Pudge is underperforming, Pudge isn’t hitting at all, Pudge is a drain on our team, Pudge is sitting too often, whine whine whine etc.
These numbers are comparing catchers over all of MLB, mind you, not just the AL. I’ve knocked out all the catchers with less than 100 ABs, because it only seems fair, you know. All stats taken from the official MLB site, so if they’re wrong, blame Bud Selig, not me.
League leader: .306, Robert Fick, Padres.
Pudge: .294, good for 6th place.
League leader: .569, Javier Valentin, Reds.
Pudge: .466, good for 6th place.
League leader: 16, tie between AJ Pierzynski (Wrong Sox) and Jason Varitek (Red Sox)
Pudge: 9, good for a 10th place tie with Sal Fasano (Os), Jason LaRue (Reds), Mike Lieberthal (Phillies), Javy Lopez (Os), Mike Matheny (Giants– Michigan Wolverine!), and poor astigmatic begoggled Jason Phillips (Dodgers).
League leader: 4, Pudge.
OK, so Comerica probably has something to do with that.
Next best: 2, tie between Michael Barrett (Cubs) and Robert Fick.
League leader: 27, Pudge.
I don’t think Comerica has much to do with this one. Pudge has always been a doubles hitter, and it’s not hard to believe that he’s the best double-hitting catcher in baseball right now.
Next best: 25, Mike Matheny.
League leader: 53, Victor Martinez, Indians.
Pudge: 40, good for 12th place.
League leader: 57, Pudge.
That’s leading all catchers in baseball, you do realize.
Next best: 49, tie between Jason Kendall (As) and Jason Varitek.
League leader: 109, Pudge.
Next best: 106, Jason Kendall.
League leader: 8, Joe Mauer, Twinkies.
Pudge: 6, good for a second place tie with Jason Kendall.
Number of at-bats
League leader: 391, Jason Kendall.
Pudge: 371, good for second place.
This is really the only gaping hole in his game:
League leader: .384, Jason Varitek.
Pudge: .304, good for 30th place.
So, basically, everyone needs to calm the hell down. You can’t say that Pudge is sitting too often, because he demonstrably is not. He’s playing in more games than almost every single other catcher in baseball. If you want to whine about him sitting at the same time as a bunch of other big bats, rather than spreading out the off-days, by all means, go ahead. But you can’t say he’s sitting too much.
You can’t say that he’s some sort of terrible offensive presence, because he very obviously is not. Say you’re somehow able to move his contract… who the hell do you put in there? There isn’t any other catcher in baseball like Pudge; there isn’t anyone who is putting numbers up like Pudge, even this year, when Pudge is underperforming from his usual Pudge levels. Cripes, what do you people want? He’s got to bat .400 and slug .600 before we’re satisfied with what he’s doing out there? Now, if you want to whine about the complete and utter lack of walks he’s taking, feel welcome to do so. I’ll whine with you.
But to talk of trading him for what is basically a guaranteed downgrade at the catcher position… you cats are wicked insane.