A (Sarcastic) Letter to Jason Hammel


August 5, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jason Hammel (40, front) is removed from the game by manager Bob Melvin (6, far left) against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Jason Hammel,

I really owe you an apology after I wrote an article saying you were struggling. You’d only pitched 4 games with the Athletics, and I shouldn’t have judged prematurely. I guess all that I needed to do was be patient, because, after all, you did finally get a win in your next 4 starts.

I’m sorry I didn’t have more faith in you, but I tried to be supportive last night! See?

"During Hammel’s last outing in Houston, he gave up 6 runs in the 1st inning. He’s in the 4th with no runs. A LOT of improvement. #Athletics-Jennifer Trumpp (@jennifertrumpp) August 27, 2014"

And I mean really supportive:

"If this game really ends 1-0, I’ll buy a Hammel jersey. #Oakland#Athletics-Jennifer Trumpp (@jennifertrumpp) August 27, 2014"

I’m sorry fans have been referring to you as Jim Johnson 2.0. I’m sure that’s only because you also pitched for the Orioles and has nothing to do with your pitching. You make 4 million dollars a year less than Jim Johnson, but at least you make more than Samardzija. Good news! It’s a good thing you aren’t paid for performance, right? You are still the 4th highest paid player for the A’s though.

I’m sorry you were traded for Billy McKinney, Addison Russell, Dan Straily and a PTBNL. I’m  sorry Samardzija makes you look bad by comparison, since you came over to the A’s in the same trade. I’m sad I won’t see Straily’s beard as often and two of the A’s first round draft picks were part of that trade.

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We shouldn’t have had high expectations for you, because that wasn’t really fair now was it?

I’m sorry that A’s fans and the Las Vegas oddsmakers dreaded your most recent start (the money line in the game was virtually even). I’m sorry the only team we thought you could pitch against was the Astros, despite how terrible that went last time.

"For the first time in eight starts with the A’s, Hammel has completed seven innings.-Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) August 27, 2014"

I’m sorry the team had to skip your turn in the rotation. Hopefully the 10 days of rest helped. You’ve had 2 quality starts since coming to Oakland. Maybe you were just waiting to pitch to Soto?

"Soto could be the Hammel whisperer #Oakland #Athletics-Jennifer Trumpp (@jennifertrumpp) August 27, 2014"

You did great though, champ. We really were proud of you! Here’s a chart comparing your start last night, vs your last outing in Houston. I even threw in your 1 win and your worst outing.

[table id=19 /]

See? Look how much better you were this time around in Houston!

Outing last night: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 93 pitches

Last outing in Houston: 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. 92 pitches.

And you know what the best part is? In the same amount of pitches you allowed 7 less earned runs. I’m sure Melvin is really proud of you kid.

Justin Redman ‏@jnredman: Don’t want to jinx it… But Hammel is dominating… #Oakland #Athletics

Jennifer Trumpp ‏@jennifertrumpp: he’s been lucky more than he’s been dominant but still massive improvement.

Justin Redman ‏@jnredman: This is “dominating” for Hammel. Let’s accept it.

I’m sorry manager Bob Melvin only let you pitch 3 innings vs Atlanta on August 15th. The good news is that you got to throw 60 pitches before being benched. Even better news, that’s better than the 2 innings you pitched vs Baltimore on July 19th! During that game, you only made it through 58 pitches before sitting the rest of the game.

I’m sorry people keep calling you Hammels or Hamels, because that’s really not fair to confuse you with someone with a 2.59 ERA.

Speaking of ERA, I’m sorry that when the A’s acquired you, your ERA was 2.98, but, as an A’s pitcher, shot up to 9.53 after only four games. But hey! Good news! You entered the game last night with a 6.75 ERA with the A’s, but you got it down to 5.77! That makes me wonder why we were ever worried about you! PROGRESS!

I’m also really sorry no one bothered asking if you even like green. Maybe that’s the issue? Or maybe you suffer from pachydermophobia, and have an irrational fear of elephants? How do you feel about possums?  

In conclusion:

"if someone were to have told me that Hammel would be in the 6th inning with only 1ER and 70+ pitches… I’d slap you maybe-boinkity (@Boinkity_Boink) August 27, 2014"

But in all honesty, I hope your latest start was the start of something good. 



Jen can be found obsessively discussing all things green and gold on twitter @jennifertrumpp.