Great Mormons in Sports
Sunday, July 1, 2007
I was just watching Baseball Tonight, and the incoherent ramblings of "commentator" Eric Young have inspired me to voice my own opinion on a potential All Star game starting pitcher. While Young's selection of C.C. Sabathia has some merit, although not nearly as much as several other arms, one pitcher flying under the radar has been right up there this year with C.C. Sabathia, Josh Beckett, and most impressively, Dan Haren. This pitcher leads baseball with an absurd 0.89 whip, well beyond Haren's 0.98, has an ERA of 2.62, second in the AL to Haren. I could cite numerous more statistical accomplishments, but I think these two tidbits on Jeremy Guthrie prove enough. For those not convinced by the 28 year old rookie's accomplishments, simply look at his game log and his numbers as a starter.
So why has Guthrie received considerably less attention than guys like Haren, Beckett, Johan Santana, and others? It's probably not because of his odd religious beliefs or the fact that he may lack, to paraphrase ESPN's Young, Sabathia's "carry-his-team-on-his-backness," but instead because he plays for the hapless Baltimore Orioles, where the lack of run support and competent relief pitching has resulted in only a 4-2 record after two months of starting. I would, however, be curious to see where Guthrie ranks in Young's bevy of made-up intangibles.
Guthrie's fantastic season didn't result in his making of the All Star team, due to the lack of wins, which is not to say that a guy like Haren doesn't deserve to start the game; for all of this Guthrie hyping, this blogger still believes that Haren has been, from April to now, the most dominant pitcher in the AL. Here's the key point: If the All Star game decides home-field advantage, shouldn't the most effective pitchers of the season be in the game? If the reason for leaving a guy like Guthrie off of the team is due to a factor that he can't control, that of the anemic O's offense and leaky bullpen causing his low win total, in favor of the token Kansas City Royal, then Major League Baseball needs to re-examine its All-Star policy. Either take the most dominant hitters and pitchers of the first half of the season and count the game towards home-field advantage, or make it a fan-friendly event reminiscent of little league baseball, where batting lineups went twelve deep. For the record, I have no problem with 12-man batting lineups in little league; I made a brief career out of bunting from the 12-hole.
Still, Guthrie can happily take his place amongst the most athletically gifted of Joseph Smith's followers, along with Danny Ainge, Roy Halladay, and
At least he has less competition for all-star teams in Heaven.
posted by Mr. Jay Tibbs @ 17:18,
- At July 1, 2007 at 10:10 PM, Doctor Dribbles said...
Nice inaugural post-- I'm a Guthrie believer too. But any list of great Mormons in sport must include Steve "Brigham" Young.
- At July 2, 2007 at 9:12 AM, said...
Guthrie's had a good year, but no better than any of the pitchers on the All-Star team. There's also a good chance that he's having a fluke year, but the pitchers who made the team are much more proven.
- At July 2, 2007 at 1:52 PM, Jake said...
Here's the problem: MLB wants it both ways. They want the game to "count" AND they want the fans to vote. If the game is supposed to count then the fans shouldnt vote. But the All-Star game has always been more about the fans then anything else.
I like Guthrie as much as anyone but who do you take off that list of pitchers?
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