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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

The Perfect Post-Turkey Day Story
2008-11-28 09:09
by Jon Weisman

Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated makes the case for the hefty hurler:

The list of major league pitchers who enjoyed extended and successful careers despite carrying some excess meat on their bones is as long as those hurlers are wide. Mickey Lolich, Rick Reuschel, David Wells, Fernando Valenzuela, Sid Fernandez: None of those gents was ever called upon to pose in his Jockeys, the way Jim Palmer once did for a national ad campaign. But each pitched effectively into at least his mid-30s, and between them they accounted for 17 All-Star Game selections, 10 top 5 finishes in the Cy Young balloting, a no-hitter and a perfect game. Then there was the fellow with the 2.28 career ERA who might have been the best of them all had he not discovered early on that he was even more talented with a bat than with a ball. He was a cherubic chap—not as big as he'd become, but no waif either. Went by the nickname the Babe.

Now CC Sabathia is a free agent, and given his age (28) and his résumé, he might be the most coveted pitcher ever to hit the market. Since 2001, when he entered the majors, Sabathia ranks fourth in strikeouts, fifth in wins and eighth in innings pitched. He pitched so well after being traded in July from the Indians to the Brewers—he went 11--2 with a 1.65 ERA—that he finished sixth in the NL MVP voting even though he was a National Leaguer for just half the season. Had he won the award, it would have marked the first time that one league's MVP was twice the size of the other's. (The AL MVP was Boston's diminutive second baseman Dustin Pedroia.) And the pitcher's size, some observers believe, represents a serious problem.

Sabathia is listed at 6'7" and 290 pounds, although one wonders if the scale involved in that measurement was borrowed from an especially disreputable pawn shop. He is a behemoth—only 295-pound reliever Jumbo Brown, who began a 12-year career in 1925, is heavier among pitchers in big league history. Sabathia's bulk has long caused baseball pundits to question his long-term durability, and a subset of Red Sox fans has even begun to express hope that the Yankees (who two weeks ago offered him a six-year, $140 million contract, a record for a pitcher) will sign him, the Sox supporters believing that he'll either break down or eat himself into oblivion. In a recent ESPN the Magazine column in which he listed several reasons why he loves sports, noted Red Sox fan Bill Simmons wrote, "Reason No. 947: The thought of 365-pound CC Sabathia laboring through a 98° game at Yankee Stadium in 2012 with four more years and $105 million remaining on his contract. Please, God. I don't ask for much."

But the message from each of the half-dozen experts contacted for this piece—a group that included doctors, academics and pitching gurus (none of whom know or have personally examined Sabathia)—was uniform: Be careful what you pray for, Mr. Simmons. While signing a pitcher to a free-agent deal always represents a gamble, they concede, the odds that he'll stay healthy aren't lengthened as you move from L to XXXL. In layman's terms, one can effectively be both a pitcher and a belly-itcher. "I'm not aware of any evidence that directly correlates size with injury," says the University of Washington's Dr. Stanley Herring, who is a team physician for the Mariners and the Seahawks. "It's not just size. It's lean body mass, training, conditioning, power, strength, endurance. There are a lot of pitchers who make you want to say, 'Hey, man, put a shirt on—this isn't pretty.' But it's not just what the package looks like; it's what's inside." ...

* * *

My daughter likes to type e-mails to me from my cellphone. Here's what she sent me Wednesday night:

11-26-08, Happy birthday :-) :-( ! Do you see the faces? They mean good news and bad news. The good news is, it's your birthday. The bad news is, you are old. Bye-bye! :-) :-(

Comments (97)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-11-28 09:18:34
1.   Bluebleeder87
I hope CC doesn't read this his feelings are gonna be hurt...
2008-11-28 09:26:47
2.   MC Safety
Bill Simmons is stupid.
2008-11-28 09:27:33
3.   Jon Weisman
1 - A small price to pay for validating his salary goals.
2008-11-28 09:28:33
4.   Dane Bramage
The bad news is, you are old. Bye-bye! :-) :-(

Aren't kids great?

2008-11-28 09:32:15
5.   D4P
Will CC be the highest paid pitcher in MLB history (in nominal dollar terms)?


Will CC be the highest paid pitcher in MLB history (in real dollar terms)?

Not sure.

Will CC be the best pitcher in MLB history?

Probably not.

2008-11-28 09:34:09
6.   KG16
to answer D4P's questions from the last thread: I don't know if Boston counts as a "Moneyball" team; the Drew/Nomar comparison was of each in their primes, not as they are now.

I'm still just muddling through this, but wanted to bounce it off the sounding wall that is Dodger Thoughts.

