How the East Coast bias hurts baseball
This week in the podcast I cover a list of guys who you can “buy low” for a nice return. All of them are available in one of my two 10-team, 22-man roster fantasy baseball leagues, including the 87-percent owned Asdrubal Cabrera, but that isn’t what I want to talk about here. Today I’d like to vent about the lack of respect and notoriety the (statistically) two best pitchers in the American League are receiving.
One is a Cy Young award winner and a three-time All-Star. A dominant starter known by every baseball fan in every stadium, even the kids looking through the knotholes of the outfield fences of the rural Single-A and Double-A teams. His career ERA over nine seasons is 3.16 and he’s whiffed over 1,500 batters. This season has been more of the same, 56 strikeouts and only eight walks in a league-leading 58.2 innings pitched. Much like his pitching counterpart Justin Verlander, his next no-hitter is just around the corner and you wouldn’t be surprised to see it in his next start.
The other is only in his second Major League season. His team originally signed him to a one-year deal and a poor 2012 Spring Training relegated him to the bullpen where he was the last person on ANY opening day roster to appear in a game. After a series of injuries to other pitchers allowed him to crack the starting rotation, he was brilliant. He finished the season with a starting ERA under three and has continued that pace this season, flashing a 1.74 ERA and 51 K’s in 51.2 innings.
No matter how much you watch sports on TV or listen to them on the radio, you aren’t going to hear these guys names unless they’re playing your team. I was even on hold with Mike & Mike on ESPN radio during one of their rare “change the subject” type call-in segments. I said I wanted to know why these guys weren’t getting the respect they deserved and was skipped over for four people wanting to talk NBA Playoffs and the New York Jets. (The Jets continue to get so much press while the Giants, who have won two of the past six Super Bowls, are rarely heard from. It blows my mind)
Anyways, these two stars are getting skipped over left and right by every media outlet except the ones in their own city and it’s about time the ESPNs of the world take notice of Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma. Both of them deserve to be All-Stars and despite the light-hitting team they pitch for, both of them continue to put the Mariners in position to win every game they start. If they pitched in New York, Boston or even Philadelphia instead of Seattle, we’d be seeing kids in Felix jerseys on the West Coast. Since they’re tucked up in the Northwest, only the savvy baseball fans will notice their dominance, and that’s everyone else’s loss.
I love you all, except the East Coast bias. West Coast forever!!!!!