Shut Up Jarrod

Dave · May 12, 2008 at 7:08 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Jarrod Washburn, back to his old tricks, throwing Kenji Johjima under the bus:

Asked about some apparent situations during his start Saturday when he and catcher Kenji Johjima weren’t in concert, Washburn didn’t deny it.

“There’s times when you’re not always on the same page,” he said. “It happens.”

Washburn was asked if there was any more of it than normal.

“With Kenji? No,” he said. “Read into that what you want.”

Washburn has made prior reference to some difficulty working with Johjima. On Saturday, he appeared to bark at his catcher after one White Sox at-bat.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Washburn. “When he comes over from Japan, you know there are going to be communications issues with the language barrier, and him learning an entirely different league and a whole new pitching staff. And also, he has to learn the umpires and opposing pitchers. He’s got a lot to handle. I would never want to have to do what he’s doing. He’s got a tough job, a lot of hurdles.”

As for whether it’s more complicated than merely different pitch preferences in particular situations, Washburn said: “I don’t know how exactly to word it. It’s more like a consistency issue, I guess. Sometimes you click and sometimes you don’t.”

Washburn’s done this before, insinuating to the media that Johjima’s responsible for his poor performances. I have a news flash for you, Mr. Washburn – you aren’t pitching well because you suck. You throw a meaty fastball over the plate and your breaking pitches are something an 8th grader would be embarrassed of. Johjima can’t flash a few hand signs and tell you to throw a good pitch, because you’re not capable of it. His options are Suck Pitch #1 and Suck Pitch #2, with a side of Suck Pitch #3 worked in for good measure.

You’re lousy because you lack talent, not because your catcher is Japanese. Own up, be a man, take your ridiculous contract and shut the hell up. Thank you.


121 Responses to “Shut Up Jarrod”

  1. paulkersey on May 12th, 2008 1:17 pm

    Also, I agree that Washburn is not a very good pitcher. But if someone can maintain a career in the bigs for 11 years they are obviously doing something that none of us a capable of. So I’m not going to use the “suck” analogy. I played ball for 13 years and would give anything to be in a position to “suck” in the bigs leagues.

    I think I speak for everybody here when I say this is taken as a given whenever we talk about how bad a major leaguer is. Every major leaguer kicked our asses in little league, then kicked the asses of others who had kicked our asses in high school, then did the same in college and/or the minors.

  2. smb on May 12th, 2008 1:19 pm

    Who gets the credit for the few times Washburn has pitched well? Easy…the batters who get themselves out on his BP fastballs and the defense that makes the routine plays behind him. I refuse to congratulate someone making his money with his lack of talent/ability on pitching competently from time to time or making it into the sixth inning. He’s lucky Sexson casts such a long shadow of suckitude, otherwise more people probably would have noticed that he’s a medioce-at-best pitcher who’s being paid like an All-Star.

    I don’t see any reason to cut him slack. You want slack, don’t suck ass, and don’t throw your catcher, who has exhibited nothing less than the highest level of integrity since he first put on a Mariner uniform, under the bus. Or at least don’t do it without mentioning yourself, Turbo, Richie, and any and all other gaping black holes of production on the M’s roster first. Most of all, don’t blame your suckitude on anyone but yourself.

    This is a good time to reference The Brushback’s article on the Washburn signing from ’05…

    Jarrod Washburn assures wife he’s not joking about $37 million deal

    And can we get a pony for 1000N? I think he needs a pony to protect him from Dave’s appallingly bad taste in using the word ‘suck.’

  3. WTF_Ms on May 12th, 2008 1:33 pm

    This is a good time to reference The Brushback’s article on the Washburn signing from ‘05…

    Jarrod Washburn assures wife he’s not joking about $37 million deal

    Classic….I laughed out loud on a conference call with that one!

  4. et_blankenship on May 12th, 2008 1:43 pm

    I think I speak for everybody here when I say this is taken as a given whenever we talk about how bad a major leaguer is. Every major leaguer kicked our asses in little league, then kicked the asses of others who had kicked our asses in high school, then did the same in college and/or the minors.

