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Friday, May 24, 2013

MLB: Don Sutton never shy about voicing his opinion

Sutton: Because that’s where the defaced money is.

The outspoken Sutton—who came up with the Dodgers in 1966 and pitched with them for 16 of his 23 seasons—has his own opinion about everything.

He said in an interview last week that he hates pitch counts.

“I say it with a laugh in my voice when I broadcast: ‘That’s 100 pitches. On the next one, he’s going to turn into a troll.’ At 101, you just disappear. Poof, you’re gone,” Sutton said.

...MLB.com: Did you cheat?

Sutton: No, I never got caught cheating.

MLB.com: About the Hall of Fame vote, what do you think about it as we move forward? Do you think that after a period of time some of these guys [who played in the “Steroid Era”] should get in? Or if you played in that era, it’s going to be hard to get in.

Sutton: I think it’s going to be hard to get in. I think you’re going to be hit with fallout and I think you’re going to be guilty by association. It’s going to be interesting to see the opinion of some of your younger peers, who have not been so actively involved in it, how their opinion changes. But when you get down to it, what I think is irrelevant. It’s like talking about clouds. I can do nothing to influence.

Repoz Posted: May 24, 2013 at 02:19 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, hof

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   1. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: May 24, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4451477)
MLB.com: Did you cheat?

Sutton: No, I never got caught cheating.


FTW.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4451479)
Seems like he's a bit shy about voicing his opinion on that last question about the Steroid Era.
   3. DA Baracus, Braves Travel Agent Posted: May 24, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4451480)
No, I never got caught cheating.


Got to keep up the Madison Avenue image.
   4. Ron J2 Posted: May 24, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4451484)
As I've noted before Sutton's responsible for the way umpires deal with cheating accusations.

Doug Harvey ejected him for doctoring the ball. He threatened a lawsuit. The result was a directive which in effect said, doesn't matter what you see on the ball unless you can find how the ball is being altered take no action.

And Sutton is of course correct. As far as I know he remains the only pitcher to have been ejected for altering a ball but not suspended.

   5. Perry Posted: May 24, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4451527)
Sutton always denied using foreign substances on the ball. "Everything I use is made right here in the USA."
   6. OsunaSakata Posted: May 24, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4451562)
No, I never got caught cheating.


Pretty much the equivalent of "I've never tested positive for a banned substance."
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4451566)
He also did not have sex with that woman Monica Lewinsky.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: May 24, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4451641)
Yeah, I stumbled across a D-Backs broadcast a few years ago where Grace and Darin Sutton were talking openly about Don's spitball ... I honestly didn't remember him being accused of the spitter, certainly the scuff-ball.
   9. Steve Treder Posted: May 24, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4451643)
I honestly didn't remember him being accused of the spitter, certainly the scuff-ball.

Agreed, but he was a protege of Don Drysdale and Phil Regan, and thus very likely knew a thing or two about loading 'em up.
   10. Bruce Markusen Posted: May 24, 2013 at 07:07 PM (#4451669)
Putting aside the issue of cheating, Sutton's right about pitch counts. 100 is an arbitrary number that is treated by too many as some kind of one-size-fits-all barrier. Pitch counts should be a guide, not a hard and fast limit.

If a pitcher struggles through 100 pitches, missing his spots and struggling with his control, he's probably spent. But if he's pitching well, throwing strikes and commanding his pitches, he can probably go 110, 120, maybe 130 pitches. There needs to be some subtlety applied to pitch counts.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4451675)

never mind
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: May 24, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4451722)
Putting aside the issue of cheating, Sutton's right about pitch counts. 100 is an arbitrary number that is treated by too many as some kind of one-size-fits-all barrier. Pitch counts should be a guide, not a hard and fast limit.

If a pitcher struggles through 100 pitches, missing his spots and struggling with his control, he's probably spent. But if he's pitching well, throwing strikes and commanding his pitches, he can probably go 110, 120, maybe 130 pitches. There needs to be some subtlety applied to pitch counts.


