Remember back when Ryan Madson amped things up a notch and went from being pretty good to lights out? He kind of turned it up to 11? Yeah, well Jake Diekman. He firmed up the back end of the bullpen for the Phillies more than Suzanne Somers and the Buttmaster.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from Diekman this year. His most distinguishing feature to me was the way he wore his hat. Other than that, it was his leftishness and his strange delivery duking it out for #2.
On June 28th, I wrote 2,500 words about the Phillies' bullpen. Here they are! Arguably, just 21 of those words related to Diekman, who, to that point in time, had not done terribly much. In the comments, I commented about his miLB stats thusly:
OMFG, the GB% – lurve it. The K rate? To die for. The walks? To die, die, die. Breaks Rule 2, and getting older.
The thing is that Diekman just walked, walked, walked dudes, and my bullpen rules were violated badly AT THE TIME. Because, walks. Look at the list of Phillies relievers at the end of the season, and see who has a K/9 over 9.0 with a BB/9 below 3.0 and a GB% of 45% or higher. Well, nobody, but almost in the case of Diekman (9.63, 3.56, and 51%).
Diekman looks like a player. And a left-handed one at that. The best comparison I can come up with on the team is a groundballing version of Antonio Bastardo.
This season was an unmitigated disaster. How did you contribute to the disaster?
I wasn't good enough fast enough. My total domination of late-game situations did not occur until after July rolled around. I promise to make it up to you next year by dealing death in late-inning situations and making Joecatz engage in plausible, but ultimately onanistic trade fan porn involving Paps, since nobody in this front office is creative or ballsy enough to pull the trigger. Oh, shit...did I say that out loud? Damn. Paps is...a gentleman and a scholar, and he loves puppies. And I am way, way cheaper than he is.
If I had traded you mid-season, would the team have done better or worse?
You would have sold low. See what happens when you give young dudes a try? Other than during "vacations" to foreign countries where the law turns a blind eye to...you know...
All of my options are open for next year. Should I trade you, release you, or keep you?
Are you high?
Some people have questioned whether I should keep my job. Tell them to go screw themselves by explaining why I should keep it forever.
Well, you're about as smart as a zombie, but the upside of being a zombie is that you live forever, so that would theoretically allow you to, you know, live forever and do this job. Since a rational ownership would have fired you long ago, perhaps this means that they too are zombies: dumb, slow, and unwilling to make changes to their undead "lives" other than to shuffle after people going, "Brains! Brains!" Under that scenario, yes, you should keep your job forever. Not "should" as in earning it, but "should" as in an oddsmaking sense where it is likely that you'll keep it regardless of merit.
Overall, explain to me how your time with the Philadelphia Phillies has been the highlight of your life.
Well, I proved I am a total badass bullpen pitcher. Do you want to extend my contract, or perhaps trade me to a contender with a spare right-handed corner outfielder with an impact bat?