    I have no delusions of grandeur, but I did make Bob Wolcott my personal gimp during an American Legion game, going 2-2 with a double and homer over a barn in CF. On the other hand, I served up a homer to Richie Sexson a year later . . . and he hit it left-handed. Oh the shame.

  5. hate the bugle on May 12th, 2008 1:52 pm

    Sorry. The allegation that I wrote about earlier was from August 2007 and the link I posted (from 2005) was to show precedence.

    The Mariner’s policy of considering a player’s character as a factor in signing them took another hit and adds fuel to the “Bavasi is an idiot” fire.

    I agree it was a cheapshot and I won’t do it again.

  6. scott19 on May 12th, 2008 2:06 pm

    94: Hey, maybe while we’re at it, we can get Blowers down from the broadcast booth, bring Nellie out of retirement, go get Russ Davis back, and reassemble that horrible crap closer corps from the the late-90’s.

    The 2009 Seattle Retro-Mariners: “Refuse to Win!” 🙂

  7. jefffrane on May 12th, 2008 2:30 pm

    And speaking of scouty grandmothers (see comments 5 and 55), my grandmother refers to Washburn as “that angry little beaver.” It kills me every time.

    Heh. I thought it was just me that noted the resemblance. I’ve always been surprised they let him anywhere near the bats.

  8. gwangung on May 12th, 2008 2:48 pm

    The Mariner’s policy of considering a player’s character as a factor in signing them took another hit and adds fuel to the “Bavasi is an idiot” fire.

    Oh, you’re saying that their judgement of character is as good as their judgement of talent?

  9. mln on May 12th, 2008 3:38 pm

    One day soon after Washburn bought a house in the Seattle area, he noticed a Latino landscaping crew doing work on a neighbor’s house. He walked over to the guy who appeared to be running the crew, said to him, “I want you to do my yard, too.” At that point, he handed the guy a business card, with his agent’s office listing. “Send the bill to this address” he added, “an never–NEVER–walk up to my door.” Then he turned around and left.
    You can believe it or not, but it’s true.
    Don’t know if has a problem relating to everyone, or just non-Caucasians.

    If that anecdote is true, then damn.

    “Never-NEVER-walk up to my door”? WTF!

  10. galaxieboi on May 12th, 2008 3:52 pm

    Well, I’m not sure where that came from but perhaps Washburn doesn’t like to be bothered? He is a backwoods hunting kinda guy. Is his wife home alone there when he’s out of town? The charge of bigotry or racism is pretty heavy stuff.

  11. justinh on May 12th, 2008 4:08 pm

    Nice post Dave. Indeed I was told by Moyer in ’06 that he did not like throwing to Johjima. Nevertheless, he didn’t take it to the media, but instaed dealt with it. There have been many worse defensive catchers than Johjima and their staff’s made it work. For a team that already seems divided, this does not do anything to help comradere. Maybe if Washburn were an ace he could have his pick for catcher. Furthermore, most pitchers who have their own catcher do so because they have stuff that is hard to catch (Maddux, Wakefield). Not too tough for major leaguers to catch an 88 MPH fastball with little movement thrown down the middle. No doubt Joh is not the best defensive catcher, and probably does not handle the staff in the best manor, but he is the guy and it really doesn’t make much sense for Washburn to make the statements he did.

  12. planB on May 12th, 2008 6:29 pm

    107: I always thought he looks like a rabbit.

  13. planB on May 12th, 2008 6:34 pm

    On sucktitude: obviously Willie Bloomquist is much better at playing baseball than all of us put together. Miguel Cairo is among the best baseball players on Earth. But that’s not the scale they are being judged against when a spectator says they suck: they are being compared with the other best baseball players on Earth.

  14. Axtell on May 12th, 2008 9:32 pm

    I don’t see Bedard or Felix or Silva having these translation issues – maybe it’s you, Jarrod?

