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View Full Version : Hawk takes the rap for Garland's lousy season!


StillMissOzzie
09-21-2004, 09:17 PM
For those of you not watching tonight's game, there was an interesting conversation between Hawk and DJ regarding the future of John Garland. While sticking with his opinion that Garland will be a great pitcher somewhere, whether here in Chicago or elsewhere, he blamed himself, in part, for this year's train wreck. He felt that his prediction, starting with SoxFest 2004, that Garland would win 15-18 games this year, raised everyone's expectations too high and put too much pressure on Garland to meet those expectations.

Meanwhile, another .500 year for both Garland and the Sox spirals to a close.

SMO
:(:

Soxzilla
09-21-2004, 09:28 PM
Unless hawk physically threw those 5 run innings for garland, it ain't his fault. Everyone had high expectations for this mental midget, he just failed, because he is a failure.

Now, hawk can blame himself for having those expectations, but he can't blame himself for judy's lack of performance.

Viva Magglio
09-21-2004, 09:40 PM
Maybe if Jon Garland was mentally tough, he would have won 18 games.

SoxxoS
09-21-2004, 09:47 PM
Too bad the mental part of the game is the thing that is the hardest to figure out.

The worst part about Garland is the teasing. Who can forget that day game against Boston where he carried a no hitter into the eigth in 2002? I thought that was the turning point...2 years later...where are we?

It sucks b/c he is going to be a good (not great) pitcher somewhere else.

jackbrohamer
09-21-2004, 10:33 PM
Garland's development probably suffered under Manuel's tenure. But some of his comments this year make me think the guy's a total rockhead. The most recent example being his last start where he gave up 4 or 5 runs in 1 inning and afterwards said he wouldn't have changed a single pitch he threw that inning.

That kind of thinking is reflected in his record, especially since late July.

hose
09-21-2004, 11:25 PM
Garland should go see the same shrink that worked with Brett Tomko.

BainesHOF
09-22-2004, 03:00 AM
It's just another example of Hawk's ridiculousness.

wdelaney72
09-22-2004, 09:12 AM
IF Garland becomes the stud pitcher he as labeled, it won't be until he gets in his thirties. He just has way too much growing up to do.

batmanZoSo
09-22-2004, 12:48 PM
For those of you not watching tonight's game, there was an interesting conversation between Hawk and DJ regarding the future of John Garland. While sticking with his opinion that Garland will be a great pitcher somewhere, whether here in Chicago or elsewhere, he blamed himself, in part, for this year's train wreck. He felt that his prediction, starting with SoxFest 2004, that Garland would win 15-18 games this year, raised everyone's expectations too high and put too much pressure on Garland to meet those expectations.

Meanwhile, another .500 year for both Garland and the Sox spirals to a close.

SMO
:(:

:hawk
Meanwhile...not good.

Gosox1917
09-22-2004, 12:52 PM
For those of you not watching tonight's game, there was an interesting conversation between Hawk and DJ regarding the future of John Garland. While sticking with his opinion that Garland will be a great pitcher somewhere, whether here in Chicago or elsewhere, he blamed himself, in part, for this year's train wreck. He felt that his prediction, starting with SoxFest 2004, that Garland would win 15-18 games this year, raised everyone's expectations too high and put too much pressure on Garland to meet those expectations.

Meanwhile, another .500 year for both Garland and the Sox spirals to a close.

SMO
:(:
I like Hawk and usually agree with what he says but as mentioned earlier in this thread, he wasn't the one who pitched horrible, it was Garland. If anyone is to blame it's Garland and the ability of the coaching staff around him. I think we all had expectations for Jon to do well and he sucked it up.

Baby Fisk
09-22-2004, 01:08 PM
Someone remind Hawk that he's not the GM anymore.

batmanZoSo
09-22-2004, 01:26 PM
I like Hawk and usually agree with what he says but as mentioned earlier in this thread, he wasn't the one who pitched horrible, it was Garland. If anyone is to blame it's Garland and the ability of the coaching staff around him. I think we all had expectations for Jon to do well and he sucked it up.

