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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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A Gagne Lament
2007-10-14 08:04
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

It pains me to see Eric Gagne mauled by opposing batters and Boston Red Sox fans. It's like watching someone else mistreat my old dog.

I'm not close enough to the situation to know whether most of the anger is directed at Gagne himself or at Boston management for using him, but I think it might be the former. From what little I've seen, Gagne doesn't look at all comfortable on the mound - which immediately makes me wonder if he is once again pitching while injured. This became a habit, of course, in Los Angeles, and given the fact that Gagne had good numbers with Texas before Boston acquired him, it would be my first guess.

In any event, Gagne has become the anti-Dave Roberts for the Red Sox. He has become to Beantown what Danys Baez or Roberto Hernandez were in Los Angeles. He has become fortune's fool, and even though he left the Dodgers for greenbacker pastures, it only makes me sad. I sure hope this isn't the way Gagne goes out. I'll never forget my amazement at how automatic he was and the excitement he brought Los Angeles.

Comments (95)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-14 08:25:16
1.   Josh Wilker
In the view of this Red Sox fan (the one whose second-to-last comment on Baseball Toaster last night included the declaration "I hate Eric Gagne very much."), I realize it's not fair to be angry at Gagne; I'm sure he's trying his best and that he wants very badly to win. In fact the reason he waved a no-trade clause and relinquished his closer role to go to Boston was solely because he wanted a chance to win a World Series. But in the heat of the moment, during a game, I as a fan just can't help resenting the gaping wound that this guy has been on the roster since his first day in Boston. I obviously don't really hate him, and I'm rooting for him to turn it around, but at this point his hobo-bearded face just fills me with dread.
2007-10-14 08:28:22
2.   Jon Weisman
I understand, of course.
2007-10-14 08:36:54
3.   Josh Wilker
Pedroia put it best after the game yesterday when he said "We need him to help us win the World Series." He'll by necessity (Boston's thin starting pitching after Beckett, Cleveland's fairly relentless lineup) get another shot somewhere along the line, and he's got to come through for the Red Sox to have a chance. Pedroia went on to say "We're all 100 percent behind him and pulling for him." Hopefully Red Sox fans can mimic Pedroia in that support.

Interestingly, the other ex-Dodger punching bag, J.D. Drew, had a much subtler rough night yesterday too, mainly because all season long his struggles have been exacerbated in Red Sox fans' minds by his apathy, i.e., by the fact that he's "Not Trot." And last night the guy who IS Trot showed why he's Trot. Meanwhile Drew padded his stats with a meaningless 11th inning single with the team 7 runs behind.

2007-10-14 08:50:50
4.   Bob Timmermann
3
Sophisticated fans who dislike JD Drew will say that he tries for a walk with runners on base instead of a hit.

Just so you can keep up with the cool kids.

2007-10-14 08:52:53
5.   D4P
Meanwhile Drew padded his stats with a meaningless 11th inning single with the team 7 runs behind

Don't know whether this is facetious or not, but it brings up a point. What are players supposed to do when their team is down by 7? If all singles, doubles, triples, and homeruns are meaningless at that point, would we prefer that they just forfeit rather than get on base?

2007-10-14 08:55:25
6.   Suffering Bruin
Two of my favorite writers discussing baseball's most insufferable team (and no, folks, it's no longer the Yankees).

Hell yeah, I'm listening.

I can't think of too many Dodgers who were more fun to watch than Eric Gagne. Fernando, certainly. Mike Piazza was very good fun, thank you kindly. Beyond that... Nomo? Maybe.

It's painful to watch Gagne fail if for no other reason than we Dodger fans never, ever had to type the words "Gagne" and "fail" in the same sentence.

I mean, never. He was that great.

2007-10-14 08:55:50
7.   Bob Timmermann
With Tom Mastny getting the win last night, we all missed the chance to say "No school in Borneo tomorrow!"
2007-10-14 08:58:58
8.   Sam DC
7 That's really too bad.

I don't know if fan fiction has run its course, but the game is now tied going into the 8th.

