Friday, March 05, 2010

In Case You Didn't Realize...

... I'm a jerk. And as a jerk, I do jerky things. You know what's one of the jerkiest things I do? I kinda sorta root for Drew Storen to fail. No, I don't want the kid to die, have his arm fall off, or to never make the majors. I just don't want him to blossom into an elite reliever. Were I truly vindictive, I'd be hoping for the Ryan Wagner career path, but I'd be ok with, say, Steve Reed's career path (Minus the MS). I hope he'll settle into a long career of being a sort of ok guy.

It's not Storen's fault. He, by all accounts and interactions, seems like a pretty good guy. It's Rizzo's. It was Rizzo's steadfast insistence that signability (ie: his willingness to work cheaply) was NOT a factor in the team selecting him with the 10th overall pick. Nevermind that this was in a draft where they knew they'd be giving a record portion to whoever the hell it is they drafted first overall. (What happened to him? Why haven't we heard more about him?). And nevermind the fact that Storen was willing to immediately sign for about $400K than the last few 10th overalls had.

I don't have a HUGE problem with the team making a signability pick there (OK, that's a lie, but go with it), but if they were going to do it, to quote noted philosopher Judith Sheindlin, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining. My shoes are all wet and Rizzo's fly is open. I know what probably happened. Just man up and admit it.

Not only did he deny it, but he smugly claimed that Storen was his favorite pitcher of all time... or something to that effect. Rizzo was insistent that Storen was his guy. And so he was.

Thusfar, Storen's done nothing to prove Rizzo's choice wrong, and the nice part of me hopes that continues. But that ahole part? That part hopes this is the beginning of a long Steve Reedesque career.

See. Told ya I'm a jerk.

18 Comments:

  • Yeah, you're a jerk on this one. What did you expect Rizzo to say, "Ya know, there were some better pitchers out there, but we thought we could get Storen to sign for fewer $$$, so we went for him even though we don't think he's all that great." Yeah, that'd help the kid's confidence.

    The team needed some bullpen help fast, they found a way they could get it cheap in the draft, they already had a high ceiling guy with the #1 pick, and maybe their scouts said he was a steal. So they went for it. And since then, in the minors and the AFL, he's done even better than in college. Cool.

    So I'll be rootin' for the kid, but he had me at "Cordero". The sooner the 2009 #1 draft picks start kickin' ass in the majors, the better.

    By Anonymous cass, at 3/05/2010 6:50 PM  

  • You say "We expect to pay a record amount of money overall with our draft and to ensure that we're selecting as many excellent prospects throughout the entirety of the draft, we're going to be very conscious of selecting a signable player with our 10th pick, especially because there's no do-over on this one."

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 3/05/2010 6:53 PM  

  • I still say that undermines Storen. Maybe not by a huge amount, but a little. And what would they gain by saying it? I suppose they could say "We really believe in Storen and think he projects to be a high impact pitcher" without specifically saying, "We thought he was the best player available and had him highest on our list". In this case, you could just add "and he signed cheap, who doesn't love that?" with your Translator. But I guess Rizzo's not Kasten and in this case, who knows, maybe Rizzo really believes he was the best available?

    Either way, why focus on Storen? There may have been higher-ceiling players at 10, but he wasn't a huge stretch. Holder would seem to be the craziest pick. Even if the scouts did rate him that highly, they could have easily waited a few rounds before picking him. So if you want a blatant signability pick, he's your guy. It's not as big money in the third round, but the amount by which he was overdrafted is greater.

    By Anonymous cass, at 3/05/2010 7:25 PM  

  • I already knew you were a jerk. You're a Yankee fan, after all. Thanks for finally owning up to it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/05/2010 7:40 PM  

  • Ah, the time-tested tactic of courting controversy to drive a meme. Well played.

    By Blogger Steven, at 3/05/2010 8:17 PM  

  • I'm not with you on this one at all. We've suffered enough. But hey, I'll play the game, too. I hope Aaron Crow has a Todd Van Poppel career.

    See, I can also be a jerk, but it doesn't have to hurt the Nats.

    By Blogger Positively Half St., at 3/05/2010 8:35 PM  

  • I basically feel the same way, although I'm nicer than Chris so it doesn't really play out re wanting Storen to meh.

    If being a signability pick would undermine Storen, then he is already undermined because, regardless of what Rizzo says to the papers, Storen himself well knows that money played a part in him being picked there. You think whoever was picking 11th had called him up and told him to be ready?

    I wouldn't be so disgusted if Rizzo had simply Kastened the subject of signability (i.e., said a lot of words but never answered the question). But his direct emphatic denials were insulting.

    By Blogger Sam, at 3/05/2010 9:03 PM  

  • So, the Redskins need to trade the #1 pick for Brandon Marshalll, rather than drafting a offensive lineman, right?

    By Blogger WFY, at 3/05/2010 9:10 PM  

  • Justice is more important than wins! Stick by your guns! The truth must come to light! Guzman IS awful!

