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Cole Trickle was such a hypocrite.  When Harry Hogge gave the young cocky kid a chance, Trickle did nothing but wreck other drivers, get into a fight his crew chief in pit row, and made enemies with other drivers including veteran, Rowdy Burns.  Then after a wreck, in which he was too arrogant to slow down to avoid, he gets upset when another young cocky kid comes along in Russ Wheeler.  “Our hero” Cole does anything is his power (including intentionally wrecking him after Wheeler wins a race) to get back on top as the King of Young Cocky Drivers.  Drop the hammer, Cole.  And do it for Harry.

Now it’s time for a sexy segue.

  • Days of Thunder was produced by the late Don Simpson.
  • Simpson was born in Seattle, Washington.
  • It takes about an hour to get from Seattle to Port Orchard, WA via the Bremerton Ferry.
  • It just so happens that, Baltimore Orioles opening day starter, Jason Hammel is from Port Orchard.

Segue complete! Whew.

Hammel is no Cole Trickle.  After being drafted 10th by the Rays in 2002 he spent four years in the minors before making his debut against (guess who?) the Orioles.  Since then, Hammel has been marred in mediocrity.  Before last year Hammel didn’t have an ERA under 4.33 or a WHIP south of 1.38.  He was at best a DayStreamer.  Then came last year.  Hammel was traded to Baltimore and had a career year.   He had a career best 3.43 ERA and a WHIP of 1.237 that also was a personal best.  So what gives?  Would the real Jason Hammel please stand up?  Some stats.  Hammel is not a workhorse, in fact he only pitched 118 innings last year, so the sample size is much smaller than the 174 average during his 3-year stint in the not-so-friendly-confines of Colorado.  Hammel doesn’t pitch better in Baltimore.  In Camden, where he has pitched the third most innings of his career, the righty has a career ERA of 4.02.  It might be his battery-mate Matt Wieters.  They teamed up 19 times last year and with Wieters as catcher they combined for a 3.38 ERA.  Not too shabby.  But the difference last year as opposed to his previous years was the fact that he was simply missing bats.  Instead of years past in which he relied heavily on a fastball/slider/curve combination, Hammel started to rely more on his sinker and slider.  In fact, he threw more sliders last year than in any other years at a clip of 22.4%. He had never thrown for more than 19.1% sliders in a single season.  It seemed to work.  Last year he had a career low contact rate of 75% and a personal best 18% swinging strike percentage.  My suggestion is to watch Hammel.  If he is throwing sliders and sinkers in the early part of the year, he may have another career year as he grows more comfortable with those secondary pitches.  If he is relying on his fastball, welcome back to Jason Hammel circa 2011.  While he may never be Cole Trickle, Hammel just may have the same traits as another crafty veteran, one Rowdy Burns.

36 Responses

  1. Jay G says:
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    I’m in a 10 person h2h espn points league. Are any of these guys worth dropping for Fernandez?

    Brandon Morrow
    Hiroki Kuroda
    A.J. Burnett
    Brandon League
    Grant Balfour

    • George says:
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      @Jay G:

      Did you really list Morrow as a player you would just drop??? Can you join my league, please?

      • The Bender

        The Bender says:
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        @George: No kidding, right? Can I play?

        • Jay G says:
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          @The Bender: Sure! The more the merrier! I’ll also trade you Trout for Vernon Wells! No but seriously I was just gauging how high you guys are rating Fernandez. The podcast made it sound like he’s going to be the next big thing.

  2. Jay

    jaywrong says:
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    I own him in all leagues I can nab him, simply because I love Mates of State.

    There are real reasons for his improvement, and I concur.

    • royce! says:
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      @jaywrong: Whoa, nice catch…and no wonder why they don’t tour much…

      • Jay

        jaywrong says:
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        @royce!: I’m surprised anyone knew about Mates of State. You been to any of their shows? They are awesome live.

        • royce! says:
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          @jaywrong: I never really got into them, but believe I saw them in Olympia some time in the early 2000s. Vaguely remember them being good live, but it was a long time ago.

          Built to Spill is playing the casbah in may, a propos of indie bands and yr hometown. Where u living now?

          • Jay

            jaywrong says:
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            @royce!: they are an squirrel taste, no doubt. I’m over in the metro area.

            I always have an ear for indie music, and make mix cds like a boss. Let me know if you ever want to exchange some band names.

          • Jay

            jaywrong says:
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            @royce!: woo, awesome autotxt is awesome. *acquired, not squirrel.

            • The Guru

              The Guru says:
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              Squirrel tacos anyone?

            • royce! says:
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              @jaywrong: Maybe include Squirrel Bait?

              And I’m embarrassed to ask, but by “metro area,” do you mean DC?

              • Jay

                jaywrong says:
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                @royce!: Yup.

  3. EK says:
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    Pls rank to stream:

    Burnett @ LAD
    Hammel vs MIN
    Chacin vs SD
    Bedard vs OAK
    Norris vs OAK

    • The Bender

      The Bender says:
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      @EK: Hammel, Chacin, Norris, Burnett, Bedard. Bam! Championship!

