The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Carlton’

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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Old fogey Keitho rebuts interleague comment

Posted by keithosaunders on July 4, 2011

A couple of days ago I posted about my antipathy of interleague play.  I received this comment from Chris:

An absolutely awful analysis of interleague play IMHO. You fail to cite the reasons why you dislike interleague play in detail when the majority of baseball fans like myself love it. Sure NY fans like myself love playing the enemy in our home park which is great for bragging rights but you fail to take in to account that this is just a game. Stop being so serious, baseball is entertainment. MLB players love interleague play as well. Although free agency has destroyed some of the luster and the high number of teams hurts the competitive feel, on any given day I rather watch my Mets play the Angels for the first time in like 4 years than watch us play the dreadful Nationals every year. Interleague baseball is good publicity, good for business which in turn is great for baseball. The NY Mets sold out the three games series against the Yankees at Citi Field which was only the 4 sellout for them this year. It was great to watch them score all those runs against the Tigers and play by AL rules allowing the DH. Interleague is far from being a problem in baseball its actually alot closer to being a cure. THe real problems with baseball start with parity. NO payroll limits allows teams like the rED SOX AND YANKEES compete every year on payrolls hovering around 200 million. Baseball needs a salary cap. No way can small market teams can realistically compete for the WS. Baseball is a sport of greed and the lack of a salary cap kills the fun. I am so sick and tired of seeing the same teams in the playoffs year after year. The rich also seem to get richer. So instead of worrying so much about interleague play how about we get to the root of the problem.

Back in the 1970s, with the addition of division play, the schedules —  at least in the National League where there were 12 teams —  had symmetry.  The teams played their divisional opponents 18 times, and the teams in the other division 12 times.  This way, if you missed Willie Stargel and the Pirates the first time around in May, the chances were you could catch him in August.  You became intimately familiar with the teams in your league, and there were certain teams that you looked forward to seeing.  This year the A’s played the Redsox twice in Oakland.   If you were a Redsox fan living in Oakland and missed them in that midweek series in May, then you were out of luck for 2011. 

In the old days, a National league fan such as myself was pretty much unfamiliar with the Junior Circuit.  This lent the A.L. teams an air of mystery.  Consequently, by the time the Series rolled around you were pumped to see whatever team made it.  It was a true novelty to see the Redsox and Reds square off in 1975, or the Athletics and Mets in 1973.  If the A’s and Mets were to meet in this year’s series, it would be no great novelty, although it would be great for me since I’m a Mets fan who is transplanted in the East Bay, 10 miles from Oakland. 

The Yankees and Mets played the subway Series in 2000, which was great for New York, even if it was not so great for the Mets fan. (don’t get me started on that bum, Clemens)  How much greater would it have been had these teams not already played a half-dozen or so interleague series.  Incidentally, the 2000 Series, up to that point, was the lowest rated World Series of all time. 

If the country at large didn’t think the Mets-Yankees World Series was anything special, why would they care that much about regular season games.  On the contrary, I know some out-of-state fans that are resentful of having New York baseball shoved down their throats every Sunday of interleague play.  The same goes for the Freeway or Bay Bridge series.  I watched Dodgers-Angels last night and believe me, the adrenalin was not flowing. 

Finally, the All Star game used to be one of the great mid-season events.  I would look forward to it for weeks, wondering how Steve Carlton would face Jim Rice, or if Dave Parker could hit Ron Guidry.  Now….who cares?  Apparently not many, as baseball had to come up with gimmicks such as home run derby and Series home field implications in attempts to gin up interest.

I’m pretty certain that the crux of Chris and my disagreement has a lot to do with a generation gap.  I am nostalgic for the way baseball was played in my youth, and Chris made some valid points about the benefits of  interleague play.  I stand by my opinion — I want my National League baseball during the regular season.  If I want to see the American League there is always the Oakland As.

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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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