Newsflash: Rivera is better than Jones

Drew Sharp had a blurb in today’s Free Press in which he argued that “making a one-year commitment to Todd Jones for 2008 is still a better financial and competitive investment than giving Mariano Rivera three years at nearly $40 million.”

It isn’t that assertion that bothers me. One could make an argument that an affordable 1 year deal to provide some depth while your closer in waiting matures is more fiscally responsible than sinking big money into a position that can be filled for less. I’m not going to get into that discussion right now.

But as part of his reasoning Sharp asserted:

Rivera is a future Hall of Famer, but he’s 38 and living more off previous reputation than any current intimidation factor.

There isn’t much distinguishing him — right now — from Jones from a production standpoint.

This is just wrong. Sharp offers no proof of this preposterous assertion, he just leaves it to the reader to believe him. In case you don’t want to take Drew Sharp at face value, here are their 2007 stats, I’ll let you figure out which pitcher is which.

Stat	PitA	PitB
IP	71.1	61.1
H	68	64
HR	4	3
BB	12	23
SO	74	33
R	25	29
FIP	2.61	3.88

Jones probably gets too much grief for what he isn’t. But to assert they are the same player from “a production standpoint” is just, umm, pick your adjective.

Todd Jones Stats and Graphs – Detroit Tigers | FanGraphs
Mariano Rivera Stats and Graphs – New York Yankees | FanGraphs
DREW SHARP: Todd Jones a better signing than Mariano Rivera

11 thoughts on “Newsflash: Rivera is better than Jones”

  1. Yeah, but once you factor in the HQ (Heart Quotient; Jones 1.7, Rivera 0.5) Roller Coaster has the obvious edge.

  2. I had a visitor from out of town earlier this year. He went through the Freep sports section and read some articles. I don’t even remember what the subject of the article was, but it was a Sharp piece. My buddy wrinkled his nose and asked, “Is this guy always such an IDIOT??” ‘Nuff said.

  3. JML:
    It could have as easily been Gage or Parker. It’s the same here in Minn. – lots of rah-rah, the manager is a genius and the players are all great (until they are traded or released), never a discouraging word, and heaven forbid any in-depth statistical analysis. Maybe job security encourages this approach, but the result is that they just become shills for the teams. The writing style is generally so weak and the information so thin (lots of quotes from manager X or player Y, though), that in most cases all you have to do is read the headline, skip the body of the text and go on to the box score. For the hardcore fan the information you seek is not to be found in the newspaper. Thank goodness for the internet.

  4. Parker is the worst writer ever.

    I never know how he can get on ESPN from time to time or how he even holds a job.

    9/10 articles he writes are total trash.

    Gage isn’t great but itsn’t horrid IMO

    Henning is a little better

    I like Caputo, but that could just be me, I think probably 7 or 8 times out of ten I agree with him.

  5. What’s this? Drew Sharp spouting off garbage that is just untrue because he doesn’t know baseball? I am shocked, SHOCKED I say.

    Him and Rob Parker are ridiculous. I pity anyone who takes what they say about the Tigers with more then a grain of salt.

  6. One of the amusing parts of this is that you don’t even have to dig into sabermetric analysis to conclude that Rivera is better than Jones. It’s obvious on its face.

  7. Yeah, not surprising. The old media press is ghastly. You have to remember that these guys get these jobs, and then hold onto them until a better one comes along or they die. They are protected by their union, and young talent cannot get a break. This is why good writers like Bill Simmons end up on ESPN Page2 while we get mediocre column writers.

    My review of the Detroit sports press:

    Mitch Albom: Quality of columns took a big dive once he became a famous author. He’s simply doing way too much and it affects the quality of his work.

    Terry Foster: I generally like his stuff. Still sort of writes like a “beat writer” and not a feature columnist, though.

    Mike O’Hara: Solid veteran old media guy. Writes cogent, to the point articles that are hard hitting. Maybe my favorite of the bunch.

    Lynn Henning: Fairly pedestrian. Changed his mind on Sean Casey based on basically nothing. He ripped that guy early in the year, and changed his mind based on a barely .300 batting average with no power and no RBI’s.

  8. I’m going to have to disagree with you on that one Rob. There are a few blind spots in your analysis.

    First off, newspapers have been getting pounded with job cuts, buyouts, etc, left and right. Unions are battered. Heck, the Freep just announced 100 buyouts Friday. Nationwide, papers are cutting across the board, including beats and seniority doesn’t help.

    Ask Perry Farrell about and his Detroit Pistons beat about how Remember him? Replaced by Krista (Latham) Jahnke when she was what, a year or two out of college? He ended up on the Detroit-Mercy beat and then preps. We have Mike Rosenberg in his low 30s or so as a columnist at the Freep. We have Jon Paul Morosi at the Freep, probably around 30 also.

    Right there, we see three young, talented writers.

  9. Kurt,

    Perhaps you work in the industry. I’m getting my information from what Bill Simmons said in his quasi-biography “Now I Can Die In Piece.”

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