What we wrote about two retiring pitchers in BP annuals from 1998 through 2014.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
On Friday, Jake Westbrook announced his retirement, and on Sunday, Ryan Dempster announced that he won't pitch in 2014, potentially bringing his career to an end. Both pitchers first appeared in the Baseball Prospectus annual in 1998, and as a career retrospective, we've collected the comments our book authors have written about them over the years. As a reminder, annual comments through 2013 are available to BP subscribers on our player cards. Baseball Prospectus 2014 is on sale now.
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: