What can we learn about pitching from FOX Game-of-the-Week scouting reports?
The third time I got caught stealing classified documents out of the National Archives, the judge said enough was enough. He and the prosecutor hatched up a plan to send me away to prison for 20 years so I’d learn my lesson. But there were plenty of things I’d stolen that the authorities didn’t know about (money things), so I used some of that loot and hired myself the best counsel in the city. He found a loophole in the law and convinced the judge that first he had to give me another option: I could learn my lesson by teaching young toughs about important life skills, in a structured and competitive environment. The judge looked through his binder full of ragamuffin teams in need and asked,"What about baseball? Can you coach baseball?” I nodded, because of how much codeine I had had that morning, and he interpreted my head movement as assent. That’s how I became the coach of the 12U GoldenTee baseball squad, and that’s how I found myself living a storybook season that ended with … well, we’re getting ahead of ourselves now.
“Pitching and defense wins” is what I knew about baseball, and I found out quickly that the boys (and girl) on the GoldenTees didn’t know squat about pitching. Lot of throwers on that team. Big kids, some mustaches and learner’s permits, and real strong arms; my glove hand was blue by the end of practice just warming up with them. It didn’t surprise me to learn that they had won the championship the previous season, and that most of the league was afraid to hit against them. But they weren’t doing it the right way, and I could tell them a thing or two about where life takes you when you don’t do it the right way. It takes you to a battered ballfield with a bunch of kids you don't even know, when you could be home sucking whippets and watching DVDs of Monk season four.
With the Dodgers poised to be buyers this summer, RJ looks at GM Ned Colletti's trading record.
The most telling aspect of the Ryan Dempster-to-Los Angeles rumors is not that the Dodgers, second in the majors in rotation earned run average, are looking for even more starting pitching. Nor is it that the Cubs are open for business. The most telling aspect about these rumors is that nobody trusts Ned Colletti. Take these carefully selected comments from True Blue LA as evidence:
With a tip of the cap to a tip from the beat, an expanded series preview of a key mid-week matchup.
As each of his On the Beat columns draw to their close, John Perrotto highlights a short list of three- or four-game sets worth keeping an eye on. The series are not chosen at random, and tend to boast either compelling storylines or intriguing pitching matchups. In an attempt to be synergistic, I thought it would be fun every now and again to pick a series touted in his column and go to town creating series previews, in essence scouting the series as a whole as opposed to a key player or two. The Phillies and Cubs showdown that will be contested from tonight through Thursday serves as the perfect starting ground, as it features both storylines and intriguing matchups, with the former largely encompassing the latter. In fact, the storylines surrounding the pitching matchups were so topsy-turvy that I wrote this entire piece on Sunday and had to drastically revise it Monday afternoon in light of developments.
The Cubs' Game One starter made an amazingly effective switch from the pen to the rotation, but that wasn't the only kink in his career path.
Ryan Dempster has been an occasionally solid producer from the bullpen the past few seasons for the Chicago Cubs, but this year he was inserted back into the rotation at the beginning of the season with fantastic results. He had what was easily the most productive season of his career, setting career bests in wins and ERA, and posted his highest strikeout total since the beginning of the decade. What changed for Dempster that turned him from average reliever into frontline starter over the course of an offseason? Let's take a look at that today, and give you an indication of what you can expect from Dempster as he tries to do his part to take down the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs.