Jarrod Parker was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all

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Sorry, I saw Susan Slusser’s headline from her piece on Jarrod Parker — “A’s Parker shaped by happenstance …” — and that’s the first thing I thought of.

That aside, it’s a good piece about Parker, his brother and growing up in baseball. Fun anecdotes and that sort of thing.  And this:

Justin and Jarrod played all over the diamond, and that meant volunteering at pitcher occasionally.

“I was just messing around at the end of my freshman year, and a varsity guy was watching and said, ‘I think we’re going to get you on the mound a few times,’ ” Jarrod said. In his repertoire then: a since-retired knuckleball.

Whoever told Parker to quit throwing a knuckleball should be tried for high crimes.

Seriously: there was a time when a ton of pitchers had a knuckleball they could use on occasion. It didn’t make them “knuckleballers.” It was just a pitch that they had.  A little dipsy-doodle they could whip out on occasion to keep hitters off balance.  I have no idea why no one does that anymore.

My guess: some conventional wisdom about how throwing three knuckleballs a week totally screws up a pitcher’s mechanics or something. But there’s so much baseball conventional wisdom that isn’t all that wise, I wonder if there’s any real truth to that.

Anyway: whip out the knuckleball again, Jarrod. For the kids.

Mets sign Matt Kemp to minor league deal

Matt Kemp
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The Mets have had a lot of injuries in their outfield. How many? So many that they’re bringing in Matt Kemp, who they just signed on a minor league deal. Hey, why not? He’s functionally free.

Kemp was released by the Reds earlier this month after batting just .200/.210/.283 over 62 plate appearances. While he was a pretty useful player for the first half of the 2018 season for the Dodgers, the odds of him making major contributions to the Mets this year are probably about the same odds there were on Adrián González making an impact when the Mets signed him last year. But again: what’s the harm?