Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Love in the time of Hysteria

Times have certainly changed. There is enough analysis, anecdote, and prediction floating around these days to please the most devoted fans and most compulsive of gamblers. A lot of people fill their days reiteration the same facts or sucking the interest out of the quaintest of human interest stories. This competition for freshness lends itself to a certain amount of hyperbole, some understandable and some off the deep end.

Marc Topkin's article surely ranks near the giant slide and swinging rope end of the pool, as he stops just short of comparing the DevilJesus Rays' top three starters to the 1966 Dodgers. While this isn't unique to reporters unaccustomed to seeing actual big league players (Rios pounds BP, Jays to reinforce Windows Restaurant), it is clearly way over the top. Pitching staffs with more than 61 cumulative wins mentioned include the A's of the early 00's and shockingly the early 90's Braves. The Fuck? Tom Glavine is likely to go down as the last 300 game winner while Smoltz has 200 wins and 150 saves. Is that all? Perhaps you could compare Scott Kazmir with Steve Carlton? Matt Garza isn't a number three starter on a bad team, he's Bert Blyleven.

Scott Kazmir can pitch, but he reminds of one guy - AJ Burnett. Same plus stuff, same inefficiencies, same unquenchable thirst for Ks at any costs. James Shields? Meet Shaun Marcum. I'm sure you'll have a lot to talk about.

Purported clubhouse leader and caffeine-enthusiast Troy Percival took the story and ran with it, creating the shirt seen below. This clearly unstable man is being hailed a the saviour of the historically awful Rays pen. Surely his year off combined with a year of mop-up in the anemic NL Central makes him more than qualified to send dozens of people home disappointed every night.

Much like the New York Yankees, this sexy pick is going nowhere. Sure, they'll score some runs. That won't change the culture around the team nor will it retire batters or improve a porous defense. Not even the divinity/health of Rocco will guide this team past anyone but the shameful Orioles.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I just noticed the back of that that for real?! Holy crap. Confidence is great and they do have amazing stuff, but I don't think that's what I'd fill my young hurlers' heads with before they've really done anything.


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