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Friday, May 31, 2019

Greinke is the master of the ‘slowball’

This season, Greinke has thrown 80 pitches under 70 mph. That’s by far the most of any pitcher. In fact, the next-closest “pitcher” is Greinke’s own teammate, John Ryan Murphy ... who you might recognize as a catcher. Murphy, designated for assignment last week, pitched in two blowouts, and just lobbed the ball in. Greinke’s thrown nearly double the sub-70 mph pitches as the next-closest true pitcher, Oakland’s Chris Bassitt, who’s thrown 45.

But here’s the best part. In the at-bats decided on those sub-70 mph eephus-like curves, hitters are 0-for-31 with 12 strikeouts. On about three-fourths of the 80 slow curves he’s thrown in total, Greinke has gotten either a strike (called, swinging or foul) or an out on a ball in play.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 31, 2019 at 06:05 PM | 66 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: zack greinke

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   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 31, 2019 at 11:49 PM (#5847274)
This is awesome.
   2. Sunday silence Posted: June 01, 2019 at 12:12 AM (#5847280)
at 1.20.30 this one by Steve Blass maybe slower:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zBhRvQIqW0
   3. Baldrick Posted: June 01, 2019 at 07:51 AM (#5847291)
This is cool. Greinke is cool.
   4. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: June 01, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5847313)
Boy, I remember people talking about young Greinke back when he was getting hit hard needing to get rid of that pitch. Did he manage to sharpen that pitch up a bit or is it just a better fit now with the changes to hitting approach across MLB?
   5. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 01, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5847314)
Greinke is delightful, and it's not at all a shock that he's a pitcher who's stayed effective as he's aged and lost his hard stuff. Sneaky solid HOF candidate.
   6. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 01, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5847317)
On the 2011 Crew Greinke and Wolf had a standing contest on who could throw the slowest pitch for a strike. Think the slowest was 67 mph
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 01, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5847319)
Greinke is delightful,
Isn’t he pretty well known to be somewhat of a jerk?
   8. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: June 01, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5847322)
You can't blame him. He's never been able to get over the Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston breakup.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: June 01, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5847330)
Isn’t he pretty well known to be somewhat of a jerk?


Very much so. He's a delight to watch play (including on the offensive side), but I think that's the extent of it.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 01, 2019 at 12:39 PM (#5847331)
Isn’t he pretty well known to be somewhat of a jerk?


He comes off as a bit of a jerk, although I don't think its necessarily intentional. I think he just doesn't tolerate what he considers frivolous things.

Or he might be a jerk, idk.
   11. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 01, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5847332)
Greinke is delightful, and it's not at all a shock that he's a pitcher who's stayed effective as he's aged and lost his hard stuff. Sneaky solid HOF candidate.

We had a discussion about this a few weeks ago, on the exile chat. Don't think it is that sneaky of a case in all honesty.
   12. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 01, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5847334)
FWIW, he was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. Calling him a jerk when a lot of the problems with his interactions can be traced back to a verifiable illness, seems rather tactless to me.

Or IDK, he might just be a jerk.
   13. Eric L Posted: June 01, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5847335)
Concur with #11. Not that sneaky at all.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: June 01, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5847336)
FWIW, he was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. Calling him a jerk when a lot of the problems with his interactions can be traced back to a verifiable illness, seems rather tactless to me.


A lot of folks have social anxiety order without acting like the jerk that Greinke has been time and again in his career (saying in a radio interview that an HBP that injured another player was his "best one", throwing Yasiel Puig's luggage off a bus, etc.)

Or, as Pat Neshek described him, "This is the only ahole in major league baseball that has been a turd to me."

But yeah, if he figuratively falls off the cliff tomorrow, I think he's already a pretty solid HoF candidate right now.
   15. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 01, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5847337)
The Pat Neshek thing, I think we only ever got the one side of the story. And even from that very one-sided version, it always seemed to me like Neshek was being a vastly bigger douchecanoe than Greinke was in that affair. Which always made me assume that something happened to make Greinke change his mind about signing autographs for him in the first place, that Neshek is conveniently leaving out of the story. Even if not, it could have been a simple misunderstanding when he originally asked him, which would not warrant hounding and accosting the guy multiple times.

