Monday, May 6, 2013

2 comments Terence Moore Is Joking with This Column about Mark DeRosa, Right?

I tend to dislike columns that rave about average players as if these players were the greatest baseball players to ever put on a uniform. These columns always rave about a guy's intangibles and how there may be a ton of stars on a certain team, but this guy (and his mediocre ability) are really what ties the team together. Terence Moore has written one of these columns about Mark DeRosa, who was batting .148/.242/.333 when Terence wrote this pile of shit he calls a column. See, DeRosa is a proven winner. He's a winning winner who only knows how to win. The Blue Jays may be struggling but as long as they have a utility player who can't seem to hit his weight, they will be fine. This article, in what I can only assume was the editor's final cry for help, even called DeRosa the "unsung hero" of the Blue Jays in the title. DeRosa had four hits in 27 at-bats when this column was written by the way. They don't make heroes like they used to it seems.

At best, the supposedly mighty Toronto Blue Jays have been a bit less than that this season. Still, when it comes to progressing from their current state of mediocrity to something beyond goodness, they have hope.

The hope being that the Blue Jays have talent on offense and on their pitching staff and at some point their best players will start pitching or hitting like they are the Blue Jays best players again?

His name is Mark DeRosa.

If hope for the Blue Jays comes in the form of a guy who hasn't hit .200 in three out of the last four seasons then they are fucked. Like royally. If they want DeRosa to play multiple defensive positions competently, they are slightly less fucked. Regardless, Mark DeRosa should not represent hope.

You heard correctly.

Dear Terence,

You are writing a column and we can not hear the words as you type them. The correct word you should have used here is "read" not "heard," though if you believe when you are writing a column the readers can hear what you are writing then that would explain a lot to me.

Not sincerely with disregard,


Not Jose Reyes, the fancy shortstop who also became a new Blue Jays player, along with slugger Melky Cabrera.

Melky Cabrera has never hit more than 18 home runs in a season. The only time "slugger" needs to be used in a sentence with "Melky Cabrera" is if I tell someone that Melky Cabrera got arrested for hitting his wife and a question from that someone to me would be, "He uses steroids, so it doesn't come as a shock he would slug her while experiencing 'roid rage."

Neither is that hope simply this: The promise of the Blue Jays' collection of solid holdovers such as Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion.

These players that Terence has just listed are the biggest hope for this Blue Jays team to turn it around and start playing well. If they are counting on Mark DeRosa for anything more than being versatile and having a pretty smile then they are in big trouble and the season isn't looking good. Every player Terence just listed is a bigger key to the Jays season than Mark DeRosa, yet he paints DeRosa as "the hero." Go figure.

Even so, DeRosa is the ultimate utility man, with the ability to play anywhere on the field -- literally.

He's never played catcher or pitcher in an MLB game, so "literally" he can't play everywhere on the field. "Literally," means literally and the very definition of the word means the person using the word is not exaggerating. Except Terence is exaggerating and using the word "literally," which means he is misusing the word and drawing my ire.

A utility player has value, there's no doubt about that, but a guy who can play multiple positions isn't necessarily a team's hero. Not to mention, to classify Mark DeRosa as a "winner" because he generally plays on teams that make the playoffs is terrible sportswriting at its best. The very idea of writing a column about how a player is a "winner" because he plays for teams who win, while that player generally not being a large contributor to those teams, is an idea that should die in the very conceptual stages.

The main thing, though, is DeRosa flat out wins. He wins big.

And yet, while DeRosa wins big, I can't help but shake the feeling I am losing big in reading this column.

Well, his team generally does.

I know when he played for Atlanta from 1998-2004, DeRosa was the catalyst for the Braves division title streak. Without DeRosa on the roster, I'm not sure Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz or Chipper Jones could have done their jobs effectively.

Then DeRosa went to Texas where he didn't make the playoffs in the two years he was there.

After leaving Texas he went to Chicago and was the very reason the Cubs won the NL Central both years he was there (snark aside, these were DeRosa's best two years in the majors). 

Then DeRosa made the playoffs in 2009 with the Cardinals.

In 2010, DeRosa's 93 at-bats were the very reason the Giants won the World Series.

In 2011, the Giants didn't make the playoffs and last year in Washington he led the Nationals to the playoffs with his 85 at-bats and .188/.300/.247 line.

So after the Blue Jays enticed DeRosa in January to sign a free-agent deal worth $775,000 -- with a club option in 2014 for the same amount -- you pretty much knew Toronto was returning to the playoffs this season for the first time in 20 years.

Except for they aren't on track to make the playoffs for the first time in 20 years at this point. It's probably because DeRosa isn't playing enough. If he could just play some more playing time he would turn the entire Blue Jays team around. Why is Edwin Encarnacion getting all the at-bats at third base? Jose Reyes? More like Jose Why Is He Getting At-Bats?

I mean, DeRosa played for the Washington Nationals last season, and they became the first Major League baseball team in the District of Columbia to reach the playoffs since 1933.

This had nothing to do with Jordan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper or any of the regular National starters. It is because DeRosa got the chance to hit .188 and strike out 18 times in his 85 at-bats. He's a proven winner and it is impossible to prove that statement wrong.

What's weird is that for such a winner, DeRosa's teams and ex-teams make it to the World Series a lot without him on the active roster. The Giants seem to have an easy time winning a World Series without him on the roster. He was injured in 2010 and didn't participate in the World Series (though I am sure the morale support he gave was unparalleled) and then he played for the Nationals when the Giants won the World Series last year. The Braves didn't win a World Series with DeRosa on the roster and neither did the Cubs. The Rangers couldn't even make the playoffs with DeRosa on the roster and now they have appeared in back-to-back World Series. He played for the Cardinals in 2009, but they didn't win the World Series until 2011. DeRosa is a big winner, except when he is not on the roster his teams have a better chance of winning the World Series.

