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Don't Park Those Previews Just Yet, Mike

Mike SteffanosFriday, February 9, 2007
By Mike Steffanos


Written by yours truly yesterday:

Okay, we're serious this time. No more previews. We'll wrap up the pitching with one more article summing everything up.

Today's news:

When pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie in six days, the Mets will have another starter in the mix. Chan Ho Park is expected to sign with the Mets in the next 48 hours, a source told the Daily News late last night.

sigh...

I will write something on Park when he signs. I have to run out now on an appointment, but will try to post again later on today.

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Comments (4)

I'm going to cheat and copy a reply to this news that I made elsewhere:

Apparently there is a special place on the Mets roster for "Worst (something)"; sort of like some teams carrying three catchers. Last year it was Worst Starter, and Jose Lima filled that spot admirably. This year I guess it is "Worst Free Agent Signing," and Park's old deal with Texas certainly qualifies, at least in terms of how damaging it was to that franchise.

But for now, Park is a pitcher who racked up an ERA six tenths of a run higher than league average while pitching in a stadium that, according to Baseball-Reference, was the most pitcher-friendly park in the National League. THAT is what constituted Park's big comeback.

Bad move. There are plenty of AAAA types who deserve a shot more than Chan Ho Park at this point in his career.

ps: I used to have a business contact who ran a Korean television network's American operations in New York; this was back when Park was starting his collapse in Texas. His theory was that his fellow Koreans tended to a "no ass" body type that over the long run robbed them of the necessary leverage to throw a baseball effectively. Or something. I don't pretend I completely understood his point, but I'll probably never get another chance to mention it, so there you are.

>

Ha! As you see, I DID get another chance to mention it.

Park: I have long been an admirer of Park since his first appearance against the Mets. I discount his Texas numbers largely because he did not fit in that environment. Seo had extensive adjustment and personal/cultural and injury issues. ditto for Park.

Metsblog two days reported the available FA and I thought there was a chance Omar could pull this off. Park is not old, he has had injury issues and has actually pitched well at times the past two yrs. As metsblog points out this takes pressure off Willie, Omar, and the young pretenders.

Omar: He has a low cost-potential/ high yield veteran starter without the arm mileage. He could very well get 20 starts/10wins only needing 5 innings per start with this bullpen.

Willie: Relies less on the kids. We also know he favors veterans.

Pelfrey/Humber: As Mike as continually forecast, Humber and Pelfrey are best opening at AAA. Given the injury record of Park,age of El Dukie and Glavine, the shea revolving door policy, the fact Maine has options, Aaron Sele and Sosa are lesser options...This looks to me like a penny that tips the scales in the East back to the Mets.

And dd: Your analysis is gold. Your info gives Peterson immediately the information he needs to fix Park. No not add silicone, watch his delivery.

I am not at all sure I follow the reasoning in Ed's comment above.

If you mean that Park suffered disproportionately from pitching in a run-rich environment, okay; I certainly don't know if it is true, but probably park (ballpark) adjustments do affect different players differently; perhaps Chan is such a player.

Otherwise, I just don't get what you might mean. It isn't as if Park arrived in Texas directly from Korea; and I seriously doubt that a change from Los Angeles to Ft. Worth was a greater adjustment than was moving from Seoul to L.A. The heat? Okay, maybe; the town where Park grew lies some 330 miles North of Ft Worth by latitude (for what little that information is worth; New York and Naples, Italy are roughly the same latitude; Philadelphia, PA has a parallel latitude to a very cold place in Patagonia, in Argentina).

Otherwise I am at a loss to know what you are driving at, unless it's something more nebulous, like the lack of a Korean neighborhood or something -- and I doubt that Park lived in a Korean neighborhood in Los Angeles anyway.

I am by no means sure that being badly hurt and therefore having low milage is such a good thing for a 34 year old pitcher. I would think that such a history might play to a pitcher's favor if he was younger; but by the mid-30's rust would be as great a concern as what's on the odometer.

That's speculation. What we know is that Park was hurt for a few years; and that it has been a long while since he was a quality pitcher. He pitched better last season than he has in a long time, it's true, but he still wasn't so good.

Hey, he used to be a force; maybe he can get a little more of it back. Odder things have happened.

BTW, I mentioned my friend's comments on prevailing Korean body types because it struck me as so off the wall when he originally said it. But the idea that different body types are going to have differing abilities probably has a lot of merit. It's what the scouts go by, after all. As has been mentioned elsewhere, baseball is interesting in that some of its most successful players have been people with less than classic bodies, leading folks like Bill James to wonder if maybe the Yogi Berra model might really be an ideal physique for a ballplayer -- or at least for a certain kind of ballplayer.

Maybe that's what I like about the game. I sure can't relate to the 6' 10" basketball players, nor to the 300 lb. linemen in football. But hell: Joe McEwing made it to the big leagues!

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