The other ones definitely could be Greinke being a complete #######. Or they could be him trying to make jokes and be fun, and screwing it up because he is a massive klutz when it comes to any kind of social interactions.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: June 01, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5847338)
The other ones definitely could be Greinke being a complete #######. Or they could be him trying to make jokes and be fun, and screwing it up because he is a massive klutz when it comes to any kind of social interactions.


How does social awkwardness manifest in tossing Yasiel Puig's luggage into the street?

The stories of Greinke being a jerk are legion. You want to chalk them all up to social awkwardness, knock yourself out, though you might want to consider giving Jundt the same wide berth.


.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 01, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5847339)
A lot of folks have social anxiety order without acting like the jerk that Greinke has been time and again in his career
Exactly. I myself have some social anxiety from time to time, but I can certainly muster basic civility. I hope, anyway.
   18. Adam Starblind Posted: June 01, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5847340)

We had a discussion about this a few weeks ago, on the exile chat. Don't think it is that sneaky of a case in all honesty.


He'll need a few dozen more wins, and probably 250 before I'd stop worrying about him getting recognized for his contributions. He's never won 20, but he does have a Cy Young. Dude already has a ton of WAR.
   19. Baldrick Posted: June 01, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5847354)
I think it's fine to say that Greinke is a jerk, but there is some context that helps explain (but mostly not justify) why.

It's also fine to say that it's cool that he is clearly pretty different from most other players, and to enjoy his weirdness.
   20. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 01, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5847455)
at 1.20.30 this one by Steve Blass maybe slower:

Boog Powell is the oldest looking 29 year old in that clip.
   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 01, 2019 at 06:46 PM (#5847459)
I myself have some social anxiety from time to time,


Don't you play in a band all the time live? Or is that another Cub's fan here?

Don't think it is that sneaky of a case in all honesty.


We may not think so, however the HOF voters will not elect him so easily. He's got more bWAR then Verlander right now. But Verlander has a boatload of black ink and is considered by the general public(correctly) as one of the best pitchers in baseball every year. Greinke, not so much and very little black ink. The electorate likes dominance. Greinke has had 2 incredible seasons and a bunch of pretty good ones.

Funnily enough, if the electorate remembers quirky stuff like these 70mph eephus pitches and how effective they are, stuff like that pushes borderline guys over the top.
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 01, 2019 at 07:02 PM (#5847461)
Don't you play in a band all the time live? Or is that another Cub's fan here?
Yeah, I've played in bands since I was a teenager. That type of performance is a completely different thing than being in a situation where you're expected to make small talk with people you don't know well, etc. I'm totally comfortable with performing and playing music, and in fact it's a great way to be in "social" situations but avoid a lot of the less comfortable interactions. In my case, anxiety is only occasional and usually pretty mild, so it doesn't really prevent me from doing anything - I just find things like networking events, parties where I don't really know anyone particularly well, etc. to be draining.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: June 01, 2019 at 10:50 PM (#5847507)
good stat on Greinke on Mets telecast:

opposing BA first time through the order: .240
second time: .206
third time: .158
   24. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: June 02, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5847545)
19: I think that’s about right, Baldrick.
   25. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 02, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5847549)
Given the changing landscape for starting pitcher usage, it will be interesting to see what happens to the electorate’s HOF standards.
   26. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 02, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5847552)
I'm totally comfortable with performing

It often comes as a shock to civilians, but many--perhaps even most--performers are introverts, and are frequently uncomfortable in social situations. Performing has a structure to it that ordinary social interactions lack: you know what you're supposed to do, you know what the other performers are going to do, and you can trick yourself into ignoring the crowd by speaking to one person, or singing/playing to a particular individual.

I started taking improv classes (something I was always terrified of!) a year or so ago, and have found it to be amazingly fun. There is, as IRL, minimal structure, but you're taught to concentrate on what the other performers are feeling/doing, and allowing your character--whoever you've decided that is for the nonce--to go along with them, rather than trying to force things to play out in a specific direction. Scenes don't always "work," but you find there are more and more good & interesting moments as you go along.

