Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Here is some mail I recently received from a reader:

Dear Chronicler,

Am I a good pitcher? In four games I am 3-1 with an ERA of 2.33. I've thrown 27 innings (6.75 per start) and struck out 19 men while only walking five. I have allowed 26 hits and five home runs, but three of those homers were solo homers allowed in one game, and were the only runs I allowed (and I lost, 3-0). I'm pretty good, huh?

Well, I guess the next seven games count, too. I did manage one good start against, well, maybe the worst organization ever, but I'm 1-2 with a 7.65 ERA over that time. I've thrown 38 innings in those 7 games -- that's right, down to 5.43 per game, pretty sorry for an alleged workhorse. I've struck out 36 men and walked 17, not that bad, right? Well, yeah, I've allowed 48(!) hits and 9 homers in that time, but really, at least I'm throwing strikes.

Chronicler, people are beginning to say that I'm not worth the money I'm making. I'm only making $11 million this year; that's only a little more than half of what Tom Cruise makes, and I buy a lot more food than he does. Please tell me I'm all right.

Very truly yours,

The Fat Man

Dear Fat Man,

What the hell is wrong with you? You look like a sad, pathetic pitcher. Yes, you're still striking guys out, but that's about all you can do. You're getting bashed all over the place, and you're an absolute embarrassment right now.

Do you know why you get paid $11M? It's so you can clean the clocks of the other team's fifth starter. What are you doing with over 100 pitches in four innings? What are you thinking?

Quite frankly, I don't know what to tell you. Just watching you, it seems like you still have the good stuff, the good velocity; it's your command that seems off. Inconsistent. You can still blow the ball by guys when you hit your spot, but when you miss your spots they can hit you. And since you throw the ball hard, you do most of the power work for them.

I don't know if the problem is mental or mechanical or physical, but it needs to be addressed.

What's worse, you're wearing the number my favorite player ever wore when with the Angels. It would be nice if your Runs Allowed Per Inning (.672) was lower than his career Slugging Percentage (.440). Hell, it would be nice if your RA/IP was lower than anyone's SLG. At this rate, you'll pass up my fave player's career OPS (.802). You're already ahead of the OPS of either of our current first basemen, so you might as well go for the gold.

I wish you well, Fat Man. Because we need you step up and do your damn job.


The Chronicler

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