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Sunday, February 02, 2014

They print ‘Wild Thing’ legend – but Williams loaded the bases with hits in ’89 Cubs opener

Mitch Williams: “I never considered myself in a jam.” (That’s Entertainment!)

“When you have the nickname ‘Wild Thing,’ everybody thinks that,” said Williams, a glib storyteller in his recent gig as guest speaker at the Pitch and Hit Club’s 68th annual banquet. He gets paid to do what he does, and not just at baseball events. Williams is a baseball analyst for MLB Network and Fox Sports.

“I did walk the bases loaded and struck out the side – it just didn’t happen on that day,” he said.

...“I don’t try to dig into numbers,” he said. “I’m not a sabermetric guy. I talk about what I see. I know the game of baseball. I know how it works. I know the ins and outs of it. I’m trying to tell people at home things that aren’t obvious.

“I’m still close to the players. It’s poor journalism (if you don’t talk to players). The broadcasters I really despised were former players who would point mistakes out as if they never made it, and forget how hard the game is to play. I never wanted to be one of those guys. There’s certain times when you can question their thought process, but you don’t rip a guy for what he did.

“The pitch to Joe Carter was supposed to be a fastball up and away. I jerked it down and in. That’s a mistake. My thought process was right, my execution was wrong.”

Repoz Posted: February 02, 2014 at 09:42 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, media

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. Bug Selig Posted: February 02, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4650061)
Mitch Williams talking about "thought process". The jokes write themselves.
   2. zonk Posted: February 02, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4650110)
That was a fun opening day that I remember well --

That said, Mitch was never all that great a pitcher - his K rates were far from extraordinary, especially for a guy that had the reputation of a fireballer. He was relatively decent at keeping the ball in the park, but again - not exceptional for a reliever, just pretty good. His BB and K/BB rates were, of course, atrocious. He was also relatively rubber armed -- 65-80 appearances a year from 21 to 28 without any real health issues.

It was always the 'Wild Thing' mystique that got him closer jobs and save totals more than it was a more basic and inherent performance-derived conclusion to make him the top guy in the pen.

   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 03, 2014 at 01:21 AM (#4650582)
A Dutton Peabody reference?

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