Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Scott Olsen Doesn't Deserve to Be the Fifth Starter

He's still smoking. That's everything you need to know about his commitment to athletic excellence. I'd rather root for someone like J.D. Martin 100 times out of 100. At least he's trying to get everything he can out of his ability.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does this mean you will not be cheering for our President to win the fifth starter's job?

Greg P said...

A-freakin-men.

Positively Half St. said...

I'm disappointed for JD Martin, but I believe keeping Olsen was the right move, whether in DC or Syracuse. There are still some pitchers to be released today. I wonder if any would be more appealing than either Olsen or Mock.

Noisewhiz said...

Mark Grace smoked a cigarette at his locker before every game until the bitter end. I'm not defending smoking. I'm just saying is all.

Nate said...

Do greenies and 'roids show a greater commitment to athletic excellence than cigs? Livan probably knocks back a Honeybaked Ham between innings. If Olsen's still smoking and outperforming Martin and Mock (a low bar to clear, granted) that says more about them than him.

Plus, we're talking about Stephen Strasburg's seat-warmer for cripes sakes.

Sec3MySofa said...

As opposed to, say, the Chief, who once ran an entire MILE--without stopping--as part of his rehab. Of course, he might have been bragging; I don't think he mentioned his time.

They aren't athletes, they're baseball players.

Steven said...

I disagree with that outlook. I understand what you're saying, but I'm a huge believer that players and coaches who think conditioning and athleticism don't matter in baseball are as wrong as those who believe in the bunt or the RBI as a predictive measure.

estuartj said...

To quote Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven "Deserves Got Nothing to do with it".

You can say well he isn't trying hard enough if he's smoking, but maybe he's tried and the stress made him useless as a pitcher, we don't know.

Point is morality has no place in it, I love a guy who hustles and works hard, but if it doesn't help win games who gives a rats ass?

Steven said...

I'm not making the case for crappy players who work hard. I'm making the case against crappy players who also don't do the basic preparation and self-maintenance to perform athletically.

estuartj said...

I'm saying it doesn't matter either way.

If Pujols or Sabathia have a cig now and then, who cares.

If Olsen becomes Smotz overnight while smaoking 2 packs a day, good for him. If he quits smaoking and blows up completely, well at least he'll have good lungs to coach HS.

Point is if he can pitch great, if not I don't care one way or the other, you assume not smoking will make him better but in his case we have no evidence one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Barry MomJeans can be our fifth starter, but his smoking disqualifies him from running other people's health care.

WFY said...

What Ryan Zimmerman has two half smokes on gameday, does that mean he shouldn't start? I mean nitrates man, they aren't good for you!

Harper said...

I guess the point is he's on the edge so he should be maximizing his conditioning if he really cared. But then everyone who isn't great should be doing that. Who's to say player X couldn't be even better if he didn't smoke/drink/stay out late/eat right/hire a nutritionist/personal trainer/etc etc etc.

By holding Olsen to this standard you are implicitly accepting everyone else is doing everything they possibly can to be in shape. You know that they aren't, so saying this is not fair to Olsen

estuartj said...

It's fair to say players who smokes, even occasionally, will not be as fit as ones who don't.

But in specific cases we have no reason to think Olsen would be a better pitcher if he quit smoking, the truth may be if he quit smoking the stress of quitting may make him useless as a pitcher.

Thus I don't care if he smokes or not, he doesn't "deserve" to be the 5th starter because he can't pitch. If he smokes, or not, has nothing to do with it.

JayB said...

"isn't fair to Olsen".....good one...your at the wrong blog if you think Steven is going to ever cut Olsen any slack. So far Steven has been spot on with is Olsen predictions......My question is then why do Nats think differently? Is Rizzo's FO guys with 150 years of scouting experience better than Steven?

Steven, you must have hated Boz's last piece....it sounded like me....."have to use your eyes" and all that crap.

Steven said...

For those who say I'm being unfair to Olsen, what if a marginal player skipped practice a couple times a week? Or was late to team meetings? Or refused to work out in the off-season. Or jogged to first base instead of running it out. Or in any other way failed to give effort or prepare himself to compete. Are all those factors off limits too? On what basis are we to judge a players dedication? Or are you just saying across the board dedication, work ethic, commitment to preparation--these are not appropriate factors to consider when evaluating a player's standing with the team?

JayB said...

I agree with you on smoking and Olsen....I wanted them to sign a proven vet like Wolf or Davis or someone who is a pro's pro go go along with Jason M. Not Livo but in addition to Livo....that way if Olsen made the team it was due to his outstanding pitching, not last one standing status....by the way this what I had hoped they would do with Dukes.....they just forgot to sign the proven Vet RFer.

estuartj said...

Fairness has nothing to do with it.

In general I'd like to have players who do all the extra stuff to be prepared and maximize their probability of success, but we are talking about a specific player for a specific roster slot.

I don't agree with starting Mock or JD Martin over Olsen because they "deserve" it more.

Whoever gives you the best probability of winning on April 11th should be your starter.

Steven said...

And you think Olsen is actually a good pitcher who gives his team a chance to win? Or you're just nitpicking my word choice?

estuartj said...

You said you'd pick JD Martin over Olsen because he deserves it more.

I don't think either one deserves it, no because of smoking, but because they both suck.

If the #5 starter only needs to pitch 6-7 times before Strasburg "Vests" then why not just have Bergmann start those games and carry and extra reliever?

Deacon Drake said...

And since the dawn of baseball, guys who can throw with their left hand will always have a leg up on the masses, regardless if they are an out of shape chain smoking meat head or not.

Unless he gets hurt or starts bringing guns to the locker room, Olsen will get the nod over grinders like Martin.

Steven said...

@estuartj--ok, point taken, you're right. I would have been better off with an editor changing the post to "Why Scott Olsen Should Be Set Adrift on a Raft Never to be Heard from Again." And not included what was in my mind a toss off about my preference to root for J.D. Martin.

Let's talk about something else.

estuartj said...

Personally I think Olsen should be stuffed in a barrel above Niagra Falls, but I think we agree.

Mark said...

Steven ---

Do you still hate this guy after his latest performance?

Or is there a bit of room in your heart for a cigarette smoker who might just be improving steadily after surgery?

With the junk we have available, you may need to adjust your thinking. Olsen seems to have adjusted his pitching.

Steven said...

For your sake, please, don't get your hopes up. Olsen is terrible. Just stop trying to kick that ball, Charlie Brown. You're never gonna get it.