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Thread: Article: Blackburn should pitch like his scholarship is on the line

  1. #1
    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Article: Blackburn should pitch like his scholarship is on the lilne


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    Is it unreasonable to ask if he would be a better pitcher by pitching more over the top? If so, why haven't the coaches noticed?

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Brad Swanson's Avatar
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    Blackburn is going to be 31 next year, so I just don't see how he becomes a different pitcher than he was at 28, 29 and 30. He is what he is, and we all know that he is. I am just hoping that we won't have to watch him pitch at 32.

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    Discussing the the stupidity of the Twins mindset as it relates to Blackey never gets old.

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    It's looking inevitable that Blackburn is going to be in the rotation at the start of next year. Since his return from Rochester he has "improved". 30 IP.. 19 ER for an ERA under 6 and if you take out the one start at Chicago 25 2/3 IP.. 11 ER for an ERA under 4. Then take a look at his next 7 starts.. @Seattle.. @Oakland.. Seattle.. @KC.. Cleveland.. KC.. @Cleveland.. Not exactly powerhouse offenses and some good ballparks to pitch at. Finally include the fact that he's "Gardy's guy" and all signs point to his return to the rotation next year. To be honest I root for the guy.. He seems to care.. And it's not like he wants to be this bad.. But I do think he is currently the worst starting pitcher in the league. If he regains his 08-09 form I'll be the first to raise my hand.. And for the twins sake.. I hope I have to raise my hand.

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    Senior Member Double-A COtwin's Avatar
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    Who do we lose as an organization so we can keep him on the 40-man?

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    This is one of the main problems with baseball (in my opinion). Guaranteed contracts. I understand if the year they pitch in is guaranteed but future years shouldn't be just expected. So ridiculous...it just makes players lazy/content it seems. Blackburn seems to be the perfect example of this. I'm sick of Gardy and others saying "he cares, he really does, its just not working for him". Then demote him!

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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    Is it unreasonable to ask if he would be a better pitcher by pitching more over the top? If so, why haven't the coaches noticed?
    From my experience, the lower the arm slot the easier it is to generate the topspin necessary for sink. Think Eckersly and Webb. Apparently, for some reason, Blackburn can no longer get the rpms required for the sink he needs. This jives with Parker's observation of,

    "This has led to a flattening of his two-seam fastball and has given it less pitching arm side (PAS) run (or away from left handed batters and into right handed ones)."

    His observation makes sense only if the rpms are down. The lower slot would naturally create less run but should have increased the sink instead if the opposite effect of flattening the ball out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shea View Post
    This is one of the main problems with baseball (in my opinion). Guaranteed contracts. I understand if the year they pitch in is guaranteed but future years shouldn't be just expected. So ridiculous...it just makes players lazy/content it seems. Blackburn seems to be the perfect example of this. I'm sick of Gardy and others saying "he cares, he really does, its just not working for him". Then demote him!
    Couldn't disagree more. The thing I hate most about football is how owners screw the players over their contracts. The players get hurt or has a down year, then the contract doesn't matter, the player is cut. But if they exceed the contract and want a raise, all of sudden owners act like the player is a greedy **** for wanting his value.

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    The second sentence of this article is pure poetry. Thank you Parker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shea View Post
    This is one of the main problems with baseball (in my opinion). Guaranteed contracts. I understand if the year they pitch in is guaranteed but future years shouldn't be just expected. So ridiculous...it just makes players lazy/content it seems. Blackburn seems to be the perfect example of this. I'm sick of Gardy and others saying "he cares, he really does, its just not working for him". Then demote him!
    Do you really think Blackburn stinks because he's lazy or doesn't care? That's just plain silly. He's stinks...because he stinks. I would bet Blackie is fully aware of how god awful he is. No matter how hard he tries, how hard he works, or how much he wants it, he's still a guy with below average stuff that never should have been given a 4 year deal. He will be out of baseball by 2014, and desire or hard work has nothing to do with it.

  12. #12
    I like Blackburn. He seems like a really great guy who used to be a pretty good pitcher. I hope he can get back to that, but I think it's more likely he'll just be a former pitcher soon. That ball does not move this year.

