Monday, May 9, 2016

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner, give me $600,000, and I will give you a revolution

Dear Hal,

Was it fun last night? Did you enjoy watching the Bronx Boredoms, once again, flail helplessly against a knuckle-ball pitcher? Three hits. Three measly hits. There goes our winning streak. Once again, Boston brings out a knuckle-baller, and poof go the Yankee bats.

Here's an idea. (It's sad that it has to come from a fan, but here goes anyway...)

Take - say - $600,000 from your wild weekend fanny pack fund. Hire Tim Wakefield, the former Redsock knuckleballer, or - better - the guy who taught him to throw the knuckler. Hire the guy who taught R.A. Dickey. Hire the world's three greatest authorities on the knuckle-ball. You can probably get them cheap. They're probably working at colleges or clinics. Send them to Tampa, where you establish the Niekro School of Flutter Balls.

Next, comb the waiver wires for the ten smartest minor league pitchers over age 27. They were hot prospects nine years ago, but now they exist as innings-eating fodder. They survive on guile and trickery. Each is a quality individual, maybe a future coach. Send them to Tampa, to practice one pitch. The Niekro Knuckler.

Sprinkle them through your farm system. Figure it will take them five years to reach the majors or surrender. They could be rookies at age 33 - but still have long careers in front of them.

The goal: Five years from now, a staff with three knuckle-ballers.

Imagine the havoc this wreaks on opposing lineups. You only need a 10-pitcher staff. You have three pitchers capable of throwing 300 innings. Other teams won't steal so many bases, because your catchers will be versed in dealing with knuckle-balls. You will never have an exhausted bullpen. And you will have others rising through the system, some emerging at age 35.

Worst-case scenario: Nobody makes it, but 1) you will have tried, 2) you won't have spent much, and 3) you'll have 10 smart, quality pitchers - de facto coaches - working with other prospects at Tampa. The upside: You revolutionize the game... for pennies on the dollar.

Pennies on the dollar. More money for you. Got it? More money for you. Did I mention that? More money for you.


John M said...

Three knucklers sounds good. Would have to be more entertaining than last night was.

Anonymous said...

Niekro League Baseball :-P