2008-11-28 09:43:33
7.   Gagne55
It seems like heavy pitchers breakdown less and have more endurance than lighter pitchers but that might just be my imagination.
2008-11-28 09:48:25
8.   KG16
7 - might be a question of mechanics. it might be that bigger pitchers can handle the torque on their bodies that their lighter counterparts can't. larger bodies need less acceleration to create the same amount of force and less velocity to create the same amount of momentum that a smaller body needs.
2008-11-28 09:54:30
9.   Andrew Shimmin
Nomar in his prime was WARPier than Drew in his. This is one of the problems with the distinctions: everybody likes really good players. Vlad Guerrero may not be much for taking pitches (even if they bounce), but the Moneyball (or whatever) types like him. There only start being disagreements when you move down the scale, back to more normal players. Like Jose Cruz versus Juan Pierre. And then the argument gets too depressing for the holiday season.
2008-11-28 10:08:09
10.   scareduck
9 - Moneyball types like Vlad principally for his SLG. He otherwise is exactly the high-average, low-OBP, Mickey Hatcher-endorsed player the Angels' offense loves.
2008-11-28 10:16:37
11.   Andrew Shimmin
10- Would the non-moneyball types like him if his power disappeared?
2008-11-28 10:35:29
12.   KG16
11 - define "disappeared", because it basically has, at least when it comes to hitting home runs but he's still over .500 SLG, which means he's getting quite a few extra base hits. Now, if you're asking if he'd still be loved if his AVE = SLG, I think we all know the answer to that.
2008-11-28 10:42:13
13.   D4P
Now, if you're asking if he'd still be loved if his AVE = SLG, I think we all know the answer to that

He'd get a 5-year contract from the Dodgers.

2008-11-28 10:44:24
14.   Bob Timmermann
Judging from the crowd shots, Miami U vs Ohio isn't a long standing tradition for the day after Thanksgiving. The teams are a combined 5-17.
2008-11-28 11:03:16
15.   Samhain
I'd say Jonathon Broxton may soon be challenging CC Sabathia and Jumbo Brown in size...if Ox isn't already doing so...
2008-11-28 11:45:48
16.   underdog
Lane Kiffin will be the next football coach at Tennessee, it appears.

Okay, speaking of roly-poly athletes, it's time to bike off some of yesterday's porkitude.

2008-11-28 11:59:04
17.   Bob Timmermann
Old Friend Tim Bogar will be the first base coach for the Red Sox in 2009.
2008-11-28 12:55:48
18.   68elcamino427
Physical concerns for the Obese Pitcher as it relates to his abilty to perform.

Added weight may cause accleerated wear and tear on the hip joint of the drive leg - Observe Broxton and the way he "drags" his right leg when he walks.

Added weight may cause accelerated wear on the knee and ankle joints of the "landing leg".

Jus' say'in

2008-11-28 12:58:15
19.   Bob Timmermann
Don Criqui is calling the LSU-Arkansas game. I didn't know he was still in the business.

But that's what I thought about Dick Stockton.

2008-11-28 13:43:57
20.   Andrew Shimmin
Any definition of disappeared that includes a .218 IsoP is probably overly conservative. It's declined, certainly, but he's still a power hitter. He was IsoPier than Chipper Jones and Matt Holliday last year.
2008-11-28 13:51:08
21.   Bob Timmermann
Nebraska just pulled off one of the dumbest plays in college football history.

Worst ...
Fake ...
Field ...
Goal ...
Ever ...

2008-11-28 14:59:09
22.   DBrim
Arkansas probably should have kicked the field goal there.
2008-11-28 15:30:54
23.   DBrim
Impressive FG for Nebraska! 57 yards. Wow.
2008-11-28 16:07:07
24.   Bumsrap
CC costs less per pound than Pedro Martinez.
2008-11-28 16:37:12
25.   Dodger Jack
Some of my favorite athletes have been a little rotund. The aforementioned Mickey Lolich had a gut, as did my fav QB, Sonny Jurgenson.

Reiter mentions Sid Fernandez. We traded him for two NY Met stiffs. He went on to have a fabulous -- and long -- MLB career. I wonder if Al Campanis peddled him because he was thought to be overweight?

At least we can be sure with respect to these porcine athletes that they are probably not on steroids.

You competitive runners out there have observed the phenomena of heavy guys who finish marathons with respectable times. Some of us have even been lapped by them.

CC and the Ox both throw hard. My uneducated guess is that they would not throw as hard were they lighter.

I don't worry about CC's career longevity. I hope Ned signs him, though that seems unlikely.

2008-11-28 16:41:02
26.   D4P
I always liked Sid Fernandez's pitching motion.
2008-11-28 16:54:08
27.   Bluebleeder87
I hope Ned pulls out his "go to contract" on CC.
2008-11-28 18:38:34
28.   D4P
5 years/$45 million or 2 years/$36 million?
2008-11-28 18:44:39
29.   Tripon
With C.C., wouldn't it be a $40 million, one year contract?
2008-11-28 18:47:15
30.   trainwreck
Two first downs to start out the game?

