Picks of the Pen (12/20): High Speed World-Ball

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PIC OF THE PEN

[Asia-Pacific Journal]

Wally

Zack Greinke is an enigma and is very misunderstood. Joe Posnanki recently wrote the best piece ever penned on Greinke and points out something that I’ve been saying for a while. Anyone who thinks they understand what Zack is thinking is almost assuredly wrong as he is completely different from any other professional athlete that has ever played in Kansas City.

Looking back at what could have been is always a dangerous path to tread. That doesn’t stop Rising Apple‘s Ben Borkon from recalling that Nelson Cruz was originally signed by the New York Mets.

Justin

Every year, when Joe Buck announces a different team the world champions of baseball, I stand on my couch and shriek, “LIAR!!” I do this because having a single Canadian team in the league does not make baseball a “world” sport (And putting them in the same division as two of our richest, most storied franchises makes them even less noticeable).  But now they’re trying to get Japan in on this action, and we won’t be forced to fire accusations of character flaws at our televisions.

The best blog posts are the ones where you’re left alone in a room with your emotions, leading to painful insults or insane repetitive questioning.  The off season is no stranger to this phenomnenon.  Lou Olsen at Reviewing the Brew discusses the acquisition of Wil Nieves in just such a fashion.

Michael

Anyone who’s a baseball fan knows who Bob Feller is.  His passing is a great loss for the game and his legacy as a player is immense.  I’m a fan of baseball history and as such, I found this video posted by John Sickels to be incredibly interesting to watch.  Baseball fans always go crazy for the flamethrowers, but the crazy ways they try to measure a fastball in the olden days is always entertaining.

Over at SoDo Mojo, Taylor looks at a ballplayer of unique skills – Jack Cust.  I don’t know why but I kind of get a kick out of the three true outcome type players.  I don’t have the math in front of me, but I’m pretty sure Jack Cust could complete a plate appearance about 85% of the time with no need for any fielders besides the pitcher and catcher.

Ryne

Joe Posnanski remembers the fastest pitcher ever, Bob Feller, who passed away last week after a fight with acute leukemia.

Lou Olsen at Reviewing the Brew welcomes Cy Young winner Zack Greinke to Milwaukee.

Nathaniel

Matt Guerrier isn’t an imposing pitcher stuff-wise, but he’s always seemed to get the job done. Still, Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) doesn’t find him any more effective than his mediocre stuff would indicate. With the Dodgers signing Guerrier to a hefty contract last week, it’s clear that they’re banking on FIP’s incorrectness. Fangraphs breaks it down.

Over at Swingin’ A’s, Joseph Lopez broke down the A’s acquisition of slugger Josh Willingham, a major boost to Oakland in their playoff hopes and, in my opinion, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) steals of the offseason.

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