Thursday, September 03, 2009

The new Betty Ford Clinic?

John Smoltz and Brad Penny. Both aging, both injured, both trying to come back -- and both pulled out of the recycling bin by Theo Epstein in the off-season. Both committed themselves to doing everything they could to return, so they signed on for the Red Sox Rehab Program. Mike Reinold has developed an incredible rehab program for pitchers - and Penny himself said he thought it had saved his arm.

Unfortunately, our reclamation projects had little success with the Sox. They were continually knocked around by American League hitters, and the Sox eventually released them both. Well, they did offer them the chance to continue in the bullpen, but both declined.

As noted previously, Smoltz was picked up by the Cardinals, and has twice pitched well. (Today not so much - 6 innings so far, 4 earned runs, including a 2-run homer). The Cards claim that Smoltz was "tipping his pitches," meaning he was giving off some clues in his delivery that gave away what pitch was coming. I don't buy that - with all the high-tech gadgetry the Sox have, someone would have picked up on that. Wouldn't they?

Penny pitched for the first time last night for the SF Giants, his new team. He pitched EIGHT innings - he never went more than six for the Sox. No earned runs. Of course, only 2 strike-outs, so he had some good defense behind him.

What is going on?? Are these aging arms using the Sox' expertise on shoulder issues to come back, then tanking so they can move on to something more lucrative? Are the Sox not giving these guys enough time to come back, enough time to pay off on our investment?

Or is that the National League is a far inferior league? These two got battered all over the place by AL hitters, yet seem to be stupifying the NLers.

Of course, they both have a lot to prove. They're professional athletes and, therefore, proud. They clearly want to continue to compete at the highest level, so they've come out strong, come out with everything. They both put a great deal into the starts with their new teams. Time will tell if they can keep it up over the next few weeks, the last of the season, as both of their new teams seem headed to post-season play.

It's unfortunate that the two teams don't meet again in the regular season. I would love to see them head to head. I guess it would be too much to hope for that both of their arms might fall off.....

Labels: ,


Blogger Ted D said...

Beth, the NL is the punchline to a joke right now. How many consecutive All Star games has the AL won now? And since 2001, the Diamondbacks, Marlins, and the vaunted 2006 Cardinals, they of a season high 88 wins have won the World Series.

But I wish Smoltz and Penny well. Hopefull we'll get a shot to take BP off of one of them come October.

8:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home