2007-10-14 08:59:25
9.   Suffering Bruin
... would we prefer that they just forfeit rather than get on base?

In fairness, I don't think that was Josh's point though I can certainly see how it would be taken that way. Josh's point, I think, was that Drew isn't making much of impact when it counts.

2007-10-14 09:01:47
10.   Jon Weisman
8 - I'd like to see the ending.
2007-10-14 09:05:09
11.   Bumsrap
And all of a sudden the USC ASU Thanksgiving day game gets very interesting.

Its almost official--Dusty Baker is the Reds Manager. Does he still like Pierre?

If it were not for steroids hanging over the performances of some players like an agreement with the devil, I might have more empathy for Gagne.

2007-10-14 09:06:21
12.   Josh Wilker
3 , 9 : I was more trying to give an impression of a particular strain of thinking among Red Sox fans toward Drew, who seems in affect and deeds a robotic cipher compared to "ol' blood and guts" Trot. Of course I think he should try to get a hit even with his team down 7. Any way you slice it, however, you'd have to count his season to date as a disappointment (but there's still time for complete salvation, so come on , J.D.!).
2007-10-14 09:14:52
13.   Bumsrap
I think Redsox fans should watch pro wrestling if they crave arm waving and strutting and watch baseball if they want to watch players concentrating and focusing on the action of the game.
2007-10-14 09:16:54
14.   D4P
Any way you slice it, however, you'd have to count his season to date as a disappointment (but there's still time for complete salvation, so come on , J.D.!)

For sure. That being said, he gets on base at a good clip. He's really better suited for the top of the lineup these days rather than the middle.

2007-10-14 09:41:48
15.   Exick
As a bitter, spiteful Dodger fan, I have absolutely no problem allowing myself to enjoy bathing in the delicious schadenfreude of ex-Dodgers being paid handsomely to, at best, do nothing to help the Red Sox win, or at worst, cost them ballgames. They already won the World Series with key contributions from former Dodgers Dave Roberts and Pedro. It's only fair that it goes the other way. Maybe in the next game, Julio Lugo and Alex Cora will get Steve Sax Syndrome at the same time.

As to J.D.'s dugout "presence", I'm not sure why anyone expected any different. His perceived indifference is well-documented.

2007-10-14 09:43:41
16.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 13

I think Drew's "attitude" is really the secondary issue--the fact of the matter is he's had a poor season, disastrous, really, in light of that contract--by any standard, old school or sabermetric.

Drew's struggles and contract really shouldn't be made in a sabermetric/old school debate, because PECOTA had an extremely pessimistic projection on Drew (I actually thought it was wrong, but it turns out BPro was closer to the mark).

WWSH

2007-10-14 09:43:42
17.   Josh Wilker
13 : OK, I'm clearly not getting my point across here, so let me try to clarify again: Trot connected with fans not because of pro wrestler histrionics; in fact, he always went about his business in a professional, even humble way. He played a lot of years in Boston, always gave a good effort, usually produced good results, played through pain at times, made strong ties in the community, i.e., was involved in all the many things that produce a particularly strong bond between fans and a player, such as Dodger fans seemed to have formed with (the somewhat histrionic) Gagne--and not with J.D. Drew, correct?
2007-10-14 09:45:28
18.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 15

If only Ned hadn't given that contract to Pierre, we would be sitting pretty right now--freed from Drew's original contract with us courtesy of him electing free agency. Unfortunately, we have a different albatross contract over our necks now.

WWSH

2007-10-14 09:46:57
19.   overkill94
Carried over from the last thread in the "kinda got LATed, but more realistically wasted information by posting at 5 am west coast time":

If you thought Pac-10 football has been a surprise this year (well, a disappointment lately, but overall a pleasant surprise), things are looking even rosier on the basketball front. Rivals.com has 5 Pac-10 schools in their top-15 led by UCLA at #3 and all but Oregon State and Arizona State are in their top 33.

