What I’ve Learned this Week

Greetings from, well, from my desk perched high up in my treehouse in a far off, quasi-remote, near-by, quaint, vibrant, small-town of several million inhabitants.  Watched a lot of ball this week, but followed WAY more on the web.  Is everybody else doing it this way?  I’m probably watching/following baseball on the web versus the television at about a 7-to-1 clip these days.  Could be my fascination with the minor leagues, could just be that when I turn on ESPN, I’m bound to be subjected to some kind of “Peyton Manning takes a physical” story that’s going to rob me of 3.5 minutes I could have used to check on Taijuan Walker’s progress.  Anyway, here’s this week’s observations:

-The Tigers may win the Central by 15 games.  They can really hit.  I’ve already stated that Verlander is must-watch TV and in case you missed it, his last 4 fastballs the other night were all 100MPH.  He threw 131 pitches in the that game and since he is fueled by an odd combination of nastiness and Taco Bell, he will probably dominate all season long.  They’re really gonna try to get old man Illitch a World Series ring before he goes from Little Caesars down here to the Big Caesars up there.

-The Red Sox bullpen sucks.  I told you that last week and I didn’t think it could get worse.  Despite the series against the Rays, where the offense carried the load, the pen just isn’t very good.  Bard is nasty, but that situation is a good example of what CAN happen when you move 1 dominant bullpen arm out of the bullpen.

-The Angels bullpen is a bit of a mess as well.  I, frankly, haven’t researched many of their numbers because I’ve been more fascinated with the Scioscia psychology that allows Hunter and Wells to bat 5-6 in nearly every game they’ve played this year.  Meanwhile, Mike Trout has at least one hit in EVERY single game he’s played this year at AAA Salt Lake.  I saw him last year in person and Rangers fans should be thankful for everyday he’s not earning playing experience in the big league line-up.  He’s going (eventually, right?) to be VERY good.

-Dylan Bundy is crazy good.  Scouting reports from his games and twitter tidbits from those who can spot more than I, are seeing a lively, mid-90’s fastball working both sides of the plate.  He’s pitched 9 innings now as a professional and has yet to give up a hit.  But I’m moving on, ’cause I’m fascinated with a developing story.  Last year, Bundy was the 4th pick overall and his friend and sometimes baseball rival since the age of 8, Archie Bradley was taken with the 7th pick.  Bradley’s Broken Arrow High defeated Bundy’s Owasso High in the Oklahoma 6A championship game last year on the strength of Bradley’s 14Ks and two hits allowed.  These two Tulsa area natives have a chance to be really, really good pitchers.  There is a profoundly long way to go (likely to be at least a couple more years for both to reach the Show), but this will be fun to watch.  I’ll keep you posted.

-Both of these wunderkinds are from Oklahoma and they have a long, long way to go to be the best current player in baseball from Oklahoma, ’cause that’s where Matt Kemp is from.  He’s been the best current player in baseball from ANYWHERE since opening day 2011.

-sometimes I hear scouts and pundits say “it’s really all about the results”.  Mechanics are important at all levels and they often lead to the results, however sometimes the mechanics are unconventional but the results are steady and on occasion spectacular.  And that’s why baseball has Hunter Pence.  At the end of the day, it’s all about the results.

-Jose Valverde is one of those guys non-baseball fans see on television, point to and say “THAT guy is a professional athlete?”.  It certainly doesn’t help that he always pitches from the stretch and his profile resembles a wood-burning stove.

-I’m betting the Yankees eventually catch the Orioles.  Call it a hunch.

-Special thanks to Chris Adams (@chrisadams03) for inviting me out to see the Frisco RoughRiders on Sunday.  It was an experience that deserves it’s own post so look for that later.

-As a music dork, I often say that the reason KISS wears make-up is to distract you from the fact that their songs suck.  To that end, I’d like to see the “Dbacks” put “Arizona” on their home uniforms and put regular seats where that stupid pool is.  It’s like a grown man wearing Crocs or Boise State’s blue turf.  We’re not going to take you seriously, until you take yourself a little more seriously.

Alrighty, folks, that’s it for this week.  I’m having a blast writing this little blog and interacting with  you on the Twitter monster.


@tepidp on twitter