Yeah, you know what? It's my fault the Sox got smoked out of the playoffs by September 21...I never should've said hoped they'd win the division.

jeremyb1
09-22-2004, 01:29 PM
I find it atrocious to make personal attacks and insist all Garland's problems are mental without even taking the steps to support that argument all because people repeatedly say he has great stuff. You have to have pretty good stuff to pitch in the minor leagues no matter who you are, that doesn't make you a twenty game winner. We're talking about a pitcher who hasn't had a strong strikeout rate (typically the measuring stick of good stuff) since he was in A ball in '99. He's regarded as an extreme groundball pitcher but he has a middling groundball to fly ball ratio. I'd love for someone to explain to me why it's only Garland's head that's preventing him from becoming an all-star when as in recent seasons he hasn't struck out many batters, hasn't limited extra base hits, hasn't been an extreme ground ball pitcher and hasn't shown top notch control.

If his stuff is really as good as scouts and other onlookers claim and as good as it appears to me on television, I think quite a bit of blame lies with the Sox organization for either not stressing the importance of keeping the ball out of play via the strikeout more or failing to help Jon by teaching him another pitch or developing another approach to attacking hitters. His K's have decreased from 5.23/9 IP to 5.07 last season, to 4.67 this season. He's not fooling hitters as much for some reason and it has nothing to due with attacking batters because his walk rate has steadily decreased the past two seasons. There is clearly a problem with his arsenal and/or how he's going about employing it and if Coop and the rest of the organization are earning their paychecks they should be going through quite a bit of trouble shooting. I hope their not telling Jon to keep throwing his fastball over the plate and letting batters hit the ball because that's clearly not a good strategy with a mediocre GB/FB ratio.

Lip Man 1
09-22-2004, 01:36 PM
Jeremy:

Remember Jon's comment last week? "I wouldn't change a thing..." How do you know the Sox haven't tried to teach him another pitch? That's as big an assumption as you saying Sox fans shouldn't be accusing him of being mentally tough.

We know how you feel about your personal favorites (see Rauch, Jon) and with respect I think your views are colored by your biasness.

Talk a step back and look at Garland. A pitcher now in his mid 20's, with over 100 career major league stats and his stats at best are mediocre.

Sure anything can happen... Sandy Koufax was I think 26, 27 when he harnessed his awesome ability. However I think the odds are very long that Garland will ever win 18 games in a season let alone 20 like Koufax.

Remember Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and Bill James never played the game nor did they ever win anything. Me thinks you shouldn't act like they are God handing the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Lip

voodoochile
09-22-2004, 01:43 PM
It's just another example of Hawk's ridiculousness.
:hawk
"Was that good enough Mr. Reinsdorf?"

:reinsy
"Excellent, Little Hawkaroo. Now we can bring him back as a #3 and the fans will expect good things of him next year."

:hawk
"Anything else you need said, sir?"

:reinsy
"Can you mention what a great guy I am next broadcast and how KW will build Chicago a winner no matter what it takes next season?"

:KW
"I will?"

:reinsy
"(chuckling) sure you will, Kenny. Sure you will, just as soon as the fans come out to the park."

:KW
"So it really is their fault? The dirty bastards. Why do we put up with them Mr. Reinsdorf?"

:reinsy :hawk (in unison)
"Because they make us wealthy men who get to be celebrities, Kenny."

:KW
"Oh yeah, that's right... Hey, Jose, you got another year left in the tank?"

34 Inch Stick
09-22-2004, 01:55 PM
Hawk was slinging the BS on several players during the off season. While he was apologizing did he mention Willie Harris or Ozzie. Neither has produced up to Hawk's expectations (strangely enough, both exceeded my expectations). I no longer trust Hawk's evaluations of Sox players.

If Hawk keeps it up he is going to quickly move in to that crazy old man stage enjoyed by so many Cub fans with Santo and Harry.

voodoochile
09-22-2004, 01:57 PM
Hawk was slinging the BS on several players during the off season. While he was apologizing did he mention Willie Harris or Ozzie. Neither has produced up to Hawk's expectations (strangely enough, both exceeded my expectations). I no longer trust Hawk's evaluations of Sox players.
:reinsy
"But he says, exactly what I tell him to. Are you saying that I don't know baseball?"

gosox41
09-22-2004, 03:25 PM
Hawk was slinging the BS on several players during the off season. While he was apologizing did he mention Willie Harris or Ozzie. Neither has produced up to Hawk's expectations (strangely enough, both exceeded my expectations). I no longer trust Hawk's evaluations of Sox players.

