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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is This 'The One?'

I will be watching tonight with more interest than usual. I'm very eager to see Balester pitch.

I very much want him to be The One.
The One pitcher you know is going to get it done almost every time.
I watch Hamels, Lincecum, Webb, Peavy (you get my drift) with envy. When do the Nationals deliver a guy like that?

Is this The One?

We won't know for sure after one start, be it an arse kicking or a no hitter. But we should get an idea, a hint. I've watched Clippard and Mock twice each (three of them in person) and I haven't been blown away. They'll maybe make good big leaguers one day. They aren't The One.

I have a theory, backed by zero research, that every ragarm good enough to get to the majors will have a minimum five games a year when they are "on." They'll win four. The other guy will be more on or they'll have bad luck of some kind in the fifth. Heck, even Ramon Ortiz had a near no-hitter (with a home run). They'll have five games when they are way off and lose four. The other guy will be more off or they'll have good luck in the fifth.

It's those 25 starts in between that make the difference. If you are The One, most of those starts are games where you have your top stuff. Where you go to All-Star games, threaten to win 20, make someone talk about you in Cy Young discussions. Where you consistently get into the 7th, 8th, even 9th innings.

We need The One. Badly. I don't know all that much about Balester but I'm hopeful. We keep hearing about the improved farm system and the future and all that. Let's hope we see a significant piece of fruit from all that labor tonight.

An aside - don't get too excited if I eventually come on and declare Balester (or anyone else) as The One. My track record isn't good. I saw John Patterson pitch a number of times during that glorious first season and was convinced he wasn't just The One - he was The One and Only. We see how well that worked out.


Chris Needham said...

Ah, yes! The early signs of creeping oriolisism whereby fans get so down and dejected by the team of old mediocrities that they start latching on to any ol' prospect as the superstar of the future! :)

He'll be fine.... just don't put him in a class with those other guys. This isn't Clayton Kershaw debuting tonight. It's more like Corey Lidle. (hopefully with a better ending.... TOO SOOOOOON!)

MikeHarris said...

Way too soon and I am ashamed of myself for laughing.

If not this dude, who the hell IS our Hamels? Is there a Hamels?

Brian said...

who the hell IS our Hamels?

Hmmmm. Hold on. Let me check the Big Board.

::looking ... looking::

Ummmm. Would you settle for Mark Hamill? Or maybe Cole Porter?

Chris Needham said...

The only one who I think has a chance to be significantly better than average (putting aside Detwiler, cause we just don't damn know with his performance this year) is Zimmermannnnnnnnn.

He, to my eye, looks like he's got some breakout potential. The rest all look like they're pitchers who could be #3s in their very best seasons.

Nationals Fan said...

I don't know what you guys are talking about. Since he was 9-1 at AAA, he's definitely the real deal. Just ask JimBo.

Sam said...

You people clearly haven't given Marco Estrada a close enough look.


Sec314 said...

Aaron Crow! He's the one...

(and if JimBo is right, why the heck haven't they signed him yet?

Brian said...

A big reason Crow hasn't signed yet is the likelihood that he is going to get an above slot deal and possibly a major league contract. Those types of things lead to pen to paper closer to the August 15 signing deadline.

MikeHarris said...

Who was the kid who signed about 15 seconds before the deadline and then went on to Stanford?

The Braves fan in my office who follows college baseball thinks Crow was a great pick, was stunned that he was still available. But it does no one - especially him - any good to be sitting on his ass in July. Get signed and get pitching.

Brian said...

Jack McGeary is the guy you are thinking of.

And it's sometimes more a function of MLB not wanting to announce above slot deals early for reasons that make sense only to them (the most commonly mentioned reason is to control other player's bonuses)

As for getting them signed, I agree to a point but honestly a guy like Crow has laready thrown a bunch of pitches and I'm guessing the Nationals are not too upset about limiting any more IP on his arm ... especially for a guy they are likely to make a big investment in.