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Monday, July 16, 2012

Royals Review: An Interview with Former Royals Pitcher Bob Tufts

RR: You post regularly at Baseball Think Factory, a sabermetric-oriented forum. Do you follow any of today’s modern stats and what do you think about their infiltration into the game?

At first I was not amused by the new statistical methods, connecting their origins and logic to the geniuses that brought down Wall Street via derivative trades. But upon further reflection, it is merely another way for fans to enjoy the game of baseball and a useful tool to try to quantify player production. In any business, you want the marginal revenue generated by an input to be greater than the marginal costs associated with it. As salaries increase, teams have to run themselves like an actual business and not as a charity, and these are useful tools in the process.

People at BBTF can take themselves too seriously, but fans can take the game too seriously as well.

RR: Do you have any thoughts about how teams handle pitchers today and is there anything they could be doing differently to increase stamina and/or avoid injuries?

I wonder of we have reached the physical limit of how hard (and for how long) a pitcher can throw nearly 100 mph. Look at a picture of a pitcher’s arm just before they deliver a pitch. laying flat and snapping forward. The body is not meant to do that repeatedly during a game and over twenty years.

A minor league teammate, Gorman Heimueller, is the Phillies’ minor league pitching coordinator, and his methods to try to maximize results are interesting. Each of the fifty to sixty pitchers has their own program - it is not one size fits all. They are evaluated by modern statistics and visited every month to check on their progress, given “homework” and interviewed about their successes and failures. It is almost like a Montessori school curriculum!

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: July 16, 2012 at 11:38 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, site news

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. bob gee Posted: July 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4183797)
thanks for posting here, bob.

and good luck with your melanoma fight.

   2. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4183838)
yes, Bob, best wishes in your battle against multiple myeloma.
   3. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4183854)
Get well Bob. Softball game next year, unless someone can get us a field this year. Anybody? Anybody?
   4. Endless Trash Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4183919)
Is there a softball game at SBAR?
   5. Shredder Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4183923)
yes, Bob, best wishes in your battle against multiple myeloma.
I'll second (or third) that. My dad was diagnosed about 10 years ago, at a time where a diagnosis was more or less a death sentence. He's been in remission the last few years, so it would appear that they've made a fair amount of progress over that time. After a couple years of treatment with Thalidomide, they tried Velcade and it was very successful. I don't think they're treating it with anything now, aside from Aredia. Best of luck, Bob.
   6. bob gee Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4183936)
sorry, myeloma. same wishes.

(can't edit orig post)
   7. bjhanke Posted: July 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4183974)
I have been treating Bob Tufts' offerings with the ultimate respect. He's gotten to reveal things that we, as sabermetricians, have no way of knowing, unless an actual MLB players tells us. And he's friendly and doesn't just shove the things we cannot do in our faces. I do not know what a "melanoma" is, but pretty much anything with "mela" in it seems to be bad. So, my best comfort and offering of luck, just like everyone here. I'm not the only guy here who likes and appreciates your work. Here at BTF, you appear to have a VERY good general reputation.

Class Act. We Want You Back. - Brock Hanke
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: July 16, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4183983)
Class Act. We Want You Back. - Brock Hanke

While I certainly join in the well wisehs, he was hanging around here just yesterday.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 16, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4183993)
I do not know what a "melanoma" is, but pretty much anything with "mela" in it seems to be bad.

Don Johnson agrees.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 16, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4184010)
Best wishes, Bob. You are one of the handful whose name in the Hot Topics compels me to open the thread.
   11. mathesond Posted: July 16, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4184046)
Nice interview. I enjoyed the bit about John Schuerholz. And, I remember Roy Hartsfield from when he managed the early Blue Jays.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4184053)
I finally had something I helped write linked to at BTF! I made it!

Bob was extremely gracious and generous with his time and we are quite lucky to have a former ballplayer lend his perspective.
   13. ajnrules Posted: July 16, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4184127)
Great interview. I've always enjoyed seeing Bob's perspectives on here, but that last bit about multiple myeloma came as quite a shock. You'll be in my prayers, Mr. Tufts. :(
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4184132)
Bob had mentioned the myeloma in this column he wrote questioning the perceived high incidence of cancer among Royals players.
   15. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 16, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4184141)
I do not know what a "melanoma" is, but pretty much anything with "mela" in it seems to be bad.

Darius III agrees.
   16. phredbird Posted: July 16, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4184162)
People at BBTF can take themselves too seriously

wait. WHAT?

the game is in grave danger. players need to pull up the bottom of their pants and show some sock or its all over. sorry if you think that's 'taking the game too seriously', mr. former major-leaguer big shot!

and please ... do get well.
   17. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4184166)
Dammit - I AM well. I'm not Generalísimo Francisco Franco nor does my family respond to the "bring out your dead" call.

   18. bob gee Posted: July 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4184193)
AND a sense of humor!


and since you've joined this thread, a somewhat non-baseball question. when you worked at JEF, did your athletic career help in dealing with other clients? i know for the more local-nyc athletes it would, but am curious about your experiences in that regard.

   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 16, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4184199)
Dammit - I AM well. I'm not Generalísimo Francisco Franco nor does my family respond to the "bring out your dead" call.

Great to hear. Add me to the chorus of Primates who really enjoy reading your posts.

   20. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4184207)
Bob Gee - I dealt with foreign private banks, so it didn't help me at all at Jefferies.

There were a few other ex-jocks in my time at JEF (brief NFL careers of Ned Bolcar and Bob Holly, Steve Previs in the ASA) who probably had something to talk about with domestic clients.

Thanks again for the kind words. I will remind you of them when you torch me online for a comment sometime in the future!

   21. Joe Bivens is NOT a clueless numpty Posted: July 16, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4184269)
No "Joe Bivens says 'hey'"? Come on, man.
   22. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4184328)
Clown comment, bro ! :)
   23. Stormy JE Posted: July 16, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4184340)
Bob is a good egg in person too!
   24. Bob Tufts Posted: July 16, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4184376)
Can I call up Ozzie to try to end this lovefest with some choice four, ten and twelve letter words?
   25. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4184442)
"Unprofessional" is a fourteen-letter word. The lovefest, however, is not ended.
   26. bjhanke Posted: July 17, 2012 at 06:12 AM (#4184564)
Hey! At last this thread showed us the way to get Bob's goat - show concern and praise him. Ozzie would never have thought of it. - Brock
   27. bob gee Posted: July 17, 2012 at 07:32 AM (#4184574)
bob - oops, didn't see that part about foreign - just assumed it was u.s. based. sorry, thanks for getting back to me.

26 - hysterical. couldn't believe ozzie's latest stuff...what a dope.

   28. bunyon Posted: July 17, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4184593)
Ha, I kept seeing this on Hot Topics and, not being a careful reader, assumed Bob was really torching someone with all the posts. I finally realized that his name was in the friggin title.

Glad you're well, Bob, and hope that continues.

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