If Hawk keeps it up he is going to quickly move in to that crazy old man stage enjoyed by so many Cub fans with Santo and Harry.
Hawk is so FOS. He is nothing but a puppet. I lost all respect for him when he came on the day of the 1997 White Flag Trade and said it was a good thing.

Hard to believe an ex-ball player would say that. Especially a guy who is supposedly compeititve enough to start going at it verbally with the media. He'll call out Moronotti and Boers but thinks it's OK to give up?


Bob

RichFitztightly
09-22-2004, 03:47 PM
Jeremy:

Garland pitches like I play Cricket (the dart game, not the baseball-like game). I haven't played in a while so when I started again, I wasn't that good. To get back to a higher skill level I would throw sequetially, regardless of the score, until I got my bearings back. I would throw 20-19-18... to bullseye even if my opponent was racking up points on 16's and I was stuck on 18. I felt it was more important to get my skill level back to where it was than to win an individual game. Granted, every now and then, I'd throw a great game and knock out the points quick, however, I lost more games than I won. I think that's what a lot of fans have seen with Garland. They've given him a free pass because he has the skill level, but he seemed to be taking his time and making sure he was putting it all together so he could consistently play at a high level.

However, after a certain amount of time, a person either plateaus or hits his ceiling. I think most people on this list think he's just plateau'd and has the ability to continue to improve. He just needs a fresh outlook. That's why it gets so frustrating when he makes a comment about defending his nibbling approach by saying, "That's the way I pitch!!!"

Well... if you always do what you've always done you're always going to get the results you've always gotten. Maybe Ozzie knows what he's talking about when he says to attack the hitters. Maybe Garland just doesn't have the control or know how to use his movement to take advantage of the corners. He pitches with a game plan, and it seems like his game plan hasn't evolved since his first day in the big leagues. He hasn't done any quality improvement to see what's worked and what hasn't.

I know one thing that has worked for him so far. It's his sinker down and in with 2 strikes to left handed hitters. It's the first semblance of a strike out pitch I've seen from him. During his 1-0 victory this year, he struck out 2 or 3 batters with that pitch and made a couple more swing and miss with it. It seemed to me he added a little more right to left tilt on a predominately downward sinker to induce a swing and miss from a lefty. It looked like a strike and the late, sharp movement made it dive out of the stike zone. Adding the tilt to an existing pitch looked like an adjustment from him that I have been waiting to see since he came up in the league. For whatever reason, he rarely went back to that pitch.

Now I had brought up in a previous post that Garland had added what I thought was a strike out pitch and somebody posted that (I'm paraphrasing) "He has 2.1 (or something) strikeouts per 9 innings! How can you say he has a strikeout pitch!?" My response is: Look at it, it's a devastating pitch. For some reason, he doesn't use it at all. And that's why nobody likes him.

KingXerxes
09-22-2004, 03:53 PM
If Hawk keeps it up he is going to quickly move in to that crazy old man stage enjoyed by so many Cub fans with Santo and Harry.
"Crazy Old Man" doesn't quite fit Ken Harrelson they way it fit Harry Caray or now Ron Santo. I think "Shameless Self-Promoter" fits much better. The very fact that Harrelson thinks he has anything to do with the kind of season Garland had is enough to make me laugh.

This is like the time after the All-Star game at Comiskey when, two days later, he personally thanked all the people who worked so hard on making that game a success. Well guess what Harrelson, the game wasn't played for you, so you needn't personally thank anybody. Most people would be embarrassed saying half of the crap that Harrelson does, but Harrelson lost his capacity to be embarrassed a long time ago (like most sycophants).

:DJ

"Wow the NYSE and NASDAQ really fell this afternoon Hawk!"

:hawk

"And I'd like to apologize for that DJ."

:DJ

"?"

jeremyb1
09-23-2004, 03:20 AM
Remember Jon's comment last week? "I wouldn't change a thing..." How do you know the Sox haven't tried to teach him another pitch? That's as big an assumption as you saying Sox fans shouldn't be accusing him of being mentally tough.

We know how you feel about your personal favorites (see Rauch, Jon) and with respect I think your views are colored by your biasness.

Talk a step back and look at Garland. A pitcher now in his mid 20's, with over 100 career major league stats and his stats at best are mediocre.

