Friday, March 13, 2009

Fortunately, he's a relief pitcher

Gordon Edes pens a column "Rodriguez Falls Short in Ambassador Role". Apparently after Venezuela beat the U.S. in their WBC game our new closer initially declined to take questions from the media. He was convinced, however, to come back out and by Edes' own estimation "was engaging, answering all inquiries at length." He was angry at some unflattering press the Venezuelan team had gotten after getting trounced by the U.S. in their first matchup.

Now while I tend not to care how much players talk to the press or whether they're good "clubhouse guys," if that's the kind of thing you concern yourself with, fine. But Edes completely loses the plot here:

"K-Rod’s inning of work was not a clean one, a foreshadowing of what Mets fans are advised to expect."

How unclean was it? He walked (former MVP) Jimmy Rollins, and another guy reached on an error before he struck out Kevin Youkilis to end it. Doesn't sound that bad, but Edes notes that Rodriguez walked 10 leadoff batters last year, compared to just one for Jon Papelbon.

Of course, Jon Papelbon is not a point of reference. He's a freak of nature who gave up fewer walks last year (8) than a lot of closers gave up home runs. "He walks more leadoff hitters than Papelbon" is the kind of criticism a moron would make.

So do your hand-wringing about K-Rod's people skills if you must, Edes, but let's not pretend he's likely to have much to apologize for pitching-wise.

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