  13. #13
    As I read through the comments, I'm just waiting for the "cut him loose" answer. I certainly understand that mentality, but one thing I know for sure is that I don't know for sure. The guys who have performed beyond expectations for this club over the past few seasons (and are now its most contract-friendly stars, for the most part) are a who's-who of folks that we've wanted to toss off this roster as useless underperformers who will never be big-league ready - Denard Span, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Scott Diamond, Ben Revere. I'm just hoping Blackburn joins that list (and someday soon, brother!).

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jimbo92107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Swanson View Post
    Blackburn is going to be 31 next year, so I just don't see how he becomes a different pitcher than he was at 28, 29 and 30. He is what he is, and we all know that he is. I am just hoping that we won't have to watch him pitch at 32.
    The answer is his pitching mechanics. As we've seen, Blackburn is _sometimes_ able to tweak his mechanics well enough to make his 2-seamer a reliable ground-out pitch. He's never been a big strikeout guy, but at his best he's been a good innings eater and sometimes he looks like a very good Twins-style pitch to contact guy.

    The big question, as you alluded, is Blackburn's hard mileage. History of physical ailments, plus the wear and tear of several years of pro ball may have worn Blackburn down a little too much for him to rebound successfully. At this point, is he a better option than various starters rising through the ranks? Like a lot of fans here, I've got my doubts. The arm slot he must use for his effective 2-seamer reminds me of the arm slot for hitting an American twist kick serve. It requires a shoulder socket angle that's a little past vertical, which becomes more difficult with age and damage. It's possible Blackie just can't do that anymore. If so, he better learn some other way to get batters out, or his career will wind down pretty quick.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shea View Post
    I'm sick of Gardy and others saying "he cares, he really does, its just not working for him".
    Isn't that exactly what they were saying about Slowey, Neshek and Baker as well before they got injured?
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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer gil4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shea View Post
    This is one of the main problems with baseball (in my opinion). Guaranteed contracts. I understand if the year they pitch in is guaranteed but future years shouldn't be just expected. So ridiculous...it just makes players lazy/content it seems. Blackburn seems to be the perfect example of this. I'm sick of Gardy and others saying "he cares, he really does, its just not working for him". Then demote him!
    Couldn't disagree more. The thing I hate most about football is how owners screw the players over their contracts. The players get hurt or has a down year, then the contract doesn't matter, the player is cut. But if they exceed the contract and want a raise, all of sudden owners act like the player is a greedy **** for wanting his value.
    I don't have a problem with either system. Both sides know the rules going in. That's why FB contracts often have huge signing bonuses (and why reports of NFL contracts usually mention total $$ and guaranteed $$.)
    Last edited by gil4; 08-20-2012 at 04:56 PM. Reason: fixed typo

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shea View Post
    I'm sick of Gardy and others saying "he cares, he really does, its just not working for him".
    Isn't that exactly what they were saying about Slowey, Neshek and Baker as well before they got injured?

    Slowey and Neshek were malcontents... Baker was soft.

  18. #18
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gil4 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shea View Post
    This is one of the main problems with baseball (in my opinion). Guaranteed contracts. I understand if the year they pitch in is guaranteed but future years shouldn't be just expected. So ridiculous...it just makes players lazy/content it seems. Blackburn seems to be the perfect example of this. I'm sick of Gardy and others saying "he cares, he really does, its just not working for him". Then demote him!
    Couldn't disagree more. The thing I hate most about football is how owners screw the players over their contracts. The players get hurt or has a down year, then the contract doesn't matter, the player is cut. But if they exceed the contract and want a raise, all of sudden owners act like the player is a greedy **** for wanting his value.
    I don't have a problem with either system. Both sides know the rules going in. That's why FB contracts often have huge signing bonuses (and why reports of NFL contracts usually mention total $$ and guaranteed $$.)
    Interestingly enough, football earns more revenue than baseball too, yet baseball contracts tend to pay more. A 30M contract for a FB player is a big thing. It's fairly typical these days with baseball. FB players in particular get screwed. They are asked to put their bodies out on the line and the moment they get hurt, they get cut. Baseball puts far less wear on a body than football.

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