Sure anything can happen... Sandy Koufax was I think 26, 27 when he harnessed his awesome ability. However I think the odds are very long that Garland will ever win 18 games in a season let alone 20 like Koufax.

Remember Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and Bill James never played the game nor did they ever win anything. Me thinks you shouldn't act like they are God handing the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Lip, the "I wouldn't change a thing" comment sounds more like me to a pitcher that feels he's making the best of the skills he has available to him than one who's resisting instruction. If you go out and give it your all, you probably wouldn't change a thing. If your pitching coach offers your extra instruction and new ideas and you refuse despite the fact that you're getting shelled, you might feel otherwise. As I said, all the empirical data points to the fact that we're looking at a pitcher following the same path he's staked out the past few seasons. You're going to have to point out to me the ability Garland clearly has that he's wasted with his mental approach. A single comment in the press that you're interpreting subjectively does not add much. It speaks to your personal values and your interpreation of a Garland comment that's not necessarily in context and very little else.

Well my point Lip is that maybe Garland always has and always will be mediocre. Maybe that should've been clear when he reached the majors and remains true now. I'm not sure.

I find your discussion of biases to be laughable. As long as I've posted at this message board you've never had one comment that was even neutral about a young player. You're completely biased towards the "proven veteran".

jeremyb1
09-23-2004, 03:30 AM
However, after a certain amount of time, a person either plateaus or hits his ceiling. I think most people on this list think he's just plateau'd and has the ability to continue to improve. He just needs a fresh outlook. That's why it gets so frustrating when he makes a comment about defending his nibbling approach by saying, "That's the way I pitch!!!"

My personal philosiphy is not that it's necessarily a question of mental outlook. He's lacked the ability to strike guys out for five consecutive seasons now. That seems like a weakness that needs substantial work as opposed to a simply mental lapse. I don't think Jon is going to wake up with a tougher mental approach one day and suddenly start mowing down hitters. As far as the "nibbling" goes, as I said before I think that's completely inaccurate. He's cut down on his walks suggesting he's attacking pitchers more in the past, not nibbling. If he is nibbling he has a reason to do so, batters have high hit rates against him and high slugging percenates against him. They're crushing him. He needs to get more strikeouts and keep the ball out of play because it's going poorly when he lets batters hit the ball.

Maybe Garland just doesn't have the control or know how to use his movement to take advantage of the corners. He pitches with a game plan, and it seems like his game plan hasn't evolved since his first day in the big leagues. He hasn't done any quality improvement to see what's worked and what hasn't.

Garland hits the corners really well from my personal observations. The problem is that guys are able to hit those pitches because they aren't catching the hitters off guard. He needs something to keep hitters off balance more because what appears to be a great pitch with excellent movement spotted perfectly on the corners is simply being fouled off by hitters at worst most of the time. I agree that his lack of improvement is a problem but I think the coaching staff shares substantial responsibility there. Watching him pitch he seems to have tried different approaches somewhat it's just that they're not working.

I know one thing that has worked for him so far. It's his sinker down and in with 2 strikes to left handed hitters. For whatever reason, he rarely went back to that pitch.

He should. I put a certain responsibility on the coaching staff to work with him on what pitches work in what counts and encourage him to throw them more often. What ever happened to the high four seamer with two strikes on the hitter? That seemed to be effective and the past yet he's went away from it somewhat more recently.

Man Soo Lee
09-23-2004, 04:26 AM
Well my point Lip is that maybe Garland always has and always will be mediocre. Maybe that should've been clear when he reached the majors and remains true now. That pretty much sums up my opinion of Garland. No matter how many times guys like Hawk and Farmer repeat it, I just don't see the "great stuff". Does he have a plus pitch besides his sinker?

The announcers hype him up and for three straight years the team's rotation depends on him having a breakthrough. When he fails to meet the high expectations, people attribute it to a lack of desire or "stones" when it's possible he's just an average pitcher.

I don't particularly like the guy, but I'll take him in the back of the rotation as long as his salary doesn't go up much. We've done worse.

Lip Man 1
09-23-2004, 11:33 AM
Garland always will be mediocre??????

Jeremy once again your revisionist history is coming out as PHG has pointed out so many times before.

You defended that goofy, self centered clown like he was the second coming of Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax all in one.

