Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Friday, March 21, 2008

Heart and Soul

Pop quiz time!

Guess who typed this script up for today's Tribune:

All we have heard from manager Lou Piniella and general manager Jim Hendry is how much competition there has been for the rotation in spring training. Seven pitchers for five spots is a luxury, they say. If someone struggles, someone else will take his place, they say.

An embarrassment of depth, they say.The depth they're talking about is Jason Marquis and Sean Marshall. You know, the Jason Marquis whom Piniella refused to use in the playoffs last season, even though Marquis had been in the regular-season rotation. And, you know, the Sean Marshall who has 30 big-league starts under his belt.

Dempster is trying to transition back into being a starter after a rocky three-year period as a closer. This, of course, makes him the Cubs' No. 3 starter. Hill, like Marshall, is young and promising. We're supposed to focus on Lieber's veteran wiliness and not on the fact he turns 38 next month or that he was 12-17 the previous two seasons with the Phillies, with an earned-run average near 5.00.

Need a hint? It's the same guy who said this:

Computers have no use for heart, or least they can't quantify it. They can't analyze what's inside an athlete, for example. They can't tell you who has the heart of a lion or the backbone of an earthworm.

Computers can't tell you that White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is upset with how he played last season. All they can tell you is that he hit .259 in 2007, that he just turned 32 and, therefore, he must be on the downside of his career because that's what the model says is supposed to happen to him.

That's right -- our old pal Big Mouth Morrissey strikes again!

Apparently, Big Mouth must have used one of those profane computer-devils to analyze the Cubs' rotation this year. Otherwise, he would have looked inside Jason Marquis, and not the circumstances surrounding the final month of his season. If he had bypassed the microprocessors, he'd see the leonine power battery embedded deep in Ryan Dempster's chest, giving Demp the steady beat needed to roar back into the starting rotation.

The damned computer even blinded Big Mouth to Marshall and Hill's off-the-charts heart measurements. At the start of camp, both pitchers checked in at over 150 mega-Erstads of Heart-n-Grit(TM).

And c'mon Big Mouth -- don't you realize how upset Lieber is with his last two years? Don't let some box of circuits tell you he's on the downside of his career just because of some stinky ol' statistical model. By the way -- Lieber was a punter for his college football team. True story (except for the punter part).

And let's not even bring up the fact that yet another pass has been given to that unnamed Chicago team. If Big Mouth keeps this up, Kenny won't talk to him anymore...

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