Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I'm Not Going To Get Over Excited...

I don’t want to jump the gun on this one. Scratch that. I do want to jump the gun on this one, but I’m not going to let myself. Not this soon. Not after what happened in April.

But damn, did that kid pitch well last night. Good, efficient baseball. And for six and a third, no less. Far from flawless, but easily his best performance of the year. Six and a third, two runs, four hits, two strikeouts, one walk.

Wright pitching the way he did tonight was like winning $10 on a scratch-off game; you’re jacked because you just won something. Now you can buy TWO scratch-off games! (Or five of those $2 games, but you never win more than $2 on them anyway).

Will your further investment pay off? Who knows? Sure, you switch it up, play a different $5 game. And sometimes, you’ll hit another ten spot, maybe break even with a Lincoln. The rest you crash and burn. They may have odds calculated for winning these games, but everyone knows that even if the odds say 1-15 wins ten smackeroos, you could go through twenty, thirty cards before you do anything better than break even. Oh, but you didn’t break even, because you bought two cards; you’re actually down five bux.

Point is, the realistic side of me says that Jaret Wright can keep winning, just like you can keep getting that one ticket out of the bunch that hands you $5 to buy another ticket.

The painfully optimistic side of me says we might just get some return on our investment. I try to ignore that side as much as possible, since he’s gotten me into a dab of trouble lately.

A dab.

Know what else Wright was like last night? It was like calling up a pitcher from AAA and seeing him throw that game, like when Chien-Ming Wang started for the injured Wright on April 30th. Except there was no pressing need for a starter, as it was Aaron Small’s scheduled start. This leaves one wondering whose crack-influenced thought process led to the conclusion that Wright should have started last night?

The guys in Boston are loving this. They’re absolutely reveling in the fact that we’re touting Aaron Small, mainly because they’ve never heard of him, therefore making him – in their minds – a nobody, meaning that this is a fluke and it will come to a hilariously (for them) painful (for us) end.

And I have just this to say to you, Boston: how’s Clement? And Wakefield? And Arroyo? And Miller? And Wells? Oh, I know! All sitting with ERAs above four. And Schilling? He’s busy blowing three-run leads in the bottom of the ninth to the Tigers.

You know what else Boston loves? The fact that I, among others, am in no way confident that Randy Johnson will be able to handle the D-Rays tonight. Times are sure changing in baseball; in the times I’m familiar with, that would be as ridiculous a statement as my previous one about Small.

It’s come down to this with Randy: the only reason I’m not tearing my hairs out over his start tonight is because of his name. Because really, that’s all he has going for him at this point. Change his name to Dave LaPoint, and he’s just another inconsistent pitcher (though I admit a harsh reference).

Here’s a question I never thought I’d ask: who would you rather have in your rotation next year, Randy or Small? While this is an opinion question, there are such things as wrong opinions, and if you picked Unit, you’re wrong. Though, I doubt many Yankees fans are very high on Randy right now, and I know we’re all jumping on Small’s bandwagon.

And if the guy has a bandwagon, he certainly needs a nickname. The Big Improvement? Small Ball? Savior of Our Season?

Nah. I’m reaching into my bag of Bill and Ted for this one. Station. Henceforth, Aaron Small will be referred to as Station. Just like Jaret Wright will be the scratch-off kid…unless he can prove to be Powerball.