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

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 09:26 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...is-on-the-lilne

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#2 old nurse

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:55 AM

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?

#3 Brad Swanson

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:00 AM

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.

#4 cr9617

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:02 AM

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

#5 JP3700

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:12 AM

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.

#6 COtwin

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:45 AM

Who do we lose as an organization so we can keep him on the 40-man?

#7 Shea

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:57 AM

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!

#8 Paul

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:08 PM

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.

#9 gunnarthor

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 01:01 PM

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.

#10 Steve Penz

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 01:15 PM

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

#11 cr9617

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 02:14 PM

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 PopRiveter

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 02:16 PM

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 tmerrickkeller

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:56 PM

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!).

#14 jimbo92107

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:11 PM

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.

#15 Thrylos

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:34 PM

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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#16 gil4

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:52 PM

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 $$ and guaranteed $$.)

Edited by gil4, 20 August 2012 - 03:56 PM.
fixed typo


#17 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 04:23 PM

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 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 04:26 PM

[quote name='gil4'][quote name='gunnarthor'][quote name='Shea']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![/QUOTE]

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.[/QUOTE]

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 $$ and guaranteed $$.)[/QUOTE]

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.