  4. The Bender

    The Bender says:
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    The only guy I can see dropping is Burnett. Everyone seems to have a man crush on Fernandez this year. I do love me some prospects. Keeper league, I would take a flyer. In a 10 team league you could probably get Burnett back. Could be wrong, but never been A.J.’s. Non keeper league, lets see what the kid can do before we get all ansty in our pantsy.

  5. The Guru

    The Guru says:
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    Rubbin’, son, is racin’.

    • The Bender

      The Bender says:
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      @The Guru: Tell that to Denny Hamlin.

  6. Frank Lynch says:
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    Hey buddy how are you!! I’m sorry but this will be alot of players but i don’t know any other way of doing it. This is my baseball lineup. Can you please rate it for me please??
    1st prince fielder
    2nd jose altuve
    3rd Ryan zimmerman
    SS jose reyes
    C matt wieters
    OF Andrew MCcuthen
    OF Matt holliday
    OF carlos Beltran
    Starlin castro
    carl crawford
    bret gardner
    josh reddick
    alfanso soriano
    mark Teixera
    SP Cole Hammels
    SP Mat Latos
    Roy Halladay
    jeff samardzija
    brett anderson
    phil hughes
    Wei-Win Chen
    RP j.j. putz
    RP greg holland

    • The Bender

      The Bender says:
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      @Frank Lynch: Nice lineup! Are in in a four team league? All jokes aside, you have to be very happy with your draft. You got a nice offense. Speed. Power. As Rod Tidwell would put it, you have the “Quon. Your pitching is not too shabby either. Halladay scares me more than the movie ‘Candyman” did when I was but a wee lad. I love the Notre Dame WR as well. Big year for him. And he dumped his girlfriend to focus on his pitching. That’s a man for ya. You could use another closer seeing as how it seems to be a shallow league.

  7. Ben says:
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    I need to pick up a pitcher this week off waivers. Who do you take for a Sunday start: Jason Hammel or Justin Masterson?

    • The Bender

      The Bender says:
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      @Ben: Masterson in Tampa is 0-4 with an ERA of 8.44 and a WHIP of 2.25. So there’s that…

      • Ben says:
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        @The Bender: Bingo! thanks.

  8. Comatose says:
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    Thinking of dumping McCarthy. Would you take Griffin or Doubront over him?

    • The Bender

      The Bender says:
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      @Comatose: Man, I tell ya I like Griffin alot. He could the best of the Young Guns of the A’s. Had had a spring he would like to forget, which makes me remind myself that spring stats mean nothing. Has much much more upside than Doubront in my opinion. I would, however, give McCarthy another shot. Still adjusting to Chase Field. See how he reacts vs. the Dread Pirate and crew of scallywags on the 9th. Then make the move.

  9. Big AL says:
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    I like Hammel too. I mock drafted him a bunch. Drafted 5 teams and he went a lot earlier in my real drafts. Became a hot schmatoe before he even pitched.
    I did draft his team mate Tillman on 3 teams and he’s coming off the DL on friday.Same kind of pitcher,same upside. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

  10. The Bender

    The Bender says:
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    Hammel is a very stealthy pickup. I like the fact that Tillman seemed to be coming around, but dude hasn’t pitched more than 100 innings yet. As Rowdy would says, “Let’s see how you are when there are cars on the track.” (I think I have that quote right).

  11. Frank Lynch says:
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    Thanks man!!! Nice to meet you too buddy.. Yeah I was just looking for another Relief Pitcher because the commish just told me I can put Texiera on DL and I gotta pick another guy.. Whast about Iwakuma or Orgando? I got plenty of time.. just throw a guy out there if u could

  12. The Bender

    The Bender says:
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    Valverde just signed a minor league contract with the Tigers. Out of those two, I say go with the Hi Cheese and grab Iwakuma. Ride the tsunami to Pleasuretown.

  13. The Bender

    The Bender says:
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    “Well here’s how I see this deal. Since you agree I ain’t gonna let you drive this car to dinner and I agree you ain’t gonna let me drive this car to dinner, there’s only one way to settle this.”

  14. Frank Lynch says:
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    10 team league… still good?

    • The Bender

      The Bender says:
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      @Frank Lynch: I would think so. Who are some of the top available?

  15. Eric says:
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    Out of these pitchers who do like the most for the rest of the year
    Travis wood
    James McDonald
    Jeremy Guthrie
    Miguel Gonzalez
    Jhoulys Chacin

    • The Bender

      The Bender says:
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      @Eric: McDonald. Wood is one to watch, however.

  16. Anthony says:
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    I’m trolling for potential saves. Kelvin Herrera, Carter Capps, Doolittle? Which 2 would you grab? I assume Herrera is a no brainer, and I think Ryan Cook may get first shot when Ballfour fails.

  17. The Bender

    The Bender says:
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    I said this earlier, but the Valverde signing for Detroit tells my something. (The wrong thing since I am stashingRondon), I see him going back sometime soon unless he fails in the minors. But of the guys you mentioned, it’s really a three sided coin flip. You just don’t know when a closer is going to fail. But there are some really good bullpen arms in KC, which to me means that Holland could be in trouble if he has a couple of bad outings. Couple that with the fact that the Royals are probably thinking that this year could be their year to make some noise in the Central, and Holland could see an even shorter leash. I would keep track of the A’s situation. If Balfour struggles or gets traded Cook might be the man, but that’s down the road.

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