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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Tommy Pham Waited Forever to Make It. Now, He’s Got Plenty to Say About His Journey.

“You can’t ##### about it, because if you ##### about it, you f—- up the team,” Pham says. “But I put up an .824 OPS and a 1.4 WAR in 150 at bats. Times that by four—if anybody did that their rookie year, baseball goes crazy over them.

“They said, ‘We believed you could do it all along.’ That’s the thing that’s so mind-boggling. I said, If that’s the f——-’ case, then why was I f——-’ demoted to Triple A? If that’s the case, why the f—- was I batting in the eight hole this year, behind the guy who got f——-’ called up from high A? That s—-, that’s that fake s—-, man.

Very interesting stuff from a very driven guy.

Perry Posted: April 04, 2018 at 09:19 AM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals

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   1. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 04, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5647871)
Apparently, he decided to go to the Tommy Lasorda Oratory School awhile back...
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 04, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5647875)
It's really strange seeing two different methods of censorship in the same paragraph. The asterisks are from this site's nanny, in case anyone was wondering - it's blocking out the word for a female dog.
   3. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 04, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5647889)
Fake #### is the new fake news.
   4. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: April 04, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5647895)
The asterisks are from this site's nanny, in case anyone was wondering - it's blocking out the word for a female dog.

I like to think the other one, with the long and short dashes, is actually secretly morse code. Which when all put together, are being used to try and spread conspiracy theories to readers in secret.
   5. flournoy Posted: April 04, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5647948)
This doesn't seem like the sort of thing a smart person says to the press about his employer. But nobody asked me...
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 04, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5647953)
This doesn't seem like the sort of thing a smart person says to the press about his employer.
Yeah, this certainly sounds like someone who wants to be somewhere else as quickly as possible.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: April 04, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5647954)
If that’s the case, why the f—- was I batting in the eight hole this year, behind the guy who got f——-’ called up from high A?
Magneuris Sierra? He batted 7th ahead of Pham last year in a game.
   8. esseff Posted: April 04, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5647955)
Seems like there's one major omission in the article: The part where Tommy Pham becomes a minor-league free agent and chooses to sign back with the Cardinals.
   9. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 04, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5647960)
Had he gone public with these complaints before, he maybe, probably could have gotten his way out of there. Not sure what'll do now, and it just seems like an odd time for this to come out, especially since he isn't demanding to be move. Just needs to vent? Upset the contract extension offer was for so little?
   10. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 04, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5647963)
Upset the contract extension offer was for so little?
I get it, we all want to make as much money as possible, but Pham is 30 years old and has had 200+ PA in a season once. That's not going to bring top dollar, even if he's right that he was unfairly kept in the minors.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: April 04, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5647970)
Seems like there's one major omission in the article: The part where Tommy Pham becomes a minor-league free agent and chooses to sign back with the Cardinals.
That's definitely relevant. But as far as I can tell, his frustration is mostly with events that happened after that.
   12. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: April 04, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5647984)
Wonder if the Cardinals would have been more proactive with him had his vision problems been dealt with from day one as a pro.
   13. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 04, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5648011)
It's really strange seeing two different methods of censorship in the same paragraph. The asterisks are from this site's nanny, in case anyone was wondering - it's blocking out the word for a female dog.
Those aren't asterisks.
   14. The Duke Posted: April 04, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5648053)
He’s a breath of fresh air. Clearly not going the nuke Laloosh interview route. Tell us how you really feel Tommy!
   15. salvomania Posted: April 04, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5648066)
Those aren't asterisks.

Asterix, octothorp, whatever.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: April 04, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5648079)
tic tac toe gameboards...
   17. Cris E Posted: April 04, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5648178)
I kind of like his "voice". Most guys these days are so polished and self-edited that a bit of grit is refreshing.

It sounds like he's been speaking to the Cards' front office this way for years so they're probably not shocked, and the intensity it reflects is clearly what got him where he is so they wouldn't want him dialing that back. And when he's not talking about the parts of his life where circumstances screwed him over he comes across as thoughtful and focused. But yeah, maybe in a big SI story where fans from the rest of the league are finally meeting you for the first time, not sounding like me after six beers might be an idea worth considering.
   18. perros Posted: April 04, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5648235)
It's a great story because it demonstrates just how difficult it is to rise up from the bottom of society to the top. His survivalist mentality became a hindrance early on -- it took him four years of pro ball to listen to his coaches.

And what he says is true -- lesser players who are high picks are going to get advanced first. Older guys are assumed to have lower ceilings.

I'll be pulling for him.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: April 04, 2018 at 05:56 PM (#5648299)
Employer: "We think Tommy is a fine young player and we greatly value his contributions."

