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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Not such a good fit

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 31, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

If there’s going to be a list of the year’s best Yankees costumes, there has to be a list of the worst.

White Sox Yankees BaseballNick Johnson
as Johnny Damon
The Yankees tried to bring Damon back, but Damon turned them down. Ultimately, the Yankees settled for Johnson, trusting that his uncanny knack for getting on base would fit well ahead of their powerful three and four hitters. It made sense – even in an awful partial season he had a .388 OBP – but Johnson does one other thing uncannily well: He gets hurt. Ultimately, he was absolutely no help.

Chan Ho Park
as Alfredo Aceves
Aceves is a hybrid reliever, the kind who can fit into a crucial late-inning spot when needed, or can give multiple innings of dependable relief, seeting the stage for a potential comeback. The Yankees never had that kind of reliever this season. They thought they found a similar guy in Park, who they picked of the scrap heap at the beginning of spring training. After 27 appearances and 22 earned run, Park was sent packing.

Javier Vazquez
as Javier Vazquez
The Yankees were counting on one thing about Vazquez: Consistency. This time around, they weren’t asking him to lead a rotation, or even to pitch in the top half of the rotation. He was supposed to be a stabilizing force at the back end, something he had proven capable of doing time and time again in his career. Nothing flashy, just reliable starts every fifth day. Vazquez couldn’t do it, and the Yankees were once again left searching for spot starters.

Mark Melancon
as Dave Robertson
I realize there’s very little evidence that this is true, but I honestly believe Melancon is going to be a good Major League pitcher. I saw too many good things from him in Triple-A to believe he’s always going to struggle this much at this level. But the fact is, he never took that next step – the one Robertson made last year – in New York. I think it will happen in Houston, but it never happened here.

Associated Press photo of Johnson with Derek Jeter

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61 Responses to “Not such a good fit”

  1. Doreen October 31st, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Of all those, Javy Vazquez was the biggest disappointment to me. I rooted for him so hard and was encouraged when somewhere at the end of the first third of the season he seemed to get it together. But it fell apart just as quickly.

    And Chad, as you note, the expectations for Javy this time around weren’t pressurized at all. They just wanted him to be himself – or what he’d been for the last several years. Ah, well.

  2. Joe from Long Island October 31st, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Why didn’t Melancon take that next step, as Robertson did? Ah, that’s the 64 zillion dollar question. But, he just didn’t, and ultimately what counts is performance, not potential. He seemed like a good guy, from what I’ve read from multiple sources. But, it just wasn’t working out for him in NY.

  3. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I too thought vazquez would be servicable as a # 4 guy. No pressure just pitch and give offence a chance. Alas it never really materialized. I guess ther is some thing to be sais for mational league pitchers staying in national league,IMO.
    I also like melancon’s #’s though chad is right. they never materialized @ the m.l. level

  4. Betsy October 31st, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Melancon might be good, but with his attitude about NY and the fans, I doubt that would have happened in NY.

    Javy was awful, not just because he was awful himself but because he impacted the rotation. The Yankees had to lean on Phil more than I’m sure they wanted to………he did not provide even mediocrity. It’s not asking a lot for someone to be a #4 type, but Javy just fell apart.

  5. Doreen October 31st, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I have a question

    Generally speaking, which do you believe would make a better pitching coach, a former catcher or a former pitcher?

  6. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Sometimes i think younger guys put too much pressure on themselves to do things they can”t do. takes a special player to succeed in majors, and an even more special player to succeed as a Yankee. IMO.

  7. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Betst, good question. i would lean more toward an ex-pitcher. but only because i think they have a bit more insight in to the trade so to speak. catchers can see things, but i am not sure they can pick up as much as a pitcher

  8. 108 stitches October 31st, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    It’s incredible how much Javy Vazquez lost off his fastball in just one year. He was expected to be a No. 5 starter and as an innings eater.
    At the same time, Burnett was expected to be the No. 2 starter and all fans know how that worked out. All he is now is a No. 5 starter at best.
    It’s why pitching is Cashman’s No. 1 priority as he’s stated in the last week.

  9. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Betsy, sorry about the sp. Oops

  10. Giuseppe Franco October 31st, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    # AldotheApache October 31st, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Ray and Fran, good points about Guidry and Mattingly. But bear in mind that at the time, the Yankees did not have $350MM invested in 2 pitchers. I think they’re look fr some good ole fashioned Return on Investment, which is a big reason why Eiland is unemployed today.

