Sorry for the mailed-in post, but I couldn’t wait until the Game Threat to share this bit of shitty Photoshop handiwork.

The Jays’ Opening Day starter will try once again to right the ship in the Bronx tonight, having failed in his last attempt– a rain-shortened 6-0 loss in the game that saw Brett Lawrie try to exit this mortal coil by way of a camera bay. Romero pitched six innings that day, giving up all six of the Yankees runs, all earned, on 12 hits, one of which was a home run, while walking two and striking out two as well. Pretty typical of his season, sadly.

Today over at Mop Up Duty, Matthias dives into the fancy ESPN Stats and Info data to try and sort out what the hell is going wrong. Back at the end of July, Parkes took us through a similar exercise at Getting Blanked, which, also sadly, is still relevant.

Plus, fresh off the digital presses today, our friend Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation looks deeply into Ricky’s lost season as well, finding about the same number of obvious answers for the bout of Romer-woe as everybody else (y’know, excluding all the people who like to suggest it’s the breakup with Miss USA that’s played with Ricky’s mind).

And shit, if you’re really feeling masochistic, Jeff Sullivan and Eno Sarris have both touched on the left-hander’s struggles over the course of the summer at FanGraphs.


Comments (56)

  1. Yes. Personal issues do not affect professional athletes who are repeating machines doing their daily work unlike us mere mortals who turn to depression and/or beer which can have dramatic impacts on our lives. After all, fangraphs data is the new god isn’t it? War and woba and arm slot location and average velocity create the player-god who is simply in the process of becoming those stats in a season with proper sample sizes

    • +1

    • This is so many levels of fucking stupid, it’s hard to know where to begin.

      • Well start with one level at a time.
        First is “Personal issues do not affect professional athletes “.
        What do you find wrong with that?

        • No, that’s not the first level.

          • My own personal opinion, so feel free to take the puss out of me, is that he cracked under the pressure of being the so called staff ace. He didn’t look right even at the beginning of the season. As the season has progressed, he has lost whatever shreds of confidence he had at the beginning of the year. There’s nothing wrong with his velocity. His problems are all mental. Batters aren’t getting fooled by his change anymore, so he’s relying too much on his fastball.

            He would be best served by seeing a shrink throughout the offseason.

        • Stoetes isn’t suggesting it’s impossible for personal issues to affect players, I think he’s hinting that this is something we could never know and is completely unfounded, it was literally pulled out of the air by retard commenters such as yourself RADAR.

          • Retard commenters like myself can’t read minds.

            But in your case I’ll try.
            Let me guess.
            Your brain tells you that you’re a fucking know-it-all that belies the fact that you actually know jack shit.

            I’m sure Stoeten appreciates your speaking for him and clarifing the issue..
            Do you see anything else in your crystal ball?

          • I do appreciate it, actually. At least Josh has found some measure of insight into what I was saying (or totally not saying at all, if you actually bothered to read the words), which I can’t say for everybody else.

          • Yup Stoeten,I actually read all 15 words.
            As for Joshs insight into what you were saying or not saying at all,I missed the part about what you didn’t say at all.
            Instead of trolling for an argument perhaps a clarification or non-clarification would help explain your thoughts on the matter.Or what t your non- thoughts were on the matter.
            Either way, I don’t care anymore. I hope you enjoy mental telepathy you and Josh share.

      • This is Parkes writing about Jeter:

        “I believe that sometimes we think of athletes as somehow being beyond human based on our witnessing of their most prized abilities. What they do on their particular fields of play are extraordinary, but that doesn’t mean that the extraordinary extends beyond their physical accomplishments. It’s not beyond reason to assume that socially and psychologically, they are not anymore extraordinary than you and me.

        Let’s imagine that you have a bad year. I don’t know what happens: your partner leaves you, there’s a death in the family, the creditors you’ve been avoiding finally catch up with you. The details don’t matter. It can be any of those situations. It can be all of them. But the bad year results in a decreased performance at work, and a less happy version of yourself.

        Now, let’s say that a year goes by, and suddenly things get better. Again, I don’t know what happens: you meet someone new, you get over the death in the family and it results in an inheritance that use to pay off your debts. Much like before, it doesn’t matter. However, after your year of misery and poor productivity, you improve. Suddenly, you’re getting things done at work and you’re a happier person.”

        I believe that could play a role. Not saying it is, I have no fucking clue.

        • Great. Except… where the hell are you all seeing that I shit on the notion in the first place? Re-read my words.

