By Nicholas Stix
“‘Just throwing strikes makes it easy to get more comfortable out there and relax, and make quality pitches,’ [winning rookie Mets starter Seth] Lugo said. ‘It's been a lot easier since I've relaxed out there.’”
Since every strike is, by definition, a quality pitch, what Lugo said was, throwing quality pitches makes it easier to throw quality pitches. And relaxing makes it easier to relax.
I’m not looking to beat up on a rookie, especially one who has done such a great job, in helping to save the Mets’ chances at playing in October, thus forestalling their fans’ annual heartbreak, which bleeds into the season of whatever it is men play in the fall. Derek Jeter was the master at Seinfeldian postgame quotes for the MSM. “Nothing, nothing, nothing…” Jeter could give an extended interview, without saying anything, which was clearly his intent.
Sometimes I suspect that players coach each other on how to say a whole lot of nothing to interviewers, under the true assumption that anything interesting (and/or non-pc) you say to the media can and will be held against you in the court of managed public opinion. “Have fun” is one of the most popular player clichés in recent years. Even Jeter used it, so it’s got to be solid gold: “I’m just going out there and trying to have fun.”
These guys get paid tens of millions of dollars per year, and say they’re trying to have “fun”? They spend so much time working out that their bodies are suffering all sort of injuries (e.g., strained lats) that you never heard of when I was a kid, because they’re “trying to have fun”?!
Ballplayers are no rocket scientists, but neither are sportswriters, and the players, for all their limitations in pure math and theoretical physics, have the writers figured out.