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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Seidman: Velocity talk angers Papelbon, who cites Halladay

Wooooooo! The Nature Boob speaks!

Just don’t make the mistake of talking to him about velocity.

“Why do you guys care about velo so much, man?” an agitated Papelbon said at his locker Thursday. “Is that—does that matter? You think that matters? I don’t understand that. I mean, if a ball has life at the plate and you are throwing 88 miles an hour as opposed to 98 miles an hour, it doesn’t make one damn bit of difference. Whether you throw 93 or 94 or 84. I just, I don’t get it man.”

Some of that makes sense. A heavy 90 mph fastball that moves is more effective than a straight 93. But on the other hand, the 91 mph fastballs Papelbon threw Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland that fateful night in Texas might have missed their bats if they were 95 coming off his hand the way they used to be.

“You all killed Roy [Halladay] about velo,” Papelbon said. “It’s not a big deal. If you do your job and the ball is coming out of your hand, it doesn’t matter how hard you are throwing. Their pitcher over there (Alex Wood)—what was he throwing, high-80s, low-90s? How well did he pitch? He ran through our lineup for the first eight innings basically. But it had life at the plate. That’s all that really matters, man. End of story.”

Papelbon walked away at that point. Maybe it’s a good thing he did, because the mention of Halladay there made little sense.

The questions about Halladay’s velocity that originally arose before the 2012 season turned out to be a harbinger of his decline. Halladay from 2010 to 2013 went from averaging 92.6 mph with his fastball to 92.0, to 90.6, then finally to 88.8.

And Halladay’s now retired because, at the end, he wasn’t able to stay healthy or fool hitters the way he did during the bulk of his Hall of Fame career.

Velocity does matter. It’s not the be-all, end-all. But it’s also not some random factor that folks are hung up on.

Repoz Posted: April 19, 2014 at 01:42 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rob_Wood Posted: April 19, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4689142)

um, halladay is not the guy you want to cite about lowered velocity
   2. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4689161)
"Halladay retired? Man, Tito didn't tell me. And the dog ate my TV"
   3. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4689163)
I read somewhere a couple weeks ago, don't remember where, that Papelbon's been throwing from a noticeably lower slot than usual this spring. I haven't seen him yet; anybody know if this is true? If it is, that plus the decreased velo means shoulder injury for sure.
   4. Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4689178)
Bill Baer's recent Tweet is worth noting.
   5. base ball chick Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4689208)
translation:

case 1, female: i don't see why you care whether a woman has a size 34 A or a size 34 DD because n=both of them feed infants just fine. how do you think the entire asian race has survived?

case 2, male: i don't see why you care whether or not a youknowwhat is 5 " or 7" because both are successfully used for copulation just fine. i mean, what's the difference, really??!!

answer - because people prefer the way velo looks. screw greg maddux and trevor hoffman
   6. NJ in DC (Now with Baby!) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4689261)
Sounds like CC in the Spring.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: April 19, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4689321)
He has a bit of a point in that a current fad is to obsess over velocity. With pitch f/x and other info so widely available, a pitcher can't have an off game without somebody blogging about how his velocity is down from, for example, 92.6 to 92.0.
   8. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: April 19, 2014 at 10:02 PM (#4689412)
Do players really say "velo"?
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4689434)
Do players really say "velo"?

Well, bikers do.
   10. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: April 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM (#4689435)
Probably need to give Papelbon a break - he may not entirely be sure what mph is.
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 10:53 PM (#4689436)
he can't even spell mph

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