Is 100 pitch being treated as a hard count still? I think that managers have done a better job of looking at the quality of the performance of the pitcher performance than they did even 5-10 years ago.
   13. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 24, 2013 at 11:05 PM (#4451816)
It seems to me that managers are currently going more by the stress of the pitches than the number. If a pitcher hasn't had any rough innings, he'll be pushed to 120, but if he throws 70 pitches in 3 innings, he'll be taken out rather than pushed up to 100 pitches in 5 innings. Five years ago or so, it seemed more like a starting pitcher had to throw at least 100 pitches no matter what was going on, and couldn't throw more than 120 no matter what was going on. I'm sure that the former practice led to lots of injuries and games getting totally out of hand that didn't have to. In fact, I suspect that pitchers being pushed to throw 100 pitches in 5 inning, 6 run outings was responsible for more injuries than pitchers throwing 140 pitches in 10 inning, 1 run outings was.

P.S. Sutton is a smart, fun broadcaster who is well worth listening tog. He doesn't subscribe to sabermetric orthodoxy, but he doesn't dismiss it out of hand or get mean about it, and I have never heard him express any opinion to the effect that players were better in his day, or played the game in a more fundamentally sound way, etc. He's stated several times that players in his day had it easier because there was less overall talent in the game and they didn't have to work as hard to keep up.
   14. Squash Posted: May 25, 2013 at 02:25 AM (#4451882)
110 pitches seems to be about the line these days. Below that you're okay (the amount of innings matters of course - if you throw 90 through 4 you're coming out) and above that you've thrown a lot of pitches. My anecdotal feeling is that managers want their guys to throw between 95-110 these days. Nobody's going to look at you weird if you throw 101 or 108. Whereas if you throw 88 or 115 people will start to wonder if the pitcher has been used most effectively.
   15. bobm Posted: May 25, 2013 at 03:21 AM (#4451886)
2013 to date

1,388 starts
132 max pitches

  166 GS >= 110 pitches
  568 GS >= 100 pitches
  701 GS >=  97 pitches
1,037 GS >=  90 pitches


(1,166 GS of 5+ IP, of which 162 were 110+ pitches and 553 were 100+ pitches)
   16. shoewizard Posted: May 25, 2013 at 03:27 AM (#4451887)
There have been 7 games pitched this year where the starter has gone 120 or more pitches, and only 16 where the starter has gone 115 or more

Rk                      Max 
1      Clayton Kershaw
*  132
2          Homer Bailey  125
3            Lance Lynn  124
4         Julio Teheran  123
5            Cliff Lee
*  122
6           Matt Harvey  121
7       Adam Wainwright  120
8          Cole Hamels
*  118
9           Mike Minor
*  117
10      Jonathon Niese
*  117
11     Wandy Rodriguez
*  117
12    Stephen Strasburg  117
13        Gio Gonzalez
*  116
14       Jake Westbrook  116
15   Madison Bumgarner
*  115
16     Brandon McCarthy  115 


   17. RMc is Fairly Irrefutable Posted: May 25, 2013 at 06:24 AM (#4451902)
He said in an interview last week that he hates pitch counts.

“I say it with a laugh in my voice when I broadcast: ‘That’s 100 pitches. On the next one, he’s going to turn into a troll.’ At 101, you just disappear. Poof, you’re gone,” Sutton said.


Once again: managers/pitching coaches know that a guy throwing X pitches won't immediately cause his arm to fall off. But pitchers are pitchers, and they get hurt as a matter of course. If you keep a kid within his pitch count and he gets hurt anyway, you have plausible deniability. "Hey, not my fault. Don't fire me and force me to get a real job, OK?"
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 25, 2013 at 06:38 AM (#4451903)
don sutton did whatever don sutton needed to do to get batters out

during his time with the brewers don wasn't shy about sharing his techniques. between him and mike caldwell the brewers had the core of a staff that would have fit right in circa 1917

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