• My Fanboy Crush On Ian Kennedy

    Posted by on January 27th, 2008 · Comments (19)

    I might as well get this out of the way now – because I know many will accuse me of it during this season. Yes, I confess, I’ve got it bad over Ian Kennedy.

    Yeah, I know, he reportedly doesn’t have the “stuff” of Phil Hughes and/or Joba Chamberlain. And, he’s small. (Ian’s listed as being 6 feet tall, but, I would question that one.)

    But, from what I’ve seen – and others have reported this – Kennedy has polish as a pitcher. He’s workman-like and mature. He’s grounded. And, while this is a personal thing for me, I think Ian’s personality could translate to better success, in the long run, than the “Dude, it’s a Dell” nature of Hughes and the “Paul Bunyan” bravado of Chamberlain.

    Don’t get me wrong – this is not to imply that Hughes and Chamberlain will not go on to be very-good to great major league pitchers. And, I’m not saying that Ian Kennedy will be the next Greg Maddux – or even the next Bob Tewksbury.

    It’s just that there’s something about Ian, to me, that just makes me want to be in the guy’s corner. It’s a subjective thing. But, many times, that’s what happens when you’re a fan, right?

    Comments on My Fanboy Crush On Ian Kennedy

    1. Old Ranger
      January 27th, 2008 | 10:33 am

      I too have liked IPK, after I watched him pitch in the MIL. On other blogs, I have been trying to tell people just how good he really is. Most fans look for the fast ball etc. This guy has batters shaking their heads on the way back to the dugout. “He ain’t got nott’un.” is the old Eddie Lopat answer, same with IPK. I only wish him all the luck in the world.

    2. Corey
      January 27th, 2008 | 1:48 pm

      /agreed

    3. Zack
      January 27th, 2008 | 1:55 pm

      Dudes, its okay to have a crush on the Wayne Chrebet, Dustin Pedroia-type “scrappy” guy, but be realistic. Personality doesn’t translate into success unless you can back it up. And yes, Kennedy has the kidn of stuff to dominate the minors (college poise and decent command of all his pitches) but hes the type of pitcher who needs to control 4 pitches perfectly to succeed. Right now, he can do that with 2 (his 2 seemer and change). Until and if he gets his curve and slider as plus pitches, players will be able to sit fastball once they adjust.

      I do find it quit funny that the same guy who spent a full year KILLING Hughes for “only” sitting around 92-93 with his fastball despite a slider and curve that are far better than Kennedy’s, has “a fanboy crush” on kennedy and thinks there’s “something” to make you root for him. That makes no sense. What has Hughes ever done to you to NOT want to root for him? Kennedy, despite being a stand up guy as well and someone I root fully for too, is half the prospect Hughes is, yet Hughes to you is Andy Benes? What does that make Kennedy, Scott Kaminecki?

    4. Garcia
      January 27th, 2008 | 3:19 pm

      I love IPK, but I have to agree with Zack. Why the hate, or ho-hum attitude, for Hughes?

      If you didn’t become a fan of Hughes after Game 3 of the ALDS, then I don’t know else you need to see from him.

    5. baileywalk
      January 27th, 2008 | 4:00 pm

      Your man-crush on IPK need not be stated, Steve. I think we’ve picked up on it already.

      I think prospect/player crushes are fine — I’ve surely had a few — but I guess like everyone else I’m a little confused by the dislike of Hughes. Is part of it because IPK is looked at as a much lesser prospect? Because denigrating Hughes doesn’t prop Kennedy up any. I just hope you don’t find yourself rooting against Hughes in a hope that Kennedy outshines him.

      I don’t really get the “‘Dude, it’s a Dell’ nature of Hughes.” What exactly does that mean? Hughes seems like a completely down-to-earth, intelligent young man — and I know you were against his blog, but you should check it out. Hughes comes off as grounded, witty and smart. And he just gave away a game-used, signed/noted baseball from game 3 of the 2007 ALDS. Which should put him squarely in the hearts of all baseball fans.

    6. Old Ranger
      January 27th, 2008 | 6:54 pm

      Did any one of you ever see Moose pitch when in Balt? If not, you will see the young Moose in this kid. He does have THREE good to better than good pitches. Why do you think he did so well? If anyone wants to see a Real pitcher, watch IPK pitch this year. He is the real deal. Joba, Hughes have better speed and will probably have better numbers in the long run. But IPK will just set there in the number 3/4 slot and put up good numbers also. I like all three of them, baring an injury or something…all three will be a good shot in the arm.

    7. jeterismyhomeboy
      January 27th, 2008 | 7:36 pm

      You are an incredibly smart guy and definitely a man with a deep and amazing knowledge of baseball, Steve, which is why I’m very confused about why you have this “axe-to-grind” mentality on Was Watching.

      I like Ian Kennedy a lot. There’s a case to be made that he’s got the chance to be the best of the Big Three in 2008. But is it really necessary to disparage either Phil or Joba for the sake of Kennedy’s value? Phil has done nothing to deserve such criticism, opening himself up to fans and media as a human being, not just a pitcher. He’s been nothing but a level-headed, thoughtful, witty 21 year old who happens to pitch pretty well. Joba has shown the same so far, seeming to be a very humble, grounded guy despite the storm of hype and cult obsession that constantly surrounds him.