          That said, Parkes’s analogy, in the context you’re presenting it in, is thoroughly meaningless. I see what you’re going for, but it’s kinda begging the question.

          And to counter what he says, I think it’s entirely in bounds to suggest that athletes at this level possess a level of mental toughness beyond the norm, not because of the laughable garbage about me thinking they’re robots, but precisely BECAUSE I think there’s a big mental aspect to the game, and because I think that part of the reason certain guys are able to succeed as they move up the pro ranks and others aren’t is to compartmentalize that kind of stuff and not let it alter their performance. To a degree, sure, there has to be some measure of impact, and there can even be cases– like perhaps Romero’s, like guys who get the yips– where something mental seriously goes wrong. But when fans start pointing to these kinds of things, when they start talking about fanciful notions like team chemistry having some kind of tangible impact (forgetting all the successful clubs featuring guys who’ve hated each other), it’s just so beyond bullshit.

    • Romerobo

  2. Not that it really matters, but is Morrow the opening day starter next year? And if they bring in a Brandon McCarthy, does he slot in behind Morrow with Romero third?

  3. I think it goes, morrow, haren, romero, mcarthy, charlie v

    • Angels won’t pick up Haren’s option for ’13? I know his year has been terrible, but…

  4. I keep thinkoing he must be hurt, nothing arm based or would have been shut down but more of a back/groin type thing they were hoping would sort it self out. Or he is jonesin’ for Miss America

  5. Lots of “star” pitchers struggling this year.

    And lots of “star” pitchers had off years in their careers.

    If he is going to have an off year, this is a great year to do it.

    He never was a “lights out” pitcher IMO anyway. Yeah he had some great games here and there but I never thought of him as being a 20 game winner, Cy Young guy. So I see this year as being off but not as far off as others might see it. A little better luck + a healthy lineup + hopefully some “contagion” effect of other Jays starters being healthy and doing well + a new season = it’ll be fine.

    • Read that Mop-up Duty post about Ricky 2011 vs 2012 – it’s more than just bad luck this year. He’s leaving his pitches up and getting them hit hard as fuck, or he’s missing completely.

  6. He started sucking because he stopped banging that Miss USA broad

  7. Pick up Erik Bedard for bullpen??

  8. I wonder if AA checks in with Ned Coletti to see if the Dodgers want a hometown Mexican-American left-hander to pair with Clayton Kershaw? Just to gauge value, you know? Tick, tick, tick – August 31st.

    Supposedly part of the appeal of getting Adrian Gonzalez, another Mexican-American, is the Spanish-language sports channel the Dodgers ownership group is planning.

    • Why sell low?

      • Do you know this is the low?? Do you “guarantee” Ricky’s stock goes higher?

        (RIM people have told themselves the same thing since mid 2009 and $80 later . . . . . )

      • I am not advocating a trade, I am saying investigate a trade – big difference. You never know what the Dodgers will do. They are partying hard – feeling good. Maybe you get great value. Don’t know unless you try.

  9. Trade Romero before its too late. And lay off the beer and fried chicken in the club house

  10. I am pretty sure you can’t exit a mortal coil. Although you can shuffle off one.

    Romero did ok for a while but batters made adjustments and the adjustments he made back didn’t work so well so he made further adjustments and they didn’t work so well so he made further adjustments…

    And then he broke up with his girlfriend.

    Recipe for a lost season IMO.

    • you definitely can exit, enter, erase, give birth to, hate, love (or an number of other verbs) “this mortal coil” – it is merely a poetic way of saying life or the chaos of life

      Shuffle off this mortal coil is just the most famous use of the phrase (due to everyone’s Shakespeare courses).

  11. I’ve got a Munch Ricky nails it tonight.

  12. Seems like Ricky is a guy with average stuff who used pitch selection and location to get guys out effectively. He’s also a workhorse. This season his command got away from him a bit, affecting his pitch selection, resulting in him getting knocked around. I’m not sure he was ever ace material but with his stamina he’s definitely a 2 or 3 guy. He’ll get it back. It’s been said before: guys are never as good or bad as their best or worst seasons. They’re generally somewhere in the middle (or words to that effect).

  13. Sh-tty photoshop? This is one of your best of all-time.

  14. Also, I have a feeling he’s seeing more LHB this year. I haven’t looked it up, but I bet he’s seen a higher percentage of lefties this year then any other year.

    Remember back at the beginning of the year when Kooky Old Joe Maddon had a lefty heavy lineup, and Ricky said something like “do whatever you want, I’ll get them out”?