Maybe the body snatchers have moved again.

2008-11-28 18:51:09
31.   trainwreck
Oh, Kevin Craft.

Nice one, Forbath!

2008-11-28 18:54:01
32.   Tripon
any chance Kevin Craft is the starting QB next year?

...What? No? You actually want to win games? What a novel concept.

2008-11-28 18:56:22
33.   trainwreck
There is a chance, but I will be hoping beyond hope it is not the case.
2008-11-28 18:59:02
34.   Tripon
33 The return of Ben Olsen for a sixth medical redshirt season? :)
2008-11-28 19:02:09
35.   godvls
Is there an offense in the country (outside the state of Washington) worse than ASU's?

At least our punting game is looking good tonight.

2008-11-28 19:05:03
36.   Tripon
Wow, Kevin Craft is a horrible QB.
2008-11-28 19:07:55
37.   oshea2002
I'm feeling pretty good about UCLA and the under here.
2008-11-28 19:11:05
38.   trainwreck
This is a game you show your kid when you want him to see how not to play quarterback.
2008-11-28 19:11:07
39.   oshea2002
35 - punting is winning.
2008-11-28 19:11:47
40.   godvls
There's only one Kevin Craft
There's only one Kevin Craft
One Kevin Craft
There's only one Kevin Craft
2008-11-28 19:13:11
41.   D4P
Check out the haircut on former Bruin Matt Barnes:

2008-11-28 19:23:30
42.   KG16
UCLA: finding new and interesting ways to lose.
2008-11-28 19:45:13
43.   Tripon
Kevin Craft must love playing for Sun Devils.
2008-11-28 19:45:22
44.   trainwreck
I really hate Kevin Craft.

We should have put in Prince early in the year.

2008-11-28 19:45:55
45.   oshea2002
This is a bad team against a really bad team.
2008-11-28 19:48:58
46.   godvls
Which one is the really bad team?
2008-11-28 19:49:35
47.   Tripon
So, was like Kevin Craft was supposed to be the Blake DeWitt of UCLA?
2008-11-28 19:49:48
48.   oshea2002
46 - I'm not sure.
2008-11-28 19:49:51
49.   KG16
45 - which one is which? Uh oh, Craft is down. Craft is down!

Meanwhile, the Lakers are toying with the Mavs early.

2008-11-28 19:51:24
50.   KG16
Deavan George is guarding Kobe Bryant. That can't be good for the team from the Lone Star State.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-11-28 19:51:33
51.   godvls
We'll have a tough time winning this game without Craft.
2008-11-28 19:54:01
52.   godvls
Will either team top 100 yards total offense in the first half? This is quite possibly the worst half of offensive football in ASU history.
2008-11-28 19:54:24
53.   oshea2002
I wonder if Brehaut starts day 1? We will trade you Mitch Mustain for Brian Price.
2008-11-28 19:55:20
54.   D4P
The internet tells me that Devean George just blocked Kobe Bryant layup, then came down and hit a 3.
2008-11-28 19:57:17
55.   trainwreck
I think Prince will, though Brehaut is coming in early. I would love if it is him.
2008-11-28 19:58:35
56.   Tripon
I don't think college football allows trades.
2008-11-28 19:59:15
57.   godvls
How's this for offensive efficiency? ASU has seven first downs on 65 yards of total offense.
2008-11-28 19:59:19
58.   oshea2002
If there is a way for us to win 58-0, and Weis keeps his job, then that's what I want tomorrow.
2008-11-28 20:00:10
59.   godvls
Where have you gone Dirk Koetter? All is forgiven.
2008-11-28 20:01:15
60.   D4P
Another 3 for Devean.
2008-11-28 20:01:40
61.   oshea2002
ASU is certainly bad on offense, but I think they are suffering from some sort of sports averaging effect. They clearly weren't 10-2 good last year, and I don't think are 4-6 bad this year either.
2008-11-28 20:06:50
62.   godvls
We're worse than 4-6 bad this year. Take away the UW & Wazzu wins (which shouldn't count) and we're 2-6, including a loss to UNLV. Our "best" win of the year is Stanford, followed by a come from behind victory over Washington. We definitely weren't 10-2 good last year, but we were a decent team. This year has been pathetic. Erickson has lost the plot.
2008-11-28 20:07:27
63.   godvls
Kevin Craft es en fuego.
2008-11-28 20:07:44
64.   oshea2002
And the Bruins are now covering again.
2008-11-28 20:11:14
65.   KG16
63 - it was only a matter of time before he spontaneously combusted
2008-11-28 20:17:17
66.   Bluebleeder87

2 maybe 3 year deal would be fine in my book.