How many posts did you state 'he's young, he's got great stuff, he hasn't had a lot of starts, he's ready to have a breakout season....'

PLEASE

Go back to your fantasy books Jeremy. It suits you since you seem to have a hard time in dealing with reality.

Simply amazing.

Lip

jeremyb1
09-23-2004, 01:39 PM
Garland always will be mediocre??????

Jeremy once again your revisionist history is coming out as PHG has pointed out so many times before.

You defended that goofy, self centered clown like he was the second coming of Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax all in one.

How many posts did you state 'he's young, he's got great stuff, he hasn't had a lot of starts, he's ready to have a breakout season....'

PLEASE

Go back to your fantasy books Jeremy. It suits you since you seem to have a hard time in dealing with reality.

Simply amazing.

People make mistakes. I'm not afraid to admit that I may have done so in the past. I don't think it invalidates my point if I'm willing to take the information that has been given to me and reconsider my position. How do I have a problem dealing with reality when you seem to be unwilling to consider that informed people can change their mind?

Moreso, you're mischaracterizing my arguments some. First of all, I never said that Garland had few major league starts, I argued that age is the critical factor in development not experience. It's unreasonable to punish Garland because he reached the majors at a young age when there are still pitchers his age in AA. Furthermore, while I certainly hoped Garland would have a breakout season, any predictions I made were indications of hope and the fact that we were talking about a young pitcher that obviously has ability more than anything else. I don't feel I was ever extremely adamant that Garland would become a force this season and I never predicted Cy Young type levels of performance as you seem to be suggesting. I think my highest expectations for Garland would've been something like a 3.6 ERA with 17 or 18 wins. I certainly didn't expect him to regress but not many did. If you're telling me it's unreasonable for me to reconfigure my expectations in light of these season, I think that's insane. It happened and it tells us a lot about the player.

I think you're also confusing some of my posts defending Garland against extreme, unreasonable criticism as declaring him the next coming, which I really don't understand. It has been argued at times that Garland should be cut and that he's not one of our best five starters. Coming into the season with the somewhat reasonable expecation he could maintain his level of performance from the last two seasons, I think it made perfect sense to argue that Garland is an above average 4. At worst he's still a suitable four and a well above average five going into next season. I guess that amounts to "defending" him to you. Maybe the problem is you seem to think that I finally agree with you that Garland is terrible and since he's not 30 he doesn't belong on this club. Well I don't. I'm just not sure it's still reasonable to expect him to improve to be a top of the rotation pitcher as opposed to just remaining an effective and hence valuable mid to back of the rotation starter.

SpartanSoxFan
09-23-2004, 02:22 PM
First, let me reiterate that I like Hawk Harrelson. I do believe that at times he is a shameless homer, but you can most definetely say the same about Chimp and Stoner on the other side of town. In this instance, I really wish he had kept his mouth shut, though. The last thing Garland needs is another crutch supporting his mediocre I-won't-win-more-than-13-games-in-a-season mentality and performance, and that is exactly what Hawk gave him.

DumpJerry
09-23-2004, 05:23 PM
Yeah, you know what? It's my fault the Sox got smoked out of the playoffs by September 21...I never should've said hoped they'd win the division.No guys, I'm sorry, but I am the one who placed the curse on the Sox this year. I was in the faces of Flub fans too much in May and June (and a tiny bit in July) about how we were doing it BIG TIME and the Flubs weren't.........imagine the *stuff* I am putting up with right now.....:angry:

Lip Man 1
09-23-2004, 06:19 PM
Because the image you project Jeremy and the posts you have made in the past suggest that 'the stats are NEVER wrong...'

Now that we've cleared Jon out of the way when are you going to come to the same realization about Rauch (your other cause celeb')