    ————-

    Can’t say that I buy into that theory.

    The guys who most need pitching coaches are the youngsters who are still developing their game like Hughes and Joba when Eiland was hired.

    The guys who are earning $100M+ contracts are the guys who may need a tweak from their pitching coaches every now and then but don’t need them as much as the guys who aren’t as established in this game.

    Well, except for Burnett. He’s another story altogether. He needs all the help he can get.

    The pitching coach the Yanks hire probably will have more to do with how Cashman feels he can work and help the youngsters in the system (and on the staff) than the guys who have already done it all like Sabathia, Pettitte, Mo, and Lee (if he signs).

  11. Fran the original October 31st, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    The Yankees really did pretty well this season consideriing they only had 3 reliable starters (CC, Andy and Phil) and Andy was out for 2 months.

    Thought Vazquez would work out too, but at least he is gone. Still have AJ to straighten out.

  12. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Fran,

    Agreed. i even would go as far as to say they got more out of Phil than they could have anticipated. One can only hope this past season is a sign of good things to come for him

  13. mick October 31st, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I just hope the pending pick-up of one Cliff Lee is all we need but I doubt it.
    I am glad we did not give up Montero for a rental.
    It was still no guarantee we’d be in the Series now with Lee.

  14. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Thought Vazquez would work out too, but at least he is gone. Still have AJ to straighten out.
    *****************************

    re. A.J.: not sure there is enought time left on his contract to straighten hin out, though i hope we can :-)

  15. Fran the original October 31st, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    JEKIKASO,

    I would like to see the Yankees trade AJ, but I don’t think they would get much and they would probably end up paying most of his contract anyway. So if that it the case, they might as well keep him and try to straighten him out.

  16. Rich in NJ October 31st, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Melancon never got a fair shot in NY; that’s water under the bridge, but that need to avoid making that a pattern.

  17. mick October 31st, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Who would take AJ off our hands, maybe a NL team like the Braves?
    Why not pay his salary out of here, he hurts the team by staying.
    Who cares what we get for him, that is not the issue.
    I don’t think they will be happy carrying a 5th starter with that salary.

  18. Rich in NJ October 31st, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    “Why not pay his salary out of here”

    Because they aren’t going to flush the $30m or so that it would take.

  19. Fran the original October 31st, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    mick,

    If they did trade AJ, I think it would be a NL team that would want him. Vazquez seems to be an NL pitcher, maybe the same is true of AJ.

  20. mick October 31st, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    If it helped the team to do so, they would, they can afford it.

  21. 108 stitches October 31st, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    There’s little a pitching coach can do with C.C., Andy, and Lee if he’s indeed signed, keep their routines in between starts on schedule.
    Phil Hughes just needs to stay on course and have confidence with his secondary pitches. In the case of Burnett, he needs top-to-bottom reconstruction with his mechanics and develop a changeup to keep hitters guessing.
    If Scott Aldred is tapped as the new pitching coach, the younger, up-coming pitchers are acquainted with him.

  22. mick October 31st, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Carrying him as a 5th starter is ludicrous, and that’s all he is. Nova could do that job.
    It would also eliminate him from the playoffs/Series controversies his presence creates.

  23. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    fRAN,

    i AGREE. iT IS JUST A SHAME BECAUSE WHEN HE IS ”
    ON” HE HAS GREAT STUFF. hERE’S HOPING NEXT YEAR IS AN improvement for A.J. and us,lol

  24. Fran the original October 31st, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Time to go watch the Jets game.

    See you all later.

  25. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Melancon was not a great in the minors as you might think. For two years he was pretty bad when bringing him into a game with runners on because those runners ended up scoring more often than not.

    Why are people always of the opinion that it’s Rodriguez that needs to move off of a defensive position? Jeter’s throwing accuracy has improved, but, not his arm strength. Playing shortstop gives him a little more time to get his feet under him. He doesn’t have that advantage at third. There are more off-balance throws from third than from shortstop and that’s one of Rodriguez’ strengths. Rodriguez can play 135-140 games a year at third for quite a while yet, and NYY has the people to spot both him and Jeter at short, with Nunez and Laird.

  26. Rich in NJ October 31st, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    “If it helped the team to do so, they would, they can afford it.”

