Sunday, October 16, 2011

Team Leaders

Ryan Ludwick does not exist.  He never existed.
If you go to the Padres official website, about half-way down you'll find a section labeled '2011 team leaders'.  It lists Nick Hundley, Cameron Maybin, and Will Venable as the team HR leaders with 9 each.  It also shows Jesus Guzman, Chase Headley, and Venable as the team RBI leaders with 44 each.

Ryan Ludwick's 11 HR and 64 RBI as a Padre are conveniently forgotten.  For some reason this really offends me.  It's as if the team does not want to acknowledge his contributions to the 2011 effort.

I got into a psuedo-argument about this on Twitter last night.  The reasons given for why he's not listed included 'he was traded' and 'its more about who's on the current roster'.  Fine.  Then don't label that section on the website '2011 Team Leaders'.  Call it something else - Active Padres Leaders, or Current Roster Leaders, or The Best We've Got Left As The Season Ended.

Ludwick's stats didn't cease to count just because he was traded to Pittsburgh 15 minutes before the trade deadline.  He was still the most productive Padre in these two areas during the 2011 season.  It's ridiculous to pretend he wasn't.  Besides, what good does it do to present the data in this way?  Ludwick is still listed on the sortable stats page as a Padre (as he should be), and if one sorts by HR or RBI guess who's name sits at the top of the list.  Go to the 2011 San Diego Padres team page on Baseball Reference, and guess who's still listed there?  Ludwick!  Of course B-Ref has him as the everyday LF, but that's because he played more games in LF than any other Padre in 2011, which is how B-Ref organizes their data.

So who are we trying to fool here - the fans?  That's insulting to all fans everywhere.

There are other ways to sell the current roster.  Highlight Maybin's success in 2011.  Talk about how Hundley recovered from his first half injuries to become a force at the plate after the All-Star Break.  Mention Anthony Bass' development, and how (according to what I've read) he's continuing to progress in the Arizona Fall League.  Hype Cory Spangenberg.

Just don't tell me the team leaders in HR and RBI were guys who fell 2 HR and 20 RBI short of a player that left via a team decision 7/31.

In case you think I'm being unreasonable (and you might), consider this.  In 1990 Willie McGee was traded, at the end of August, from St Louis to Oakland.  At the time he led the NL in batting average (.335).  Even though he spent the last month of the season in the other league, he had accrued enough at bats to qualify for the NL batting title.  At seasons end, no other NL hitter had caught him, so McGee won the NL batting title ... despite no longer playing in the league

If Major League Baseball, that stodgy organization, could recognize McGee for his performance in the NL before he was traded, why can't the Padres do the same thing with their '2011 team leaders'?  Who are they trying to kid.

Pretending Ludwick's numbers don't qualify as a team leader because he was dealt at the trade deadline is dishonest.  The Padres are wrong to present the 2011 team leader stats without including him.

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