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Jarrod Parker was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all

May 8, 2012, 11:33 AM EST

Jarrod Parker AP AP

Sorry, I saw Susan Slusser’s headline from her piece on Jarrod Parker — “A’s Parker shaped by happenstance …” — and that’s the first thing I thought of.

That aside, it’s a good piece about Parker, his brother and growing up in baseball. Fun anecdotes and that sort of thing.  And this:

Justin and Jarrod played all over the diamond, and that meant volunteering at pitcher occasionally.

“I was just messing around at the end of my freshman year, and a varsity guy was watching and said, ‘I think we’re going to get you on the mound a few times,’ ” Jarrod said. In his repertoire then: a since-retired knuckleball.

Whoever told Parker to quit throwing a knuckleball should be tried for high crimes.

Seriously: there was a time when a ton of pitchers had a knuckleball they could use on occasion. It didn’t make them “knuckleballers.” It was just a pitch that they had.  A little dipsy-doodle they could whip out on occasion to keep hitters off balance.  I have no idea why no one does that anymore.

My guess: some conventional wisdom about how throwing three knuckleballs a week totally screws up a pitcher’s mechanics or something. But there’s so much baseball conventional wisdom that isn’t all that wise, I wonder if there’s any real truth to that.

Anyway: whip out the knuckleball again, Jarrod. For the kids.

  1. El Bravo - May 8, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    That’s not my definition of dipsy-doodle. From what I understand, a dispy-doodle requires a woman, a man, one of those noodle-floaty things for the pool, a snorkel, and three condoms.

  2. mississippimusicman - May 8, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    The dipsy-doodle is a thing to beware…

  3. APBA Guy - May 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Parker looks like the proverbial “real deal” in the starts I’ve seen so far. He’s got good velocity, touches 95 on the gun, but that’s probably really 93-94, and the best thing is command in the zone. You don’t see that drift from the target that often plagues young pitchers.

    Of course the sample size is really small. Like Matt Moore 2011 small. So inevitably he’s going to have some bad games, bad streaks even. But the stuff, and the poise, are there. If he can keep up the good outings, and Cook keeps doing well, the Cahill trade will at least have been positive.

  4. easports82 - May 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Whip it out for the kids? Really?

  5. stlouis1baseball - May 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    “And three condoms.” Hahaha! By the way…Samarakjpzskihilworski says hello.

  6. deadeyedesign23 - May 8, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    So it goes.

    • thebumontelegraphave - May 8, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      glad i wasn’t the only one who actually got the vonnegut reference.

  7. paperlions - May 8, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Considering how long it typically takes a knuckle-baller to perfect the pitch to the point it is usable…my guess is that guys that throw only a few a week are essentially throwing 70 MPH meatballs that have a great chance of leaving the park.

    Considering that the potential value of throwing such a pitch a few times is small, that cost would far out-weight the benefit of throwing the pitch.

    • Alex K - May 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      Look, paper, you know logic and reason don’t work on Craig when a potential flutterballer is being dicussed.

  8. ultimatefrisbee88 - May 8, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Jarrod, the absolute worst thing you could to say to them would be something like, “I was chosen by God to be a pitcher. I’m just so thankful.”

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