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Kevin Slowey and "this pitch count crap"

Aug 17, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

Joe Nelson of KFAN radio is either an ignoramus or a troll. Maybe both. All I know is that someone who says stuff like this probably needs his medication adjusted:

We don’t live in a
“What if” world. We live in the real world. Kevin Slowey also lives in
the real world and he had a real chance to throw a real no-hitter. Now
that chance is gone because the pitch count and possibility of injury
said he couldn’t go on any longer. Give me a break! That’s the worst
ideology of all-time.

I am shocked at how many people are buying
into this pitch count crap. The pitch count has been worse for baseball
than the steroid era. There have only been 268 no-hitters in the
history of the game, and the freaking pitch count stood between Kevin
Slowey and number 269.

The “worst ideology of all time!” Darn tootin’! I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, but at least it’s an ethos that didn’t prevent a no-hitter.

More seriously speaking, this Nelson fellow can’t be serious. If he was, he wouldn’t launch into some inane rant about how, if we’re going to be so hoity-toity as to count pitches, we should count swings too.  Actual quote from the guy: “There isn’t a
pitcher in major league baseball with a higher risk of injury than any
batter – regardless of the number of pitches thrown.” If Nelson can find a single person in organized baseball to agree with him on that point I will give him a shiny silver dollar. I hear that people like him like shiny things.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t link this, Craig! It’s what they want!” To which I respond: I really don’t care. If Nelson’s traffic numbers increase to such a degree that it leads to so great a proliferation of his blindingly ignorant garbage to where society will have nowhere else to turn for cogent analysis, the whole of sports media is doomed anyway.

Short of that, I take a decent amount of personal satisfaction in calling the guy stupid.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 17, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Isn’t Nolan Ryan against pitch counts too?

  2. Adenzeno - Aug 17, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Erring on the side of caution re a pitcher who just had elbow problems is a GOOD thing.

  3. Matt - Aug 17, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    My favorite part is that this guy lives in a real world, not a ‘what if’ world where we don’t ask things kike what if he had stayed in the game? Might he have thrown a no-hitter?

  4. Trevor B - Aug 17, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Coming from a Minnesotan who sometimes listens to this guy on the radio, he doesn’t always make intelligent points, but wow… he must be off his meds today or something.

  5. ben s - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    I don’t know, why don’t you ask Cliff Lee? He could probably tell ya!

  6. El Bravo - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Nolan Ryan frowns on pitch counts but that’s b/c he was an exception to the rule back in the day, like Halladay presently (so far). Some guys’ mechanics are less destructive to the body over time and Ryan clearly was dominant and immune to injury. If he takes that and turns it around into throwing Cliff Lee until his arm falls off, well then, Cliff Lee’s arm will fall off. For every Ryan or Halladay there’s 20 Prior’s and Wood’s. That’s why counting pitches is important for the non-superhero ML pitchers and Ryan should take that into account just like the Twins rightly did by sitting Slowey.

  7. JimmyY - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Calling this guy stupid is giving him a complement.

  8. jbartlett - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    +1 for dropping my favorite Lebowski quote

  9. John_Michael - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    The pitch count has been worse for baseball than the steroid era.
    This is why the downfall of the American educational system is a good thing. Because now, the children won’t be able to count high enough to tally the pitches they’ve thrown. I always worry about the children. I really do.

  10. Kobbybahn - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    The guys at KFAN are all a bunch of homers. I’m a Twins fan and Gardenhire absolutely made the right choice, no question about it.

  11. Megary - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Typical talk radio; it is not there to be informative but rather entertaining. This is true whether one chooses to listen to sports, politics or whathaveyou. The bigger the know-it-all with a 900cc oversized ego and polarizing personality, the bigger the listenership.
    They all suck. Actually that’s not really true, but so many of them suck that it’s not worth the time to try and find one that doesn’t.

  12. Jack Daniels - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Who is Craig Calcaterra?

  13. Ditto65 - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    How many batters have blown out their elbows, torn their rotator cuffs, or even developed a performance impacting blister by swinging a bat at a game-time pitch? Anyone?

  14. John_Michael - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Is that a John Galt reference?

  15. Jack Daniels - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Almost as many that have hurt themselves playing Guitar Hero.

