I know I’m kind of on Ben Schwartz’s beat here, but as someone who recently chose Mark Prior with my second-to-last pick in a fantasy draft, I read Scott Miller’s recent article on Prior’s struggles with some interest. After reading the piece, in which Miller projects Prior for a stint in Extended Spring Training (the party that never ends!), I don’t get the impression that Scott thinks I’m going to get much value out of my 24th-rounder this season.
Prior’s mechanics are somehow ineffably screwed up — “his mechanics aren’t matching his arm speed,” Miller writes. “When his mechanics are as they should be, it seems, his arm action is too slow. And when he speeds up his arm, his mechanics go awry.” The result is a pitcher who can’t and doesn’t fool anyone (he drew only three swings-and-misses in a pair of Spring Training games). The good news — not so much for Cubs fans as for those who love the English language — is that whatever’s wrong with Prior’s body, he reveals himself here as a distinctively weird quotesmith. I wouldn’t say he’s eloquent, exactly, but he does describe some pretty graceful figure eights throughout the article. Get on the gravy boat, Cubbies fans:
“For everybody, it’s not a gravy boat all the way here,” he said. “I struggled some in high school. I was 4-8 with a 5-something ERA my freshman year of college. I’ve gone through stretches where things weren’t working out…
“Everyone says don’t take your work home, but my work is home — it’s on the TV,” Prior says. “When things are good, this is the best job in the world. When things are not so good, it’s not the best job in the world.”