    It would only help the team if they got something of value back, and right now, they can’t.

  27. 108 stitches October 31st, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Hal Steinbrenner will not eat any part of Burnett’s contract. For the sake of nearly equal contracts, there’s only one NL team in a position to do a Burnett deal and that’s the Cubs by using Carlos Zambrano or possibly Ryan Dempster and the Yankees sweetening the deal by adding players without a Yankee future such as Juan Miranda and Kevin Russo.

  28. Rich in NJ October 31st, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    “For two years he was pretty bad when bringing him into a game with runners on because those runners ended up scoring more often than not.”

    That’s my point. I think he needed to be used much more in low leverage situations until he gained confidence.

  29. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Nova had trouble getting through the 5th inning. By all means lets jump off a bridge where Burnett, Jeter, Rodriguez, Teixeira and Chamberlain are concerned. One off-year tells it all, doesn’t it.

  30. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    You can’t get much more low pressure than the 7th inning in the minors.

  31. Giuseppe Franco October 31st, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    # mick October 31st, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I don’t think they will be happy carrying a 5th starter with that salary.

    ———–

    They knew Burnett was a gamble when they signed him. They have no choice at this point. He is untradeable.

    All we can do is hope he rebounds next season because they are stuck with him whether we like it or not.

  32. Rich in NJ October 31st, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    You can be brought in more to start innings. Melancon’s MLB ERA was 3.86 in 2009, albeit in 16.1 IP. That’s not terrible.

  33. 108 stitches October 31st, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    With the Yankee payroll being what is is and will be, Nunez and Laird should be given every opportunity to show they can spell A-Rod and Jeter in the near future years to allow them time to be spotted as a DH or be taken out of blowout games to keep fresh.

  34. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    NYY signed Burnett to about what he’s always been. Win 13-17 games and pitch to a 4.00 REA and that’s exactly what they got in 2009. This past year, he had exactly what 90% of the team had…an off-year. Whatever the reason was this year, he could never get on a long run after April. That doesn’t mean that he won’t ever get it straightened out again.

    If it was up to some of the fools in the media and on these boards, the Yankees would be releasing/trading somebody after every damned game because they didn’t get a hit or a win.

  35. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    pitch to a 4.00 ***ERA***

  36. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    # GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    NYY signed Burnett to about what he’s always been. Win 13-17 games and pitch to a 4.00 REA and that’s exactly what they got in 2009. This past year, he had exactly what 90% of the team had…an off-year. Whatever the reason was this year, he could never get on a long run after April. That doesn’t mean that he won’t ever get it straightened out again.

    If it was up to some of the fools in the media and on these boards, the Yankees would be releasing/trading somebody after every damned game because they didn’t get a hit or a win.
    ***************************

    very true, half the team may have changed in March, before thet ever left Tampa

  37. MaineYankee October 31st, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Good afternoon GB7

    It’s good to see you in fine humor. :lol:

    I have to stop reading some of this in order to enjoy the sport.

  38. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Maine, same here. Game time was more painful than using a razor blade and plyers to pull your own teeth. It wasn’t just the trolls, it was the “normal Yankee fans”. The twins didn’t whine as much as the “fans” did. They should have been sent to bed without supper.

    Great seeing you on again. How have you and Mrs. Maine and the little Maines been, lately?

  39. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    blade and ***pliers*** to pull your own teeth.

  40. Joe from Long Island October 31st, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Jekikaso – re: Vazquez – I really think he’s washed up. His velocity was done last year, that played into his problems. I don’t think it’s the AL. As far as what some have thought about lack of confidence, there, I think it’s secondary to his seeing that his pitches get whacked. I really think he’s at the end of his career, and just doesn’t have the stuff any longer to get ML hitters out. And, if he signs with Washington, or whomever, for next year, I’m thinking we’ll see that continue.

    Not everyone is Andy Pettitte, and can keep going and maybe even be a better pitcher as they hit their late 30s. Another reason why Pettitte is special.

  41. MaineYankee October 31st, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    GB7

    The Mrs and I have been doing well. Went to NH last weekend for a couple of days away.

    The little Maines are all grown up now at least age wise.

