What Is A Crafty Lefthander Anyway?: Rangers 7, Mariners 3
It’s amazing how the longer a winning streak goes, the less you can find to write about.
Conversely, when a team is losing consistently, it’s amazing how much you can find to write about.
Fortunately, I find myself in the former case today, as the Rangers have defied even my expectations in rolling to a 6-0 start (the first in the majors in 8 years) and a three game lead in the AL West a mere week into the season. It really isn’t supposed to be this easy. I know it won’t be, but you’d have a hard time convincing most people of that the way this team is playing.
So what of today’s headline? It doesn’t even directly have anything to do with yesterday’s game, except for the fact CJ Wilson was the Rangers starting pitcher.
I did not see any reference following this game, but three times in Spring Training and once after the season opener against the Red Sox I saw writers refer to Wilson as “the crafty lefthander”.
I thought nothing of it the first time I saw the reference, but, on the second read, cocked my head to the left with curiosity much like my dog does when he tries to convince me that A) he’s listening to me and B) he can understand human talk. Neither is true, by the way.
I suddenly asked, why is CJ Wilson being called a crafty lefthander? I have always been under the impression the term was reserved for a southpaw who is forced to pitch with finesse because he doesn’t really have a fastball worth bragging about. Kenny Rogers was a crafty lefthander. Frank Tanana was originally a fireballing lefthander who became a crafty lefthander. But CJ Wilson? Last I saw, CJ still had a pretty good heater and “finesse” isn’t really a part of his DNA.
CJ does like to paint the corners of the strike zone, it is true, which is why he has the high walk rates he does- when he misses his location he misses outside instead of inside the strike zone. But crafty? I think not.
I also wonder why nobody ever seems to refer to a righthander as crafty. I’m sure that’s another topic for another day.