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Sunday, October 05, 2003

IT'S A CERTAINTY

Imagine you're the manager of a baseball club and you're wondering whether your ace can pitch a must-win game on short rest. You ask how he feels, and he says, "If the case presents itself, and I have to pitch today, I will do that. It would probably be in everybody's best interest if I didn't, but if you want me to pitch today, I will." Would you start him?

I originally thought Schmidt should have started yesterday's game, but if he had told me that, I would have done the same thing if I were Alou. Especially considering this.

Frankly, I'm not too surprised. I was concerned earlier in the year when I traded away Schmidt on one of my fantasy teams back in July that he was racking up more innings (and near the leaders in PAP^3) than ever before. (Prior to this year, he hadn't pitched over 200 innings since '99.)

I wish him a complete recovery.

UPDATE:

Will Carroll is reporting that Schmidt's surgery isn't likely to hurt his 2004 season.

CRANKY ABOUT THE CRANK

The Baseball Crank offers up his take on Prior's 133 pitch outting, including a potential counter argument to my crazy pills recriminations.

All I want to know is... who are these "statheads" who have been "conceding" that "maybe Dusty knows more than he sometimes lets on"--especially when it comes to pitch counts? (Mark Prior's other biggest fan, Will Carroll, is, if anything, less convinced that Dusty actually knows what he's doing when it comes to pitchers.) I find it a little suspicious that the Crank includes no links to any evidence backing up his counter-claims about pitch counts or Dusty's newfound cheering section.

Honestly... is it really a coincidence that Ortiz, Schmidt, and Livan all just had their best seasons ever post-Dusty? Think about it.

And "once in a decade arm"? Prior's obviously got as much potential as anyone, but he's still just a kid. It's foolish to say nonsense like he's possibly "advanced to the same class as pitchers like Greg Maddux". Greg Maddux is one of the best. Ever. He's earned the right not to be compared to the latest young stud until they've earned it. Prior's talented as fuck. But he hasn't earned it.

You'd think Prior was the only young pitcher ever to have immediate success in the majors. Remember when Dwight Gooden was a 20 year old can't miss Hall of Famer? (Poor Doc. I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.) Hell, remember Roy Oswalt in 2001?

Prior's build apparently gives him a biomechanical edge over his slighter contemporaries, but I wouldn't so handily dismiss the likes of Oswalt. Or Johan Santana. Or Rafael Soriano. Or Rich Harden (who also has the advantage of working with the second-best pitching coach in the majors--ask Esteban Loaiza who the best is). Let's wait 10-15 years and see how this pans out first.

COMEDY THY NAME IS SMIGEL

I hope everybody was able to catch the "Yankee Super-heroes" cartoon on the TV Funhouse segment of Saturday Night Live.

Torre: How did we get a space jet?

Steinbrenner: Six dollar hot dogs.

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