    They can act like teenagers even in their 30′s. :lol:

  42. sevrox October 31st, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    With AJ, what you see is what you get. He was a career .500 pitcher when they got him – was he supposed to magically transform into an ace? With Toronto, he destroyed Boston and NY and now he can’t – although he helped to destroy what should have been the best rotation in the league this past season. I remember Toronto fans telling ‘us’ what ‘we’d’ be getting into – damn’d if they weren’t correct.

  43. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Joe,

    you may very well be right about him. if he can survive at all i fell it has to in nl as well. saw Andy in the minors. you knew even back then he was special. he already had something a lot of pitchers never seem to get…. “mound presence”

  44. JEKIKASO October 31st, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    i off to enjoy some football. later,all

  45. Rich in NJ October 31st, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    “With AJ, what you see is what you get.”

    Given that his FB velo has been declining (almost 3 mph since 2007), you may actually get less than what you have been seeing, unless he (finally) adds a pitch.

  46. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    MaineYankee October 31st, 2010 at 1:33 pm
    GB7

    The Mrs and I have been doing well. Went to NH last weekend for a couple of days away.

    The little Maines are all grown up now at least age wise.

    ***They can act like teenagers even in their 30’s***

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    You’d better hide, then. If they’re only in their 30s, it’ll get worse. Train the moose that come into your yard to attack any car that isn’t yours.

  47. AldotheApache October 31st, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    GF, you have valid points about the veteran pitchers versus young developing pitchers. AJ needs help, no matter how you slice it. And the investment of dollars in their creates the expectation that it will complete (augment), not save, the entire pitching staff.

    To me, their investments and the expectations that came with it have a lot to do with Eiland’s dismissal. Just guessing, I could be wrong.

  48. randy l. October 31st, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    “Generally speaking, which do you believe would make a better pitching coach, a former catcher or a former pitcher?”

    doreen-

    first of all, from reading what people are looking for in a pitching coach i think there’s a misconception on what a pitching coach actually does .it’s not always the cerebral teaching job people make it out to be correcting problems and teaching mechanics. it’s a labor intensive job of working with pitchers day in and day out. it’s standing there watching long toss. it’s standing there watching a bullpen workout. it’s watching hours and months of a pitcher rehabbing.

    for a pitcher,getting ready to be pitch is a slow process that on any given day is like watching grass grow. the pitching coach has to be monitoring all this grass growing. it’s rewarding , but it takes a certain kind of guy to do it.

    i had the good fortune to be around some very good pitching coaches: tony cloninger, 15 year yankee/red sox minor and major league pitching coach, bruce kison- mlb oriole and royals pitching coach, rick petersen- a’s,met’s brewers, ross grimsley- orioles minor league pitching coach, neil allen- blue jays,yankees, rays, minor league pitching coach, and stu cliburn- long time twins triple a pitching coach.

    these are all guys i know pretty well. they are not rocket scientists ,but are all sharp guys who know a lot about pitching and love the game. having a passion for the game is the key because you have to love it to put in the hours that they put in.

    being a good pitching coach is a labor intensive job.that’s what i’m really trying to get across.i’m not sure people on the blog get that. some seem to think it’s being more of a pitching coach genius type job. all the ones i mention aren’t geniuses , but all are workaholics about coaching pitching.

    so when you ask about what’s better a pitcher or a catcher, i’d say it doesn’t matter as long as the pitching coach is a workaholic with a passion for the game. i do think former pitchers most of the time have a better mechanical understanding of pitching because that’s all they did.

    here’s a good example. stan and stu cliburn are identical twins. both pitched and caught in little league until one day after a couple of years stan lost his first game game pitching while stu caught. their father,, the coach said on the way home said ” stan from now on, stu is the pitcher and you are the catcher “. true story.

    stan went to the majors with the angels as a catcher, and stu went to the major leagues as a pitcher. stan was the rochester red wings(twins triple a) manager for 4-5 years until last year with most of the present twins team going through him including mauer , morneau,and all those home grown twins pitchers.

    stu was the twins pitching coach with the red wings. now who with stan and stu is the best pitching coach? i would say that stu is only because he’s spent more time at it. they are identical twins with the same physical ability. one trained as a pitcher and one as a catcher. but stan had to learn to hit and catch and stu just had to learn to pitch.

    so stu, i’d say, knows more about pitching. but stan could be a pitching coach if he wanted to.he’s won a thousand minor league games as a manager so i think he’s just not interested in being a pitching coach. they worked as a team on developing matt garza when he went through the twins system. stu taught the mechanics and stan set the standards for garza to grow to not be a headcase.

