Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Next Life May Offer Some Relief

Life can be filled with regrets.

Should have practiced the piano more. Should have eaten my spinach. Should have bought that stock when it was at 4.

And should have worked more on that splitter in little league.

All I know is I want to come back in the next life as a relief pitcher. Take one Arthur Rhodes for example. Here is a sixteen year veteran who has thrown a total of 981 innings or 61.31 innings per year. His salary for 2006? $3,700,000 or roughly $60,0349.05 per inning of work.

Of course, some innings are tougher than others, especially when you cannot always find the strike zone. On May 21 Arthur came in and threw 30 pitches against Boston while allowing four hits and two earned runs in one inning. On May 23, however, he only needed 7 pitches to dispense with the Mets in his lone inning of work. Presumably, he was paid the same $60+K for each of those appearances.

We are living in an era of one-inning relief specialists. Set-up man. Closer. There are even some guys who are called Situational relievers; they aren’t even required to pitch an inning; instead, they come in to face one batter. Naturally, those are the hardest jobs to come by.

There’s not much use bemoaning this development or the consequences it holds for starting pitchers let alone their managers. Nothing in baseball’s history suggests trends of this magnitude are ever reversed.

So practice those scales, boys and girls, and eat your vegetables. But don’t neglect that splitter. It won’t exhaust you and you can retire at age 39 with a pot of gold and look forward to many years of not working harder if at all ever again.


Tom G said...

My friend Chip and I are in agreement that we are going to tie the right arms of our respective first born children to their sides.

Tom Goodman said...

Very funny, but do it.