Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Garcia at 1-4, how did he land in Philly?

The Phillies came home off the 10 game road trip full of steam and questing to move up the ladder from third place. The Arizona Dbacks, who are a worthy opponent all of a sudden, play some inspired unselfish baseball. The Diamondbacks are successful getting on base, and moving runners. That is as simple as this game is. Get runners in scoring position and get hits to score them, and hopefully out score your opponent.

I sat in the third deck right over the home plate during the opening game of the series against the Dbacks and here is what I observed. Freddie Garcia moved as slow as molasses. His control has so-so. Many times during the game Garcia simply bounced pitches 58 feet from the mound. I was amazed that not that many of these type of pitches from Garcia got past the catcher. Garcia seemed to want to lull his opponents to sleep with his pitching style. Yes, he didn't surrender too many runs in the game, he gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and stuck out 9. The Phillies offense didn't get going until late in the game. If I could offer any advice to Garcia if would be simply to speed up his game a little more. After he was done pitching he walked so slowly off the mound that practically the whole Phillies outfield beat him back to the dugout. Show some spunk, get a bit energized. I don't mean like a Dontrelle Willis but give us some emotion out there on the mound!Garcia was an All Star in 2001 and 2002 while pitching for Seattle.In 2004, Seattle sent him to Chicago with Ben Davis for Jeremy Reed, Miguel Olivo, and Mike Morse. I am going back to look at the 2005/2006 White Sox team that Garcia pitched a lot of wins for, and I am wondering was it Garcia who was dominant or was it the White Sox offense that carried him. In 2005, Garcia led the American League in wild pitches with 20, a feat that he tied fellow White Sox pitcher Jose Contreras in that year. Chicago let him walk away despite Garcia pitching 40 wins for the Sox and only 21 losses during his tenure in Chicago. The Sox traded Garcia to the Phillies for Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez. A move that had everything to do with Pat Gillick who had been the GM in Seattle when Garcia had his all star years. It was a gutsy move by the Chicago Sox GM Kenny Williams who had said that he wanted to make room for some younger phemons that the Sox were grooming. How can you possibly want to trade a guy that has 40 wins for a team in 2 and 1/2 seasons?

The Memorial Day crowd was huge and the Phils had an 8,000 fan walkup to buy tickets to the game for the opener of the series. As I write this, the Phils are playing the second game of the series on Tuesday night and Jon Lieber gave up a quick 5 spot to the Dbacks and it is late in the 7th inning and it remains 5-1 so this isn't a great start to the homestand. Lieber and Garcia seem to be the soft spots in the rotation that much is for sure. Let's see what happens when Hamels, Moyer and the resurgent Adam Eaton, fill out their spots in the rotation.

Here's an article by www.deadspin.com that reported that Garcia had tested positive for marijuana use during the World Baseball Classic in 2006 as reported by a Venezuelan Newspaper:

A Venezuelan newspaper is reporting that White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia tested positive for marijuana during the World Baseball Classic. Major League Baseball, knowing that three-quarters of every pitching staff in the game would test positive, doesn't test for weed, but Garcia could receive a suspension from international play for as long as two years. But no problems with MLB ... or with the White Sox, for that matter.
"Freddy has done the tests with us and Major League Baseball, and he's clean," [manager Ozzie] Guillen said. "If something involves you with the club and with Major League Baseball, you do something about it, but it has nothing to do with that.

In other words, since MLB has no policy about weed -- and why should they, really? -- Garcia should have no problems, should be able to keep all his money, keep his job, everything. That sound you hear? Ricky Williams, bashing his head against the wall.

Sox Downplay Garcia Report [Chicago Tribune]

Could this be the reason that Garcia is so slow on the mound?

Rich Baxter

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