The Old Codgers brother is involved in the local high school baseball program and as a result, has interaction with one area university coach. This coach advised him a few years back that they will not scout a high school pitcher if he cannot throw 90+. Yes, the school in question is a D-1 school, has a pretty good program and has had a few guys sign with pros - not nearly as many as Ohio U - but a few. However, For some reason you have to throw frickin' 90+ or you do not even get a look. It doesn't matter if you can't hit the broadside of a barn or, conversely, throw 85 and consistently put your slider on the outside corner. Nope. Doesn't matter. You have to just throw 90+. Simply ridiculous the way they have changed pitching to 'throwing'.
Anyway, I was thinking about my brothers "90+"story watching the Indians blow another winnable game against division rival Kansas City due to bullpen bafooonery. And yes, I know that pro scouts also won't give a second look at guys who can't throw 90+. (Greg Maddox be damned!) And yes, I know those infallible MLB scouts, coaches, managers, management and even the ball park ushers know more baseball stuff than the Old Codger BUT here is what drives me crazy:
Tito Francona, who is easily the Most Corporate - Don't-Rock-The Boat- Manager in the game, brings in his 8th Inning "Specialist" Brian Shaw to shut down those pesky singles hitting Royals who are collectively hitting ,224 with 1 HR in their last 7 games - and yes, the Indian announcers - who are also employed by the Indians - really love Stiff Shaw. Why you ask? Because he can throw 90+ mph. But unfortunately for the Old Codgers bankroll Shaw also has a control problem at 90+ mph - which is a Big Problem that late into a 2-0 game. Last night he only lasted 0.2 of an inning, threw 22 pitches,12 were balls and his wildness cost them the game. But he was throwing 90+ so I guess everyone that matters was happy.
Anyway he gets yanked and Mr. Corporate Manager Francona brings in Jeff Manship who throws in the UPPER 90's !! Oh, wow, he must really be good! What was his box score? Faced 4 hitters, gave up 4 runs on 3 hits and a walk. His season ERA, WHIP and BB-K ratio is horrible BUT remember he throws in the Upper 90's.
College baseball programs and the Indians and their fascination with only guys who throw in the 90's and with little command is paramount throughout MLB. That is one reason why SP's have 100 pitches by the 6th inning and games last 3+ hours. I miss the old days when MLB had craftsman on the mound. Indians RH Josh Tomlin, believe it or not, has 10 wins and only about 11 walks for the SEASON He rarely hits 90 on the radar gun but has learned to change speeds with his 2 fastballs, can spot pitches and hit the corners with his slider and curve. He is a MLB pitcher from the old days. By the way, he almost did not make the team this Spring. Want to know why? He couldn't throw 90+. True story.
Also last night the Old Codger had the White Sox vs. the Mariners Under 8. Here is what happened in that game: White Sox Chris Sale had thrown just 100 pitches and had allowed only one hit through eight innings. The All-Star LH stud had struck out six Mariners and walked three. And then ...........he was taken out of the game ! That’s the type of managerial move that drives purists like the Old Codger crazy! The White Sox had just lost three straight in Anaheim, scoring one frickin' run and they needed Sale to 'right the ship'. He was doing that. But then Robin Ventura took out the Sox ace and closer David Robertson turned a 3-0 lead into a 4-3 loss ......but that's what the current MLB "book' says you must do. MLB has gotten stupid.
MLB with it's reliance on the 100 pitch rule, 90+ mph pitchers who have little control and these so-called relief specialists is starting to resemble the boring NFL (who have way too many specialists, in my opinion). I may just stop watching all pro sports and stick with college. Just sayin'
.......... muses about ballgames and life in Las Vegas - particularly the long hours spent in the casino sports book surrounded by sexy cocktail waitresses, degenerate horse players, the Whale Mans entourage ....and the sheer terror of having Under 7 with 5 runs already on the board by the fourth inning".