Lawson response – Felix


Check out the picture, about what a “repeatable” delivery is, from the same arm slot-motion. That picture above is from the broadcast, where they super-impose the windup for both a curveball and a fastball. The first picture is both windups at their release, the second picture is the location of those pitches. One a 97MPH heater on the black, the other a curve that broke 2-feet and Mauer waved at for strike 3. ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY PERFECT! I’m telling you, unless he starts doing something to tip off what’s coming, we’re going to see a lot of very defensive, reactionary, stayin-alive swings against him for a LONG time!

Mikey says: I’m going to continue to be a naysayer about Felix the Earl of Over-rated just because I’m dumb…..but to be a rook and have a .69 ERA after two innings is impressive let alone after two starts……still so concerned about the injury bug, but from what I’ve heard and seen, he’s filthier than Colon, who is another heat-maker who is sssoo nasty but always seems to get touched the third time around…..

Sean response: Ok, I admit it, you have every right to shy away from slurping up Felix. There is always a concern about a kid that young that throws that hard and throws freaky junk. There is a long line of young power pitchers that flame out at far too early an age…..but this is a different story, I’m absolutely convinced of that.

To counter the injury concerns, many scouts say that while his motion isn’t perfect, it’s quite smooth and really that is a huge factor in terms of arm injuries. Think about Roger Clemens for a moment. How often has he been injured in his big league career? Not too much, hardly ever for that matter, and the man is in his 40’s (and has never been better). The thing with Clemens is he always threw amazingly hard as a 21-year old rookie and even in college, has always racked up the innings on a yearly basis, yet is still amazing. While they will say Roger’s motion isn’t perfect, it is smooth and repeatable and he uses that thick lower body to throw the ball. Of course Roger has the greatest work ethic of any pitcher since Nolan Ryan, so Felix needs to learn that part of the game. But, there was a picture I posted of Felix from his first start, a side shot with him in full extension about the release the ball, and it’s just beautiful! You can see he uses everything he has on every pitch, and it’s not all arm and violence like Kerry Wood, guys like that who have flamed out. (Speaking of Wood, in retrospect, the worst thing to happen to him was that 20-K game. Now he feels a pressure to repeat that every time out, and it just won’t happen.)

Anyway, I think Felix really is closer to Clemens than anything else because of his style, and even moreso, his body type. He’s got some weight on him, and I’m sorry but there is NO WAY he’s only 170 lbs! He’s more like 230 on a large 6-3 frame, but those trunks of his, man, his legs and butt are just huge. But, he wears his weight well, and doesn’t look fat like a Sidney Ponson or a Bartolo Colon. He’s got that classic Clemens/Freddy power pitcher body, and gets unbelievable drive from those legs.

Then when you think of that age, and to think he’d barely be the 2nd youngest on SHORT SEASON A-Everett, well, it’s mind-boggling. It’s ok, Michael, embrace the KING!

By the way, in the Detroit start? It was noted by someone at Baseball America that every single ball hit into play that day bounced WITHIN 3 FEET of home plate! That’s dominance. Just wait until he faces Kansas City on Monday, which is really a glorified AAA team. We’re probably looking at another 8 innings of “97 mph and a curveball from hell”, per Ron Gardenhire.

Mikey says: Big word down here about Abduhr-Rahim coming to Sacto now that the deal has beeen nixed with the Nets…Bibby-Wells-Peja-Abduhr-Miller. It may be unpredictable and injury prone, but that is a NASTY starting five….

Sean says: I KNEW you were going to be jacked about Rahim! The first thing I thought of was “The Kings fans are going to start thinking about their excuses for calling in sick to see the championship parade “. Not so fast my friend! Washington State wins it, 2-0! (Remember that? Lee Corso talking about the WSU-Desert Swarm game of 1994? He goes “WSU’s rushing defense is giving up less than 36 inches a carry to opposing offenses!” Man that was an amazing D!)

Anyway, first of all, what is Shareef? Has he won anything in 9 years with multiple teams? No. Is it simply bad luck, that he’s played on lousy teams his whole career and he has nothing to do with the fact that his teams simply NEVER win? It’s easy to say “Oh, yeah, he played in Vancouver, Atlanta and Portland and put up great numbers, just imagine what he’ll do here!” Well, there is more to it than that. The NBA is filled with numbers-only guys who never win a damn thing, guys like Big Dog. He puts up numbers, but he’s no winner. He doesn’t play D, and last year were his worst numbers of his career (16 and 7). Sure, he’ll probably go to the Kings and put up his numbers, but is he the answer to ANYTHING that ails them? Don’t know if you remember, but the Kings defense I saw in the playoffs is pretty damn lousy. Shareef wouldn’t know defense if it walked into the room and said “hello, my name is defense!” 🙂

Seriously, the last thing they need is another scorer! Bibby, Bonzi, and Peja will demand the ball enough as it is, but it just seems like Shareef will get in their way. Shareef is certainly not any better than Webber was in his prime, and the Kings never got out of the west with him either. At least C-Webb played a little D and was physical, while Shareef is really a 3 playing the 4.