2007-10-14 09:47:38
20.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 17

In brief yes, although it should be pointed out that Gagne's historic seasons during his prime made him a special player more than anything else. In that sense, Nomar in his prime would be the better comparison to give you a sense of what Gagne was for us.

Strange symmetry there--you guys have a washed up Gagne, while we have a washed up Nomar. Baseball truly can be an unforgiving sport.

WWSH

2007-10-14 09:55:12
21.   Andrew Shimmin
I wouldn't say Drew had a disastrous year. He had a down year (he hit about his 25th percentile PECOTA projection), but had a dead average 100 sOPS+ for a RF. He wasn't worth $14 million, and he probably won't ever be again, but he was much better than Trot Nixon, and all it cost them was money. He was better than Gary Matthews.
2007-10-14 09:58:08
22.   D4P
Seems to me the Red Sox have no one to blame but themselves. They discovered Drew's should problems before signing him, then signed him (to a big contract) anyway.

Actually, I guess they could try to blame gloss...

2007-10-14 09:58:50
23.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
What's Drew's contract? 60 mil/5 ys? If paying that for a league average OPS, paired with a dreadful injury history--if that isn't a disaster, what is?

WWSH

2007-10-14 09:59:33
24.   D4P
22
"Drew's shoulder problems"
2007-10-14 09:59:46
25.   overkill94
Since I'm in a foreign country and open to trying new food, for dinner I ended up ordering for the first time...duck. I don't think I've actually heard anyone I know say that they've had duck, but they make it seem good in the movies.
2007-10-14 10:01:28
26.   Josh Wilker
21 : Yeah, lest my talk of Trot lead someone to believe I think the Red Sox would be better served with him in right field, I'm well aware his career is nearing its end. I guess Drew was probably as good an option as any they could come up with this year.
2007-10-14 10:02:14
27.   Andrew Shimmin
22- They've got a team opt out after 2009, or 2010, or 2011, if he spends at least 35 days on the DL for that shoulder, in any of those years.
2007-10-14 10:06:06
28.   KevinP78
Jon, I agree with you. The truth is, I've been rooting against the Sox, mainly because they've acquired Drew, Lugo, and Gagne. The former 2 I could really care less about, but Gagne should've stayed with the Dodgers and accepted the fair contract they offered him. However, seeing him come out of the pen, my heart couldn't help but root for him. The curious thing about last night's situation was that he retired the first hitter, gave up a base hit and walked the next. What did the other 2 pitchers after Gagne do? They got 2 outs between them, allowed 7 runs to cross the plate (2 of which were Gagne's) and looked far worse than he did. However, rules are rules and Gagne gets tagged with the loss. That is what bummed me out last night. Not that Gagne looked terrible but that on paper he is the loser.
2007-10-14 10:09:45
29.   Andrew Shimmin
23- Drew is probably the second best OFer on the team. Maybe Ellsbury will be anything like as good as he was over 116 ABs, this year, but I wouldn't bet he'll be better than Drew next year. The Sox have another OF prospect, whose name I can't remember, who's supposed to be very good, but, iirc, he's a teenager, or maybe 20. So, he's a little ways off.

And, the Red Sox have several tons of money, and no compunction in spending it. Somebody's got to play RF. They could have traded their Gagne bounty for one, before the season started, or they could have let Willy Mo try to work it out, the way he did the instant he got to Sam's neighborhood. But they didn't. They gave Drew a ton of money. It's inefficient, and unwise, but I can't get on board calling it disastrous, yet.

2007-10-14 10:13:26
30.   Bob Timmermann
25
Duck is very good. It gets a bad rap in the U.S. because it's considered "greasy" although it is not that hard to get the fat out and then reuse that for cooking.
2007-10-14 10:19:25
31.   Andrew Shimmin
Jason Place is the one I was thinking of. This was his year 19 season in the Southern League (AA): 459 ABs, 214/.298/.359. So, he's probably got a ways to go. I didn't realize they'd brought Moss up, after a pretty good year in AAA. Neither Moss nor Ellsbury had spent any time in AAA, before this year.
2007-10-14 10:20:02
32.   Andrew Shimmin
30- Thus saving you a trip to the store for expensive [duck] grease.
2007-10-14 10:22:40
33.   Bob Timmermann
Scott Wolf of the Daily News ranked South Florida #1 in his AP ballot. Brian Dohn put Ohio State #1 in his Harris Poll ballot.

