The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Gibson’

The retirement tour

Posted by keithosaunders on September 29, 2016

These days when superstar athletes retire they have to go on a tour, meaning the road team felates them with video tributes and while showering them with gifts.  Why these millionairs need gifts is beyond me, but that’s the way it goes in the corporate world of MLB.

Yesterday someone on my Facebook feed bragged that he was going to David Ortiz’s final game at Yankee Stadium.  Suffice it to say that I just about threw up in my mouth.  Who cares?!  He’s the enemy!  (…of Crankee fans, that is.  I always loved it when he would destroy them his P.E.D.-enhaced home runs.)

Do you think Harmon Killabrew went on a retirement tour?  Bob Gibson?  Ernie Banks?  No!  They retired like men – they played their final game and got the hell out.

Sandy Koufax pitched the entire 1966 season in pain, along the way compiling a 27-9 record with 1.79 ERA.  He started 41 games and pitched 323 innings.  He started one World Series game which he lost, mostly due to six Dodger errors.  (three by Willie Davis in the same inning!)  Then he retired.  No tour!

Lifelong Giant, Juan Marichal, inexplicably ended his career on the Dodgers.  He started two games, was lit up in both, and retired.  No Tour. Get out.

The Dodgers, when I was growing up in the 70s, had a streak of signing superstars near, or at the end of their run.  They had Dick Allen in 1971, Frank Robinson in 1972, Jim Wynn in 1974 & ’75, and Boog Powell in 1977.  I can remember going to a game and seeing Powell his a 340 foot single off of the right field wall.

So there you have it.  For God’s sake can these players just retire with dignity?  Leave the circus for Ringling brothers.

Image result for boog powell dodgers

 

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100: The magical number

Posted by keithosaunders on April 9, 2016

In baseball there is a number that is so sacred and  profound that no pitcher may exceed it.  Regardless of his size, endurance, and mental makeup a pitcher must exit a game after his hundredth pitch or risk a career ending injury.  Never mind that history is full of pitchers such as Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn, and Steve Carlton who inexplicably managed to have two decade plus careers flaunting the magic number, so it has been said, so it must be done.

Baseball has become a joyless, corporate, soulless, dickless, hell hole of a sport, managed by pussies and run by pencil pushing geeks who wouldn’t know Don Drysdale from Don Knotts.

Last night the Dodger rookie pitcher, Ross Stripling, was removed from a game in the 8th inning in which he was ahead 2-0 and throwing a no hitter.  Had he been allowed to flaunt science and stay in the game he could possibly have been the first pitcher to throw a no hitter since 1892.  Saber metrics won the day, as it does 95% of the time, and out came Chris Hatcher, bringing with him his customary can of lighter fluid.  Bink, blank, blunk, three pitches later the game was tied courtesy of a cantaloupe served to Giants catcher, Trevor Brown.

The Dodgers are a simpering, gutless team that deserves to lose. It’s no coincidence that they haven’t won since Tommy Lasorda years.   Lasorda was a manager who knew how to ride a hot pitcher. In 1988 he pitched Orel Hershiser with abandon, allowing him to pitch complete games and often using him on short rest — hell, he even used him out of the bullpen against the Mets in the playoffs.

In 1981 when Fernando Valenzuela was a rookie, Lasorda pitched him into the ground, letting him work late into games, well over 100 pitches. Some people think that Fernando’s career was shortened by this overuse, but you know what? WHO CARES?! The Dodgers won a World Series. RIDE HIM.

You take your rookie pitcher out of a game in which he is throwing a no hitter? That’s losing baseball. Ask the Nationals and gimp Strasberg.

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It’s go time

Posted by keithosaunders on October 13, 2015

If you had told me on April 6th when the Mets opened In Washington against the Nationals, that on October 13th they would be playing a playoff game against the Dodgers that could propel them to the NLCS, I would have laughed in your face. But here they are, poised for success in this most improbable season that turned on a dime with the July 31st acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes.

Matt Harvey was mediocre last night versus the feckless Dodgers, but when you’re facing third-rate starters such as Brett Anderson and your lineup possesses gamers like Curtis Granderson and the aforementioned Cespedes, it doesn’t much matter. The Dodgers [probably wisely] sat Chase Utley, but at this stage of his career he is not an impact player unless you count chippy slides.

As for Harvey, I don’t blame him for not being sharp, what with nearly a two week layoff.  In this era of pitch counts and coddling it is unrealistic to expect your ‘ace’ starter to have any kind of rhythm in his biggest start of the year. I wonder what Juan Marichal and Bob Gibson think of today’s crop of tin-men. Hopefully, if the Mets move on, Harvey will be stronger in the NLCS.  They will need him against a frothing-at-the-mouth, too young to be scared Cubs lineup. (yes I have written the Cardinals off)

In the meantime the Mets have a game to win.  Rookie Steven Matz and his sore back will face Clayton Kershaw, who will be starting on three days of rest. The realist in me wants to believe that the pressure of pitching in a closeout game in hostile Citi Field will be too much for Kershaw, who thus far in his storied career has been a playoff washout.  The fatalist in me, however, hears a voice buried deep inside of my head saying, ‘He’s due.  He’s due.’

This is it, Mets.  FINISH THEM.

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New York City to Harvey: Man up!