And, please, all Kings fans, stop all the hype on Bonzi! He’s a punk who was run out of town by Portland and Memphis, but now that his mailing address reads Sacramento everyone believes he’ll be mr. model citizen and an all-star shooting guard? All for a guy who’s best season was 17 PPG in 2001 and has been a serious A-HOLE his whole career??? I just don’t see it. Meanwhile, Peja is Charmin – squeezably soft – and still can’t deliver in the playoffs. Maybe I’m just playing devils advocate, but come on Mikey! That lineup is NOT nasty, in any way!

Then again, I doubted huge on the Sonics until they started 17-3 last year, so maybe they’ll run out and win 55 games and get a 4-seed next year, and Bonzi will be happy, and Shareef will suddenly learn how to defend while putting up big numbers at the 4, and Peja will suddenly stop doing his Detlef FADE impression….but I wouldn’t count on it!

Mikey says: I am hoping the Supes step up and do something soon…with the trades and losses of the Grizz, combined with no additions so far from the Wolves, I think we are solid in the 6-8 seed spot as of right now….but man, can we get something done?

Sean says: They got a solid AD-like player in Brunson, and he’ll be a nice, servicable option off the bench. Now they’ll address the Vladimir situation and move from there. Everything is revolving around that, and the longer it stalls, I have to admit, the worse it is for us. They need to fish or cut bait, though, fast, either sign him to his 6 year, $45 million, or sign-and-trade him, or get him to the 1-year tender, but MOVE already. They have a bench to still fill out and there are quality bench guys still out there, but they can’t be held ransom while Vladimir trolls for a mega-offer. Then again, maybe the Joe Johnson situation is the reason, and if the Hawks do in fact blow it on that one, they might shift to Vladimir. Who knows, but I’m with you, they need to move on one way or another before the market dries up and we are stuck playing 6 or 7 guys at the most next year.

Mikey says: Still so psyched about football..can it just start tomorrow please?And ditto on Bettancourt….Long live Cubans everywhere!

Sean says: I’m excited too! Hopefully that player situation will clear up, but I haven’t heard anything new. New recruiting news this AM has the stud safety from Mead, Andy Mattingly, back from his official visit to the Beavs. His quote “IT WAS AWESOME” makes me nervous. The good news is that both Mattingly and Skyler Jessen, the Mead RB, will both visit WSU this weekend. Mattingly says he wants to see it one more time before making a decision, but the thought is it’s 50-50 between WSU and OSU. I have to say, getting him would be a major boost to the recruiting season. Just as the WSU assistant told me two weeks ago, OSU is whispering sweet nothings into his ear and telling him he’ll play immediately wherever the hell he wants, LB, safety, wherever he wants. They REALLY want to swipe him from us. We need some good pub and having a 4-star safety commit and rave about WSU in the press would be really wonderful right about now!

AND I LOVE Yuni! He’s becoming one of my favorite M’s and I love what he can do with the leather. In my heart, if he can play gold-glove D and just hit .250 with minimal power, I’ll take it. Mike Morse was a nice story for a little while, but he’s plain NOT a good shortstop. 11 errors in 40 games? Plus several documented horrible throws that needed all of Sexson’s 6-feet-8 frame? I’m sorry, but in a pitchers ballpark like the Safe, you need strong D in typical defensive postions, which would be right up the middle (speaking of which, thank you Wee Willie for throwing the game away last night! God how I hate him. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Rick Rizz mention his name without also uttering the phrase “Port Orchard” somewhere in there!).

That’s why it’s great to think of Yuni and Lopez up the middle, Reed in centerfield, and strong at the corners with Sexson and Beltre. Yuni’s my guy and I’ll happily watch him start at short for years to come.

Finally, great Ron Fairly f-up last night. They showed Pineiro’s pitch count breakdown, and it was like 50 strikes and 20 balls for a total of 70 pitches. Fairly goes “That would be 50 strikes, and 20 balls”, totally reading the graphic…..there was a long pause, and he goes “for a total of 70 pitches.” There was a LOOOONG pause, and then Niehaus chimes in “you figure that out on your own?” Fairly goes “No, I have help from the guys in the truck!” It was great! You see more moments like that in a lost season like this one.