… because my old buddy, Tony Jackson hit this one out of the park: Billingsley Learning To Let Go. Whatever needs to be said about Chad has now been said by Tony, and it justneeds to play out. In a nutshell, Tony summarizes Chad’s struggles like this:
“Billingsley’s biggest problem, the one that has plagued him at various times since he reached the majors in 2006 and the one that probably is the biggest reason he hasn’t fully morphed into the staff ace he was projected to be, is that he appears to have trouble letting go of his mistakes.
“There were times in the middle of a game — and it might not have just been when a guy drove in a run, but maybe it was a guy leading off an inning with a double, something like that — where I would think maybe I should have used a different pitch selection,” Billingsley said. “Then maybe you try to overthrow or try to do too much. That’s the mental part of it. But the only way to get better is by doing it, by being out there on the mound. You can’t simulate it in the bullpen or by throwing batting practice. You have to be out there facing hitters in a game situation.
“You can’t dwell on it. Sometimes, you throw your best pitch and a guy gets a hit and drives in a run. You can’t do anything about that now. You just have to bear down and go after the next guy.”
Read the article and you will see that Chad is working on his problem. Tony sums it up like this:
“Billingsley grasps these lessons easily enough. But Dodgers officials won’t have their questions answered for a few more weeks, when they get the chance to see whether he can actually put those lessons into practice in the heat of a major league game.
If he can do that, he has the potential to be a true, front-of-the-rotation ace.”
Just because C-Bil had a bad 2nd half of last season doesn’t mean he’ll pitch the same way in 2010, anymore than the fact that Rafael Furcal having a good conclusion to his season means that he’ll do well in 2010 – you have to look at both players “body of work” and their body of work suggests that they are capable of a very good 2010. How much would that mean to the team? Raffy and Chad returning to All-Star Status? Think about it. Will it happen? Don’t know! Are they capable – YES, they are!
Never mention Chad again until the All-Star Break! Tony said it all!
- Don’t put much stock into Charlie Haegar’s bad outing – I wouldn’t expect that Knuckleball to dance for a couple of weeks!
- MSTI thinks James Loney will have a big year. So Do I! It’s his time.
- It turns out that the most important pitcher in camp might be Sandy Koufax who is working with all the Dodger pitchers for the week. How huge could this be?
I don’t think most of you realize how good this version of the Dodgers can be. I am sure that the National Media, including Plaschke and Simers don’t. I do think that Jackson and Weisman do. We may be in for the ride of our lives.