Employee: "if that's true, how come you waited so long to give me responsibility and where's my raise?"

Employer: "The 'if' part."

Employee: "Huh?"

Employer: "We thought you were pretty much done, never gonna be much of anything, a AAAA 4th OF that we'd use when we wanted without making any commitment. We were as surprised as anybody by your excellent season."

Employee: "You LIED to me when you said nice things to me."

Employer: "We prefer to think of it as positive reinforcement but 'lie' is accurate enough. HR departments everywhere insist this is the way to go and we are powerless against HR."
   20. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 04, 2018 at 11:55 PM (#5648441)
I'm surprised no one has commented on this yet, but what I found most interesting about this article was how he directly, explicitly, and presumably accurately cites his OPS and WAR numbers. Outside of a few "cerebral" pitchers like Brandon McCarthy, Brian Bannister, and Max Scherzer, I can't recall any active players being this aggressively sabermetric.

This was great, too:

“A lot of guys in this game are complacent,” he says. “They’ll say, I wanna run faster, lemme go run some sprints. I say, I wanna run faster. I’ll look at my mechanics and see I have a bad knee drive. What causes a bad knee drive? I lack ankle mobility. O.K., so if I fix my ankle mobility, I can achieve a dorsiflex position which could drive my knee up. O.K., I need to improve my stride frequency. Let me go run 30-degree incline sprints at 18 miles per hour so I can improve my stride frequency. And let me do some overspeed training so I can train my neuromuscular system to run faster than I’m biologically capable of. You know what I mean. Guys don’t do that s---. They don’t break it down like that.”

I can't imagine, say, Chipper Jones ever dropping the words "dorsiflex" and "neuromuscular" in an interview.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:29 AM (#5648446)
raking again in a silly-small sample size of 24 AB at 1.000+ OPS

some guys need outside fuel to light their internal fires
   22. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:38 AM (#5648447)
Pham was phated to be a Philadelphia Phillie. Something got messed up.
   23. Leroy Kincaid Posted: April 05, 2018 at 06:25 AM (#5648453)
“But I put up an .824 OPS and a 1.4 WAR in 150 at bats. Times that by four—if anybody did that their rookie year, baseball goes crazy over them.


He's right. A 3.296 OPS would be amazing.
   24. Greg Pope Posted: April 05, 2018 at 08:54 AM (#5648472)
I'm surprised no one has commented on this yet, but what I found most interesting about this article was how he directly, explicitly, and presumably accurately cites his OPS and WAR numbers.

Yeah, but he loses points for saying "times that by four".
   25. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: April 05, 2018 at 09:03 AM (#5648478)
Pham was phated to be a Philadelphia Phillie. Something got messed up.


He and Kapler could definitely talk dorsiflex and neuropmuscular all day long.
   26. DL from MN Posted: April 05, 2018 at 09:08 AM (#5648482)
You know how NOT to impress your employer? Insist you're better than everyone else and quit working as hard. Add in some insults to your boss. Dude has good reasons to have a chip on his shoulder.

That said, if something happens to end his playing career short I want my org to take a chance on him as a coach. He wants to win and is willing to outwork everyone to make it.
   27. Cris E Posted: April 05, 2018 at 09:11 AM (#5648485)
Yeah, but I'm not sure Mr Kapler would be quite as appreciative of Mr Candor if he'd been on hand for last weekend's bullpen fiasco. "That’s the thing that’s so mind-boggling. That s—-, that’s some f----- up s—-, man."
   28. McCoy Posted: April 05, 2018 at 09:26 AM (#5648498)

That said, if something happens to end his playing career short I want my org to take a chance on him as a coach. He wants to win and is willing to outwork everyone to make it.


The same could be said about Michael Jordan.
   29. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 05, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5648562)
Yeah, but he loses points for saying "times that by four".
Mi hermano! I'm glad someone else hates that too.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 05, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5648582)
Yeah, but he loses points for saying "times that by four".


Mi hermano! I'm glad someone else hates that too.

That's bad but not nearly as grating as "four times as small".
   31. PreservedFish Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5648612)
Huh, "times that by four" bothers me, but not "four times as small."
   32. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5648615)
Pham was phated to be a Philadelphia Phillie. Something got messed up.


Nicely done, Clapper.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5648625)
Huh, "times that by four" bothers me, but not "four times as small."

Really? The former is inarticulate, the latter is just gibberish.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5648629)
Pham was phated to be a Philadelphia Phillie. Something got messed up.

I assume it got phucked up.
   35. Omineca Greg Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:50 PM (#5648633)
Asterix, octothorp, whatever.

