Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Meche the Phenom?

Just a terrific (mostly) article by Art Thiel, who compares the Felix hype of today to the Meche hype of 1999. Meche was just 20 years old, had a live 97 mph fastball, a killer curveball, and seemed to have a great presence on the mound. He finished 1999 with a 8-4 record and a 4.73 ERA.

Wow.

I remember that Meche. I wouldn't call him a phenom, because those numbers aren't phenomenal. I remember how excited I was to see him pitch. He always seemed to pitch out of jams, to get the big strikeout, to give a boost to the team when he was pitching. He was going to be a rock-solid member of the M's rotation for the next decade.

And then he got injured. Then again. Then the surgery. Then the disappointment, just like most Mariner's pitching prospects the last 10 years (Wolcott, Cloude, Torres, Nageotte, Blackley, Anderson, Campillo, Franklin, Pineiro).

In the words of Fred Willard..... "Wha' Happened?" The Meche of today has ZERO confidence and, almost, ZERO control, especially of the fastball. If one run scores, his shoulders sag and it is almost automatic that he will give up a few more before the inning is out. He can't finish off hitters, and his fastball no longer has that extra gear to it. Sadly, he is nowhere near a former top prospect. He is finished as a Mariner.

Take notes, M's fans. That simply can not happen with the King (though, honestly, comparing Meche's start to Felix's start is a little stupid. Felix is obviously WAY, WAY better than Meche ever was).

Gavin: I agree that the way I feel about Felix today is nothing like what I felt about Meche back then. Meche looked pretty money, though. He was smooth and confident, poised beyond his years. Now we get this "I don't know. I have no strength in my shoulder" crap. If I was the M's, I'd shut him down for the rest of the season and quit hearing his whining (although Ryan "10 hits of luck" Franklin is FAR worse). If Thiel's point is that you can't trust youth, than yes, and if Felix is injured in two years and never reaches his potential than Thiel can write about how correct he was. But seriously, Alex Rodriguez could have blown out his knee rounding third one year and never reached his potential. We all know injuries happen. We all know mental blocks happen. It could happen to anyone any year. Why bring it up with Felix? Why can't we just enjoy watching this 19 year old make major league hitters look foolish? Let's relax and be part of baseball history and actually appreciate the honor.

Jayson Stark mentioned on the radio today how awful it was that Felix hasn't received national attention. Thank you!

4.5 hours until I watch the King at Safeco tonight!

posted by colin_hesse @ 12:20 PM  0 comments

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