Cactus League Remains Impenetrable, Mysterious: Indians at Mariners
Blake Beavan vs. Scott freaking Kazmir, 1:05
Jeff’s post below summarizes an all-too common problem: baseball is too weird. It’s not just that we thought Garland was penciled into the rotation because of Wedge and gritty veteran-ness. It was, in part, due to things like having Erasmo Ramirez pitch a couple of innings the other night and postgame quotes to the effect that they could stretch him out again “if we need to.” How can you read that and not think, “Erasmo’s not starting the year in the M’s rotation?” And if you make that leap, Garland’s path just got a little bit easier. But all of those logical deductions were wrong. It happens.
I’ll be honest here: I’ve made a lot of logical deductions about Scott Kazmir in the past two years, if metaphors for dead things count as logical deductions.* Kazmir was object A in the risks of trading prospects at the deadline, and then he was an excellent starter for the Devil Rays for a few years before suddenly, utterly losing it at age 27. Hitters in the minors blew him up, so he was out of organized baseball, still believing in himself but, with every failed try-out, making it hard to see him as anything but a pitiful figure – the ex-jock who can’t believe it’s over. A kid with no training in anything but pitching baseballs who deals with sudden, dramatic loss of ability through denial and obsessive work on mechanical tweaks. The Sugar Land Skeeters offered him a job, because why not, and because Bobby Livingston’s not the most durable guy out there. Indy league teams blasted Kazmir too. Today, he’s the odds-on favorite for the #5 spot in the Cleveland rotation. We *knew* the moral of the Scott Kazmir story: ‘Don’t be like Scott Kazmir. Leave with your head held high, get your degree, invest your money and make yourself anew.’ All of that – the dead certainty of it – is gone, and while the odds are still long for Bobby Livingston, lesser versions of this happen all the time. Blake Beavan thinks he’s a groundballer now because he worked with a guy in Texas for a little while. I mean, why not.
1: Saunders, RF
2: Andino, SS
3: Ibanez, LF
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Seager, 2B
6: Montero, C
7: Wells, CF
8: Shoppach, DH
9: Miller, 3B
Today’s game is televised on ROOT sports, and it’s on live radio as well. Go M’s.
* I’m pretty sure they don’t, but it’s not like you needed ‘logic’ to see that Kazmir wasn’t capable of pitching anymore.