I remember when Tom Ricketts introduced Theo Epstein as President of baseball Operations. Theo gave that "Baseball is better" speech. The words burned brightly. He would make the rounds, the Score, ESPN, even Dave Kaplan shut his yap for a few minutes long enough on the then "Chicago Tribune Live" to let Theo speak his philosophy. ( a feat that hasn't been repeated to this day and will go down to as a mark of the legend of Theo....). Every word he spoke was well thought out and very eloquently delivered. He never seemed off guard. Or like he had to think about something and get back to you. Prepared, researched. worked out and ready.
As the year went on, The made himself less and less available. He wasn't a recluse by any means. But he sure wasn't seeking attention or using the media as a tool the some others have. And when he spoke, there were just wonderful nuggets of information. If you recall the whole Ryan Dempster fiasco. ( Yes we have to.) It was pretty obvious he was pissed. Not just the chance to acquire a Randall Delgado, but a possible torn relationship with a well respected GM, a possible media circus that would have far reaching complications and unnecessary headaches. Yet Theo slowly explained the process, and while using words like " I feel sorry for Ryan" and "unfortunate circumstances" still told about how Dempster was informed every single step of the way and you knew where the blame lied...without Theo having to say it.
So it was with great joy when Len and Jim ( more on him later) had their first broadcast that I got to hear Theo Epstein speak again when he took time out from ducking Javier Baez home run balls to join them. Once again, the words burned. "Baseball executives make their biggest mistakes over scouting in September and March".... This going on while everyone and their green shirted beer vendor were doing handsprings over the 20 year old sensation Baez. Theo would go on and give the kid his props... saying that there were some comparisons Gary Sheffield that were valid- his hands, his speed through the strike zone. But then he made you turn around and look at the road ahead. Sheffield hit for a much higher average then what Baez is currently hitting. Sheffield walk-to K ratio was much better. He spoke about how the struggles at Daytona last year were/are part of the development process. So yeah, get excited about Baez, but realize he ain't on any "fast track".
I was wondering if Theo had changed. His "there's no difference between 78 wins and 72" kind of struck me as off kilter. How you going to ask for the players to do their best when you're not.....that kind of thing. But I realized that that wasn't it. Again, You can chew on what Theo says. There's no "Big plan" here.....There's a big goal. and there's thousands of plans to reach it. And Baker, Jackson and FELDMAN!!!!!!! were brought in to help win. But they go from "pitcher" to "asset" based on any number of factors.
People seem to have 2015 as "The Year". I don't put a time table on it. It's not about time. It's about right decisions and wrong ones. You make enough right decisions and you're going to win. That could be 2015, 2017, even this year. Fortunately, every time I hear Theo speak, I'm confident ths organization is going to make the right decisions.
ODDS AND SODS.
Jim Deshais is going to be just fine. It's clear he's a smart dude. He had some "first day at a new school" uneasiness. A little too eager to impress at times. But He's a positive cat. And his intelligence comes through. I think him and Len are gonna be really good, especially on "Geeky Sundays" when they introduce more sabremetric themes into the broadcast.
So that Javier Baez swing.... Pretty good pretty good, pretty neat pretty neat as Jim Morrison used to say. Really like that swing. Like Really REALLY like that swing. Could develop an unhealthy "mom you don't understand, I love him" kind of crush" on something as awesome as that.
Now I see why Arguello gets all "Banana Splits" when describing him.
Of curse, if he was flipped for a Jameson Tallion, Gerrit Cole, or a Dylan Bundy I'd probably be just as excited.
Speaking of which, did anyone tune in Friday afternoon, see a bearded dude wearing #46 nibble around the plate and get pelted and think "Jeebus did Dempster veto another trade? Can he do that?"
Speaking of our hero Arguello, I can tell these Friday night breakdowns of college pitchers along with Sahadev Sharma, and Harry Palvidis are going to be a staple and must read on Twitter for the next 3 months. I suggest you follow all of them.
Justin Bour angry. Justin Bour smash.Justin Bour make holes in teeth with large wooden object in hands.....
The Beatles get a break this Sunday. I've thrown Kelly Hogan's "I like to keep Myself in Pain.", Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris' "All The RoadRunning", Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" and some assorted John Hiatt into a playlist and hit the shuffle blender....
Oh right, that Replacements reunion EP sounds like it was recorded in an hour. And I mean that in a good way. I like to think that Tommy Stinson joined Westerberg in the studio and said "Let's do these tracks before Axl realizes I'm gone...." Nice listen. Certainly no new ground covered. Old pair of blue jeans kind of music. worth the 5$.
It's spring. can't get too upset about it. But would like to see just a mini-roll of success with the pitching. Don't like to see Rusin's 5 innings of one run ball being followed up by giving up 15 the next day.
Any chance Rusin or Takahashi nab a starting spot and push FELDMAN!!!!!!! into the bullpen....? No? Thought I'd ask.
The Kansas City Royal hats look like they were bought from a Wal-mart down the street 15 minutes before the game. Yecch.
How awesome was Patrick Kane's spin-o-rama last night.?
Almost Javier Baez swing good. That's how good it was.
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