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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Baseball believes in Jeff Mathis and the hidden value of game-calling by catchers -

Game-calling once got Jim Leyritz exiled from the New York Yankees.

The story, as Jon Pessah tells it in his book “The Game,” goes something like this: In the 1996 World Series opener, Leyritz instructed his pitchers to throw fastballs to Atlanta Braves teenage outfielder Andruw Jones—that despite the Yankees scouts warning their battery to approach Jones with breaking and offspeed pitches. Jones homered twice as part of a blowout victory, with Leyritz confessing afterward he had hoped to trick Jones. Yes, both times.

Predictably, mercurial Yankees owner George Steinbrenner did not appreciate the explanation. “I spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on scouting, and your dumbass players don’t follow instructions!” he’s reported to have said. Steinbrenner wanted flesh for the folly, and pressured general manager Bob Watson to trade Leyritz that night. Watson did not budge, however, and Leyritz redeemed himself later in the Series with a clutch home run en route to a Yankees title. Watson did relent six weeks after Steinbrenner’s initial demand, sending Leyritz to the Los Angeles Angels for a pair of A-ball pitchers, neither of whom ever donned the pinstripes.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:26 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: catching, jeff mathis

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rally Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5627484)
I'm pretty sure the next active participant in a world series to be traded before the series is over will be the first.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: February 20, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5627579)

I'm pretty sure the next active participant in a world series to be traded before the series is over will be the first.

And with Finley and George both quite dead, I'm not betting it's attempted many times in the future.
   3. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:16 PM (#5627732)
Having lived through the Jeff Mathis experience for six seasons, I can confidently say that his value is very well hidden indeed; the Angels never found it.

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