Oh noes…”Joba Chamberlain thinks he can start.“
I saw this one float around the blogosphere and just knew it was going to draw the idiots out of the woodwork.
Sure enough if you do a quick Google search you get anything and everything under the sun trying to either stir up some sort of faux controversy or flat out acting like he’s nuts to think so.
But here’s the thing…
…Dude really could start in this league if he wanted to.
Poll every GM in baseball if they’d like a guy who could give them 175 Innings Pitched of 4.10-ish ERA baseball with nearly nine strikeouts per nine innings pitched and I am willing to say every last one of them would tell you they’d like to have that guy if the price was right.
People just seem to forget how effective the guy could be when toeing the rubber every fifth day when given the chance.
In the 2008 season that saw the Yankees basically treating him like a human yo-yo (“You’re a starter! No…you’re a reliever! No..you’re a ticket rep!”) in June/July he tore off a 9 start run where he was THE guy anchoring the rotation.
That is one hell of a nice stretch for a starter. The most runs he gave up in a start were three (twice) and for every start like that he had one where he gave up nothing.
And that wasn’t the only time in his short career as a starter where he rattled off a solid 10 start run.
The only real hiccups in that stretch was a two game stretch where his defense yielded six unearned runs & forced him to hit high pitch counts well before normal.
Shortly thereafter the rest was, as they say, history. Injuries kicked in and he just wasn’t able to catch much of a break.
So while I don’t think he could ever be the stud at the top of the rotation some once thought he was destined to be, I have no doubt that Mr. Chamberlain could land a job in a starting rotation somewhere if he saw fit to do so.
I was just reading this profile on Ryan Howard over at Philly.com. It’s your standard spring optimism piece. Howard feels way better now than last year and is ready to return to form. Nothing all that notable in the story.
But midway down the story, a poll appears:
Internet polls are all pretty meaningless, especially the actual results. But this one is particularly astounding to me inasmuch as it treats something which is wholly empirical — whether or not Ryan Howard can hit lefties — as though it were a matter of opinion or belief.
Which may not seem like a big deal, but when you think about it this is the exact reason why so much sports conversation is stupid.
Sadly, this has what it has come to not only in sports, but in terms of things generally.
There is this growing resistance to things like, ya know, math.
Scientific facts, mathematical equations et al have suddenly become open to debate when they really aren’t.
Once something has been observed, the same results have been repeated successfully and the thing has gone through peer evaluations the debate is done.
The result is what the result is.
But we seem to have a great many nitwits out there who have less mental ability than a lobotomized monkey banging on a keyboard and think quantifiable things are open to “debate”.
Welcome to the “internetz”.