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Pitch Master
2005-04-08 10:32
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Carlos Lugo interviewed the great Juan Marichal earlier this week over at Baseball Prospectus. Here's one bit that may be of some interest to Yankee fans:

If you're a starter, try to study or learn about the opposing hitters and follow your preparation routines between starts almost religiously. The same thing for the relief pitchers, although they must be prepared to do this on an everyday basis. If you have a good fastball, try to learn and develop a second effective pitch. It is almost impossible to be successful in the big leagues with just one pitch. Maybe a Mariano Rivera or a guy like him. I'll tell you something, one of the most effective pitches in baseball is the change-up, and the changeup is one of the easiest pitches to learn. You don't need to have a Pedro Martinez or Eric Gagne changeup to be effective. Sometimes an average change, combined with a good fastball and other average pitch, could mean a big difference in a pitcher's performance. Also, dedicate your time to learning the art of pitching. When you can throw ninety-six or ninety-eight miles per hour, but are not able to make outs consistently, what's the velocity good for? You need to have common sense and say to yourself, I'm going to learn to pitch.

I'm going to tell you a story. A few years ago I was in San Francisco and Orlando Cepeda and I were talking with Felix Rodriguez. I remember that Orlando told him, "Felix, when you return to the Dominican, look for Juan and he's going to help you to learn another pitch. You'll see that with your fastball you're going to be one of the better closers in baseball." Well, even though he promised to call me, I never heard from Felix or saw him again during the winter. That young man, with another good pitch, would be a phenomenon as a closer. But sometimes I guess they don't have enough time to learn a little bit, or are not proud enough.

Or perhaps too proud. Or maybe just too stubborn.

Speaking of stubborn, ex-Yankee Hideki "Boo-Boo" Irabu is calling it a career. Irabu always cracked me up. He seemed so out-of-place on those Yankee teams. He was a genuine screw-up, but I always liked him.

Comments
2005-04-08 14:09:40
1.   Ken Arneson
Or he doesn't want to let too many cooks spoil the broth.

Or, more likely, he just ain't too bright. He spent half of 2002 totally stinking up Pac Bell Park before he told anyone that he had an injured finger. He wasted three months of the season.

2005-04-08 17:15:43
2.   yankee23
I've liked Brian Roberts for a while now, would it be wrong for the Yankees to offer Rey & Womack for him? Or perhaps for him & Chris Gomez?

I don't see how it wouldn't be an upgrade both offensively and defensively. Not to mention that he's 10 and 7 years younger than Sanchez and Womack, respectively.

Plus if we swapped those two for him, we'd be able to keep Andy Phillips up when Brown gets back.

2005-04-08 21:36:49
3.   Cliff Corcoran
Of course that would be a good trade, but the Orioles aren't fools. They chose Roberts over Hairston and Roberts is shaping into a potential All-Star (in an admitedly weak AL field). The Yanks could also call the Braves and offer Sanchez and Womack for Marcus Giles (assuming a healthy Marcus Giles here) too, but it would take a tremendous amount of guile to keep the Braves from hanging up on them.
2005-04-08 22:47:57
4.   yankee23
I didn't really think that through until after I posted. It just seemed like Roberts wasn't such a big name outside of the Orioles camp, so I thought perhaps they could be talked out of him. Then again, what team would take Womack and Sanchez for a younger second baseman?

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot to offer. Perhaps Groom or (and?) Graman? Womack hasn't been too disappointing yet, so perhaps I'm ahead of schedule here.

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