Lip

RichFitztightly
09-24-2004, 01:34 AM
My personal philosiphy is not that it's necessarily a question of mental outlook. He's lacked the ability to strike guys out for five consecutive seasons now. That seems like a weakness that needs substantial work as opposed to a simply mental lapse. I don't think Jon is going to wake up with a tougher mental approach one day and suddenly start mowing down hitters. As far as the "nibbling" goes, as I said before I think that's completely inaccurate. He's cut down on his walks suggesting he's attacking pitchers more in the past, not nibbling. If he is nibbling he has a reason to do so, batters have high hit rates against him and high slugging percenates against him. They're crushing him. He needs to get more strikeouts and keep the ball out of play because it's going poorly when he lets batters hit the ball... Garland hits the corners really well from my personal observations. The problem is that guys are able to hit those pitches because they aren't catching the hitters off guard. He needs something to keep hitters off balance more because what appears to be a great pitch with excellent movement spotted perfectly on the corners is simply being fouled off by hitters at worst most of the time. I agree that his lack of improvement is a problem but I think the coaching staff shares substantial responsibility there. Watching him pitch he seems to have tried different approaches somewhat it's just that they're not working.
I understand what you're saying and you make a valid point. At some point when you continually fail at a task one should come to the conclusion that this person just can't do it physically. It's a valid point. I'm just of the belief that Garland could strike hitters out if his mental approach(ie. pitching philosophy) or his mental make up (ie. desire to improve or adjust to a particular situation) were better. I think he has the velocity and movement on his fastball to be successful. I think his sinker has enough bite and movement to be successful. He's just not successful. As far as nibbling goes, I think my definition and your definition differ here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as though your definition of a nibbler is a guy who tries to hit the corners and misses more times than not. While that is certainly a definition of a nibbler, my definition is slightly different in this case. I think Garland just tries to put every ball on the black of the plate. I think as far as that approach goes, Garland has better control on his pitches than most pitchers in the league (which is a point of frustration when he could apply that control to a different pitching philosophy). What I meant by nibbler, is he'll put the ball on the black of the plate hoping the hitter will think it's a ball and not swing. However, major league hitters are able to go and get a ball on the black and even hit a ball slightly off the plate. This is where I think his approach fails. It seems like he has a fear of the middle of the plate. Obviously you don't want a ball to end up in the middle of the plate, but there's nothing wrong with starting a ball at the fat part of the plate and letting the movement take it out of the strike zone. That's what I've always thought when I heard the phrase attacking the hitter. Also I've felt it meant to keep the hitter off balance, mainly by changing speeds and changing locations. Grienke (I think it was) did this well. If it's who I'm thinking of, he has similar stuff to Garland except Grienke has the willingness to change speeds and uses the plate both up and down and left and right. It seems Garland will stay on one side of the plate and keep the ball down. If he's working a batter outside, he'll throw a token pitch inside, but the hitter seems prepared to go back outside to look for a pitch to hit, and Garland will throw him one there.



I put a certain responsibility on the coaching staff to work with him on what pitches work in what counts and encourage him to throw them more often. What ever happened to the high four seamer with two strikes on the hitter? That seemed to be effective and the past yet he's went away from it somewhat more recently.
I agree that the coaches bear a certain responsibility for Garland's outcome. However, Garland isn't barred from going on his own to seek an outside viewpoint. It seems to me, based on the quotes, "That's the way I pitch" and "I wouldn't change a thing" that Garland has a sense of contentment about him as far as his profession goes. Granted, those quotes were taken out of context, so I don't know for sure, but that's my opinion on the matter. I think what Garland needs is a coach to walk him through some at bats with hitters. For instance, the coach should put him in a game situation with actuall hitters and show him what happens when he throws certain pitches, then show him a hitter's reaction when those hitters see different pitches preceding it. It's a way to show him how to keep a hitter off balance. I'm sure in simulated games in the bullpen, Garland throws a no-hitter every week. He's capable of hitting the corners and making his pitches. Now he needs to learn how to account for another variable, in this case the hitter.

SoxFan76
09-24-2004, 02:04 AM
How is Hawk this so called "homer"? He has to support his team, but he is critical when it is needed. You want a homer? Try Chip Caray. Honest to God I think he is afraid to rip on the Cubs.

jeremyb1
09-24-2004, 12:52 PM
Because the image you project Jeremy and the posts you have made in the past suggest that 'the stats are NEVER wrong...'

Now that we've cleared Jon out of the way when are you going to come to the same realization about Rauch (your other cause celeb')

Well if used correctly stats are never wrong at describing a players performance in my opinion but that's about it. I've constantly stated that clearly anything can happen in the game of baseball, that's why they play the games.

I wouldn't say I've "cleared Jon out of the way" just that I'm somewhat less optimisitic about his ceiling than I've been in the past. I still think that at his age he has the ability to break out but his lack of progress is quite disconcerting. He's going to have to somehow wake up one day and do a 180 to become a top of the rotation pitcher.

