Writing about baseball is my job. I am incredibly lucky as not only am I barely employable and a terrible writer, I also love baseball with every fiber of my being. Love it. My mandate here at Getting Blanked is to cover all teams and all baseball goings on. I don’t pretend to be a passionless lizard, soul dead from “professional” responsibilities recusing me from cheering or expressing a rooting interest. I grew up a Blue Jays fan and remain a Blue Jays fan to this day.

Watching baseball in bulk softens many of the edges forged over a lifetime of single-minded focus on one particular baseball team. I don’t have the same “hate” for the opposition. Maybe this lessens me as a fan, maybe not. I’m not really one to harbor imaginary grudges or seek vengeance against those who wrong my local nine in any way.

I feel grateful for the ability to watch players like David Ortiz and Mariano Rivera and appreciate what they can do on the field rather than take their baseball achievement as a slight against everything I hold dear. Ironic detachment has its advantages.

That said: Koji Uehara joining the Red Sox is kind of a major bummer.

Koji Uehara is a damn fine reliever when used correctly (underlined bolded written in block letters on the street John Farrell lives on.) Consider him a little bit like Sergio Romo of the Giants – an excellent weapon when deployed judiciously. Koji posted rather absurd numbers with the Rangers in 2012. Striking out 33.1 % compared to just a 2.3 % walk rate, good enough for a mere 54 FIP-, right in line with his career mark of 68 (FIP relative to league average. Lower is better aka Koji the best).

But among Rangers relievers, only Mark Lowe entered games in lower leveraged situations. He only pitched on consecutive days 9 times in 2012, all coming during the Rangers push for the playoffs/epic collapse in September. He only recorded 8 shutdowns despite appearing in 37 games and allowing a mere seven runs on the season.

Perhaps the Red Sox will use Koji better than the Rangers, taking advantage of his excellent ability to get guys out. Ron Washington seemed to lose faith in Uehara after a disastrous run at the end of the 2011 season, when Uehera was dogged by the long ball and simply didn’t pitch as well as the situations required.

Watching Koji pitch for the Red Sox probably won’t take away from my particular enjoyment of his unique brand of excellence. The first, second, and third time he sets the Blue Jays down in order during a tense 8th inning at Fenway will sting a little but still, Koji! Look at the face and that swinging strike rate – who could stay mad at such beauty? No friend of mine, that much is for sure.

Comments (14)

  1. I don’t think you’re a terrible writer. I keep reading yours (and everyone else’s) articles here – so don’t go trying to discredit my time spent ;) . I think you’re just more concise than some of your peers here which is not a bad thing at all.

    Keep it up

  2. Koji is going to destroy us this year, just as he has destroyed us before. Wish he stayed in the West.

  3. Just came from the DJF comments, it’s so civil in here.

    You guys have a great day and keep up the good work Drew.

  4. I hope the redsox crash and burn (Not because of farrell leaving) just because. That signing is a thing of beauty tbh. They still have a bad bullpen. Shrewd move though.

  5. I like your writing Drew, and GROF was always my favourite Jays blog.

  6. Is this the same guy who turned down a trade to the Jays because he didn’t want to pitch in the east?

  7. Love Koji. Loved him on the O’s. Sucks he’s on the Sox, but I’ll get over it. Great read.

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