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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
estrada (n.) An otherworldly master of finesse. That dude in the Brewers uniform, the one who struck out nine while walking only a deuce: he’s a real estrada.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I once thought I knew what pitching was. Yet, I was toiling around the lower levels of the farm system like a pigeon away from his flock; alone, lost, untrusting in my stuff. I polished, and polished, but soon found myself to enjoy only the ugly Washington days where I once expected glory; with empty seats and empty promises and bloated ratios consuming my day-to-day.
I needed a change—they barely used me, barely wanted me, not trusting that I could control my fastball, concerned that I was addicted to the thrill of the strikeout.
So I went to the only logical place on Earth: Milwaukee. No empty seats, plenty of beer, and a fresh start. I thought I was ready, but once again I faced the harsh realities of suck. Another year shared between Triple-A and the major leagues, another year devoid of control. I thought I was done.
I decided to try anything and everything. I tweaked my release points, letting it go at a higher vertical point for all pitches. I stopped fooling around with a three-pitch repertoire. Welcome, cutter. Welcome, sinker. Hello fame and fortune. Hello, Kate Upton. My strikeout to walk ratio spiked, and those fools from Milwaukee even gave me seven games to start.
I speak with you today on the cusp of the 2013 season. I really killed it last year—one of the five best strikeout-to-walk ratios in the entire league. I really believe I can do it again—I wasn’t just getting lucky last year, wasn’t just “stranding runners” or “having balls fall my way” or “getting an absurd amount of swinging strikes” or any of that pizzazz.
Okay, maybe I won’t strike out more than a guy an inning again, but I certainly deserve to be drafted ahead of that freak Fiers I call my teammate. I promise I won’t let you down. I promise you I’ve become an estrada, like I always knew I could. And if you can get me for a dollar... hell, I'll make it worth your while.
-Marco Estrada, Hilton Milwaukee River Hotel, circa March 2013
Posted by Nick Fleder at 3:09am
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