ST. LOUIS, MO - You ever pay two bucks for a steak? If you answered no, then I hope things are awesome over in Richville, USA, where you live. But, if you’re like me, and you answered yes, were you ever surprised when the steak tasted like a leather sandal? No, you’re not. Because you know exactly what you paid for.
So why is Mike Leake a Mariner? I guess you trade a guy for a bag of hammers because he played exactly like he has always played? Makes sense.
Over this season I have heard multiple STL sports personalities talk about how “Mike Leake has to be better! He has to get it together and be more consistent!” They were baffled every time he gave up 5 runs. They had to be on to something. They spoke with such conviction. I thought, “You’re right, by golly. He does have to be better, and I’ll find out why.”
I started my investigation by using this magical information screen through my Google machine called “Baseball Reference.” It will, hand to god, hand to god, show you the stats for every baseball player ever. So, I went to this thing they call a “search field.” Spoiler, It has nothing to do with Forensic Files. I typed in Mike Leake. Just like that. And there it was…an ocean of numbers.
I wanted to know why everyone wanted him to “get better,” “do more,” and “be a more complete pitcher.” There had to be something in his past that says he is supposed to be a different entity than the human that has been inhabiting his jersey these past two years. What will the numbers tell? Will friends become enemies, will enemies become friends, will I find a string of Cy Young Awards in his past? I was shaking with anticipation.
Well, talk about a letdown. It was like when you’re watching Law and Order Criminal Intent and in the first 5 minutes you see a mid to big name guest star, and you’re like, “Well, he obviously did it.” Zero drama, zero suspense, Just the long wait until Detective Bobby Goren mentally destroys him, roll credits.
You know what the Cardinals got when they signed Mike Leake? They got Mike Leake. The same Mike Leake that pitched in Cincy. He didn’t swap faces Travolta and Cage style. He was exactly who he has always been. In fact, his fielding independent ERA was better in STL than in Cincy. What are you complaining about? You ordered veal and were upset that you got baby cow?
The Cards signed a number 4 or 5 pitcher and Leake performed as such. Did they pay him too much? I don’t know. What’s too much? Baseball is friggin Monopoly money. Jhonny Peralta is getting paid 10 million this season, Leake is making 15. Josh Hamilton hasn’t swung through a fastball since 2015 and he is cashing 28 million worth of checks this season. No one is passing around the collection plate at Busch because Leake put the DeWitt family in the poor house.
So why are the baseball media and fans up in arms over Mr. Leake this season? I don’t know. Do they get upset when a car drives, or when a bird flies, or when someone from Arnold wears jeans to a formal event? No matter how much evidence you show some people, they will always be shocked when something that always happens, happens again, and again, and again.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m just listening to the wrong stations and reading the wrong columns. So, let’s test the populace. When the Blues lose in the second round next spring let’s tally how many fellas on the radio and in the paper simply say, “Well, I mean this does happen pretty much every year. What did we expect? Moving on. In this next segment, we trash the Rams like they’re my ex from college, who dropped me like hot rock, and I can’t seem to get over them no matter how pathetic it’s becoming! Back after the break…”
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