2008-11-28 20:36:16
67.   trainwreck
This is where ASU pulls away.
2008-11-28 20:49:48
68.   godvls
67 - Only if the defense keeps scoring touchdowns.
2008-11-28 20:53:19
69.   oshea2002
I'm at a loss for words to describe ASU on offense. I only watched them against us and intermittently in other games, but wow.
2008-11-28 21:01:17
70.   godvls
69 - Worst OL in the Pac 10, one of the worst QB's and a weak group of RB's. Good receivers though. We'll be lucky to reach 100 yards in this game. Longest run of the game is 4 yards.

Oh my, Carp to McGaha for 26 yards......100 yards total offense is now in sight.

2008-11-28 21:05:25
71.   godvls
Nice one Rudy.....
2008-11-28 21:08:06
72.   trainwreck
UCLA definitely has a worse o-line.
2008-11-28 21:10:20
73.   godvls
72 - I disagree. UCLA's o-line is horrible, but ASU's is worse.
2008-11-28 21:14:49
74.   oshea2002
lets just say neither is good. I can't believe I'm saying this, but ucla has completely outplayed ASU.
2008-11-28 21:17:04
75.   godvls
The saddest part is that Craft has totally outplayed Carpenter.
2008-11-28 21:20:50
76.   trainwreck
2008-11-28 21:24:21
77.   godvls
Let's see....
ASU offense 0
ASU defense 21 (Thank you Kevin Craft)


2008-11-28 21:27:00
78.   trainwreck
I will not like Rick very much if Craft is our QB next year.
2008-11-28 21:27:01
79.   oshea2002
I thought the Apple Cup was the matchup of the two worst qb's I'd seen all year, but this is coming close.

Wow Craft. Even Jarrett Lee at LSU thinks this is bad.

2008-11-28 21:31:50
80.   Jon Weisman
Lakers trailed by 11 when I changed the channel to UCLA.

UCLA gave up 14 points on interception returns, and the Lakers went on a 23-6 run.

2008-11-28 21:32:16
81.   trainwreck
USC is going to murder us.
2008-11-28 21:33:19
82.   godvls
Well, Bruin least your defense still has a shutout going.
2008-11-28 21:33:52
83.   godvls
81 - Arizona is going to murder us.
2008-11-28 21:34:34
84.   Gagne55
At least the Lakers are stacked
2008-11-28 21:35:12
85.   Tripon
What the heck happened to Rudy Carpeter? He was looked as a first round draft pick last year.
2008-11-28 21:40:05
86.   godvls
85 - I don't think Carpenter has ever looked like a 1st rounder, but he certainly looked better last year than he has this year. He doesn't have particularly strong arm, doesn't have much pocket presence, locks on to his primary receiver too much and has a horrible offensive line. He actually led the nation in passing efficiency as a freshman. Rudy's a tough competitor who has taken a lot of grief from ASU fans over the years (especially this year); it's too bad he's going out this way.
2008-11-28 21:40:36
87.   oshea2002
What a turn around for the Lakers. Trevor Ariza is quickly becoming my favorite current Bruin athlete.

I really hope Rick and someone (I'm guessing not Weis) turn UCLA and ND around. I really enjoy both rivalries, and while I'm still excited for tomorrow and next Saturday, it's not the feeling I'm used to leading up to ND week and UCLA week.

2008-11-28 21:41:23
88.   Tripon
Also if I had to choose between re-signing Ariza vs. Odom, give me Ariza. He just fits this team so much better than Odom does. He's our SF for the next five years.
2008-11-28 21:42:44
89.   Tripon
87 Its funny that Ariza left UCLA after a year because he kinda knew Howland wouldn't give him enough playing time, and he didn't want to play defense under Howland's system. That Ariza is now one of our best defenders is a bit ironic.
2008-11-28 21:44:11
90.   oshea2002
88, 89 - another shrewd move by Kupchak. I was so wrong about Mitch it's not even funny.
2008-11-28 21:45:37
91.   Tripon
90 Hey, we also have to thank Isiah with the Knicks, and the Magic for not realizing how good Ariza was. ;P
2008-11-28 22:19:35
92.   KG16
90 - a lot of us were very wrong about Mitch.

88 - I've got them both on my fantasy team, seems to be that when I have to choose between them, whichever one sits on my team has the great game. If I fall too far behind in the fantasy league, I may sit them both the rest of the season, just in case.

2008-11-28 22:42:58
93.   Bob Timmermann
Ariza didn't want to play college ball at all, but he was too young to declare for the NBA right out of high school at the time.
2008-11-28 22:46:48
94.   Andrew Shimmin
I announced for the NBA right out of high school, but didn't get drafted.
2008-11-29 05:20:52
95.   D4P
Angel Berroa nominated for "2008 This Year in Baseball Award"...!

2008-11-29 06:12:17
96.   Gen3Blue
95 Yeah--oddity of the year!
2008-11-29 07:55:32
97.   Jon Weisman

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