Posted by keithosaunders on September 6, 2015

The latest news out of Mets-ville is that Matt Harvey, their ace pitcher, has insinuated that he does not expect to pitch over 180 innings this season which would effectively shut him down for the post season.  This came as news to Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson, and the rest of the baseball world and predictably, social media exploded in a torrent of outrage and funny memes.

Have we learned nothing from the Stephen Strasburg shutdown debacle of 2013? The Nationals had made the playoffs for the first time in that franchise’s history (they were previously the Montreal Expos and came into the league in 1969) and looked poised to make a deep playoff run.  Instead it was one round and out.  For all the babying and coddling Strasburg still managed to suffer injuries the past two years while his team has underachieved and appear on the verge of having to rebuild.

Harvey, who for all of his talent comes off as an arrogant prick, must have underestimated the passion of the New York fans when he made his cryptic statement.  Either you want to pitch or you don’t. Are you a gamer or are you a bum?  Do you think that in the ’88 Series Oral Hershiser said to Tommy LaSorda, “Hey skip, maybe I’d better not pitch in relief on short rest. I’ve maxed out on my innings.”  Hell no!  Like Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling (that idiot) and Madison Bumgarner he said, “Give me the damn ball!”

Does Harvey thinks that the Mets will accrue post season berths with the regularity of the St Louis Cardinals or the Yankees of the 90s and 2000s?  If so, perhaps he should riffle through a stack of the past decade’s yearbooks.  It’s been a putrid string of seasons since 2009.  This on the heals of epic collapses in 2007 and 2008, not to mention a heartbreaking loss in the 2006 NLCS.

If Harvey really does not want to pitch in the post season I say ship him and his purse to Seattle or Tampa for prospects.  If that’s his mind set then he probably doesn’t have the heart to pitch in big-time games.

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10h10 hours ago

I hope Matt Harvey understands he just became the first player to publicly abandon his team before the playoffs. Good luck with that, kid.

I bet $20 that Matt Harvey would start Game 1 for the Mets. I never thought i’d lose because Harvey didn’t want the ball.

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Throw out the pitch count and adopt the Keitho system

Posted by keithosaunders on August 17, 2011

Do you remember, back in the dark ages, before there was such a thing as a pitch count?  Until I was 25 I had never heard of such a thing.  Pitchers remained in the game until they were no longer effective.  What a concept. 

You didn’t see Don Drysdale or Bob Gibson exiting the game when they reached the 100 pitch count.  Who would have dared? 

I suppose I’m a little too young to remember those guys in their prime.  How about Tom Seaver or Steve Carlton?  You can even go a decade later than that into the mid ’80s.  Jack Morris and Nolan Ryan didn’t come out of the game unless they were out of gas, which they rarely were.

I want to know who was the genius that decreed that 100 pitches was the number of pitches that could be thrown by any one pitcher, regardless of stature, arm strength, or moxie?  Was it LaRussa?  Come on, it must have been LaRussa, that delicate genius. 

Why 100 pitches and not 110?  For that matter, why must it be an even number?  What if the real number all along has been 97, and it turns out that managers have been ruining pitchers for all these years.  Think of how many more quality starts you could have gotten out of Mike Pelfry had he been throwing three less pitches a game.  Check it…Pelfry has never had a quality start.

If owners and managers were smart they would listen to me, for I have the solution.  Here’s what you do:  

When a young phenom comes up from the minors, don’t baby him — throw him into the fire and let him pitch until his arm falls off.  Look, they babied Joba Chamberlin and Phil Hughes and how did that work out for the Yankees?  Don’t baby these guys — turn them into men.

The worst case scenario is that the young pitcher blows his arm out and has to pitch middle relief for the rest of his career.  This is not a bad thing!   Think of the money you have saved — you just avoided having to shell out an 80 million dollar contract. 

And what does 80 mill buy these days?  If you’re lucky you get a few good years and then the rotator cuff goes.  Or worse.  The pitcher gets his money and becomes Dontrelle Willis.  Either way…

As I say, don’t worry about blowing out arms.  There are tons more in the minors — just call up the next guy.   Move ’em in, move em’ out.  Rawhide!

Now let’s consider the potential upside of the Ketiho strategy. (tm)  You throw your young stud out there for 140 + pitches a game, and he does not self destruct, but learns to pitch out of jams.  He builds up his arm strength, and develops into an iron man good for the next 15 years.  You’ve got yourself a stud who is not afraid to face adversity.  You still have to pay him the big bucks, but now it is money well spent.

It’s a win-win situation.  You either save the money, or reap the benefits.  

You’re welcome, MLB.       

Dontrelle Willis

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The art of the 100 pitch start

Posted by keithosaunders on June 3, 2010

At some point in baseball  — maybe it was Tony LaRussa – somebody decreed that 100 pitches was the magic number for EVERY single pitcher.  I don’t buy it. They didn’t take Gibson or Carlton out automatically.  The last time I looked they had long, successful careers.  Not all arms are created equal.  Some tire after 90 pitches and some can go well over 120.

There’ are few closers that have a shelf life as long as Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman.  Most of them are average at best.

Here’s an idea. It’s pretty radical, but humor me. Suppose your ace pitcher, who is arguably one of the two or three best pitchers in the game pitches eight innings of shutout ball. Let’s say the pitch count is 105 pitches.  Now please don’t laugh because what I’m about to say is going to sound radical.  OK, here comes the funny part. Are you ready?

You leave him in for the 9th.

Sorry, I don’t know what came over me. I have to stop drinking this early in the day.

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