Tuesday, June 12, 2012
A Scout Is Brave... Is Jeremy Guthrie?
A fundamental tenet of the Scout Law is "A Scout is Brave." Well, now it's time for Guthrie to stand up and be brave. There is no need to detail his desultory performance for the Colorado Rockies this season; I'll leave the statistics to the sportswriters of Denver, who do a great job of showing start after start how bad Guthrie has actually been. And he's been historically bad, even by his lousy standards.
In layman's terms, when Guthrie pitches, his poor on-field performance almost always prevents the Rockies from having a chance at winning. And this is from a guy penciled in from the outset as the Rockies' "ace" - their #1 starter. He's certainly making #1 starter money - the Rockies will pay Guthrie $8.2 million for his 2012 performance, no matter how bad he is. And realistically, he can't get much worse.
There isn't much to argue with Guthrie. He's been awful. Anyone could have told you he was going to be awful. He led the American League in losses in 2011, and he's the only the second pitcher in baseball history to have TWO 17-loss seasons. He's averaged 15 losses each of the last 4 seasons. Flat out, no matter how nice a guy off the field Jeremy Guthrie is, he simply isn't a good major league pitcher. Or even a decent one. He's terrible, and he hurts his team nearly every time he takes the ball.
Again, anyone could have told you he was going to be awful. Anyone other than the only person whose opinion really mattered, the supposed "best GM in baseball," Dan O'Dowd of the Colorado Rockies. O'Dowd should be terminated for the Guthrie signing alone, let alone the many other terrible moves he's made, but of course he won't. And he's also not making $8.2 million this year, either.
After one recent terrible outing, Guthrie beat himself up verbally, even questioning if his team should continue trotting him out there every day to be a batting practice pitcher and get lit up by nearly every team he faces. Although Rockies manager Jim Tracy tried to boost Guthrie's confidence by saying the team's success (HA!) depended on Guthrie, it was obvious. Jeremy Guthrie has realized he's not a capable major league pitcher, and he's given up. The cap tips tonight to a Rockies crowd booing him for giving up a 6-spot to blow the 4-run lead his offense staked for him, and to an opposing player who launched a Guthrie pitch to the third deck of Coors Field showed it all. All Guthrie has left is to be a nice guy; he knows he's not going to be an effective pitcher.
Herein lies the opportunity for Guthrie to live up to the Scout Law that "A Scout is Brave" and make even MORE off-field headlines for being a great guy.
Jeremy, give back the $8.2 million. Stand up, be brave, and say simply, "I have not earned a penny of this money, and I'm giving it back." Bob Knight did it once at Texas Tech after a season that was not NEARLY as bad as the one you are producing, and if you fail to live up to the moral standards set by Bob Knight, then you have really failed. If the Rockies refuse to take back the salary you have obviously not earned, give it to a fund that disburses it to the poor souls who shelled out for season tickets to watch you fail again and again and again. Sure, the player's union will balk at this, but being brave means standing up to people who may not be acting on principle. Stand up to the player's union, Jeremy, and say, "I did not deserve this money. I have not earned this money. I cannot in good conscience keep this money when I have failed repeatedly at the job I was promised $8.2 million to do." Just tip your cap again, Jeremy, and give back the money. Even if you give back the $8.2 the Rockies owe you for 2012, you'll still be richer than nearly every single Rockies fan who pays to come see you fail at your job.
A Scout is Brave. Is Jeremy Guthrie TRULY a Scout? Or does he just talk the talk, pocket the money, and cowardly walk away from the expensive mess he's made in Denver?