    By Blogger Harper, at 3/05/2010 10:26 PM  

  • You guys need to get over your obsession with signability as any kind of an indicator of anything, be it talent or cheapness of ownership. After all, what makes one player "signable" while another is not? Not their relative talent, that's for sure. An inflated sense of self-worth on their part (or more accurately, their agent's part) is what determines that. You really think that just because Crow demanded more money than Selig's slot system said he should have gotten makes him a better pitcher than Storen? Poppycock.

    Rizzo has spent his whole career as a scout. I'll take his evaluation of a player over an agent's evaluation of a player any day of the week and twice on Sunday. If Rizzo says Storen was the player he really wanted, then that's the only reason they drafted him when they did. Signability is a total red herring in this situation.

    By Blogger TBC, at 3/05/2010 11:34 PM  

  • What determines their contract demands is the projection of their potential value. Drew Storen, as a reliever, can never be valuable. Sure, relative to other relievers, he might be, but even if he becomes the best closer in the history of baseball, he's still worth much less than Jason Marquis.

    Mariano Rivera has never been worth more than 3.2 WAR in a season, and since 2002 he's been worth 2.42 WAR/season, which was the same WAR that starting pitching powerhouses Kevin Correia, Jon Garland and Kevin Millwood were worth last year.

    YOU DO NOT DRAFT A RELIEVER WITH A TOP 10 PICK! EVER. If the SP you take, just doesn't pan out, then you convert him to a relief role, but to take a guy who can only pitch 1-2 innings every third game is idiotic. Imagine if a team drafted a batter with the intention of using him solely as a pinch hitter. Stupid.

    By Blogger Will, at 3/06/2010 1:25 AM  

  • He didn't sign that much below slot (since all slots were reduced 10% in 2009) and if the Nats agreed to pay for him to finish 2 years at Stanford, then the money is close. Give the kid some credit for wanting to play and play now, and not wait for 3 years to become a starter. It's pathetic to not root for the guy.

    By Anonymous Steve Taylor, at 3/06/2010 9:01 AM  

  • Will, you seem to have confused fantasy baseball with the real thing. The rules of your fantasy draft do not apply to the MLB draft. Not even close.

    By Blogger TBC, at 3/06/2010 11:23 AM  

  • TBC, you missed my point, so I'll say it again. Storen will only pitch 60-70 innings per season. Even if he's a fantastic pitcher, he'll pitch 3-4 times less innings than a starter. Why would the Nationals select a pitcher whose ceiling can be a third of a starting pitcher, when there were numerous starting pitchers available who were as highly/more highly regarded than Storen.

    The Nats are handicapping themselves with this selection. If the need for relievers was so great, they could have very easily drafted the best starter available and used him in the same way Neftali Feliz was handled. Give him major league exposure (and strengthen the bullpen), but ultimately maximize his value by using him as a starting pitcher.

    By Blogger Will, at 3/06/2010 8:04 PM  

  • Storen has five pitches. Who's to say they can't convert him to a starter when they need one after he's had a year or two experience in the majors?

    The question is whether he has the talent. And, so far, he's shown us nothing to think he doesn't, dominating at every level and leading the AFL in ERA.

    I do actually hope he breaks with the team. They need him, he has nothing more to learn in the minors (IMO), and that extra year of free agency/arbitration seems kinda far away... how many relievers actually make it that long? None of the Nats kids from 2005-2006 did. If he looks like our best reliever in spring training, then please, bring him north with the team.

    By Anonymous cass, at 3/07/2010 10:13 AM  

  • I wouldn't call you a "jerk." more like "a pathetic excuse for a human being." You wish someone you have never met ill to make a point that only you and a handful of bloggers care about.

    A "jerk" forgets to pick you up at the airport when he promised to; he is rude to your friends for no good reason; what you are describing is a kind of selfish malice born out of a rather sad need to be proved correct about something that most of us don't care about. If Storen becomes an elite closer Nationals fans, as opposed to self-absorbed baseball bloggers, will be happy, regardless of whether he was a signability pick or not.

    Jeez, I follow baseball as an alternative to the unpleasantness in the world.

    You were once a very good baseball blogger with strong analytical skills who knew when to add the snark and when to lay off of it. Then you went on hiatus and came back in this not remotely funny, not especially insightful, and now malicious incarnation.

    Why?

    By Blogger Roberto, at 3/07/2010 6:43 PM  

  • Malicious? Pathetic excuse? Did I wish him dead or something? Not sure that wishing a Steve Reedlike career on someone is absolutely yerrible. Sorry to disappoint you, Bobby.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 3/07/2010 6:47 PM  

  • Let me echo Will's sentiment with a different, related point: closers are fungible. It is simply not that difficult to find a serviceable closer. For goodness sakes, LaTroy Hawkins had very good run last year as closer for the Astros. And we all remember Chad Cordero, right? He was an ace closer, where is he now?

    I was optimistic about the Storen pick right after the draft because there was talk that whoever drafted him might turn him into a starter, but using the 10 pick on him and keeping him as a RP makes no sense.

    By Blogger RPS, at 3/07/2010 9:06 PM  

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