ESPN Gets One Wrong, Schilling Opens His Mouth..

December 20, 2007

First of all, somebody please explain freedom of speech to ESPN, and remind them that people love controversy. Mark Madden is the most entertaining radio personality in sports right now strictly because he doesn’t give a flying you know what about what he says, and it’s hilarious. Forcing him to tone down his act is like asking a Spears girl not to get pregnant…the entertainment value just dies.

Meanwhile, Curt Schilling went on a little rant yesterday in his blog, 38pitches.com, in response to Clemens’s cameo on the infamous Mitchell Report:

Roger has denied every allegation brought to the table. So as a fan my thought is that Roger will find a way in short order to organize a legal team to guarantee a retraction of the allegations made, a public apology is made, and his name is completely cleared. If he doesn’t do that then there aren’t many options as a fan for me other than to believe his career 192 wins and 3 Cy Youngs he won prior to 1997 were the end. From that point on the numbers were attained through using PED’s. Just like I stated about Jose, if that is the case with Roger, the 4 Cy Youngs should go to the rightful winners and the numbers should go away if he cannot refute the accusations.

Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe Schil is looking for some readership, since as was mentioned above, controversy sells. Not that Curt has ever been shy about his opinions, but telling Roger Clemens to give back 4 Cy Youngs is a huge, huge demand, and says a ton about Schilling’s stance on PED’s. If he wants to take away Clemens’s Cy Youngs, then he has to take away Bonds’s records, Palmeiro’s home runs, Pettite’s World Series rings, and a whole bunch of punched tickets to Cooperstown.

If your going to punish one guy, you’ve got to punish them all, and since we really don’t know who exactly is in that “all” group, it’s a crap-shoot as to whether or not the right guys are being punished. Schilling is joking himself if he thinks we’re going to find every user from the last 25 years, and just because one guy was unfortunate enough to have his name dropped in a report doesn’t mean he should have his career accomplishments erased. Like I said in previous blogs, PED’s were rampant in baseball, and probably still are. If you’re dominant in a given era, then you should be remembered for that dominance, regardless of what accusations have been made. For all we know, every batter Clemens faced could have been juicing up, so how fair is it to punish him for being one of the few who was caught?

Don’t try to make scapegoats for MLB’s mistakes. Everyone is to blame, and singling out players like this is irresponsible. Judge the era if you must (and in this case, we have to), but when it comes to determining the best players over a set period of time, the only fair measurement we have is performance. I italicize that because it might be the truest thing I’ve ever written.

Trying to measure anything more than performance is like guaranteeing to beat the Patriots (yes Anthony I’m still bitter). 

It’s just stupid.

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Marlins Deal Cabrera, Willis to Detroit

December 6, 2007

Dontrelle Willis
Dontrelle Willis and his trademark leg kick will head to Detroit looking to return to 2005 form, when Willis won 22 games while posting a microscopic 2.63 ERA

The Florida Marlins, baseballs perennial fire-salers, have agreed to send 24-year old stud Miguel Cabrera and 25-year old fan favorite Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers in exchange for a plethora of talent. We can all agree that there isn’t a prospect alive that we wouldn’t send for Cabrera, but many believe that Willis could be a major bust.

Although many in the baseball world are pointing to Willis’s quickly declining numbers (note the yearly increase in ERA, WHIP, and HR along with decreases in W, CG, SHO, IP, and SO since 2005), I think there is reason to believe that we may see at least a brief resurgence in Dontrelle’s career.

It’s no secret that Dontrelle’s early success was tied to his funky delivery, which confused a lot of hitters. Scouts claim that the high leg kick and inconsistent arm slot were effectively deceptive early in his career, helping him post Cy Young-like numbers despite having just above average stuff. However, scouts are saying now that National League hitters have seen him for five years, they have figured him out, thus the declining numbers. Also, mechanical issues are making Dontrelle’s control and his stuff fairly inconsistent, although I doubt his stuff has gotten that much worse since ’05.

Moving to the American League might be an okay move for Willis, at least for a while. With catcher Ivan Rodriguez calling the game for him, Willis could very well make a strong comeback this year while American League hitters try to figure him out. Granted, hitters have scouting reports built already, which means it won’t take five years for guys to get around his deceptive delivery, but there is reason to believe Willis could be successful, especially with a monstrous line-up behind him.

As for the Fish, there’s reason to be excited about the crop of players that have been brought in. Cameron Maybin is an absolute stud talent-wise, and has the potential to be a top-notch, five-tool player in the near future. The real gem of this trade, however, is 6-foot-6 pitcher Andrew Miller. Though still decidedly raw, Miller has the potential to be a top of the rotation guy. His mid-90’s, ¾ fastball comes with a heavy sink, allowing him to induce an abundance of ground balls. He needs work on establishing some secondary stuff, but as ESPN’s Eric Karabell says, he might already be a better value pitcher than Willis.