Last Minute Rewrite
Last night was following an eerily familiar script for the Jays – a decent starter performance, but the Jays find themselves down by one run early in the game. Then the bullpen holds brilliantly so that the missed opportunities with runners on base every single inning burn just that much deeper. Finally, they load the bases late and Jamie Campbell goes absolutely ape over a hit to the outfield that settles comfortably in the glov—
Whaaaaa??? Ichiro does a weird little hop and gift wraps a walk-off win for the Jays?! I actually followed through with my customary turn-off-the-TV-in-disgust-and-get-out-the-scotch but then did a double take, carefully rethought what I had just seen, panicked because I didn’t know how to react, settled on a hesitant, lame little fist pump, and then hid under the couch for a while in case this was a sign of the apocalypse.
I haven’t done one lately, so here’s a gratuitous pitch f/x look at Brandon League’s one inning tonight. I noticed something that seemed new- some of his pitches had his usual ridiculous sink, while others were more flat (and controllable?). Sure enough, it looks like two distinct pitches about 4 inches of sink apart, but with the exact same velocity (graph explanation here).
This makes zero sense to me. Sinkers/2 seamers are always a few miles an hour slower. And if you look at League’s movement this year compared to, oh I dunno, the best sinkerballer in the world (also a Brandon), you’ll see that they’re pretty similar. Except League’s is about 8 mph faster and tails a little more.
Ok, I know that I’m not saying anything a lot different from Pat Tabler’s daily “he could be something special if he finds his command”, but I’m going to take it to the next level: Brandon League has a pitch that nobody else in the majors throws, that I would venture to say nobody has ever thrown- a 97 mph sinker. It boggles the mind. And there’s no particular reason to think he’s “another A.J.” just because he throws hard and hasn’t taken off yet (at 25), as his walk rate has been under 3 per nine innings in the minors. </rant>, but hear this: League is not just a promising youngish power arm. He’s a total freak who could be a one-of-a kind pitcher. (P.S. boy does his slider suck).
Moving along, my agent is always riding me to pump out less lame attempts at analysis and more things people actually care about, so here we go- facial hair! Danny Cox was in town for Flashback Fridays sporting an absolutely killer handlebar mustache (screencap coming). But I gotta bust him on the Grecian formula: it’s ranged from the vaguely red-brown we saw tonight:
To jet black back in the day:
And a few more crowd pleasers: first, a bunch of vintage eyewear from Joesportsfan (Tom Henke was this four-eyes’ idol…) And have you ever wanted to see former Jay/king roider/Incredible douchebag Jose Canseco get knocked the @#$@#$@ out? Well now you can: