Wednesday, September 19, 2012

7 comments Terence Moore Senses Another Dangerous and Horrifying Trend in Baseball

Terence Moore has never been afraid to take on the small issues and blow them up into larger issues that immediately need correcting. He has already warned our fragile nation about the unoriginality of baseball celebrations, served as a guide into a fictional past where baseball players were all iron men, and cut off all of this talk about "needing expanded replay" by stating the umpires have an impossible job in the first place so there is no need to make their job easier. Terence Moore does love certain things though. He loves Dusty Baker and he loves the idea of a team signing every aging and declining free agent on the market. Today, Terence Moore is serving as the lone light in a vast wilderness of denial. He is warning us against the "dangerous" trend of six man pitching rotations. There's no telling how many innocent lives would be saved if everyone would just read this column about this "dangerous" new trend.

Just off the top of my head I can think of some other dangerous trends in baseball.

1. Excessive sunflower seed consumption. It can cause your stomach to rupture.

2. Excessive Gatorade consumption. It's like water, but a different color from water.

3. The water that falls to the dugout floor when a player throws a cup of water over his face. Someone could fall on that water you know. Where is MLB on this issue?

4. The hot water in most MLB locker rooms is much too hot. Even when players turn the water to the point where it should be lukewarm, it comes out very hot. This is a good way to get scalded, yet no one talks about this issue.

5. Microphones that reporters they cause cancer? I've never heard definitive proof they don't.

6. There are steps leading out of the dugout, but why can't teams install escalators instead? A player could fall on the steps and injure himself running out of the dugout while celebrating a victory. Escalators could allow teams to celebrate a victory (preferably with an original celebration) in an orderly fashion.

7. The lack of hand sanitizer in team locker rooms. That's an easy way to spread disease among teammates.

8. Facial hair on baseball players. What are they hiding under there?

Though I'm not a fan of the concept, I don't know if I would ever describe a six-man rotation as "dangerous," much in the same way I would call the propensity of managers to use the bunt as a "life-altering" strategy. Though there have been some times when Fredi Gonzalez has called for a player to bunt and I've lost just a little bit of my will to live.

Atlanta is just the latest team to lose its mind by going to a six-man pitching rotation. Then again, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said their insanity is only temporary.

This is as opposed to Fredi's insistence on not using Craig Kimbrel in a tie ball game. That appears to be permanent insanity.

They all say that, though.

I don't even know what this means. How many teams have used six-man rotations and stuck with that rotation for 50% of the season? I have no idea where to research this, but I haven't heard of any in the last 10 years. So "they all say that" seems to have no precedent or reason for being said since most teams use a six-man rotation as a temporary solution.

Then, Gonzalez said he plans to return to a conventional -- by today's standards -- five-man rotation at the end of the month, after his team finishes its current streak of playing on 20 consecutive days.

"With our situation right now at this stage of the season, and some of our health concerns -- with [Tim Hudson's] ankle and Ben Sheets, with his history the last two years [of elbow problems], he hasn't really pitched -- we're going to do it," Gonzalez told reporters on Monday at Turner Field. His reasoning was logical, but only to a point.

Logic? You know Terence Moore doesn't respond to logic. Use some ill-conceived reasoning and maybe Terence Moore can accept your point of view. Even then Terence will punch you in the stomach until you admit Ken Griffey Jr is the greatest player the game of baseball has ever seen and Dusty Baker is a managerial genius.

Here's the biggest point: Six-man rotations aren't good.

Here's my biggest point: This is a stupid, stupid point. This is pretty much Moore saying "because" when asked why he doesn't like six-man rotations. To use the reasoning that six-man rotations "aren't good" as his biggest point is an incredibly juvenile and amateurish way of defending his position.

They ruin the timing of starting pitchers who normally rest four days between starts.

I can accept this reasoning. Sometimes starting pitchers don't care if their timing is interrupted, sometimes they do. This doesn't make six-man rotations inherently bad, especially because they are used as a temporary solution.

They don't allow your ace to pitch as often as he normally would.

The Braves don't have an ace pitcher. All of their starters are equally average. If Terence is going to specifically bring up the Braves as a team that should not use a six-man rotation he should probably also mention this concern doesn't apply to the Braves.

They force you to choose between playing with either one less reliever or one guy on the bench.

OMG! Really? It will force the manager to (gulps) manage the team? If Fredi Gonazalez had known a six-man rotation was effectively a way to sneakily force him to do his job well then he would have never agreed to it. Why would a manager want to put himself in a position where he has to manage his team and make decisions that affect the team?

And, for all we know, they could be the reason for that hole in the ozone.

Don't be snarky because you don't have any other good reasoning as to why you don't like six-man rotations. You are the one who refers to six-man rotations as "dangerous" in the column title, so you are pretty much making fun of yourself with this snark.

Gonzalez is going with a six-man rotation anyway.

Staring the danger directly in the face, Fredi Gonzalez chooses to face down this danger, while also being absolutely sure not to use his closer in a tie ball game in order to chase saves.

In addition to the combination of that 20-game stretch and pitchers healing from injuries, Gonzalez has the Kris Medlen dilemma. Medlen has operated mostly out of the bullpen during his career with the Braves, but the team has won 16 of his last 17 starts, and that includes his 2-0 record with a 1.62 ERA in three starts this season.

So why can't a good argument to go to a six-man rotation be made? The guy who would pitch out of the bullpen is currently pitching the best, there are two pitchers with injury issues in the rotation, along with Ben Sheets, who could conceivably have his arm fall off at any point in the near future.

This also is typical in sports, where you get one team enamored with a newfangled strategy, and then a bunch of teams follow.

It's also a product of teams finding another way to rest pitchers without putting that pitcher on the disabled list. A six-man rotation will probably always be a temporary solution in baseball. It makes sense in certain situations and for certain teams. I don't get how it is dangerous. When did exactly four days off become the optimal time a pitcher needs to rest between starts? Baseball writers freak out when a pitcher pitches on short rest and then freak out when a pitcher pitches on long rest. Pitchers are capable of pitching effectively on short or long rest over a short period of time.

Then they all become sheep, either on the way to grazing in postseason glory, or dropping over the cliff with the rest of the herd.

Which are pretty much the only two options for a baseball team. They either make the playoffs or don't make the playoffs.

There was the debut of the "point forward," which came out of nowhere in the NBA during the early 1980s out of necessity.

There was also "New Coke" and what a disaster that was, huh? Change is always bad.

Milwaukee Bucks coach Don Nelson watched starting point guard Nate Archibald pull a hamstring before a playoff game, and Nelson adjusted by telling forward Marques Johnson to bring the ball up the court. The point ... well, you get it.

The point being that Don Nelson found a way to innovate the game of basketball and this change can still be seen in the game of basketball today? That Don Nelson thought outside the box and the result was basketball coaches had another strategy they could use to take advantage of the talent on their roster?

I'm failing to see how the advent of the "point forward" was a bad innovation for the game of basketball.

So did everybody else, because the concept spread beyond Cheesehead Country, and it remains prevalent today through somebody named LeBron James.

This was another failed attempt to institute a dangerous new trend into the game of basketball. Thank God this trend was stopped befor---wait, you mean Don Nelson innovated a trend that is still around in the NBA? Then why is Terence Moore using this example as further proof the six-man rotation used by a handful of teams is dangerous and just "aren't good"? If the point forward is comparable to a six-man rotation then wouldn't that mean using a six-man rotation is an effective managerial strategy?

That's a great question I just asked myself and I can't provide the answer to myself. Why does Terence Moore use the point forward as an example of a trend in sports which wasn't good for the sport? I'm guessing it's because he's insane. After all, only an insane person would write an entire column about how baseball celebrations need to be more original and in another column call an umpire's job impossible, while using this as reasoning to not institute expanded replay in baseball.

In 1976, the Oakland Raiders kept losing defensive linemen, so they began to depend heavily on a 3-4 defense, with three defensive linemen and four linebackers instead of the NFL standard at the time of four linemen and three linebackers.

The Raiders eventually won the Super Bowl.

The 3-4 defense. Another dangerous trend in the NFL, which ultimately led to this defense still being used in the NFL 36 years later. Again, I just have to ask....why is Terence Moore using examples of trends in sports that turned out to last and help innovate the way the game is played as a reason why six-man rotations are bad? Is this some mind-game he is playing with me? Is he using reverse-reverse psychology? Why do I feel like he is watching every move I make? If Terence Moore really is insane, is HE the one that is dangerous? Is "six-man rotation" when used in the title just a code word for "Terence Moore?" Is Terence trying to tell us that he is slowly going insane and losing his grip on reality? There's a chance this column is actually titled "Terence Moore is becoming dangerous."

Now baseball has its version of the point forward, the 3-4 defense and the rest with its growing number of six-man rotations.

And it's dangerous people! Have you seen the movie "Cloverfield?" Remember the monster that destroyed New York City? That's the six-man rotation. Do you remember the little monsters the big monster spawned? That is the other teams in MLB using the six-man rotation just waiting to attack you on the subway tracks. If we aren't all careful, we are going to end up stuck under a bridge with a video camera as the six-man rotation stares at us menacingly before it kills us all. Terence Moore is just trying to prevent this from happening.

The Chicago White Sox just had one of them, and it looked like a highly questionable one after All-Star pitcher Chris Sale spent a 4-2 victory last week against the Kansas City Royals striking out seven without issuing a walk during his eight innings.

This is brilliantly bad writing. Terence wants us to assume the six-man rotation is inherently bad. If Chris Sale pitches poorly on five days rest then this is proof the six-man rotation threw off Sale's timing. It turns out Chris Sale pitched well after five days rest, but this isn't proof a six-man rotation could work, this is proof the six-man rotation is holding Chris Sale back from pitching well more often. It's Easterbrookian logic.

Not coincidentally, the White Sox proceeded to acquire former Minnesota Twins ace Francisco Liriano, which accelerated their move to their six-man rotation. But then came Sale's gem against the Royals, along with questions about when he would pitch again in the six-man staff.

I'm reading the tea leaves here and saying Sale will pitch again in five days.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura suggested this week to inquiring minds that his six-man rotation is deader than Sale's left arm was near the end of July. He attributed his six-man strategy to Sale needing rest, along with veteran Jake Peavy and rookie Jose Quintana.

Because a six-man rotation is temporary for MLB teams. It is not intended to be permanent. Also notice how Terence Moore has just helped to submarine his own earlier comment in this column,

Atlanta is just the latest team to lose its mind by going to a six-man pitching rotation. Then again, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said their insanity is only temporary.

They all say that, though.

By saying "they all say that, though" in reference to the six-man rotation being temporary, Terence is suggesting once teams go to a six-man rotation they never switch back to a five-man rotation. Yet, later in this column Terence gives the example of the White Sox as a team that used a six-man rotation and eventually switched back to a five-man rotation. So they don't all say that and nearly all teams who go to a six-man rotation eventually move back to a five-man rotation. There aren't simply enough quality starters in the majors to put a six-man rotation together over an entire season. Way to ruin your own comment, Terence.

Even Pirates ace A.J. Burnett has been affected by the six-man rotation. He is the only one of the Bucs' six starters who has been treated like "Where's Waldo?" That's because Pittsburgh has moved Burnett around the rotation so he can maintain his normal amount of rest between starts, but it hasn't worked.

So even though Burnett is pitching on normal rest and isn't part of the six-man rotation the very idea his teammates are pitching in a six-man rotation is causing Burnett to pitch poorly. Is this what we are to believe?

After going 7-0 and having the Pirates finish 10-0 overall in his home starts this season, Burnett was pounded last weekend at PNC Park by the San Diego Padres during a 5-0 loss.

It sounds like the Pirates may have had a better chance to win this game if the offense had scored even one run. I guess that's Burnett's fault for not pitching to the score.

I don't get how if Burnett is pitching on four days rest that the six-man rotation messed with Burnett's timing. Nothing changed, so how could he have been thrown off? It's almost like Terence is just making shit up as he writes.

Just saying.

Terence is just saying that even though A.J. Burnett is pitching on normal rest the fact he got pounded on normal rest is proof a six-man rotation is dangerous. If Burnett had gotten pounded working on five days rest this would have been also used as proof a six-man rotation is dangerous.

I'm not a fan of six-man rotations, but there has to be a better argument than Terence Moore's attempts to prove his point with arguments like "just saying" and "six-man rotations aren't good." Of course, Terence also used strategic innovations which improved the NBA and NFL as reasons why a six-man rotation would never work. So it is possible he is losing grip on reality. I would do a celebration, but I'm sure Terence would find it unoriginal.


Anonymous said...

Haha, this is pretty good stuff. My O's have toyed with a 6-man rotation at a couple times this year I think (although not a true version of it), using spot starters like Steve Johnson and some of the other guys down on the farm to provide extra rest for guys like Wei-yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez who are pitching more innings than they ever have before. I say it's not a true 6-man rotation because it's been employed by having a guy start and push everyone back, but not start 5 (or would we call this 6?) days later necessarily. Much like the Braves, the O's don't have a true ace pitcher. Hammell was great early, but has been injured almost the entire second half. Seems like a good way to keep arms fresh to me. But what do I know? I've also been suckered into believing in the virtue of point-forwards and the 3-4 defense. Ive been blinded by the mismatch opportunities and pass-rush versatility, respectively.

Anonymous said...

The 6-pitcher rotation is dangerous because it's an innovation comparable to the position that the best player in the NBA plays and to a defense that has won Super Bowls.

Right, thank you for that analysis. Please just go sit down for a while.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, the Braves aren't even using a six man rotation anymore. That was part of my point also, that teams won't use it for an entire season. If a team wants to limit the amount of innings a young pitcher has (like if the Nationals had used a six man rotation for a month or two, perhaps Strasburg could pitch in the playoffs) or rest a certain starter it works.

The biggest issue with a six man rotation becoming permanent is teams have a hard enough time finding five quality starters, much less six. So I don't see a team using this strategy for an entire season and so what if they do?

You are just another idiot sports fan who subjects yourself to out-of-the-box thinking. The way it has always been is the way it should always be done.

Anon2, I think you summed it up. I think Terence struggles a bit with the concept of alternative ways a situation can be viewed. For the Braves, they wanted to limit Hanson's innings and give Sheets some rest, so they went with six pitchers. I watch the Braves every single night and had forgotten they were using a six man rotation for a short period of time.

We wouldn't want to use a different strategy that would lead to success, would we? Does Terence realize he is arguing FOR a six man rotation by comparing it to a 3-4 defense and the point forward? I would hope so.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but OMG, Joe Morgan is back....

He's also just the fourth player to record a 200-hit season 14 or more years after doing it for the first time. So how did Jeter get there this season?

"I always try to stay consistent," he said after the Yankees won their fourth straight. "If you're consistent throughout the course of the year, then you have a chance to do it."

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, CONSISTENCY! If you stay consistently consistent then you can get 14 200-hit seasons. Players these days aren't consistent. Sometimes they will go 1-2 games without a hit, while back in Joe's day players rarely went even one game without getting a hit.

There are just no great teams or players these days like there used to be. Fortunately, Jeter is an exception.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to think that Moore realizes what he is writing is BS. Not even BS, really, just doesn't make any sense. Like how no players start a lot of games in a row anymore like they used to. Other than the fac that the consecutive games streak holder retired in the 2000's.


Bengoodfella said...

Anon1, I can see that. I don't know why he would intentionally write BS though. It isn't as if what he is writing is so inflammatory or so wrong it gets him pageviews. So outside of getting noticed, why would he write like he does?

Perhaps he just doesn't care anymore? It's just like he has something against instant replay and he doesn't defend his argument against it very I can see how he knows what he is writing is BS, but I don't know why he'd write that way.

Moore said that the umps have an impossible job and that was a reason instant replay shouldn't be expanded. That really doesn't make sense, but it makes such little sense to me I almost believe that he believes what he is saying.