The question I have is: which Pac-10 team will be ranked higher: USC or Oregon?

2007-10-14 10:25:08
34.   overkill94
30 My food just arrived and...

there's like 2 ounces of meat. 18 Euro doesn't get you what it used to.

2007-10-14 10:29:47
35.   Xeifrank
Gagne was the 5th pitcher used out of the pen. The Indians bullpen proved deeper in last nights contest. I knew that if the Indians could've kept the Red Sox scoreless while Papelbon was pitching that they'd have a great chance at winning. The other two guys that came in after Gagne were the ones that really got smacked around. Gagne looked great after that first strikeout. Then reality sat in.
vr, Xei
2007-10-14 10:54:39
36.   Bob Timmermann
Ohio State is #1 in the coaches and writers polls. The coaches have BC second and the writers have South Florida second.

Oregon is the top Pac-10 team at 6 (coaches) and 7 (writers). The coaches have Cal and USC tied at 9, but the writers have USC at 13 and Cal at 10. ASU is at 12 in both polls and got one first place vote in the AP poll.

2007-10-14 10:55:58
37.   KG16
33 - I'm officially rooting for Hawai'i and South Florida.

For those interested, AP has Oregon at 7, Cal at 10, and USC at 13; USA Today has it Oregon 6 and both Cal and USC at 9.

2007-10-14 10:57:49
38.   KG16
36 - d'oh just late on the trigger. and why no love for the Pac-10 leading UCLA Bruins?
2007-10-14 11:02:02
39.   Bob Timmermann
Bruins control their own destiny in their march to the Rose Bowl!

I doubt there will ever be a betting line on the UCLA-Cal game since no one will know who either team is starting at QB or how long that person will play.

2007-10-14 11:02:07
40.   Linkmeister
37 "I'm officially rooting for Hawai'i and South Florida."

Welcome to the UH bandwagon. It's rickety and the wheels seem wobbly at times (two OT-games won on the road!), but it's fun to watch. They have a bye this weekend.

2007-10-14 11:04:42
41.   Bob Timmermann
40
The BCS rankings will come out later and I would be surprised if UH is anywhere near the #12 spot that would be required for a BCS bowl.

I'm sure the Bows will enjoy the Hawai'i Bowl again.

2007-10-14 11:17:03
42.   Linkmeister
41 Ah, but there's time yet. Wait till they beat Washington to end the regular season!
2007-10-14 11:27:48
43.   Bob Timmermann
42
Nothing like a win over a 5-7 Washington team to propel you up the rankings.
2007-10-14 11:58:16
44.   regfairfield
I think Boston is a smart enough organization to realize that Drew was not going to hit for power this year, or any other year. At this point, he's probably going to be a very similar player to Brian Giles in that he'll put up an on base percentage in the high 300s or low .400s with good to great defense and no power. Drew's batting average took a slight dip this year, but if he just gets back up to .285, he'll be close to that .400 on base percentage next year.

Honestly, that might be worth 14 million in todays terms, especially with the termination clause in his contract that removes any risk involved in signing J.D. Drew.

2007-10-14 12:04:23
45.   trainwreck
Don't have to worry about my biggest fear now.

Thank you, Wayne Krivsky.

2007-10-14 12:08:33
46.   D4P
They've got a team opt out after 2009, or 2010, or 2011, if he spends at least 35 days on the DL for that shoulder, in any of those years.

I know. But:

1. It was obvious that he was hurt before they signed him, much less in 2009, 2010, 2011.
2. They still have to (over)pay him this year and next.
3. The DL stuff will probably serve as an incentive for Drew to play hurt, rather than telling anyone he's injured.
4. I have a hard time believing that Boras would let the Red Sox opt out very easily. Even if the Red Sox doctor claims pre-existing injury, my guess is Boras's doctor will have a different opinion.