Your comments on Rauch indicate more than ever than you're not really reading my posts Lip. I haven't argued he's anything more than a middle of the rotation pitcher for quite some time now, probably since 2001. It's become clear he's not the pitcher he was before his surgery, I just think the team handled him very poorly between putting him in the roster before he was completely back in '01, to failing to call him up in September '02, to making disciplinary problems public this season.

jeremyb1
09-24-2004, 01:54 PM
It's a valid point. I'm just of the belief that Garland could strike hitters out if his mental approach(ie. pitching philosophy) or his mental make up (ie. desire to improve or adjust to a particular situation) were better. I think he has the velocity and movement on his fastball to be successful. I think his sinker has enough bite and movement to be successful. He's just not successful.

I've always thought the sinker is an impressive pitch also. Batters don't seem to have any trouble putting it in play though even when Jon does hit the corners. My best guess is that he somehow needs to keep hitters off balance better.

[QUOTE=RichFitztightly]As far as nibbling goes, I think my definition and your definition differ here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as though your definition of a nibbler is a guy who tries to hit the corners and misses more times than not. While that is certainly a definition of a nibbler, my definition is slightly different in this case. I think Garland just tries to put every ball on the black of the plate. I think as far as that approach goes, Garland has better control on his pitches than most pitchers in the league (which is a point of frustration when he could apply that control to a different pitching philosophy). What I meant by nibbler, is he'll put the ball on the black of the plate hoping the hitter will think it's a ball and not swing. However, major league hitters are able to go and get a ball on the black and even hit a ball slightly off the plate. This is where I think his approach fails. It seems like he has a fear of the middle of the plate. Obviously you don't want a ball to end up in the middle of the plate, but there's nothing wrong with starting a ball at the fat part of the plate and letting the movement take it out of the strike zone. That's what I've always thought when I heard the phrase attacking the hitter.

I think Garland is somewhat warranted in not wanting to throw pitches down the middle. His stuff seems to be very hittable judging by his low strikeout rates.

Also I've felt it meant to keep the hitter off balance, mainly by changing speeds and changing locations. Grienke (I think it was) did this well. If it's who I'm thinking of, he has similar stuff to Garland except Grienke has the willingness to change speeds and uses the plate both up and down and left and right. It seems Garland will stay on one side of the plate and keep the ball down. If he's working a batter outside, he'll throw a token pitch inside, but the hitter seems prepared to go back outside to look for a pitch to hit, and Garland will throw him one there.

I agree that keeping hitters off balance is key. Grienke is reknowed for having many pitches without great stuff somewhat like Buehrle. Garland on the other hand has struggled in developing his change and otherwise only has his curve and slider really.

I agree that the coaches bear a certain responsibility for Garland's outcome. However, Garland isn't barred from going on his own to seek an outside viewpoint. It seems to me, based on the quotes, "That's the way I pitch" and "I wouldn't change a thing" that Garland has a sense of contentment about him as far as his profession goes. Granted, those quotes were taken out of context, so I don't know for sure, but that's my opinion on the matter. I think what Garland needs is a coach to walk him through some at bats with hitters. For instance, the coach should put him in a game situation with actuall hitters and show him what happens when he throws certain pitches, then show him a hitter's reaction when those hitters see different pitches preceding it. It's a way to show him how to keep a hitter off balance. I'm sure in simulated games in the bullpen, Garland throws a no-hitter every week. He's capable of hitting the corners and making his pitches. Now he needs to learn how to account for another variable, in this case the hitter.

I think you probably have a good point regarding Garland's apparent stubborness as it relates to taking steps to improve.

Whitesox029
09-25-2004, 10:49 PM
For those of you not watching tonight's game, there was an interesting conversation between Hawk and DJ regarding the future of John Garland. While sticking with his opinion that Garland will be a great pitcher somewhere, whether here in Chicago or elsewhere, he blamed himself, in part, for this year's train wreck. He felt that his prediction, starting with SoxFest 2004, that Garland would win 15-18 games this year, raised everyone's expectations too high and put too much pressure on Garland to meet those expectations.

Meanwhile, another .500 year for both Garland and the Sox spirals to a close.

SMO
:(:Mediocrity city