Friday, March 26, 2004

Has Pedro lost some juice?
Today's Boston Globe talks about how Pedro Martinez has had trouble hitting 90 mph on the radar gun during spring training. The story does go on to say that Pedro still puts up outrageously good numbers, but the fact that he's throwing in the high 80's does cause some to pause (at least for journalists looking for a story).

This is a prime example of people overvaluing raw velocity. Baseball is full of pitchers who are very successful because of how much movement they have and not how hard they throw (John Tudor when he was with the Cards, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux today). Baseball is also full of guys who throw lasers but when they pitch it often looks like it's snowing because of all the white orbs falling from the sky (my favorite John Rocker, for example).

Pedro makes the point much better than I did here when he says:
"Lost my fastball? . . . 90, 91, nobody lost a fastball. That's a good fastball. And if anybody wants to test it, let the scouts stand there with a bat, I'll beat them at 91 . . . You go to our minor league complex, you'll find a lot of guys at 95, 97 miles an hour and they're still in the minor leagues. Is that a coincidence? Why would that be?"