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Matt Thornton Knows Us

Polite approximations of us, anyway:

But on a world stage Sunday, asked to keep the USA locked in a 3-3 tie with the Japanese in the top of the ninth, (Lidge) couldn't find the strike zone. He walked three, but managed to keep the Japanese from scoring.

"My buddy was screaming at the TV," Thornton said. "He was screaming, 'Just throw strikes! Get the (expletive) ball over the plate! Just throw strikes!'

"I turned to him and said, 'What do you say when I pitch?' He looked at me and said 'Man, you don't even want to know.' "

(P-I link)

I suppose the fact that this guy can apparently stomach hanging out with Thornton in the first place makes him a better person than I (in a classic tolerant Christian kind of way, if nothing else), but that doesn't mean he doesn't share our opinions of his buddy's ability. And that Matt, in turn, is still close to the guy suggests that he hears about how bad of a pitcher he is so often that it barely fazes him anymore. And what does that tell you?

The article talks about how Chaves is trying to improve Thornton's control by adjusting his arm slot, but despite promising early returns, there's certainly reason to be skeptical - not only because mechanical changes are difficult to pick up on the fly, but also because the last time Chaves coached Thornton (Tacoma, 2004), he went on to have arguably the worst season of his career. It's two years later now, and people change, but I guess what I'm getting at is that, if Thornton's problem this whole time has been a slightly suboptimal arm angle, then I'm going to be pretty pissed, because there's no way it should've taken this long to figure out.

I should probably stop now, because writing about Matt Thornton makes me angry, so here, let's change the subject. Beltre got hurt in the WBC. Good times.