My Morning in Exile

Conversation I had with a coworker yesterday:

Him: So, who are the Braves going to draft?

Me: No idea.

Him: [mildly mocking me] Really? And you call yourself a fan?

I quickly changed the subject. I’m surrounded by football fans in central Ohio who simply don’t understand baseball. I think I’m going to email Rob’s post from yesterday to every one of them. Anyway:

  • I’m not going to lose a lot of sleep wondering how the Red Sox will manage to go on after missing out on Teixeira last winter.
  • Am I happy to see teams mess with prospects’ service time? No. Is it an issue of competitive integrity? No.
  • Smuggling grass into a Phish concert: you’re doing it wrong.
  • The walls . . . it’s as if they’re, they’re . . . CLOSING IN ON ME!
  • Everyone says the Nats will have trouble signing their first round pick. I seriously doubt it.
  • Finally, there’s a fine line between “firey leadership” and “temper tantrum.”
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    1. Melody said...

      Re. your co-worker, also check out Joe Posnanski’s SI column on the same subject.  He makes similar points, but with that Joe Posnanski flair.

    2. APBA Guy said...

      I spent the last few days in Florida watching a lot of baseball, mainly summer showcase leagues for kids wanting a college scholarship or, less likely, a pro draft pick. I also got to see the Detroit v Astros Rookie League game.

      Which leads up to the folloowing points:

      1) I saw AJ Cole, who Keith Law calls the number 1 pitching prospect for the 2010 draft. The kid is 17, a rising senior, and throws 94-96.

      2) The thing is, he throws. He isn’t a pitcher. I got to see the rookie league guys. The difference in polish, precision, and repeatability is amazing. Watching them work the strike zone, up down, in out, at will with their standard 3 pitch (fastball, slider, changeup) was remarkable. Nobody exceeded 91 on the gun, yet the game ended 2-1.

      3) And that’s why baseball drafting is so hard. The top pitcher drafted in 2010 won’t be major league ready when he’s drafted, unlike football or basketball. He may not be ready for years, if ever. And the top hitters won’t be ready either. They won’t be able to hit rookie ball pitching. Their swings, due to aluminum bats, are almost universally too long. And their muscle development is nowhere near complete. Most fundamentally, they’ve never seen, even once, the kind of movement that major league pitchers throw.

      That’s why I love baseball. It’s so hard to master. And so beautiful to watch when played well.

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