Now if only I could get some of that into my daily life.
   27. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: June 02, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5847561)
26/HandU: In my experience from a distant past as a middling improv performer (and, eventually, a not very good improv teacher), it gets easier and easier over time to leverage those skills in non-performative contexts - to be both hyper present (as a listener and reactor) and floating outside and above situations. Kind of a game changer, frankly, in terms of how I interact with the world.
YMMV, of course.
   28. RobDeer Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:27 AM (#5847735)
Greinke has been speculated to be on the autism spectrum; maybe he is not trying to be a jerk but tends to read social situations relatively worse than the average person, and having suffered negative reactions in his life he developed social anxiety disorder from fear of future embarrassment.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: June 03, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5847754)
So he's a jerk with a good excuse for being a jerk.
   30. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 03, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5847760)
So he's a jerk with a good excuse for being a jerk.


Right. I volunteer with Special Olympics and plenty of our athletes are on the autism spectrum. Very few, if any, of them are jerks.
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 03, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5847762)
It seems like all these things can be true at the same time (and probably are!):

Grienke is a jerk.
Grienke has diagnosed a medical condition that explains, at least in part, why he's a jerk.
Grienke is a fun pitcher to watch.
Grienke is a fun pitcher to root for.
Grienke wouldn't be a fun person to spend time with.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 03, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5847770)
Right. I volunteer with Special Olympics and plenty of our athletes are on the autism spectrum. Very few, if any, of them are jerks.
We went through this same discussion in regards to Trevor Bauer.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: June 03, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5847771)
I volunteer with Special Olympics and plenty of our athletes are on the autism spectrum. Very few, if any, of them are jerks.


Do they allow people that are just barely kinda spectrumy to participate in the Special Olympics?
   34. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 03, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5847774)
Do they allow people that are just barely kinda spectrumy to participate in the Special Olympics?


Possibly. I think as long as they are involved in any kind of special needs school program they can take part in Special Olympics. But, I don't know for sure. We have some very high functioning athletes. For a few years I have been going to the Ohio Summer Games, and hung out with what I thought was one of the soccer coaches. Turns out, he was one of the soccer athletes. Had no idea. :-)
   35. PreservedFish Posted: June 03, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5847777)
"How is he differently abled?"
"He's kind of a tactless and is really into robots."
"Good enough for us."
   36. DavidFoss Posted: June 03, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5847778)
We went through this same discussion in regards to Trevor Bauer.

My main frustrations with these discussions is the fact that 'the spectrum' and 'jerk' are completely different axes of behavior. It's not hard to tell the difference between and an unintentional fauxpas and intentional jerkiness.
   37. Lassus Posted: June 03, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5847784)
but many--perhaps even most--performers are introverts, and are frequently uncomfortable in social situations. Performing has a structure to it that ordinary social interactions lack

I resemble this remark. I mean, I can't think of anything I hate more than the FACEBOOK "THINGS ONLY AN INTROVERT WILL UNDERSTAND" and I never have thought of myself as one, but I am certainly more comfortable with performing than small talk with people I actually KNOW, let alone strangers.

Came up a couple of times this weekend, one was a golf tournament that reminded me how much distaste I have for groups of men in general and groups of golfers specifically. I have always played more rounds by myself than with other people.

I also shortened a dinner break in a long chamber choir rehearsal because the social interaction was torture and boring.
   38. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 03, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5847808)
I'll join the other musicians here and say the worst part to me of playing club dates is the expectation that I'll mingle and gladhand with the audience while on breaks. I know it's good marketing for the band, but all I really want to do is briefly get out of performance mode, unwind a little, and get ready for the next set.
   39. BrianBrianson Posted: June 03, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5847813)
I resemble this remark. I mean, I can't think of anything I hate more than the FACEBOOK "THINGS ONLY AN INTROVERT WILL UNDERSTAND" and I never have thought of myself as one, but I am certainly more comfortable with performing than small talk with people I actually KNOW, let alone strangers.


If I had a dollar for every Facebook post I saw to the effective of "Universal experiences I'm claiming as the sole experience of group X that I'm a member of", I'd buy Facebook and burn it to the ground ;)
   40. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 03, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5847814)
When Greinke was on the Crew he was super popular with the team especially the other pitchers FWIW. And as someone who has a lot of people on the spectrum working for me the Greinke in LA behavior with Puig especially is not anything I have observed/witnessed from folks in that space. Someone wrote above being an unintentional jerk and that is totally true. Like after a client VP shares how much she enjoyed playing golf and asking if her big breasts interfere with her swing
   41. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: June 03, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5847825)
One, two threestrikesyerout! One, two threestrikesyerout! One, two threestrikesyerout!


