Monday, February 28, 2005

Mr. 3000

I collected my 3000th hit today.

It was a changeup, low in the zone. The only thing I could do was make contact just above my shoetops and flip the ball into left field barely out of the reach of the diving shortstop, but it counts just like all the other hits in my career.

That'd be nice, wouldn't it? Well, I don't think 3000 hits on my blog quite matches the thrill of a ballplayer collecting his 3000th hit in the major leagues, but it still feels pretty good. I've been counting hits since December 31th, which makes today is exactly 60 days from that point. Nice, round numbers. Mmmm, hmmmmmmm.

I'll take a quick second to give thanks to all of you that have stopped by, and another second to give a hearty thanks to those that have come back. Also, those blogs on the sidebar deserve thanks as well, because many of the guys running those blogs have been more than kind to me, giving advice to me when asked, giving constructive criticism, and providing those links back to this site -- meaning, of course, fresh, new readership to keep me motivated.

On another note, me Pappy has chimed in with an interesting angle to the Bonds/steroids/oh-my-god-are-we-still-talking-about-this discussion. You can check out our running battle here. My Pops is a pretty smart guy, which makes it even more fun to disagree with him at every possible juncture. I've heard rumours he tried to stick me back in the womb, but my head was just too large to go back in. No worries, though, as my ego now dwarfs the size of my head, rendering it irrelevant.

And, by the way, Pops, Livan Hernandez still hasn't learned a knuckleball, as much as you wanted him to try one. However, the new 21 year-old phenom pitcher for my other favorite team, the Kansas City Royals' Zack Greinke, has learned it and is toying with the idea of using it occasionally in live games this year (though the organization, I believe, would frown a bit at that). If Greinke does somehow incorporate a knuckleball into his already impressive repertoire -- one that includes a fastball thrown anywhere from the mid 80's to mid 90's, a breaking ball that can be darned-near an eephus pitch, a nice slider that he also changes speeds on, and a couple different deliveries -- well, suffice it to say, if the kid adds a knuckleball to all of that, his scouting reports will probably start reading like this:

Zack Greinke, Royals: hitters, good luck. This guy throws all kinds of crap at all kinds of speed, and we don't have much of a clue as to when he'll do what. Just freaking sit on a fastball -- it's your only chance.

The Royals are coming to town June 7th through June 9th, folks. As much as it hurts to say so, the Royals are normally a team many wouldn't mind skipping. However, if Grienke's starting any of those games, I'd suggest you skip the skipping and check him out. You'll be in for a treat. By hook or crook, I'll be there.


Anonymous said...

Is always nice to read your blogs! They are fun and well written. Congratulations, Mr 3000! Good Job!


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog as well, particularly that you write often.

Why someone doesn't hire Candiotti to teach Rueter a knuckler is beyond me. I think every team should have one, although with Rueter and Lowry the Giants already have a couple of slowpokes.


Pops said...

Maybe this is something people would like to discuss...

During the last 2 or 3 years Livan Hernandez pitched (allegedly) for the Giants, I listened to games, watched on TV, and went to the Pac...SB...Mays Field for probably at least 10 Hernandez starts. Each game, he threw pure garbage at about 72 MPH and an occasional fastbull (uh, Freudian slip - should read fastBALL) in the low 80's. I can't remember any pitch faster than 86 MPH, and can count them on one hand.

So, I thought, here's a pitcher with a rubber arm, who likes to throw the ball, likes to eat up innings, and already pitches a change up in the 60 MPH range. Why not teach him to knuckleball, and REALLY let him throw junk? He could pitch 8 innings a game, every 3 days. And, by mixing in the occasional 82MPH fastball, or 65MPH big, looping curveball, batters would just give up in disgust, and opposing teams would forfeit in the 5th inning rather than see another at bat.

Nobody else seems to think it would work.

Yes, Rueter is another candidate on the current roster. Lowry -- I think he throws enough weird stuff already. Maybe next year, when batters start to figure out that he just doesn't throw the ball where they're swinging.

Finally, congratulations on your 3000th hit. Barry bought his mother a new house at that point in HIS career. Whatchagonna get me?

Daniel said...

I can buy you a doghouse in celebration of my 3000th hit, how's about that?

That way, when you make any embarrassing comments about me or put me on the spot in public, you can just move right on in there.


Anonymous said...

It's funny that if you read Jim Bouton's book you see all the same arguments that people give to Sparks or Wakefield. It messes up other pitches. You can't throw it on 3-0. You can't throw it on 2-0. Blah blah blah.

The one lesson from Bouton and others is that it has to be thrown a lot, and pitching coaches seem to think that the frequency is bad for the pitcher when in fact they could (and must) literally do it every day. So, there's a lot of practice involved, but what else do pitchers have to do every day?

I think a knuckle guy is ideal as a long man in the bullpen too. If it's 8-0, trot out Wayne Franklin and his lefthanded knuckler.

The next question would be: who's gonna catch it? The answer, of course is the backstop :) Or maybe Torrealba, since nobody wants to give him a job until he puts on a few more years.

When I'm king of the Giants, Candiotti is coming to camp. Or Wakefield, if he retires. Imagine a lefthanded knuckler from Rueter?

Then I build a time machine, cut Cody Ransom and bring up Brian Dallimore last April.