New Hire Orientation: Joe Smith

Joe Smith, so good to meet you. Thanks for coming in to meet with me. I know your first day until mid-February, but we're just so dang excited to have you on board that we thought maybe we could go ahead and get your new hire orientation out of the way first. I mean, seriously, our general manager must really think you are something special because he broke his own company policy on contract length and value specifically for you.

Before we begin, can I just say how weird your name is. I mean, it literally couldn't be a more generic name. There is nothing weird about the name itself, but it is a name that should be very, very common yet there has only been one other Joe Smith in the history of our industry, and that guy's career ended in 1913. That's weird, right? Anywho, let's get started, shall we?

Boy, I tell you, Joe. We are happy to have you. I don't want to scare you, but the bullpen department has been a mess. A real disaster. Just a big, stinky dumpster fire. When I first started at this company, the bullpen was a shining beacon in the industry, but, man, oh, man, have things gone downhill in a hurry. We've tried bringing in some big names to try and turn things around, but it hasn't worked out. We're really hoping that you can be the guy to bring some stability to the department. Now, we realize one man isn't going to take the bullpen back to the glory days, but if you do for us what you did in Cleveland, we can at least get our relievers to stop being such a damned liability.

Haha! I kid, I kid. But seriously, we really need you to get the house in order.

I'm not going lie, I can't say that I am all that comfortable with your unorthodox approach. This whole "sidearm" thing seems like a gimmick to me and gimmicks only work for so long. But, hey, who am I to argue with three straight seasons of a sub-3.00 ERA? I'm just the HR guy. Personally, I'd feel a lot better if your career FIP wasn't nearly a run higher than your career ERA. Maybe that weird delivery style gives you some sort of innate ability to outperform your FIP. Some guys can just do that. We've got this one guy, Jered who heads up our rotation, I'm sure you've heard of him. He's got a little bit of that FIP-beating magic himself. Maybe you do too.

Looking through your resume, I don't really see any red flags. Your BABIP is kind of low, but it always has been. If that .282 BABIP you had last season is the highest you have had since your rookie year, it sure seems to me like you should be able to keep it up. Either that or you have a horseshoe up your ass, am I right?

Now, your LOB% of 86.3% last season. That's probably a fluke. I think we both know that, but that's OK. There shouldn't be too much of a correction there. Other than that, everything else seems to be in order.

What I do need to ask you though is how you perform so well against lefties? I've only seen a few people who work like you in my day, but almost none of them have had so much success against gloveside batters. Keep in mind, I'm not questioning you. You've got an established track record over the last three years of being quite effective against lefties. In fact, in 2011 and 2012, you were better against lefties. I've heard some talk that you use a sinker against righties and more of a standard four-seamer against lefties. Is that true? Because if that is all it really is, that's pretty nifty. Most of all, it is sustainable and that is the sort of thing we like to hear around here.

I guess figuring that out is why you are making the big bucks though. Now, you didn't hear this from me, but your contract is a big topic around the water cooler. Ever since he came on board, Jerry, the GM, swore up and down that he wouldn't invest much in the bullpen department. He wasn't going to give anyone there a big paycheck and he certainly wasn't going to make any long-term commitments. Yet, here you are with that nice, shiny contract of yours. I don't know what you did to make Jerry change his mind, but I'm sure you're going to be worth it.

Or at least you better be, or Jerry is going to get shit-canned. Haha! I kid, I kid. Well… sort of. Actually, I'm not kidding at all. If that guy's seat gets any hotter his pants are going to ignite. But you didn't hear that from me.

Okey dokey then, that's all I've got for you. We'll see you when you start in February. Try not to hurt yourself playing with your kids or sleeping on your arm wrong or something. You wouldn't believe some of the weird ways we've lost members of your department to health problems. It is almost like they are cursed or something. Anyways, have a good trip and avoid those black cats and broken mirrors, mmkay? Great.

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.