    there’s another thing. a catcher spends much of his time trying to get pure backspin on his throws so the ball is a perfect four seam fastball to second base. a pitcher spends much of his time earning a variety of grips to get all kinds of specific movement on his pitches .

    so i’d say most catchers don’t know all the variety of grips that pitchers use the way that pitchers know them. catchers know the basics of grips, but they don’t usually obsess over how to grip a circle change say with all the variations possible with pressure and finger position the way a pitcher would.

    so to answer your question, i’d say i’d rather have a former catcher be the manager and a former pitcher be the pitching coach.

    i’d also say that of stan cliburn was the manager of the yankees and stu cliburn was the pitching coach , the yankees would do just fine. they just plain solid baseball people who would have no trouble doing the job.

    someone like scott aldred may be fine, but someone like stu probably has as much experience if not more judging by all the pitchers that went through him to the parent twins. another guy who i knew who’d be good is bruse kison because he’s a really good pitching talent evaluator( does that for the orioles now). kison is interesting because he’s one of the physically toughest and most hardcore guys i ever ran across. he would be really tough on guys like aj and joba.

    whoever the yankees hire , this has to be the opportunity of a lifetime for him. he has to eat , sleep, and breath the job because that’s what it takes to be a really good pitching coach.

  49. Joe from Long Island October 31st, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    randy I. – hi, long time, no “see”. Hope you’ve been well.

    That was a great dissertation on what it takes to be a pitching coach, or any type coach. One thing I’ve learned from following baseball, is how deeply so many people, grown adults, care about a game. I wonder how they have a family life, those who do.

    There must be a special place in heaven for them. ;)

  50. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Great pitchers, like great hitters don’t always make great coaches. They were naturals at what they did. Mantle was the perfect example. He said that he couldn’t explain how to hit beyond see it and hit it. He was pretty complex, though. He never thought that he was as great as he was, but, on the other hand, couldn’t figure out why others couldn’t do what he did. Some players are natural teachers. Not sure that Jeter could ever be a great hitting coach, but Rodriguez would be great at it…much the same as Carew and Ted Williams were. Cloninger was great with the Yankees, as was Stottlemyre, though he gets very little credit for that. Johnny sain might have been the best outside of Jim Turner. They were natural teachers. Guidry wasn’t.

  51. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    There is one guy that never got a chance because everybody thought he was just a great reliever, but a clown. Sparky Lyle. He’s a natural teacher.

  52. yanks61 October 31st, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Terrific idea, GB! Sparky is one of my all-time favorites. But he’s also so popular now with the Somerset Patriots, I don’t know if the Yanks could pry him away.

    He’s a sharp dude and would be a great pitching coach. Excellent thinking out of the box!

  53. randy l. October 31st, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    joe from long island-

    i’m sure it’s similar in your medical profession that it’s hard for long periods of time at various points in their careers for doctors to balance family life. all the pitching coaches i mentioned i knew fairly well ,and i know that the job made having a balanced family life difficult and was a challenge.

    someone like stottlemyre was good because his family was grown up when he was the yankee pitching coach. it is tough on a young pitching coach who’s raising a young family. there was more than a few divorces in the pitching coaches i was around. actually it was the norm rather than the exception.

    on the other hand , some of the coaches did put family first and chose the jobs they took around their family life at various stages of their careers. i know neil allen for example took a double a coaching job with the rays to be close to his home with his wife and young son in sarasota when he could have gotten better jobs somewhere else if he was willing to be away from home.

    pitching coaches don’t make the money players do or the manager and often have to leave their families back home somewhere. that means not being with their families hardly at all in season.
    when you really look at it , it’s hard to find a really good pitching coach who’s actually free to do the job the way it needs to be done.

    you’d think the yankees would have a huge number of quality pitching coaches to pick from , but judging from the low number of names we’re hearing, that’s not the case. the problems with family life probably do impact this number considerably.

  54. randy l. October 31st, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    gb7-

    greeting from the old folks home. i was disappointed to hear that your application for residency here was denied because of your insistence on moving your blunderbuss collection in with you.

    too bad because i could have used the time to have taught you how how to hit a golf ball and actually find it to hit it again.

