Nothing has garnered more national attention for the Rockies this spring than the attempted comeback by 49 year old Jamie Moyer. Some wondered if it was all a gimmick or a story that would mean nothing by the time the actual season started. To that end, I wonder if ESPN would have been nearly as interested if Moyer had not worked for them as an analyst last year. If you think that is not fair to the objectivity of ESPN, just check out the collective bromance with Red Sox manager and former Sunday Night Baseball commentator Bobby Valentine and then get back to me.
Whatever the interest in the story and however seriously people took Moyer at the beginning of the spring, Moyer has shown that this is no joke. He continues to impress, and any non-believers were put on notice yesterday when he threw four perfect innings against the San Francisco Giants.
One might cast a skeptical eye towards that stat line because it’s “only spring training.” While it’s true that statistics from these exhibition games are limited in their importance, a perfect outing has to be an exception to that rule. I look at this way: each year when the NCAA men’s basketball tournament starts, analyst Dick Vitale vehemently defends the teams from tiny conferences, saying something like this: “I don’t care who you play, if you win 25 games it means something.” That’s how I look at this; I don’t care if it was spring training or what the other team’s lineup looked like. If you throw four perfect innings, it means something.
Jamie Moyer started as a nice little story that Rockies fans could root for. If he shows the physical durability to hold up on normal rest and contribute from the back end of the rotation, he will have become something much more for a team that desperately needs help on the mound.
Besides…look at those stirrups! That’s legite, boys and girls.