/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
fans know that Manager Ken Macha has shut down top starter Yovani Gallardo for
the year because, gasp, he has thrown over 3,000 pitches! Imagine that, getting
laid off because you were “overworked”.
Never mind that there are still two weeks to play. Never mind that this
is another ridiculous trend regarding use of a pitching staff. In the last 20
odd years we have gone from a 4-man to a 5-man rotation which seemed radical at
the time. Then we segmented the bullpens into long relievers, middle relievers,
one batter “specialists” (usually a lefty), set-up men and the closer. If I
hear one more manager say that their bullpen is overworked I think I will buy
Red Sox tickets (there is no fate is worse than that, I’d rather see the
Nationals). As the game lags on, nothing is more brutal than to watch the late
inning tedium, in the name of strategy, of managers doing the lefty-righty
shuffle between hitter and batter that usually doesn’t do much to the outcome
and drags the game on mercilessly long. I mean bringing in a lefty to face a
lefty in the 7th when you are down by five runs? Give me a break!
About that 3,000 + pitch total. This is more
ludicrous than the pitch count that has swept over the game like some vile
threat of destitution. When figuring Gallardo’s numbers, he averaged around 17
ppi (pitches per inning- just wait this stat is on the horizon). In his illustrious career, Bob Gibson
averaged 292 IP/year. When you do the math, it means he threw on average 4,454
ppy (pitchers per year) and was never on the DL for an extended period of time.
Some other examples:
Don Sutton 3,995
Tom Seaver 4,250
Nolan Ryan 3,944
Fergie Jenkins 4,131
Steve Carlton 4,165
Every one of these Hall of
Famers except Jenkins pitched for at least 20 seasons and Fergie pitched for 19
and all for the most part were in 4 man rotations.
Here’s a scenario I’d love
I enter the office with my
cup of coffee in one hand and my Blackberry in another. I sit at my desk, fire
up the computer and check my voice mails. Just then I get a call from Willis,
my boss. “I need to see you in my office right away”.
Nothing good ever comes from
that request. I saunter on down the hall and plant myself on a chair directly
in front of Willis’ imposing desk. “Wilford”, he says, “it’s come to my
attention that you have already exceeded your sales quota for the year. You are
outperforming everyone else on the staff.” Great, I thought, a nice big raise.
“I’ve decided to let you
take off for the rest of the year”.
“You heard me. You have done
exceedingly well. It’s time to let the others catch up.”
“But who will call on my
customers. Take care of their needs?”
“We’ll handle that fine. You
need to go home and rest, you know, get fired up for next year. We’re gonna
need that drive and determination.”
“No buts. Clean up your
office and we will see you in January.”
As I walked back to my
office, it occurred to me that I have been laid off with pay for doing too
well! Maybe I can become a starting pitcher in the major leagues!