It's almost like DeRosa's previous teams generally play better AFTER he has signed with another team. Maybe DeRosa isn't a big winner, but actually a loser who holds back his teams from winning at a higher level?

During his first year in town, the Giants won a World Series championship for the first time since they moved west from New York during the Eisenhower Administration.

Except DeRosa was injured and didn't play after May of that season. So his assistance in helping the Giants win the World Series remains in question.

Before that, DeRosa began the 2009 season with the struggling Cleveland Indians, but he ended with the surging St. Louis Cardinals, eventual winners of the NL Central.

But once DeRosa left the Cardinals for the Giants in 2011, the Cardinals won the World Series again.

Then there were DeRosa's Texas Rangers teams of 2005-06 that couldn't survive controversy and shoddy pitching.

These Rangers teams also started winning games after DeRosa left to play for another team. Perhaps the Blue Jays should trade DeRosa so he can't hold the team back from winning games.

Those were fluke years for DeRosa, because before that, he spent his first seven seasons in the Majors with Atlanta Braves teams constructed around tranquility and pitching. They never missed the playoffs during his stay on their rosters.

They never missed the playoffs, but they also never won the World Series. In fact, the more at-bats DeRosa got for the Braves the worse the team did in the playoffs.

1999: 8 at-bats and the Braves make the World Series.
2000: 13 at-bats and the Braves lose in the NLDS.
2001: 164 at-bats and the Braves lose in the NLCS.
2002: 212 at-bats and the Braves lose in the NLDS.
2003: 266 at-bats and the Braves lose in the NLDS.
2004: 309 at-bats and the Braves lose in the NLDS.

It's like the more DeRosa plays the worse the team does as compared to when he plays less or isn't on the roster. The Cubs are really the only example of a team playing better with him on the roster. I'm not being tongue-in-cheek just to point out how full of shit Terence Moore is either.

There must be a secret here.

Yes, sign Mark DeRosa and hope he gets injured or trade him so you can win the World Series in the near future.

"That pitching always gave the offence a chance,

"Offence"? Is Terence Moore British now?

If you add those Cy Young Award winners to some splendid defence, timely hitting and DeRosa in the clubhouse, it contributed to the Braves' record string of 14 consecutive division titles.

Seriously, why is Terence spelling "offense" and "defense" using the British form?

I need to fix this sentence before I can move on: 

"If you add those Cy Young Award winners to some splendid defence, timely hitting and Bobby Cox in the clubhouse, it contributed to the Braves' record string of 14 consecutive division titles."

There, now I feel like this sentence is much more accurate.

Not so much in Texas, where the Rangers were in a transitional period before their current run of success.

But DeRosa is a winner! He wins games, that's all he does! You mean Mark DeRosa can't be a winner if the team around him isn't any good? Doesn't that mean the team around DeRosa determines whether he is a winner or not, so Mark DeRosa is part of a team that wins and isn't a winner by himself?

"Sitting there for two years watching an offence score five to seven, eight, 10 runs per game and losing, I don't know. That was sort of the antithesis of what I just came from in Atlanta."

You can't expect Mark DeRosa to win games. He's a guy who literally plays every position on the field, but he can't pitch...even though that is literally a position on the field DeRosa supposedly can play.

Then it was off to Chicago.

DeRosa smiled.

"Chicago is when I went for the money, because it was first time in my career I had a chance to do that,"

This isn't the last time DeRosa went to a team purely for the money. He signed a two year $12 million contract with the Giants whereupon he stole this money from the Giants by providing them with a line of .235/.313/.279 with 1 home run and 22 RBI's in 179 at-bats over two seasons. You wouldn't think a player could be lauded so much for essentially underachieving and stealing money for terrible production (due to injuries), but Mark DeRosa is still a hero to Terence Moore.

"I wish I had been healthy in San Francisco, but what an experience to watch all of that happen and to get a ring," said DeRosa, who spent much of that season battling a bad wrist.

And the Giants played well even though Mark DeRosa didn't play after May. That's how much of a winner Mark DeRosa is. His team actually plays better when he is not playing and is simply providing morale support, especially when DeRosa is on the bench of another team.

An oblique injury hindered DeRosa's stay with the Nationals, but his influence on his teammates was huge.

As seen from this year when DeRosa is healthy, I think it was his talent level that is what really hindered his stay with Washington. If I were searching for something nice to say about DeRosa I would say he is still versatile in what positions he can play on the field.

Speaking of pitching, the Blue Jays are struggling at the moment with the fourth-worst ERA in baseball at 4.77, but they still have DeRosa.

Which means they need to make sure Bautista, Encarnacion, Reyes. Rasmus, and Lind stay healthy so DeRosa doesn't have to play a lot?

Which means they need to make a trade to improve their bench?

Which means they should try to teach DeRosa to pitch so they can get some sort of value out of him? (I'm kidding of course, his value is his versatility, his winning smile and the fact the players around him are winners)

Which mean they still remain dangerous.

The Blue Jays still remain dangerous because they have Adam Lind, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, J.P. Arencibia, Brett Lawrie, Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Brandon Morrow. The only thing that is dangerous about the Blue Jays is if they have to rely too much on Mark "The Hero" DeRosa for an extended period of time.


Ericb said...

For some reason this column made me think of Tim Tebow. I wonder if Moore is a fan.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I would be shocked if he wasn't a Tebow fan. I would bet money on it.