Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nice Work When You Can Get It

Imagine for a moment you are Jamie Moyer. The manager hands you the ball and tells you he'd like some quality innings. Give me that, Charlie continues, and we'll probably get a W. Being the sort of team player you've been most of your career, you nod and say you'll give it your best.

Not once during this brief conversation did anyone say anything about starting or relieving. The only things that matter are those quality innings and a W. Do you really care if those innings come at the beginning or middle of the game? Well, yes, as a matter of fact. If you're still in character, you've made your feelings on that subject abundantly clear: give me the ball at 7:05 PM.

OK. Snap out of it. If you are reading this blog you aren't Jamie Moyer and never will be. You're just an average fan who wants the same thing Charlie wants, that W. Actually, that's all the other 24 guys on the roster want. Heck, that's really what Jamie wants, too.

What difference does it make, especially at this point in his career, if Moyer starts or not? He's done just about everything else a pitcher can do, in two leagues, for clubs too numerous to list, for more than two decades. He's won a lot of game and lost a lot of games. He's been to a World Series and come out on the winning end. He's playing for the team he grew up rooting for. And his current team is leading its division. While you're at it, throw in how often people marvel at his ability to keep on keepin' on at his advanced age. You could look it up. If a player cannot put team before self after all that it's a sad commentary, one which many pundits and fans have noted.

All Jamie did last night against Arizona was pitch nearly perfect ball for six innings of relief after a long rain delay sidelined starter Pedro Martinez. Yes, fans, the script was that good. Replace the guy who replaced you in the rotation and throw nearly perfect, not just quality, ball for six innings.

Get back in character for a moment, please. OK, you lead the team in wins. You said you aren't suited for the bullpen and in your first outing you pitch the best relief the team has seen all year. Now, don't you feel just a little bit good how things turned out?

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