(I can't believe nobody posted this until now. I'm supremely perplexed by this...)
   42. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 03, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5847828)
asking if her big breasts interfere with her swing


Did they?
   43. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 03, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5847833)
I'll join the other musicians here and say the worst part to me of playing club dates is the expectation that I'll mingle and gladhand with the audience while on breaks. I know it's good marketing for the band, but all I really want to do is briefly get out of performance mode, unwind a little, and get ready for the next set.
Amen, my brother. My solution: I just stopped taking breaks (in my solo sets, anyway). For the past I don't know how many years (10+), I've just kept on playing, usually 3 1/2 - 4 hours. It's a win-win for everyone - the people who see me regularly and/or stay for the whole show are impressed, management is happy (when I have a sub for a night and they take 3-4 breaks, it always gets mentioned when I get back in town), and I don't have to glad-hand.

My record for a no-breaks show is 6 1/2 hours. I was a little tired after that one.
   44. . Posted: June 03, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5847839)
Isn’t he pretty well known to be somewhat of a jerk?


Of course, and for very good reason, but the standards around here can often be a bit .... different.

His neo-eephus thing is pretty cool, though.
   45. . Posted: June 03, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5847840)
A lot of folks have social anxiety order without acting like the jerk that Greinke has been time and again in his career (saying in a radio interview that an HBP that injured another player was his "best one", throwing Yasiel Puig's luggage off a bus, etc.)


His "bring it on" act to Carlos Quintana was about as douchey as it gets. Lots of commentary on that one BITD and it pretty much sealed the deal for me.
   46. . Posted: June 03, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5847846)
I just find things like networking events, parties where I don't really know anyone particularly well, etc. to be draining.


You, and 98%+ of the rest of the world. While sometimes a necessary evil, I detest those things. It might not be a stretch to say that anyone who actually likes them isn't really capable of truly liking anything.

My main frustrations with these discussions is the fact that 'the spectrum' and 'jerk' are completely different axes of behavior.


Exactly. There's barely even overlap between "social anxiety" and douchery, and whatever overlap there is essentially entirely coincidental.

Came up a couple of times this weekend, one was a golf tournament that reminded me how much distaste I have for groups of men in general and groups of golfers specifically. I have always played more rounds by myself than with other people.


Really like golf, can't really stand golf culture.(*) Didn't play for a bunch of years because of it. Can barely tolerate it now, but have to if I want to play.

(*) Still a veritable hotbed of rather pathetic social and status anxiety. At least until you get to true .1 or .01% percenter clubs, at which point it virtually evaporates. Unfortunately, I'm not consistently there.
   47. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 03, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5847850)
FTFM.

I just find things like networking events, parties where I don't really know anyone particularly well even where I know everyone fairly well, etc. to be draining.
.

Most of the performers I have known personally were not introverts, but most of them were also not musicians (actors and dancers mostly).
   48. . Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5847857)
If I had a dollar for every Facebook post I saw to the effective of "Universal experiences I'm claiming as the sole experience of group X that I'm a member of", I'd buy Facebook and burn it to the ground ;)


Not to go all OTP, and I will refrain from saying more on the matter -- but you just summarized modern identity politics.
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5847860)
His neo-eephus thing is pretty cool, though.
You mean his neephus pitch.
   50. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5847862)
Most of the performers I have known personally were not introverts, but most of them were also not musicians (actors and dancers mostly).
Oh yeah, those are the cool performers. We musicians are mostly the nerdy ones.
   51. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5847867)
His neo-eephus thing is pretty cool, though.
You mean his neephus pitch.


I don't understand why anyone would call Greinke's pitch an eephus pitch. It is just a slow curve ball (at least in that video).

