Slower Than the Speed of News

We hear at YFSF like to stay at least three days behind the news. So, in that spirit, rounding up from a couple days of Sox- and baseball-related news:

  • Baseball America (subscription required) said the Red Sox did the best job of any team in the 2006 draft, and the Globe notes that first-round pick Daniel Bard is already hitting 100 in the fall instructional league. Considering most pitchers need a couple levels of coaching and mechanics work before they can max out their velocity, this is indeed impressive. Also earning high marks: Pitchers Kris Johnson, Justin Masterson, Caleb Clay, Bryce Cox and Josh Papelbon, 1B Lars Anderson, IF Kris Negron and OF Jason Place, another first-rounder. I keep waiting for a site like Baseball Analysts, which focuses heavily on the drafts, to pick this up and do the kind of in-depth analysis I don’t have the time or energy to do. Alas, no luck thus far.
  • Guillermo Mota has been suspended 50 games for violating baseball’s drug policy. Mota, of course, was traded to the Sox with Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett, then was shipped to the Indians as part of the deal that landed Coco Crisp, Josh Bard and David Riske before ever throwing a pitch. At least he was classy about it — as classy as you can be when you’ve been caught cheating, anyway:

    "I have no one to blame but myself. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept MLB’s suspension. I used extremely poor judgment and deserve to be held accountable.To my teammates and the entire Mets organization, I am sorry. I truly regret what I did and hope that you can forgive me."

  • The AL Gold Gloves are announced today. Here’s rooting for the Sox’ deservees — Lowell and Alex Gonzalez.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka may be posted this week — the Providence Journal certainly thinks so — but others have said differently, and The Seattle Times reports the process could begin "as early as today," which is journalist-speak for, "We really have no idea, but just in case it happens before you read this, we’ve got our butts covered."
16 comments… add one
  • Hey, that’s great that Dan Bard can throw 100. But can he throw 100 to a catcher? Or does the ball end up hitting a mascot?

    SF November 2, 2006, 11:58 am
  • Hehe. I would hope there’s at least some semblence of control there — otherwise the Sox wouldn’t have gotten a No. 1 ranking.
    Apologies also for the egregious here/hear error in the first sentence. Bah.

    Paul SF November 2, 2006, 12:28 pm
  • control can be taught – velocity can’t.

    Brad November 2, 2006, 2:03 pm
  • Velocity is overrated. Control is not.

    SF November 2, 2006, 2:27 pm
  • yeah, I suppose you’re right but I’d rather have a 21 year old fire baller with some control problems, which doesn’t seem to be a real issue if you look at his UNC stats, than a 21 year old who touches corners at 86 and has to be on his game 100% of the time to get outs. At least if he throws cheese, guys will chase pitches. Nobody chases crap.
    Who would you rather have – Verlander or Maine?
    yeah, me too.

    Brad November 2, 2006, 2:32 pm
    here’s the link to his bio at UNC.
    Theo was on EEI talking about this, and he say’s that this is the best draft class in Red Sox team history. That kind of says a lot about them, before they play anyhow. I mean, I’m sure none of them are Philip Hughes or any other sure hall of famer, but hopefully some of them will be okay.

    Brad November 2, 2006, 2:38 pm
  • Oh, I do not mean to disparage Bard himself (or his record at UNC, which was obviously great and 1st round pick-worthy), nor you, Brad. I mean to disparage the isolation of a quote like “he throws 100!”, which is what that article effectively does. It doesn’t speak about Bard’s skills as a pitcher, just his ability to throw fast. In isolation, his ability to crack 100 doesn’t mean squat to me.

    SF November 2, 2006, 3:28 pm
    That’s a pretty interesting article about what makes the fast stuff so good: he has a good slider and curveball. He says that he throws his slider when he has to have a strike which is a little worrisome, but just like other guys who throw that hard, it’s harder to not chase it because of the cheese.

    Brad November 2, 2006, 3:39 pm
  • Throwing 100 (as opposed to 98) means nothing in and of itself because it’s an arbitrary number exciting only because of the digits involved.
    Throwing that fast when you’re just out of college, when most kids that young are still tapping into ways to increase their velocity, seems significant, at least to me.

    Paul SF November 2, 2006, 3:58 pm
  • Either you can do, or you can’t, and being able to do it gives you a leg-up on anyone that can’t and that goes double if you can baby in another pitch to keep people honest.

    Brad November 2, 2006, 4:03 pm
  • Well, I think it’s particularly bad news because when he gets to Yankee Stadium he’ll be throwing 104, and how is anyone going to hit that?

    attackgerbil November 2, 2006, 4:07 pm
  • well, provided it’s a Fox game AG, it may be 107mph.

    Brad November 2, 2006, 4:25 pm
  • Yes, and in much of Europe he throws 165!!!

    SF November 2, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • 165! Wow, in Yankee Stadium, that’ll be 168! And on FOX, it’ll be 171!!
    And in Europe, that makes it …
    We could be here a while.

    Paul SF November 2, 2006, 6:07 pm
  • …congrats sf’s on the recognition for a good draft…from what i hear about velocity, having a good change-up is key to making your fastball look better, even if it doesn’t reach the high 90’s or 100…some of the better hitters don’t seemed intimidated by a steady diet of fastballs, but if the kid [bard] can mix it up a bit with a good change, he sounds like a good pickup…

    dc November 2, 2006, 10:41 pm
  • What have you done with DC?

    Brad November 2, 2006, 11:29 pm

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