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Finding Loaiza's Velocity
2006-05-01 17:24
by Ken Arneson

Esteban Loaiza has lost his velocity, and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, in the hopes that he can find it again.

Velocity, like a car key or a TV remote, can be very difficult to find once you lose it. Like anything, there are basic principles to success that should be followed to optimize your chances of success.

Those principles are laid out in 12 easy steps by Professor Solomon, author of the book How To Find Lost Objects.

The first step laid out by Professor Solomon is this: "Don't Look For It".

Something's lost, and your first thought—your basic instinct—is to look for it. You're ready to start rummaging about. To hunt for it in a random, and increasingly frenetic, fashion. To ransack your own house.

This is the most common mistake people make.
And it can doom their search from the start.

So placing Loaiza on the DL is a good first step. The A's have stopped trying to look for Loaiza's velocity, hoping it will randomly show up if they just keep running Loaiza out there. That rarely works.

Principle Two states: there are no missing objects, only unsystematic searches.

So next, the A's need to systematically figure out where the velocity could have gone. Run every test known to man: MRI, CAT scans, breathalyzers. Study video pixel by pixel. Our friend Mr. Velocity is hiding somewhere right next to Waldo. We will find him.

Step through all of Professor Solomon's suggestions until the velocity is right back where it belongs. I suspect the A's might find success when they reach Principle Five, called Domestic Drift:

Relax. Get comfortable. Pour yourself a cup of coffee.

Now try to remember. Where were you last using that pliers, or tape measure, or fountain pen? Where did you last have it?

Because that's precisely where it still may be.

Esteban Loaiza last used his velocity in his first World Baseball Classic game
against Canada, in Phoenix, Arizona. I'm guessing that's probably where he left it.

Give Loaiza some time off, and then send him down to Phoenix for a rehab session. Send him to Chase Field, and let him poke around in the dugouts. I'm guessing Esteban's velocity rolled into a corner, and is probably lying around beside the bat rack or under a bag of sunflower seeds (see Principle Seven: The Camouflage Effect).

Then, once we've found Loaiza's velocity, we'll move on and search for the missing timing of Frank Thomas.

2006-05-01 22:00:42
1.   scarface
Yeah, I'm happy Loaiza is not starting. I hope they make him prove himself in AAA or garbage-time relief before starting him, upon his return.

The A's got lucky on 3 different Angel flyballs today: I thought Macha pulled Zito one batter too late. As usual, he let one on base, went down to 2-0 to the next guy (Anderson I think), and nearly had a ball jacked out. Calero comes in, and after much discussion (with Fosse mentioning that Kendall's probably emphasizing the absolute lack of need to give Vlad anything in the zone), centers a hanging slider!! which Vlad somehow did not destroy. Duke's deep fly in the 9th was scary too.

2006-05-01 22:06:50
2.   Ravenscar
Can we also find Huston Street, please? He's not on the DL, I keep reading he's ready to come back, a save situation comes up and.... no Street.

It's driving me bananas.

2006-05-01 22:07:33
3.   Ravenscar
p.s. I'm on the east coast, so news about Street is rather rare.
2006-05-01 23:04:18
4.   Philip Michaels
You may scoff, but shortly after reading this post I was able to find my baseball scorebook. My mother-in-law had hidden it in the glove compartment of the car, which was the last place I would have looked for it until following the steps outlined above. So I suggest that Esteban Loaiza take Professor Solomon's wise words to heart, and maybe he'll find his velocity (which my mother-in-law did not stash in the glove compartment).

As for why no Huston Street tonight, the A's radio crew reported seeing him stretching in the bullpen around the 7th or 8th, just to get loose. My assumption is Macha didn't want to throw a guy who hasn't pitched in 13 days into the fire of a 1-0 ballgame. But then, for all I know, Macha simply forgot that Street was on the roster. Either explanation is just as likely.

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