      Kennedy has got a lot of potential, and a lot of talent, but there’s no need to disparage his peers to make that point. You are far smarter and more sophicated than that.

    8. jeterismyhomeboy
      January 27th, 2008 | 7:40 pm

      And I clearly meant *sophisticated. I certainly hope you’re not sophicated, which isn’t anything real.

    9. January 27th, 2008 | 8:08 pm

      Hey, I’ve got nothing against Hughes. He should be a very good major league pitcher.

      Personally, yes, now, there’s something about him that tells me that I won’t be the President of his fan club. Why? In a way, I don’t like the star treatment that he gets from Yankees fans, now – and, be true, some Yankees fans worship him like a god already.

      Me? Let him prove something in the majors first – before he launches his website…and, by my last count, he’s had two already…which, to me, is a bit much for a guy with so few big league innings under his belt.

      Worry less about the websites Phil, and other ways that people can show you that they worship your every move…the best way to do something positive would be to, well, something you’ve yet to do, meaning show us at the major league that all the hype is legit.

      Again, it’s just my taste, I suppose. Once Hughes shows that he’s a star, like everyone says he is, he can do whatever he wants, like most baseball stars do…but, in the meantime, I’m not going to kneel down before him, like he walks on water, as so many Yankees fans already do…

      …does that make me a “hater”? Not in my view. I just want to make sure he’s the real deal before I jump on the bandwagon like so many others already have in Yankeeland.

    10. brockdc
      January 27th, 2008 | 8:24 pm

      Speaking of bandwagons, my ’08 Ross Ollie bandwagon’s still got plenty of good seats available. My bet/hope is he emerges as this year’s seventh-inning guy, with that nasty 96 mph sinker.

      (sorry to hijack the thread)

    11. January 27th, 2008 | 8:50 pm

      Ross Ollie, great face, reminds me of Paulie O.

      I’m still not sold yet. The ALDS was not pretty for him, IIRC.

    12. baileywalk
      January 27th, 2008 | 10:57 pm

      Hughes nearly threw a no-hitter in his second start, and then, as the youngest pitcher in the league pitching in the toughest division for pitchers, coming back from injury, held his own — getting better as his legs got stronger and ended up being the only Yankee pitcher to notch a playoff win. It’s not like Hughes was Sean Henn while he was up here. I think he did quite well, and the hype (or more accurately, excitement) around him is justified.

      But anyway, if it’s okay to crush on Kennedy, then it’s cool to crush on Hughes. Looking at both of them while up in the bigs, and even comparing their minor-league numbers, I think Hughes is more impressive. As far as personality — well, neither has a ton of personality. They both seem like normal, easygoing, intelligent young men. Joba’s the one who dominates a room. The other two seem like respectful, mature twentysomethings that I meet all day long.

      I think IPK looks the least impressive on the mound. And I think it’s a mistake to think of him as Moose in his prime. Moose could dial it up back in the day (92-93) and he was an elite pitcher. I think Ian’s ceiling is probably the ’06 Moose (who was very good). But who knows… maybe he’ll be better. I think the Yankees would genuflect to the gods if Joba, Hughes and Ian went 1, 2 and 3 in their rotation for the next ten years.

    13. brockdc
      January 28th, 2008 | 1:20 am

      That’s funny, Bailey. I was thinking a little while back that, despite all the IPK-Moose comparisons, Hughes is the guy who (stuff-wise, at least) seems more comparable to Moose. Who knows if that ends up being the case, but it’s something to dream about.

    14. E-ROC
      January 28th, 2008 | 2:37 am

      IPK does remind me a lot of Moose, but Moose’s stuff was superior to IPK. Moose also had a couple of ticks more on his fastball. IPK will do fine, as will the other two. I have faith that they will. :)

      Steve, you’re griping over a website own by Hughes? It is not that serious. So I take it you disagree with Lastings Milledge high-fiving Mets fans during a game when he was rookie. It’s just petty. Let it go.

    15. January 28th, 2008 | 8:15 am

      ~~~So I take it you disagree with Lastings Milledge high-fiving Mets fans during a game when he was rookie.~~~~

      See: http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2006/06/happy_with_our.html

    16. Raf
      January 28th, 2008 | 9:56 am

      —I don’t like the star treatment that he gets from Yankees fans, now – and, be true, some Yankees fans worship him like a god already.—

      Probably because after run of the mill guys, the Yanks finally have a legitimate top pitching prospect.

      Anyway, it seems that he’s a good guy, and whether or not he pans out in MLB remains to be seen. AFAICT, he’s enjoying the ride, and seeing as this is the “myspace” generation, it should come as no surprise that he has his own blog or website.

    17. gphunt
      January 28th, 2008 | 10:40 am

      What does it take to earn a website? You have a website. What did you do to earn yours? Most pitchers play golf during their off days. Maybe Phil enjoys blogging. I don’t know. He’s one of the few already in Tampa working out and throwing bullpen sessions. Doesn’t seem like he’s much of a pre-madonna like you’re making him out to be.

    18. gphunt
      January 28th, 2008 | 10:43 am

      Sorry that’s prima donna. monday.

    19. SteveB
      January 28th, 2008 | 12:17 pm

      As often as I disagree with you Steve, I too have an affinity for IPK. I also think Hughes and Joba are way more talented and probably have more upside, but I love me some Ian Kennedy and I sincerely hope he does well for the Yanks.

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