Friday, November 02, 2007


On Carsten Charles

Sports Illustrated has an excerpt from Bill James's newest Handbook up today, ranking the twenty-five best young players. As always, James is using an arcane, yet probably solid system, but the most important part is his commentary. Like this on one of my favorites, giganto LHP C. C. Sabathia:
I have to tell you, as a baseball fan, I absolutely adore C. C. Sabathia. I always have. I've compared all these players to somebody else. It is sacrilege to compare C. C. Sabathia to any other pitcher. He is totally unique. For one thing, although listed weights of baseball players are so bogus that it's hard to see the point of listing them, C. C. has to be the heaviest player in major league history. He's huge -- 6'7"and has an aircraft carrier frame supporting large piles of necessary and unnecessary flesh, all of this adorned with comic little ears that stick out from his face as if the Lord couldn't find a flat place to put them. He has a unique delivery, hanging his massive leg in the air in seeming defiance of both gravity and nature, yet he is balanced and graceful. He projects a sort of genial warrior calm on the mound. He was an outstanding pitcher when he reached the majors in 2001 and has gotten steadily better, cutting his walks from 95 in 180 innings to 37 in 241 innings. He's 26 now, like Peavy, and his age is pushing him downward on this list; he is less of a young talent, and more of a mature product. But I don't think I've ever missed a C. C. Sabathia start in Kansas City when I was near KC or in Boston since I've been in Boston, and I hope he pitches forever.
I agree with every damn word. The fact that Sabathia didn't turn in the lights-out game he was capable of against the fearsome Boston lineup was one of the big disappointments of this postseason. May he get a chance to do it next October.

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In much the same vein as I hated Jim Thome, I hate CC Sabathia. As a die hard White Sox fan, I can't wait until CC finds the free agent market and leaves the division. I'll miss him when he's gone, much like I missed Thome.

In his time with the Phillies, Thome played in one series against the Sox. He hit 4 home runs and drove in at least 10. It was only then, that I realized exactly how much I missed this sort of abuse, that I could accept liking Jim Thome as a baseball player.

Later in life, after he was acquired in a trade, cheering for Thome made me feel dirty.
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