Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Brandon McCarthy Is Not A Phenom



OK, I've been holding off on my thoughts on Brandon McCarthy because I didn't want to be accused of being "negative." But after last night, when McCarthy walked to the mound in Fenway in the tenth inning and lost the game on a walk-off home run within seconds, screw it. The Unknown Column is pissed off.

Brandon McCarthy is not a phenom. I'm tired of hearing how awesome and great he is. The fans, media, and even the White Sox/GM Kenny Williams all talk about McCarthy like he's one of the great young arms in baseball. Any trade possibility before the deadline always came with the sidenote that McCarthy was off-limits because he was too valuable. He was the crown jewel. The Chosen One.

McCarthy is not a phenom. He's a mediocre pitcher who is still young and has time to improve and maybe be very solid some day. But he is not a phenom.

He has not been dominant at any level. Do you remember his stats at Triple A Charlotte before being called up for good last year? I'm too lazy to look them up right now, but they were nothing special, especially coming from the guy who is supposed to be the superstar-in-waiting prize of the farm system. He had a losing record - I think it was just below .500 - and his ERA was above 4.00. Hell, it may have even been above 5.00. Point is, he was mediocre at Charlotte.

And he's been mediocre with the Sox. Granted, he had a few fantastic spot starts late last year in the heat of the playoff chase when the Sox needed them nost, and that was awesome, but he also had some awful starts last year. And this year out of the bullpen he's been average at best, and at times he has sucked.

So let's stop acting like McCarthy is a phenom destined for the Hall of Fame.

Liriano is a phenom. Papelbon is a phenom. Jered Weaver is phenom. These are extremely young guys who have taken the Majors by storm and dominated. Hell, Bobby Jenks is more of a phenom than McCarthy.

McCarthy looks like any other young pitcher out there. Sometimes he looks solid, sometimes he looks awful. Yes, maybe someday he'll mature into a fantastic starter, and I hope he does. But right now he's very average and leaning towards bad. Hopefully, someday this changes.

But in the meantime, can we please stop pretending like McCarthy is one of the brightest young players in baseball, or like he's some sort of Golden Boy. He's not. He has not dominated at any level. Let's just call him what he is - young and currently mediocre with the potential to be good someday. That's it. And there are PLENTY of guys like that in baseball right now. Plenty.

*********

Meanwhile, the Sox better get their heads out of their asses. (Why does it seem like I have to say this every few days?)

Losing to the Red Sox who are seemingly missing half of their roster and are trotting out starting pitchers whom nobody outside of New England has ever heard of is garbage. Total garbage. Oh, and blowing games you lead going into the bottom of the ninth is even worse. That's a fantastic way to stumble your way right out of the playoffs.

Wake the fuck up.

Here we go now.

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