What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
There’s still hope that we may not have to retire the Moyer-o-meter quite yet. After all, the six regular readers of Dubsism (thank God for internet access at state hospitals) know that this blog has been your home for all things Jamie Moyer since his days on the bump for the Phillies. In all honesty, even we had to admit it looked like the end of the road after the Rockies released him after going 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA in Colorado. But on Wednesday, Moyer got a shot at a new life when the Baltimore Orioles signed Moyer to a minor-league deal.
He will report to the Norfolk Tides, and Moyer will start Saturday night against the Buffalo Bisons.
First, as is now required by federal law, all posts about Jamie Moyer now must include a Gene Rayburn-esque “Moyer is the oldest major leaguer to _____.” Again, our six incarcerated readers already know these, but the law is the law. So far this year, Moyer set a major league record by becoming the oldest pitcher to win a game, drive in a run, and score a run. When he pitched May 21 at Miami, Marlins Park became the 50th MLB stadium in which he has appeared, which is a record for any player since 1900.
If he makes it back to the bigs, Moyer reclaims his post as the major league’s active leader in wins (269), strikeouts (2,441), innings pitched (4,074) and games started (638). Granted, a minor-league deal, means there is no guarantee he will get a shot to add to those totals, but with the Orioles’ pitching staff struggling recently (note the struggle Brain Matusz had the other night), it’s not exactly a long-shot Moyer pitches for Baltimore for a second time. Moyer posted a record of 25-22 with a 4.41 ERA in 75 games for Baltimore from 1993 to 1995.
The reality is the Orioles have a pitching staff that ranks 23rd in baseball in quality starts (26). The o’s are also in the midst opf the AL East race right now, but they won’t stay there unless something gets done to shore up the pitching staff. It’s pretty clear the O’s know this as they already have veteran moundsmen Joel Pineiro and Dontrelle Willis currently pitching in extended spring training with designs on bringing them up to Norfolk in the near future. .
Naturally, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette offered the expected sound bites on this signing:
On the signing of Jamie Moyer to a minor league deal: “Jamie Moyer is a veteran pitcher and he has been a winning pitcher and we are going to see if he can help us. He is going to take a couple starts at Triple-A, and if he can do well, he then will be in a position where we can put him on the ballclub.”
More on Moyer: “He is not that far removed from (Tommy John) surgery, so there is a chance he could regain his previous form by continuing to pitch. A lot of veteran pitchers sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get into the length of the season until they come around. We’ll see if that is the case. But Jamie has won a lot of games. He’s a good role model and has had some success.”
On Moyer’s timeline: “A couple weeks, a couple of starts and if he is doing well ….”
On whether there is an opt-out in the contract: “We agreed to give it a few starts. He’s a veteran player and he’ll know. And if he can help us, he can help us.”
Make of that what you will, but the fact is the O’ s pitching staff is in the middle of the American League pack and sinking in terms of team ERA, WHIP, batting average against, and earned runs allowed.
Now for the fun part.
It certainly seems as if the O’s believe they need some veteran presence to go along with their slew of youngsters, and not just with the pitchers. Stop to consider the pseudo-irony in the fact the Norfolk’s roster on Saturday’s “Star Wars” night in Buffalo will include a slew of ex-big league All-Stars Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada, and Nate McLouth; plus respectable major-leaguers Bill Hall, J. C. Romero, and Pat Neshek.
One of the reason the Rockies’ brought in Moyer was to mentor their young pitchers. Since it seems that is also the case in Baltimore, break out your “Mo-Yoda” jokes here…Don’t buy Moyer as a pitching version of Yoda? Consider this: When you first saw Yoda, you didn’t picture a two-foot tall, oddly-spoken, cane-wielding, Hobbit-esque creature as the pre-eminent expert on Jedi ass-kicking. Nobody pictured a 49-year old guy with a rebuilt elbow and barely-freeway-speed fastball as a pitching guru. Moyer spent great periods of his career languishing in the “Dagobahs” of the big leagues; Moyer’s moment of lifting the X-wing fighter out of the swamp came in winning the World Series with the Phillies.
Not to mention we all know Moyer is going to live to be 900 years old. As Yoda would say, “To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not.” Who else would say that but a guy whose racked up over 2,400 career strikeouts with a “fastball” that barely breaks 75 mph?
Your Jamie Moyer fact: Saturday night will be Moyer’s first minor-league game since a 1997 rehab assignment for Tacoma in the Seattle chain and his first real minor-league assignment since going 6-0 in eight starts for Rochester in 1993.