Thursday, May 29, 2008

Zen Dayley: In defence of purists

Jesse Litsch is rolling in the rubber match in Oaktown ... nice. 
  • The words Roy Halladay and Hall of Fame were in the same sentence on the radio last after a Vintage Doc performance -- eight innings of one-run ball -- last night in Oakland.

    In his Gold Mine book, Bill James gives Halladay a 25% chance at Coopertown, saying he's a "Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher" who likely won't stay healthy enough. Point being, Doc is in the Dave Stieb-Dave Stewart milieu of pitchers who were lights-out awesome, but maybe didn't have a long enough peak or the grace period (think Tom Glavine) where they piled up some good counting statistics. A pitcher with 117 career wins who turns 31 this summer is going to be hard-pressed to stand the test of time.
  • There's a gold mine waiting to happen for someone with credibility who writes a book called In Defence of Baseball Purists. It seems like the purist tag is kind of trotted out to define anyone who opposes something new; witness the National Post article from the other, "Purists decry MLB's push for faster play."

    Wouldn't a baseball purist want faster games, seeing as throughout most of the game's history, a 2-hour, 45-minute game was generally the optimal time window for a ball game? That sort of came out of the era before ballparks had lights, when umpires had to keep games moving in order to get it over with before the sun disappeared.

    Incidentally, it's a surprise, as a Blue Jays fan, to read MLB games are five minutes longer on average this season. Most of the Jays starters fall in line behind Halladay, who always pitches like he's double-parked, and of course, the Jays hitters (well, not today) tend to make games go nice and quick, with their penchant for making first-pitch outs. (The last part was sarcastic.)
  • Cool Standings had upped the Jays' chances of making the playoffs to 31.5% following Wednesday's win over the Athletics.
  • Talk of Mark Cuban buying the Chicago Cubs might not be so far-fetched.

    Cuban, in the long run, could end up being indebted to Mike Piazza's pops, Vince Piazza, who took the MLB to court when it blocked a group he was part of from buying the San Francisco Giants in the early '90s. The court ruled MLB's antitrust exemption didn't apply to the sale of franchises. (Via Shysterball.)
  • Ken Griffey Jr. will hit his 600th homer soon, but the view that his 1989 Upper Deck rookie card was the beginning of the end for the baseball card craze of the late '80s and early '90s might be his lasting legacy.
  • Rapidz leadoff man Jared Lemieux's hometown paper has a nice feature on him. Touch wood that the local nine puts a few W's together.

That's all for now. Send your thoughts to


Greg said...


Come on. Glavine not a hall of famer? Please. He's got 305 wins and counting. He's got two Cy Young awards. He won a World Series and its MVP award. He's a 10-time all-star. And he's struck out nearly 2,600 batters, that's 24th all-time.

sager said...

That's not what was meant at all; Glavine's a drop-dead first ballot shoo-in.

The point was that Halladay, Stieb or Stewart at their best are/were as good as Glavine, or Smoltz. Their peak periods lasted longer, plus they got off to faster starts and piled up more numbers during the wind-down portion of their careers.

I can't get anything right... no wonder things are working out the way they are. :)

Greg said...

Got ya. It just read differently, I think. Either that or I can't read, at all. And trust me, the latter could be true.