Chin Music: The Adventures of Tommy Hanson


May 10th, 2010, Milwaukee Wisconsin. In tunnels deep beneath the arena sat a solitary gladiator, his head bowed in solemn deliberation. He could hear the roar of the masses above. They called his name – thousands of them, together. The room shook from their fervor.

Down the tunnels ran a young batboy, his gait irregular and discordant – one foot hit the floor harder than the other. Into the locker room the boy ran, and he stopped short when he saw the man sitting there in the middle of the empty room. He stood and stared at the giant gladiator, too afraid to speak, but even more afraid to return to the dugout unsuccessful.

“What is it, boy?” The voice seemed to come from throughout the entire room itself. The boy shifted his weight nervously.

“My lord, Bobby Coxidopolous has summoned you to battle.”

“He’s not my master.” The man said. His voice boomed like distant rolling thunder. He still had not moved or even looked at the bat boy.

“But I didn’t say – “ The gladiator interrupted the boy by standing abruptly with a finger to his lips.

“Ssshhhh.” He pointed up at the ceiling. “do you hear them?” The boy nodded. “They summon me, not him. Not him!” He shook his fist as he yelled. “Go get my glove.”

The boy grabbed the glove from the locker. He paused as he read the name above it: “Hanson.” Then he quickly ran back to the gladiator and handed him the glove before saying, “the batter you’re facing… He’s the hardest hitter I’ve ever seen… I wouldn’t want to face him.”

The gladiator fitted his left hand into the glove and then punched the palm with his right. He looked down at the bat boy and said, “and that is why no one will remember your name.”

Okay, so I got a little carried away with the historical action epic stuff, but it was fun… Tommy Hanson nailed Ryan Braun in the elbow with a fastball on May 10, 2010. Braun hasn’t been the same since. Hanson has, he just keeps hitting batters. He’s hit 13 so far this year. He’s also not having the year many (myself included) expected him to have. But is it all bad? Stats!

In 2009, Hanson broke onto the scene with a 2.89 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 116 K in 127 IP.

In 2010, he looks like this: 4.12 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 114 K in 113 IP.

He hit five batters in ’09, and he’s already hit 13 in ’10. But is he having problems with his control? Not from what the numbers say:

From 2009 to 2010, his K rate has jumped from 8.18 to 9.03, and his walk rate has lowered from 3.24 to 2.93 – and that’s despite plunking eight more batters. His contact rates are virtually unchanged, but his BABIP is .068 points higher than last year. Dare I say that he’s had some bad luck? I don’t know. I think only Tommy Hanson knows.

I think it has a lot to do with the mental aspect of things. It takes longer to get over negative results when you’re 23 years old than it does when you’re 26. You young guys reading this might think I’m blowin’ smoke, but you’ll realize one day when you look back at how much you change in a few years and know that I was right. Look, it just takes most younger people longer to get over shit, period. And I think that Tommy Hanson has been battling Tommy Hanson a lot this year.

But not anymore. The kid has been great in July, posting a 2.66 ERA with a 24/6 K/BB ratio. In fact, he’s had a pretty good season, save three bad games against Detroit, Cincy, and the White Sox. In those three games, Hanson gave up 17 ER in nine total innings. I expect the July numbers to continue throughout the rest of the year.

I’m easily distracted, so I started listening to music. Here are some Atlanta products that are worth listening to…

Injected – “ Faithless”

Sevendust – “Denial”

Sevendust – “Unraveling”

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