This is an eephus pitch

   52. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5847869)
   53. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5847870)
Because baseball fans are obsessed with the eephus pitch and want to call anything close an eephus pitch because they desperately want to see an eephus pitch.
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5847873)
1970: Steve Hamilton's Folly Floater
the batter is Tony Horton, and the crowd reaction is amazing.
also a good call by Yankees broadcaster/forever HOM candidate Phil Rizzuto
   55. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 03, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5847884)
54--Thanks for sharing. 463 feet to the fence???
   56. . Posted: June 03, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5847886)
463 to CF would in one fell swoop solve a lot of baseball's problems.
   57. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 03, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5847890)
I think Grienke's a pretty easy HOF. 63.5 WAR as a pitcher, but he's showing no signs of slowing down, which makes him likely to get in the 70s by the end of his career.

And who knows what the voters will do with his hitting, which might add another 8/9 WAR by the time he's done. A career WAR of 80+ (with hitting included) doesn't strike me as out of the realm of possibility. I suppose some peak voters could take issue with the lack of 5+ WAR seasons, but he basically strikes me as: "Mike Mussina, if we redistributed some of his WAR to give him two massive seasons at the expense of a few ones with 5.5."

I can't imagine his behavior, however we want to classify it, as costing him. It's one thing to just hide behind anonymity with this stuff. But we're in an era where almost everyone makes their ballot public (84% did so last year). Even Curt Schilling can't stay persona non-grata in that environment, as we're seeing in his rebounding vote totals.
   58. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 03, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5847891)
Most of the performers I have known personally were not introverts, but most of them were also not musicians (actors and dancers mostly).


I once saw Ralph Fiennes in person, a Q&A after a film screening. I have NEVER seen anyone who looked so uncomfortable in front of a crowd.

(My "perhaps even most" was definitely an oversell, but many of the actors I've known were definitely in the camp of "acting is easier than real life because you've got a script.")
   59. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 03, 2019 at 03:30 PM (#5847895)
(My "perhaps even most" was definitely an oversell, but many of the actors I've known were definitely in the camp of "acting is easier than real life because you've got a script.")
No doubt this is true. There are certainly introverts everywhere.

My brother and his girlfriend ran a modern dance troupe for a number of years, and I would say that there were certainly a solid percentage of introvert performers, though I wouldn't think the majority. (I even performed in a few pieces over the years, and would easily fall in the introvert category. I definitely don't, and didn't even at the time, think of myself as a performer though.)

I was friends with a bunch of actors in college, and I can't remember a single one of them that was an introvert. I'm pretty sure they must exist though.
   60. Sunday silence Posted: June 03, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5847907)
isnt Pacino an introvert?
   61. . Posted: June 03, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5847914)
If actors were in "real life" the way they are on screen or stage, they wouldn't have become actors in the first place. You can say the same thing about a lot of politicians.
   62. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 04, 2019 at 12:16 AM (#5848010)
You can say the same thing about a lot of politicians.


So a lot of politicians were kind, thoughtful, selfless children and once they become adults they become vain, self serving narcissists?
   63. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5848421)
I don’t think that most of Greinke’s teammates would describe him as a jerk. Also, he threw Puig’s luggage off the bus because Puig was goofing around and the rest of the team was tired of waiting for him. Puig has (had?) an annoying habit of chronic tardiness and on that occasion Greinke decided to solve the problem creatively.

Greinke was very well liked in LA. Puig was not well liked and many players thought he was a jerk.
   64. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:44 PM (#5848429)
Yeah, everything I've read about the Puig incident is that Puig was in the wrong, and Greinke's actions were basically supported by teammates.
   65. SoSH U at work Posted: June 04, 2019 at 06:06 PM (#5848436)
Yeah, everything I've read about the Puig incident is that Puig was in the wrong, and Greinke's actions were basically supported by teammates.


Puig was clearly in the wrong. So was Greinke's creative solution.

   66. Zach Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:24 PM (#5848475)
Boy, I remember people talking about young Greinke back when he was getting hit hard needing to get rid of that pitch. Did he manage to sharpen that pitch up a bit or is it just a better fit now with the changes to hitting approach across MLB?


Young Greinke had major social anxiety issues that were preventing him from committing fully to baseball. And that would sometimes manifest itself in weird experiments like throwing every batter a BP fastball to a precise location (because of the old coaching wisdom that location is more important than stuff).

I always liked the slow curve and the extreme changes in velocity, but his first real breakthrough came when he realized he had a killer fastball and slider, and started featuring them.

He didn't need to get rid of the pitch, but he did need to stop screwing around and focus.

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Last: The Yankee Clapper

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