  15. samson on May 12th, 2008 9:39 pm

    I find it interesting that the idea of a catcher influencing the outcome of a game is so flippantly rejected here. Is the idea really so patently absurd?

    Most catchers believe it, most pitchers, coaches, seems like most of the GM’s I’ve heard speak on the issue believe it…and these are all people that make their living from the game, not only believe it matters, but that its significant. I guess they’re all just ignorant?

    So, it doesn’t matter if the catchers read the scouting reports? Or, is it that they all read and interpret them exactly the same way? It doesn’t matter if the catchers know which umps have a wide strike zone? which squeeze the pitchers? Reading the pitcher’s stuff, how well its moving on a given night and whether certain pitches are good enough for a certain situation, that doesn’t make a difference?

    ….interesting theory.

  16. DMZ on May 12th, 2008 9:58 pm

    Hey. I don’t think it’s “flippantly rejected” at all.

    Everyone who’s looked at this so far, from Woolner to James and on and on, has found no evidence that different catchers have a significant effect on the game through their pitch selection.

    It’s a lot like clutch hitting, if you will. If you took a survey of everyone in baseball, you’d probably find the vast majority believed in clutch hitting and so forth. But there’s no evidence that at the major league level there’s such a thing as a clutch hitter, someone who consistently hits better tahn expected in those situations.

    In both cases, we can talk about why that is, but a large part of it is that the selection process to get to the majors is so rigorous that catchers, like hitters, who can’t call a game are weeded out just as hitters who can’t hit with runners on don’t advance.

    Further, the battery is a shared responsibility. Veteran pitchers often call their own games, and all pitchers do the things that you cite as possible influences on the game, from scouting to umpire management. If a catcher was totally incompetent, you might see it, but the pitcher’s knowledge of those things would cover. But again, they wouldn’t be there if they were totally incompetent.

    If you haven’t read the Woolner/James/etc research into this, I highly recommend it. At the very least, it would help you understand that the people who have a different viewpoint aren’t doing so out of spite or arrogance.

  17. jryoung222 on May 12th, 2008 10:03 pm

    Agree with 115. Obviously Washburn shouldn’t have aired his issues with Johjima in the paper. However, the guy’s pitched in the bigs for 11 years and knows something about how a pitcher and catcher should work together, and he obviously has a major problem with Johjima. Bedard doesn’t seem to like pitching to Johjima either, evidenced by the fact that, before tonight, he’s pitched to Burke in every game but opening day. So, it’s apparent there is some kind of problem between Johjima and at least two of the team’s five starters (including your #1), and that can’t be good, can it?

  18. pygmalion on May 13th, 2008 7:11 am

    Yeah, no one is rejecting catcher influence “flippantly.” I rejected it way up in the comment thread because of the evidence presented by Baseball Prospectus which pretty convincingly showed that catcher influence on RA was rare, if it exists.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if catcher influence existed at lower levels – such as high school – where there might be vast differences in skill and knowledge between two catchers. But at the major league level, there is just no evidence of a catcher consistently improving or worsening pitcher performances.

  19. msb on May 13th, 2008 8:23 am

    Jarrod says he wasn’t really tossing Kenji under that bus, really he wasn’t.

  20. samson on May 13th, 2008 9:16 pm

    Actually, I’ve read statistical studies supporting both sides, and the more convincing ones tend to indicate there is a significant influence, in some cases.

    I’ve read Baseball Prospectus’ case and was unconvinced. It seemed more that they started with the conclusion that it had no influence, and they tried to find/present data that supported the conclusion they started off with.

    DMZ – funny you should mention Bill James, I recently read a piece in which, in so many words, Bill James said, ‘I was wrong, clutch hitting does exist.’

    If I can dig it up I’ll point you to it. Turns out watching David Ortiz’ repeated clutch performances brought him out of denial.

  21. DMZ on May 13th, 2008 9:22 pm

    Bill James came up with a statistic to support some idea he had while watching a game?

    I think I’ve heard this story before.

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