    Well, he didn’t. And I’m sure other managers have paid attention.

  15. just perfect!

  16. I don’t think it’s a completely ridiculous notion to consider trading Romero depending on the return (i.e. Zach Lee+).

    I mean, we can say it’s just one year and that’s true. But the guy was always just a #2/3 innnings eater. If he were a free agent what we he get…one year and 8-10 mill?

    Not that he’s going to be traded. But I think it’s pretty dangerous to rely on him as anything more than the 3rd or 4th starter next year if the team wants to contend.

    • You’d never get Zack Lee. I’d love to see it but not happening.

      • Just spitballing. It’d be interesting to know what exactly Romero’s trade value is at the moment. It’s not like he’s dirt cheap for a 5th starter or anything.

        • I’d rather hold onto Romero and hope he bounces back, you just won’t get much for him at this point. I’d rather see AA try to pry Dee Gordon loose for a prospect now that they have HanRam. Gordon has had a bad year but is capable of 50 bags and could get a lot more hits on the carpet at Rogers. Put him at 2b, Hech at SS and trade Pablo Escobar to the Diamond Backs in the off season for one of their SP’s. With Skaggs and Bauer ready they have too much pitching.

  17. Romero just needs to get a fatty on the road. Msrk Grace said it was the ultimate slump buster.

  18. I gotta say, I have nothing but respect for the brainpower of the people working at fangraphs but sometimes they have their heads so far up their asses I’m surprised they can see what they’re typing. Its so fucking annoying to see people doing that Parkes thing and going “well of course he was going to be terrible, did you see how his FIP and xFIP compared to his ERA? Anyone with advanced knowledge would know he would have a severe regression bla bla bla fuck off.”

    Seriously, you knew he would completely forget how to throw a curveball, or changeup for that matter, within a country mile of the strike zone? You knew that he would lose the ability to get groundballs with his fastball and instead just toss belt high meatballs with every pitch? You knew he would give up 8 fucking walks against zero strikeouts?

    Avoiding trying to place every single thing into a preconceived narrative is one of my favorite things about sabermetrics. That’s why is pisses me off so much that these condescending ‘gurus’ do the exact same thing but pretend its different because they use advanced metrics.

    • Winner!

    • Well fucking said.

    • Couldnt agree more!

      With baseball statistics basically putting a number to every almost minute aspect of the game now, there are far too Sabermetric horny analysts out there who attempt to account for everything with these numbers. “Preconceived narratives” as Ray very well put it.
      Why can’t we just watch the game now and enjoy it, rather than trying to overanalyze the shit out of it. Isn’t that what sports are about??

      Ricky has been shit this year, for sure. Think he gives a goddamn what his FIP and xFIP say about him. Hell no, all he cares about is righting the ship and the true fan doesn’t assume he can’t because stats say so. They hope he can and they support him.

  19. Try this stat. Cletus is always a monster the day after his corn rows fall out. Look it up!

  20. Stroman suspended 50 games for PEDs. Anyone surprised after seeing that photo of his dad? Maybe some of his dad’s steroid shake residue got in Marcus’ morning orange juice.

  21. Stroman caught using a PED. I think we’ve now seen everything this season.

  22. And of course, Bautista needs surgery.

    Anything else?

  23. I look at it like this:

    Romero was having a bad start to the season due to whatever mental issues he was dealing with. Then the shit hits the fan with the injuries and suddenly he’s the only one holding up the team. This compounds whatever control issues he’s having and he totally melts down.

    Anyway, the major problems the team was going through didn’t give him the elbow room to figure out his shit and get back on the horse.

    Who knows, really, but that seems plausible to me.

  24. Here’s my theory:
    In the beginning of the year, Romero seemed to be pitching to the score: i.e grooving a ball to a lousy hitter when the jays had a lead and there were 2 outs and noone on in an inning. His era and numbers were not good but at least he was winning. But at some point, this strategy of taking some pitches ‘off’, started affecting his concentration. He developed a mental block of concentrating on every pitch.
    That and the fact that some teams seemed to have laid off changeups and the dirt could be the reason.
    That being said, one bad year does not a bad career make. I would be surprised if he doesn’t bounce back next year to at least a 3.5 era.

  25. sorry for typo above: should have read changeups in the dirt.

    one more issue: the jays lousy defense has hurt romero as much as it has hurt anyone. And maybe more- perhaps mistakes behind him (official ‘errors’ and others) affect him negatively due to his fiery, competitive nature. (and no, that wasn’t a racial stereotype)

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