So I’m not sure about you, but isn’t it holy-shit-awesome to see Brandon Morrow in the World Series spotlight and be absolutely lights out for the Dodgers. As a Blue Jays fan, I think, it’s definitely cool to see former players from yesterday do great things, even if it’s not with the franchise that we love, am I right?
Now, when the Birds traded Brandon League and minor league outfielder Johermyn Chavez to Seattle for Brandon Morrow way back in the final weeks of 2009, a lot of hope came with the talent that hadn’t quite been properly developed yet in Morrow.
It definitely hasn’t been an easy road for him either to get to the now that is – that’s for sure, as he has battled health issues and spent a ton of time on the DL in the past. And let’s not forget that back in the 2006 MLB Draft, Morrow was selected 5th overall by the Mariners ahead of Andrew Miller, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Max Scherzer, and even Kyle Drabek. Remember Drabek? Yeah, ahh, let’s not, right? Okay, moving on …
Anyway, back in 2006 when Morrow’s MLB dream finally came true, he had no idea of the winding not picturesque road that laid ahead of him, did he? And none of us do know what the future holds, it just is, and all any of us can ever do as we move forward is not quit, continue believing, and putting on our work boots every morning to make something of each day.
That’s life, or as my Slovenian grandma used to say, ‘It isn’t easy, Ryan. Boring, sometimes, yes, but not easy.’ Actually, she said a lot of things like, ‘People are full of shit,' ‘It’s all bullshit anyway,' and ‘When I die, I want you all to party like Samuel L. Jackson’ – whatever the hell that means. She said it, we weren't sure, but we got pretty damn drunk in her memory. Okay, I digress, and will come back to the stream of thought that is, Brandon Morrow.
So I read an interesting article in The Seattle Times a couple of days ago, as Morrow reflects in an interview on how the Mariners didn’t develop him properly in the system. And the good news for Blue Jays fans - or for all the ‘shatkins’ people out there – is that Shapiro and Atkins are focused on proper player development in the farm, because it’s usually not good to rush a young player into the MLB, as was the case for Morrow who said in that article:
“It was inconsistent developmentally. It was awesome not spending any time in the minor leagues and making the team in the first spring training, but long term, if you think the kid you draft fifth overall is going to be a starting pitcher in the major leagues, you probably want to handle that a little better. But I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus.”
And, Matt Calkins, the Seattle Times Columnist agrees with Morrow, as well. He states that, ‘if the Mariners weren’t postseason contenders in 2007 – when they went 88-74 and finished six games out of the final playoff spot – he likely would have been developed differently instead of being instantly vaulted into the bullpen.’
And I just found this bit of information interesting because player development is so important and if the Mariners had done right by Morrow as a young man, who knows what kind of career he may have had and if he could have avoided many of the health injuries he suffered.
But the good news for Morrow today, is that his moment has finally come, and as a Blue Jays fan, it is great to see. It wasn’t an easy road that lead him to where he is today, but it brought him to the destination that I’m sure he has dreamt of since he was a kid. And Godspeed to that.
I was reminded of that famous John Lennon quote while rewatching the first season of the UK The Office and I know it’s not “you’re a twat and a nob-end,” it’s a bit more profound like, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” And, well, life finally happened for Morrow, as he has dominated this year in the playoffs and in the regular season. His metrics are dirty good, he went 6 – 0 this year, .282 BABIP, 2.06 ERA, and are-you-kidding-me 1.55 FIP and, believe me, more of the nerd stats over at FanGraphs have all the baseball Urkels salivating.
It’s great to see that he has his health, his nasty stuff working for him, and he is having his moment today. And it’s out-and-out awesome that the Dodgers gave him this opportunity, which I’m sure AA might have had a helping hand in.
And as Blue Jays fans, let’s take the time to remember that one-hitter game he tossed in early August, 2010, in the Dome against the Rays. It is arguably one of the greatest pitching outings in Jays’ history.
I will never forget it, I was younger back then, a bit a drift and bartending at the time. It was a slow afternoon, so I wasn’t making any money, but I was getting paid a really shitty wage to watch baseball, which was cool. And I remember just being in complete awe watching Morrow be at his best in that moment. It was one of the best highlights of that season besides everything that was Joey Bats, of course. He had 17 Ks. 17. And his victims weren’t exactly trash either, as he took it to Longoria, Crawford, and Zobrist too.
Let’s just take a look:
(side note : dramatic music was used in this video to add to the effect, which makes it feel like a bad Paul Haggis film)
Anyway, I don’t know who you’re pulling for in this World Series, but I’m all in on Morrow and the Dodgers.