2007-10-14 12:22:40
47.   dsfan
The Steroid Era created many suspects. Gagne's spike in velocity always made me wonder. I'd love to believe he was a clean performer, but I believed him to be a Vitamin S beneficiary. It reduces what pathos I might feel over his sharp decline. The kharma wheel might be coming around here.
2007-10-14 12:31:39
48.   Sam DC
I wonder if fear of news in the Mitchell Report will cause teams to hold off on FA signings/offseason moves until it is out.

Obviously, no one suspects A-Rod, but what if you signed him to a $300M contract and then he pops up in the list.

Or made a huge trade for Johan Santana, or Dontrelle Willis, or who knows.

2007-10-14 12:39:15
49.   D4P
47
I always considered Gagne a prime suspect as well.
2007-10-14 12:46:44
50.   Linkmeister
43 Yeah, but for whatever reason, a win over a Pac-10 team will confer more respectability among the human voters. Whether that can overcome the "rational" computers (hey, somebody has to program those things, and last I looked, programmers were human) is another question.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-14 12:48:57
51.   Sam DC
48 Not sure why I wrote "Obviously" -- I think I'd prefer the comment without that editorializing.
2007-10-14 12:58:53
52.   Eric Enders
I think it's interesting to note that most Red Sox fans view Drew as "injury prone," while they praise Nixon for "playing through pain," which is code for the same thing.

I also find it instructive that the Drew hit they recall from last night is the meaningless 11th-inning single, and not the sharp line drive, lefty on lefty, that he got when it was a one-run game in the fifth.

2007-10-14 13:05:59
53.   jtrichey
I kind of lost it towards a guy on a Dodger board I frequent even revelling in Gagne's failure. I can't understand that for the life of me.

Jon, I was a little surprised to not see a little deeper statistical look at Gagne from you. Biggest point first, he only pitched 18 2/3 IP with Boston. Still he only gave up 1 HR, 9 BB (a few too many), and 22 Ks. I'm not sure where to find BABIP data, but this would likely explain most of his trouble. I'm not syaing he really pitched well for Boston, but the typical Boston histrionics drive me crazy.

2007-10-14 13:42:48
54.   dzzrtRatt
I have a huge problem with the "steroid suspect" business generally -- I'd like proof, or at least a scintilla of evidence before accusing someone I don't even know of an offense like that -- but it also seems particularly stupid with regard to Gagne. He hit 95 on the radar gun last night, which IIRC was about his top speed on the Dodgers. His problems more have to do with location and pitch movement. Steroids don't give you the incredible finesse he had, the wizardly way he had with a change-up. So unless you're saying he's still using -- subjecting himself to the high risk of being caught under the new testing regime -- I think your logic is completely fallacious.

It disgusts me to see Gagne's career arc tainted with totally baseless slander. It is a well-known principle of sabermetrics, or so I've been told, that relief pitchers are inherently inconsistent, have peaks and valleys, etc. Moreover, Gagne's decline coincided with...um...injuries. He is dealing with physical problems and probably mechanical problems caused by nearly two years of being sidelined.

With all these other logical explanations close at hand, how does a steroid allegation come to any fair mind? I'm sorry, but that kind of easy, thoughtless slide into making such a trendy accusation is beyond lame. It's like the days when anyone who lost weight was subjected to rumors of AIDS. We're in a witch-hunting phase, apparently. Count me out.

2007-10-14 13:57:51
55.   Josh Wilker
53 : "the typical Boston histrionics drive me crazy"

These generalizations about Boston fans are starting to rankle me a little. I got rankled in the same way one time at Bronx Batnter. I guess it's the same everywhere--fans of any team like to think they are superior to other fans. The truth is, it's easy to set yourself above the rabble, and I'm pretty sure every team has its rabble, its loud kneejerk reactors, just like every team has plenty of thoughtful, respectful fans who can generally keep things in perspective. That said, I find it hard to believe that even the most munificent and circumspect fan of any team would be feeling sunny and warm about a high-priced mid-season acquisition who has yet to contribute in any way to his team and who just figured significantly in a wrenching playoff loss the night before.

