A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gerrit Cole

The draft is just what it is - unless we're talking about coming up unlucky with conscription, but all the same, Gerrit Cole has to be happy. His doubters look at his losing record and laugh, but as anyone with half a brain knows, wins and losses don't mean anything. Just because you're on a team with a crappy offense or because you have to apply for non-support doesn't mean that you're a bad player. It just means that you're unfortunate. That said, at least he'll be used to non support when he plays for the Pirates (although this year, they are a little better as they flirt with .500 at various points a few months into the season and they are only 2 games under at this point in time (28-30)).
We laugh at who goes first and second in pro sports. We laughed when the Houston Texans selected Mario Williams instead of Reggie Bush, but there were issues of who could afford Reggie Bush. A complete bust of a non-Kardashian career later, Bush is the guy who cost USC the National Championship (though in his defense, asking 18-24 year olds not to earn money JUST BECAUSE you've given them a full ride is asinine. If their parents are rich, they can give them beer and date money. If they're kids from the streets, well... suffer little children as you get caught for taking money and cars and jewelry and tattoos from rich donors everywhere (we feel your pain Ohio State).
And we can't blame Pittsburgh for what they can't afford or don't want to deal with heartache over. It's not like Pedro Alvarez and Scott Boras came through with an ability to match their holdout. Instead, they've got a guy hitting .208 and on the DL. One man can't change the culture of a team. At least not in MLB. Maybe in the NBA (and even then, Lebron isn't enough by himself - though he can make money at the gate). But for the Pirates scouting, they have 2 picks that had marginal talent in the Bonds-less past: Andrew McCutchen and Jason Kendall. Sure, McCutchen is touted as the 2nd coming, but he's not tearing up my fantasy league or the pros all that much. Jason Kendall is good and played for a while, but yeah... it's not like people are investing in his rookie card.
Looking at can't miss picks from number one of all of those who have played and had some degree of success, we have to look at the potential of our boy Stephen Strasburg (get well soon). We then find A-Rod, who despite hating his guts, we have to say that minus the steroids, he was the best can't miss prospect out of the league. Ken Griffey Jr. could have been great, but there were the injuries in the second half of his career. Joe Mauer could be be great as well, but he's injured so much that we don't really care what he can't do on MLB video games. Adrian Gonzalez has some upside, and we appreciate that - especially because he's finally earning his Boston Red Sox money. Josh Hamilton has a lot of upside as well - save the injuries, the smack, and the dalliances with drunken women who aren't his wife. Chipper Jones was really good too, but I never thought of him as the answer to the greatest player ever. He's a great player from an age who deserves to be remembered as being good in his age and being good for a great team during his age, but will he or should he be remembered longer than Dale Murphy was from his age?
And what of the ancients? Bob Horner? Harold Baines? Rick Monday? Tim Foli? Besides dressing up as Foli when I was a kid, there is no joy in Tim Foli land save a small town Pennsylvania Halloween parade. Baines is loved by the White Sox. Horner is pretty much forgotten outside Atlanta. Rick Monday saved the flag (we wrote about that). There are some 2 year wonders, and there is last generations Josh Hamilton (Darryl Strawberry) who always managed to blow his chances, but such is life. We can't all be perfect and this isn't about casting shame on those who aren't, but is there a possibility from number one. Can David Price continue to excel or will he end up being Floyd Bannister?
So many questions to wonder, but for now, we'll wish him and the class of 2011 the best and hope that they all end up great (same for Bryce Harper), but yeah... the minors aren't college ball, and they definitely aren't the majors. Keep working, though. The future will soon be here.

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