  16. Kris - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    I listen to KFAN on a regular basis, and I’m not even aware if this guy has his own show, is a fill-in host, or just blogs. In any case, I’ll have to go with option C and say it’s a little bit of ignoramous, and a lot of troll.
    Baseball is rarely taken seriously as a topic on KFAN shows anyway. The morning show guys mostly despise baseball, and the only host I’ve heard with anything approaching intelligent analysis of the Twins is Barreiro. It makes sense, since Twins games are broadcast on a different station, and KFAN has the Vikings to focus on.

  17. John_Michael - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    Unless you make money by stirring up controversy.

  18. Jack Daniels - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    Stirring up Controversy?

  19. Bill@TDS - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    Nobody who mentions this is talking about MY favorite line: “There isn’t a pitcher in major league baseball with a higher risk of injury than any batter – regardless of the number of pitches thrown.” You have to un-learn a lot of basic common sense-type stuff you learned in grade school to write something like that.

  20. Burl_Ives_lives - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Joe Nelson is a nice guy with a great voice for radio, but he’s just not a “great sports mind.” He’s wrong on this and he’s no stranger to having a poor take.

  21. Bill@TDS - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    and OK, I just realized that Craig DID talk about that line…but I kind of think the whole story of this piece is wrapped up in that one line.

  22. ShawnSjostrom - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Are you serious Craig Calcaterra??? You call Joe Nelson ignorant when you are the idiot that buys into pitch counts?? I know we are in a different era of pitching, but think about this….our arms are stronger now!! Minnesota’s very own Bert Blyleven has 242 complete games, 4,970 innings in 22 mostly injury free seasons. Remember now, we create pitchers with stronger arms, so if they could do it then, they should be able to average 400 innings a season now. Not only this, but they didn’t have to wait the great 5 days between each start, remember it was 3 days rest then. So say Joe is dumb all you want, I understand your era is all pansies now, but never let a pitch count affect someones chance at a certain kind of history.

  23. minnesconsin_ad - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    fairly indicative of MN sports journalism in general, unfortunately. The only show I can stomach on KFAN is the Common Man Program from 12-3 and that’s primarily because he’s fairly up-front about not taking things too seriously. The only truly informative times segments come from guests such as Mark Rosen or LaVelle Neal.
    1500ESPN isn’t any better, though. Failed talk station converted over to a sports format without securing any new real “talent.” hell, the afternoon show barely even mentions sports at all, just crazy politics.
    ya know you’re in trouble when the 2 primary guys who cover your football team for the local newspaper are named “Chip” and “Judd.”

  24. RichardInBigD - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Pitch counts, to be both effective in preventing overuse/injury, while at the same time allowing a team to put their best foot forward at all times, will vary, sometimes greatly, from pitcher to pitcher. One guy’s 80 is another guy’s 120. Coaches who recognize this simple fact will have success, those that don’t, won’t. Just because a guy can run 5 miles every day of the week doesn’t mean he can run a marathon every fifth day. And not every marathoner can run an ultra marathon (or whatever those 100 mile tourture tests are called). You have to know your players to get the most out of them without killing them…

  25. l3rokenl2ecord - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    “Actual quote from the guy: “There isn’t a pitcher in major league baseball with a higher risk of injury than any batter – regardless of the number of pitches thrown.””
    You want to talk about risk of injury? Do you REALLY want to talk about risk of injury??? Risk this…swing a bat as hard as you can, run the bases as fast as you can, slide into a still object as hard as you can, jump against a wall to catch a 5 ounce bullet shooting directly at your hand, which is only protected by a thin layer of leather…all in that order. Now, throw a fastball, a slider, a curve, and a change-up. It doesn’t matter how many of these things you do, if you do them correctly, your risk of injury should be lower (I can’t speak for this idiot Calcaterra, but for most of us this is true). Mechanics are the only thing that determine your risk of injury, and if this guy’s mechanics aren’t up to par, he shouldn’t be in the big leagues anyway. They would never let you write this blog if you hadn’t learned the mechanics of language. It’s not like Kevin Slowey lay dying on the mound. You’re telling me this guy gets paid millions to pitch a little league no-hitter?!?! The pitch count is ridiculous!!!

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