2007-10-14 14:06:34
56.   Bluebleeder87
54

nice read DzzrtRatt, I was thinking maybe we could re-sign him for '08 but with Broxton & Saitos emergence we have no need for him now. I'm sure he'll bounce back strong for '08.

2007-10-14 14:12:03
57.   tjshere
even though he left the Dodgers for greenbacker pastures.....

Priceless!

2007-10-14 14:12:28
58.   Eric Enders
"a high-priced mid-season acquisition who has yet to contribute in any way to his team and who just figured significantly in a wrenching playoff loss the night before."

See Lugo, Julio.

2007-10-14 14:17:05
59.   jtrichey
55 I think you are putting a few words in my mouth, but I have no doubt whatsoever that Boston fans, and especially media get a bit more hysterical than other towns. Has nothing at all to do with me feeling superior, or thinking Dodger fans are superior. Nor would I ever think this applies to ALL Boston fans. I understand why Boston doesn't like Gagne right now.

Let's just keep in mind that he got a K, gave up a 32 hopper to right field, and a walk last night. I saw some of his wicked pitches last night that I remember fondly from his Dodger days. Just curious but how much wrath did Javier Lopez and Jon Lester accrue in the media and on fan boards last night, for pitching far worse than Gagne?

2007-10-14 14:17:32
60.   Daniel Zappala
I've had Peking Duck in Hong Kong, and wasn't that impressed. It had nothing to do with the fact that his head was staring at us all meal either -- just not that tasty. I prefer to leave my ducks in Eugene.
2007-10-14 14:18:39
61.   Daniel Zappala
59 Hey, you stole my next point. Gagne wasn't the one who gave up the 6 runs. He didn't mow the side down, but neither did he bring a gas can to the party.
2007-10-14 14:21:45
62.   Vishal
60 i had some peking duck in beijing, and it wasn't bad. not phenomenal, but it was tasty enough.

i suppose i'll have to give duck a l'orange a try at some point.

2007-10-14 14:39:41
63.   Bob Timmermann
54
It's a Dodger Thoughts tradition to accuse the Cardinals of taking steroids. Especially when they are engaged in their annual depantsing of the Dodgers.
2007-10-14 14:47:04
64.   dsfan
Exactly what steroids do for a pitcher hasn't been quantified, but a pitcher of competence, which Gagne was, who adds arm speed and increased arm resilience becomes considerably more capable. How much more capable? Impossible to quantify, but these enhancements on the margin seem to be very enticing to ballplayers. I found Gagne increase in repeatable velocity and arm speed remarkable, even when accounting for the condensing effects of the move from starting to relief. Athletes such as Caminiti also spoke of ancillary benefits to the psyche, feelings of indominance and confidence, etc.
2007-10-14 14:48:18
65.   goofus
[54, 56] How would you feel about a Pierre for Gagne trade? (Or is he a free agent?) I'm sure we would come out ahead on that trade.
2007-10-14 15:12:22
66.   Josh Wilker
59 : "but I have no doubt whatsoever that Boston fans, and especially media get a bit more hysterical than other towns"

OK, fair enough. I'm not sure how you came to that ironclad conclusion (do you know many Red Sox fans personally or is this an opinion drawing on media portrayals?), but you seem like a reasonable person; I respect your opinion. I guess I'd only personally vote for a word with less derogatory connotations than "hysterical" in the above sentence, and I might also take even more pains to separate the bufoonery of the media from the thoughts and behaviors of the fans. Dan Shaughnessy and ESPN shoving the Red Sox down everyone's throats is not the fault of Red Sox fans.

