Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'll See Your 'Parachute Changeup' and Raise You One 'Garden Hose' Sinker

Fun piece about the most hated man in Mets history in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week. (No, it's not about Mel Rojas, or either of the megamillions slackers Sandy Alderson cut loose this week.)
Doug Sisk went from hotshot young reliever--the guy bagged 11 saves in '83, his rookie year, and for a brief spell was known by one of the NY tabloids as "The Man With No ERA"--to a player that Mets fans quite literally wanted to either beat up or put a bullet in, according to Jeff Pearlman's story. (Pearlman, it is worth noting, wrote the delicious The Bad Guys Won, about the fussin' and fightin' '86 Mets.)
While some pitchers rely on parachute changeups, backdoor sliders, front-door sinkers, or other pitches named for sundry household objects, Sisk's out pitch had pretty much devolved into a "garden hose" by '85.
Orosco and Sisk (right) comprised two-thirds of the '86 Mets' famed "Scum Bunch."
Pearlman writes:
Sisk spent much of the 1985 season pitching with loose bone chips in his right elbow, but he followed the code of the tough-as-nails ballplayer and said nothing.

What ensued was an ode to the Bump Hadley School of Mound Ineffectiveness. Sisk's once-reliable sinker turned into an unmanned garden hose, twisting left, spinning right, spiraling into the ground and high up in the air.
At least to me, that unmanned garden hose seems to it'd be a real bitch to hit. Alas, batters must've laid off, as Sisk simply stopped getting people out--and Met fans never let him forget it.

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