Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mind-Blowing Underperformers Of The Week

I suppose at this point, no one should be surprised at what Tim Wakefield's pitching looks like. The guy is the only pitcher in the league who throws pitches that are the same velocity as his age. We all know that when a knuckleball is working, it is near-unhittable and when it is not, well let's just say it's hittable, and the pitcher seems to have little or no control over whether it is working or not. None of this is new and I have seen Wakefield pitch probably 30+ times, and yet I watched in utter amazement last night at his pitching.

Without any exaggeration whatsoever, Wakefield looked like a high school coach throwing batting practice. If this was the home run derby, they'd ask him to throw harder. Watching him on a bad night makes me think without question that I could have been a big league hitter, or pitcher for that matter. Watching everyone else makes me realize I couldn't have been a varsity high school hitter.

I like to listen closely for the real train wreck moments for announcers, and Chip Caray has really put himself head-and-shoulders above his colleagues in this area during his career. In Game 3, Paul Byrd came in as the long-man to relieve Jon Lester. At one point Caray said, "In a lost cause for Boston, Paul Byrd is doing some valuable work." Never mind that he had given up a three-run homer in the previous inning that blew the game wide open, nor that he gave up a solo shot on the next pitch after Caray said that line (apparently reading from the play-by-play announcers' handbook). Byrd was doing valuable work, but it was for Tampa Bay.

In Game 4, the Rays erupted for back-to-back homers off of Wakefield in the first inning. The second one was hit over the Green Monster, over the Monster seats, over the ad-banner above the seats, over the camera that is at the height of the top of the foul pole, and out into the night. To say the least, it was a bomb. Caray's call: "That one's got a chance!" Yeah, a chance to land in Connecticut!

After Juan Pierre started in center field for the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS (seriously, that happened), and considering that tonight will be the Dodgers' final game, I thought that today would be a good day to break down Andruw Jones' season from a financial point-of-view. Sadly, the Dodgers had to fake a season ending injury for Jones to save face for himself and the organization, so his statistics don't quite add up to a full season's worth...but his paychecks still do!

Keep in mind that he was brought in for top dollar after a dismal offensive season last year in the hopes that he would bolster the Dodgers' power numbers. Enjoy:

Batting Average: .158
2008 Salary: $14,726,910
$ per Game Started: $267,762 (55 starts)
$ per At Bat: $70,463.68 (209 AB's)
$ per Home Run: $4,908,970 (3 homers)
$ per RBI: $1,051,922.14 (14 RBI)
$ per Run Scored: $701,281.42 (21 runs)
$ per Hit: $446,270 (33 hits)
$ per Extra Base Hit: $1,227,242.50 (8 doubles, 1 triples, 3 homers)
$ per Pitch Faced: $14,409.89 (1022 pitches)
$ per Donut Eaten: $.04 (368,172,750 donuts*)
Another stat of note: three times as many K's (76) as walks (27).

*-Donut stat is approximate.

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