The Absurdity Of This Sudden Man-Crush On Rich Harden
Isn’t all of this idol worship of Rich Harden a bit premature since it’s based on one game? Yes, he was dominant today, but in looking at last year, he was dominant in his first start as well.
Today’s line: Innings pitched-6, hits-3, runs-1, earned runs-1, walks-3, strikeouts-9.
Line from April 4, 2007: Innings pitched-7, hits-3, runs-0, earned runs-0, walks-2, strikeouts-7.
After that excellent start last season, Harden pitched two more fine games, then went on the disabled list until late June, appeared in four games in relief before being shut down for the season with a shoulder problem. In addition to that, Harden also missed most of the 2006 season, appearing in only nine games; and missed large portions of the 2005 season as well.
This one game is all of a sudden supposed to convince the Athletics that they can contend if they hang onto their top two starters of Joe Blanton and Harden? Or it’s supposed to convince other teams that Harden is healthy enough to surrender the prospects that A’s GM Billy Beane is going to demand in a trade for the fragile righty? If Harden is able to get out to the mound on a regular basis without any kind of setback, then maybe I’ll believe he’s going to stay healthy long enough to consider dealing for him; if teams are going to start salivating over him and his great stuff, then jump the gun in trading for him before he proves some durability, they’re going to be the latest in a long line of teams that have panicked and made a trade for an injured player. Let the buyer beware.