2007-10-14 15:15:07
67.   Bob Timmermann
66
But whom do we blame for Bob Ryan?
2007-10-14 15:19:42
68.   StolenMonkey86
54 - Absolutely. I'll add to it that it's not unthinkable that Gagne might be dealing with bad luck in that he put up a .515 BABIP (!) in August. That is just flat out silly. But his control has dropped quite a bit - his walk rate has jumped (he allowed 22 walks in 52 innings, when in his prime he allowed about that many in 82.3 innings) and his K/BB is down to about 2.5.
2007-10-14 15:20:07
69.   dsfan
I'd peddle Pierre to the Twins if they lose Hunter. Their artificial surface might accentuate his speed game.
2007-10-14 15:27:37
70.   Josh Wilker
67 : Judging from his bulbous cauliflowering nose, perhaps Jim Beam?

68 : I grip to those BABIP stats for hope, and indeed it's the nibbling walks that have been the most frustrating elements of his performances.

2007-10-14 15:31:15
71.   Eric Enders
64 Gagne's increase in velocity was pretty much normal for players moving from starting to the bullpen. For example, Joba Chamberlain, who is presumably being tested stringently, experienced exactly the same increase in velocity this year. As did Broxton, Saito, or whoever you want to name. It's routine stuff and is no evidence whatsoever of steroid use.
2007-10-14 15:33:12
72.   Bob Timmermann
Today's library zen koan:

"Can you tell me why it's important to use critical thinking?"

2007-10-14 15:45:45
73.   dsfan
71

Chamberlain showed a megaarm as a starter, so did Broxton. So you have a good grasp of Saito's stuff as a starter? Gagne's increase in fastball life and overall arm speed was profound, in no small part because it proved to be sustainable.

2007-10-14 15:55:22
74.   underdog
66 I thought he meant "hysterical" as in "really funny" - as in Red Sox fans are quite mirth-bringing. ...

Anyway, good point about ESPN and company.

2007-10-14 16:14:36
75.   Eric Enders
73 What, so Gagne the starter was some sort of Jamie Moyer clone? His record may have been lousy, but he threw 92-93 consistently, sometimes hitting 95. When he moved to the pen that became 96-97 consistently, sometime hitting 99. So we're talking about a bump of essentially 4 mph.

And yes, Chamberlain's increase, and Broxton's, were exactly comparable. I don't know specifically what "megaarm" means, but Baseball America's scouting report on Chamberlain from the June 2006 draft lists him as throwing a "a 92-94 mph fastball."

As for Broxton, the 2004 Baseball America Dodgers prospect list -- the last one when Broxton was still a starter -- lists him as "pounding the strike zone at 92-93 mph."

Now both Chamberlain and Broxton throw essentially 5-6 mph faster. That's what happens when you move to the pen. Gagne's increase in velocity was not unique or unusual, and any implication otherwise can only be the result of an attempt to look for a smoking gun where one doesn't exist.

2007-10-14 16:15:12
76.   jtrichey
dsfan, no offense, but how do you have any grasp on someone's "arm speed"? Is this measurable? I have never seen any pitcher where I thought "wow, that guys arm speed is fast, slow, profound", etc.
2007-10-14 16:15:22
77.   Bluebleeder87
But his control has dropped quite a bit from [68 ]

In my opinion that's the biggest contributer to his problems. In L.A. & I'm guessing in Texas he had good control but in Boston he seems to just wanna air it out instead of actually, you know, pitching, but also like Jon said he's probably having injury issues as well.

2007-10-14 16:26:37
78.   Frip
Annoying when sports announcers and cancer patients scoff at coaches/doctors who said so-and-so was too small to play or only had 6 months to live. They never talk about the times these experts were right, which is like 99% of the time.
2007-10-14 16:28:23
79.   Andrew Shimmin
Julio Lugo's contract looks like a disaster. Four years, thirty-six million bucks, and he was just awful this year. sOPS+ for a SS of 75; right about his tenth percentile PECOTA projection. Alex Cora was better this year. I hope ARod really doesn't like Red Sox fans.
2007-10-14 16:29:03
80.   Bob Timmermann
So doctors think David Eckstein is too short ever to get cancer?
2007-10-14 16:32:35
81.   Frip
80 I'd just like to hear one parent say "the coach said Timmy was too small to play football, and you know, he was right. He's even too small to be an accountant. He's really tiny, almost worthless."
2007-10-14 16:39:29
82.   StolenMonkey86
81 - I will first say to you my parents have a picture autographed by one of the lollipop kids from the Wizard of Oz.

