Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Music to My Ears


Ricky Romero, speaking to Professor Griffin, on the benefits of getting work in against inexperienced hitters.
“I walked in the dugout and I said, I guess I can't throw first-pitch fastballs to these guys,” Romero chuckled. “They're just hacking. I think it's good because you have to work on those first-pitch off-speed pitches and we threw a lot of those. A lot of first-pitch strikes. A lot of first-pitch changeups. Later in the innings we worked on fastballs inside which is good.”
Good is what it is, Ricky. I love the thought of Ricky Romero throwing first pitch change ups — for strikes — against right-handed hitters. If RR, like Shaun Marcum, can plant the seed of doubt into hitter's heads, leave them trembling in fear of when that nasty change up might emerge again, I'm happy. Good for Ricky and good for Griff for doing his typical Yeoman's work in Dunedin.

Kill Your Idols


It's pretty easy to lose sight of why people become legendary in the Internet age. When someone like Bill James, the godfather of nerds, starts doing lots of press to pimp his new book, the questions come from all angles. James makes a few questionable comments and the existing cognoscenti, brought to life by his exciting thinking, leap down his through and proclaim his day done. "James has lost it!" was a pretty common thing to read on Twitter last week.

Another example of "what have you done for me lately" thinking is, of course, The Sports Guy. Simmons does what we all wish we could do, and he's been doing it for a long time. Admittedly, the more he talks about baseball the worse off he sounds. His podcast with Jonah Keri is highly entertaining and a worthy listen, so long as you don't put endless stock in what Bill says. He seems open-minded to new stats if a little underinformed.

It's sort of a shame, but it's also the way the world works. The very basis of what the Sports Guy is began with him rejecting the tired, lazy work of entitled columnists at the Globe and Herald. He did things his way, in his voice. The new generation weened on the internet share his voice but they (we?) use it in very different ways.

Not unlike Deadspin founder Will Leitch, who gave Simmons' bombast a slightly more cerebral and understated tone, changing the world with (as we live it, anyway) by launching Deadspin. Incredibly, Will examined The Manager and The Blue Jays today as part of his season preview/book promotion series. He, you may have noticed, caught Clarence-fever, and we're officially viral. I cannot pretend that I'm not a little shocked, a little embarrassed, and more than a little excited.

Long live Clarence, Cito is dead.

Reuters photo via Daylife

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