Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wilner Sells Litsch, I Buy

At the outset of Spring Training, the battle for the fifth starter's job was the main topic for discussion. I was decidedly in the pro-Janssen camp, finding Jesse Litsch's "make 'em miss" approach and (seemingly) average stuff to be troubling, bordering on frightening.

Whenever a pitcher uses smoke and mirrors to get by, my immediate thought is always "but is he better than Josh Towers?" I started to do some number crunching, contrasting Josh Towers' good season (one game above .500, extend that motherfucker!) and Litsch's rookie campaign. I quickly realized I know nothing about stats, especially how to manipulate them to suit my irrational conclusions. Wilner and Sal Fasano seem to think Jesse Litsch will be able to get people out and continue to improve. I'm starting to believe as well. He always changed speeds well and induces a reasonable amount of groundballs (57%). Provided his control improves (36 walks in 111 innings) he should be a serviceable approaching effective fifth starter. His lack of dynamic stuff will mean that if he's off, he'll get hit but hard.

A full year under the careful tutelage of Professor Arsnberg should aid in his development too. Richie Litsch made swinging from Fonzie Halladay's pendulous nuts his business this off season, and that alone is good enough for some run-off skill/scattered ass. I'll use the words of Jesse Litsch's baseball-reference page sponsors to summarize Litsch's chances this year:
The Great Red Hope is the best thing to happen to baseball since the strike in 1994. No big ego, no drugs, no attitude and no bending the visor on his cap. Jesse has single-handedly revitalized my interest in baseball.
Aim low Hunt Partners LLP, aim low.


Phillie Phanatic destroys inner-city baseball in America, fans boo reflexivelyAs the Southpaw mentioned yesterday, a free preview of ESPN Classic resulted in a reviewing of Game 4 of the 1993 World Series. The first thing that I noticed: baseball used to attract more brothers than Kennedy Station. Darnell Coles, Dave Stewart, Joe Carter, Milt Thompson, Devon White, Rickey Henderson, Rickey Jordan. I don't think there are that many black dudes in the entire American League this year. This is well trodden ground, but it was quite shocking to see how much the game has changed in 15 years.

Other assorted observations: Lenny Dyktra was a terrible centerfielder. Devon White notched the game-winning RBI on what had no business being a triple. He was inhumanly fast. Duane Ward threw fucking smoke. The Veteran's Stadium locker room looked like a combination of a holding cell and a meat locker. Darren Daulton was a sexy beast.

And of course, Reed's gone. No one is taking this harder than Mrs. Moseby. She was a big fan of his style, not to mention his willingness to donate to the OSPCA. I blame Buck Coats for all of this.

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Send forth the witticisms from on high