitch again this year but we might not see Drew.  With this breakdown, Beckett seems more durable.  When Drew is in the lineup, he’s consistent. 11, 19, 24, 22 are his home run totals. 64, 64, 68, 68 are his RBI totals.  .270, .280, .279, .255 are his averages and his OBP is .373, .408, .392, .341.  So last year was down in every category and I didn’t even include this year.  Besides OBP, none of Drew’s numbers are great, but if he’s in the lineup, he’s steady.   The biggest two things that fans hate are the contract and his demeanor. Drew signed a 5-year $70M deal to come to Boston.  He hasn’t lived up to that, but we can’t do anything about the money.  He will always at least have the postseason grand slam.  Beckett has been a reliable pitcher for Boston.  Too many people look at the W/L record.  Last year he had a terrible year, his era was 5.78 and he only started 21 games.  These are his other years in Boston,  20-7, 12-10, 17 -6, 12 -5.  His ERAs are 3.27, 4.03, 3.86, and 2.49.  Josh has struck out 194, 172, 199, and this year he’s at 155. He has always had a K/9 over 8, and less than a hit per inning.   Beckett is in the beginning of a four year $68M dollar contract and over his time in Boston I think he has lived up to his contracts.  He’s not an Ace, but he’s a decent number 2 starter.

Hayden Christensen Lion KingMy final email is from myself.  Mike (Boston):  Are you going to see Lion King 3D.

Probably not, but I do love the Lion King but no 3D movie will live up to Piranha 3D.  I just really hope they don’t replace Mufasa’s cloud spirit with Hayden Christensen (at best the 2nd best Hayden).




If you’d like your emails posted, want to buy me “Back to the Future” sneakers, or want me to photoshop Hayden Christensen on other things, email me

By Mike Lavery
Friday, 9 Sep 2011

Andre Dawson, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Brandon Beachy, Chicago Cubs, Clayton Kershaw, Desmond Jennings, J.D. Drew, Josh Beckett, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Kemp, Michael Pineda, Mike Minor, Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates, Rick Sutcliffe, Sam Fuld, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays


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