What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
In Moyer’s final spring tune-up, there was yet another sharp contrast. Facing the Seattle Mariners, Moyer faced a 25-year old flamethrower you may know as Felix Hernandez. These two were teammates when Moyer pitched for Seattle; when Hernandez was a 19-year old rookie and Moyer was already a baseball elder statesman.
Heading into the regular season, Moyer looked ready through pitching five innings, despite the fact he allowed nine hits. In typical “bend but don’t break” Moyer fashion, he gave up four runs in 109 pitches, but he got little help from his defense; only one of those runs was earned. In short, Moyer did was Moyer does…stay out of trouble.
In contrast, “King Felix” allowed just two hits and struck out six. Ironically, while pitching against Moyer, it was Hernandez who is generating concerns about his velocity. Rumors have been circulating all spring that Felix had lost some hop on his fastball, and during his start in Japan he rarely topped 90 mph. In his last spring start against Colorado, only three of his pitches broke 90 mph. Even Hernandez himself made light of it.
“Really? I’m fine,” Felix said, then grinned. “I’m trying to be like Jamie Moyer. I feel good.”
Asked if he’d learned anything from his season and a half with Moyer, Felix nodded. “He told me, ‘Control your emotions.’ He was a great teammate.”
Meanwhile, Moyer threw pitches clocked as slow as 64 mph, and was asked if he ever saw frustration in the faces of hitters heading back to the dugout.
“Sometimes I hear a little muttering, but that’s OK,” Moyer said. “I’m the same way when they get a hit against me.”
This explains why now in his 25th season, the 49-year-old left-hander is set to make history. With a 2.54 earned run average in spring training, Moyer beat out 22-year-old Tyler Chatwood and 28-year-old Guillermo Moscoso to earn a spot in the Rockies’ starting rotation. He enters the season with 267 career victories, the most of any active major-league pitcher and 36th all time. On Saturday, he will start against the Houston Astros in a bid to become the oldest pitcher in Major League Baseball history to earn a victory. He will be the first 49-year-old to play in the big leagues since Julio Franco did it for the Braves in 2007, and the oldest pitcher to appear in a game since Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm threw some innings in relief at 49 in 1972.
Naturally, this leads to more fun Jamie Moyer facts:
So, we’ve updated the Hall-of-Fame Plaque on the Dubsism Moyer-o-Meter, and now we wait for history to be made.