  55. Doreen October 31st, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Hi randy l -

    Thank you for your view on the matter. (I was hoping I’d get a response from you on that.)

    I had thought that since catchers work with a variety of pitchers that they might be able to approach the job from that aspect. But I understand that if a pitcher was really a student of pitching, that he would really know from a very basic level what pitching is about. Of course the trick is also to have someone who is able to take that knowledge and apply it differently for every arm under his watch.

    I agree that if a guy wants to do this job, he has to be dedicated beyond all reasonable expectations. I can see how certain aspects of the job would be tedious at best.

    The Yankees found a batting coach in Kevin Long who seems tireless and supremely dedicated, and I’ve often wondered how his home life suffers while he’s off in the Domincan with Robinson Cano for 2-3 weeks, and then off to other players in other places.

    I hope the Yankees find the equivalent in a pitching coach.

    Your story about the twins is really very interesting and funny, too. They must have been very talented to just be able to switch positions like that!

    As an aside, I like what you had to say about one twin (the catcher) having to learn catching and work on his hitting, while the pitcher had only to work on pitching.

    The other day, there was a discussion on the DH, and someone said it was basically a gimmick, that before the DH, pitchers could hit better than they do today because they were exposed to hitting. My feeling is yes, they were exposed to hitting, so they were not strangers to it, but they weren’t better hitters, because they never really had to to work on their hitting – they weren’t expected to, and that the reason the DH was introduced in the first place was to bolster the offense and put more fannies in the seats – “chicks like the HR” basically. Whether or not a person favors the DH, to me you can’t argue that pitchers were ever, as a group, good hitters. You had your handful who could handle a bat. But even the good hitting pitchers that I looked up mostly hit in the .200s. I believe Don Newcombe was an aberration. He hit pretty well consistently.

    Hope you all are enjoying your Halloween Day.

    :)

  56. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    randy l. October 31st, 2010 at 3:05 pm
    gb7-

    greeting from the old folks home. i was disappointed to hear that your application for residency here was denied because of your insistence on moving your blunderbuss collection in with you.

    too bad because i could have used the time to have taught you how how to hit a golf ball and actually find it to hit it again.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    LMAO. I have no trouble finding them after I hit them. I either look right behind me or in the nearest car windshield.. As far as the old folks home, they’ll never let me in. I haven’t started falling asleep in my cereal bowl yet. That’s a prerequisite for getting in.

  57. randy l. October 31st, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    “They must have been very talented to just be able to switch positions like that!”

    doreen -

    the cliburn twin brothers were and are talented guys. both played in the majors and both have had very successful minor league coaching careers. stan is the real character though personality wise. figures that he’d be the catcher.

    as far as pitchers being able to hit, i’ll bet most major league pitchers were among their high school teams best hitters. to be that good of an athlete to be a major league pitcher,most star pitchers at at the high school level were probably a star at another position too. the exception might be in california and florida where kids gets fast tracked early on on in one position and in one sport.

    pat m would know about that i’m sure in california. it’d be interesting to hear what he would say about hughes being a good hitter on high school or not. also ian kennedy. i could see kennedy playing another position for sure.

  58. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Randy, it always seemed that the star players in school were the guys that were the star pitchers and played shortstop on days they didn’t start.

    Some of the great hitting pitchers that come to mind are Red Ruffing, Bob Gibson, Bob Lemon(former 3rd baseman), Don Newcomb (as mentioned), Mel Stottlemyre, Warren Spahn, Wes Farrell (much better hitter than HOF catching brother Rick), Don Drysdale, Earl Wilson and Fergy Jenkins. Catfish Hunter was such a good hitter that the old miser, Charlie Finley actually had a $5,000 bonus added to his contract as a hitter.

  59. BIG AL October 31st, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 2:38 pm
    There is one guy that never got a chance because everybody thought he was just a great reliever, but a clown. Sparky Lyle. He’s a natural teacher.

    ***********************************************

    Not only a clown, a major coke head.

  60. GreenBeret7 October 31st, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Lyle as far as anybody knows was no coke head. That was Steve Howe.

  61. SmellHall October 31st, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I wouldn’t say they plucked Park off the scrap heap, he had value after pitching well for the Phillies in 2009. That said, Cashew always has these sorts of signings every winter – the 2 or 3 guys that don’t pan out and get punted before the all-star break. It’s good to be the King say Cashew…

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