I prefer to think of them as the first letter in the proverb, 井底之蛙…which means "frog at the bottom of a well".

Try not to be a frog at the bottom of a well. Dreaming of a world he can't even begin to understand. The frog is stuck there, so he was no choice in the limits of his experience.

But we do.

There is a wonderful, but neglected precision in these words. The old English noun "travel" (in the sense of a journey) was originally the same word as "travail" (meaning "trouble," "work," or "torment").... Significantly, too, the word "tour" in "tourist" was derived by back-formation from the Latin "tornus," which in turn came from the Greek word for a tool describing a circle. The traveler, then was working at something; the tourist was a pleasure-seeker. The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him.

Boorstin
   36. Omineca Greg Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5648636)
   37. PreservedFish Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5648637)
Really? The former is inarticulate, the latter is just gibberish.


I say stuff like "four times as small" all the time. People understand me, too.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 05, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5648639)
I say stuff like "four times as small" all the time. People understand me, too.

You understand "times that by four" perfectly well.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: April 05, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5648642)
I was just arguing that it wasn't gibberish, not that it was correct.
   40. jmurph Posted: April 05, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5648652)
What are we looking for there, "a quarter the size of" or something? People don't really talk like that. I'm probably spacing on an easier way to say that.
   41. canadian shield Posted: April 05, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5648669)
   42. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 05, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5648681)
Really? The former is inarticulate, the latter is just gibberish.
Are you sure you're not, like, 85 years old?
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 05, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5648689)
What are we looking for there, "a quarter the size of" or something? People don't really talk like that. I'm probably spacing on an easier way to say that.

Yes, "1/4 the size" or "1/4 as large".

People say "half as large" all the time. They don't usually say "two times smaller". I don't know why 1/3 and 1/4 would flummox people.

I was just arguing that it wasn't gibberish, not that it was correct.

Well, it makes no logical sense. Most lanaguage errors don't hinder comprehension. If they did, they probably wouldn't survive to gain widespread use.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 05, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5648692)
Are you sure you're not, like, 85 years old?

Fairly sure.
   45. PreservedFish Posted: April 05, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5648693)
Ah, I see. I was focusing on the "times" part of it and not the "as small" part of it so I didn't understand your point. Yes, that's a bad phrase. But I do think that I use it sometimes.
   46. Omineca Greg Posted: April 05, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5648696)
   47. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 05, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5648739)
Are you sure you're not, like, 85 years old?

I'm, like, more than two times as young as that.
   48. Greg Pope Posted: April 05, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5648784)
Mi hermano! I'm glad someone else hates that too.

I'm married to a math teacher, so it's been pounded into my head to hate that phrase. Plenty of other things, too.
   49. Omineca Greg Posted: April 05, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5648811)
Don't mess around with Bob Dorough

It's no "Three is a Magic Number", but you can't hit all of them out of the park.
   50. Out of Accent Shallow's mouth go burning lamps Posted: April 05, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5648857)
I'm surprised no one has commented on this yet, but what I found most interesting about this article was how he directly, explicitly, and presumably accurately cites his OPS and WAR numbers. Outside of a few "cerebral" pitchers like Brandon McCarthy, Brian Bannister, and Max Scherzer, I can't recall any active players being this aggressively sabermetric.

This was great, too:

“A lot of guys in this game are complacent,” he says. “They’ll say, I wanna run faster, lemme go run some sprints. I say, I wanna run faster. I’ll look at my mechanics and see I have a bad knee drive. What causes a bad knee drive? I lack ankle mobility. O.K., so if I fix my ankle mobility, I can achieve a dorsiflex position which could drive my knee up. O.K., I need to improve my stride frequency. Let me go run 30-degree incline sprints at 18 miles per hour so I can improve my stride frequency. And let me do some overspeed training so I can train my neuromuscular system to run faster than I’m biologically capable of. You know what I mean. Guys don’t do that s---. They don’t break it down like that.”

I can't imagine, say, Chipper Jones ever dropping the words "dorsiflex" and "neuromuscular" in an interview.


This is really interesting. I wonder if he's able to identify bad knee drive and low ankle mobility, or if he's getting significant advice from the coaching/training staff on that.
   51. Walt Davis Posted: April 05, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5648908)
I can't imagine, say, Chipper Jones ever dropping the words "dorsiflex" and "neuromuscular" in an interview.

But he's got plenty of stories about flexible Doris.
   52. Khrushin it bro Posted: April 06, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5649405)
And let me do some overspeed training so I can train my neuromuscular system to run faster than I’m biologically capable of. You know what I mean.


No sir... I do not know what you mean.

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