Secondly, I would say that such a child would reflect later and say, "you know, the counselor said my parents were mean enough that they didn't want to be around them, but I didn't even want to be around them. They were really mean, almost worthless."

2007-10-14 16:39:53
83.   Bluebleeder87
80

His brothers & sisters have some kind of weird decease right? that's pretty crazy, & here he is playing professional sports, that's pretty inspiring, wow.

2007-10-14 16:43:15
84.   Bluebleeder87
nice, ESPNClassic is showing "Who's #1?" (best world series) I'm sure it's gonna be an east coast world series.
2007-10-14 16:46:18
85.   underdog
Never mind the RedSox, it's the Patriots I find obnoxious. Instead of taking a knee on 4th down with seconds left, they rush in for a touchdown to make the score 47-27. But they sure are impressive so far.
2007-10-14 16:47:33
86.   CanuckDodger
75 -- But Chamberlain started throwing harder as a starter AFTER he was drafted, throwing 94-97 MPH in the minors. The same thing happened to Roger Clemens after he was drafted. Broxton never SAT at 94-97 as a starter, and a scouting report at BA following his season as a starter in the FSL noted that Broxton had trouble maintaining even 92-93 beyond a few innings.
2007-10-14 16:52:15
87.   Bob Timmermann
I had not one, but TWO, college professors tell me not to attempt graduate work in history, which was my major. And I got very high grades.

I didn't attempt to do it.

2007-10-14 16:53:07
88.   Bob Timmermann
83
Several people in David Eckstein's family have a genetic condition that predisposes them to kidney failure.
2007-10-14 16:54:14
89.   Kayaker7
Ha ha, the same ole' discussion on Gagne's suspected steroid use. Count me in on the side of suspecting of him using. Not only did he suddenly see a jump in velocity, he suddenly got big. Then, he suddenly got injured/small again. Classic signs of steroid use.

Sure, steroids don't give you control, but if you don't have to exert maximum effort, you have better control. Try drawing a straight line while gripping a pencil as hard as you can. Same thing as trying to hit the strike zone while throwing with all your might.

2007-10-14 17:04:04
90.   Frip
85 I cut Belicheck a break on that touchdown. It was the biggest game of the season, to sort of decide who is best. So he had some reason to make the final score look very decisive.

Other than that he's a cheat and I hate him for that. Who even knew that robots could cheat?

2007-10-14 17:05:47
91.   Frip
89 Good point in your second paragraph. Hadn't thought of it that way.
2007-10-14 17:07:51
92.   underdog
90 I don't know about needing to make the score decisive - although maybe that was his reasoning - in their defense there were actually a few more seconds left than I thought so maybe Dallas could've called a time out and gotten the ball back anyway. Still, it seemed pretty classless, but then that's not Belichek's modus operandi.
2007-10-14 17:09:25
93.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-10-14 17:10:35
94.   DXMachina
66 "I guess I'd only personally vote for a word with less derogatory connotations than "hysterical" in the above sentence, and I might also take even more pains to separate the bufoonery of the media from the thoughts and behaviors of the fans."

Josh, like you I live in New England, and to my mind there is a hysteria that surrounds local coverage of the Sox, and has been so at least since '75 when I moved up here. And while I agree that it's the buffoonery of the media that is responsible, there certainly seem to be large numbers of fans who buy into it. Not all, maybe not even most, but the combination was enough to turn me off the Sox for good within weeks of being exposed to it.

I mean, the local media and fans up here actually got me to root for the Reds in the '75 Series. I would never have thought it possible...

2007-10-14 17:11:08
95.   DXMachina
Drat! I even refreshed before I posted.

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