Why You Read This Blog
Give yourself a pat on the back as one of the comparatively few who don’t just wait for big media spoonfeed you Jays info. If you stuck to swimming in the slow and deep waters of the Jays main page, after reading the latest article on Jeremy Accardo, you’d be convinced that Jeremy Accardo has some sort of mental problem when he doesn’t want to throw his best pitch, and hitters are sitting on his fastball. (Now how much of a difference would that really make to your enjoyment of the game, baseball in general, life? Oh, shut up.)
Bastian has the “unreliable” part right, but of course us nerds know the rest is backwards. Accardo/Zaun are absolutely right at this point to be a little scared to use his splitter, because that’s the pitch every hit but one this year has come against, while his fastball is still beating hitters.
Not to dump on Bastian- how the heck is he supposed to know anything that the players or the manager won’t tell him? And I actually became a bit of a fan of his this past series. I got to watch it from the press box and invade the clubhouse (more on this later- you can read a gushing recap of the experience over at Baseball Digest Daily), and while there, eavesdropped on Bastian getting this quote:
“I’ve never been a guy to worry about myself,” Marcum said. “It’s more about the team. So if I go out there and do my job and we lost, then I don’t feel like I did my job. We’ve just got to move on.”
Pretty unremarkable, I know. But what impressed me was that Marcum actually stumbled around a little and repeated the line “I did my job” a few times. He was clearly trying to say that it didn’t bother him any more than the rest of the team that the offense didn’t come through just because he pitched a great game, but was happy to be pitching well and the bats would come around.
But that could easily have been taken out of context as “well at least I did my job unlike those jackasses”, which would have made for a spicier quote, a more interesting article, and potential team dissent. I was impressed that Bastian cleaned it up a little (and even went so far as to make Marcum sound like a hero, saying allowing one run was too many). I’m sure a few other Toronto journalists would have either been totally unaware how it sounded or happy to get an angle. (Kind of like them who would call 2 singles and a HBP a “disastrous inning” and a “major League letdown” just to use a cheap pun for the first time).
Anyway, back to Accardo- I got a question in the comments from Jesse about Accardo’s location against righties, so here’s a heat map from behind the plate:
Wow- even when he was effective in 2007, Accardo almost never came inside to right handed batters all season. No question that’s a great location (especially with a diving splitter), but you have to think eventually he’s going to have to keep hitters honest and stop them from diving out over the plate with some hard stuff on the hands.
That’s all for now- I’m on vacation until Thursday. Go Jays!