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2013 Draft, a look at some of the top arms…

June 6, 2013

One of the things I enjoy most is talking with, and watching, pitchers. I had a look at some of the top arms in this years draft and put some stuff together for some people, and thought that with some redacting, it would be ok to share.

The only report I couldn’t get cleaned up in time to post was my look at a kid I really like, Braden Shipley. If I can I’ll post it later. I also had a pretty lengthy document explaining how I look at pitching, where I think the important stuff exists and what I think about projecting and going forward.

Mark Appel report 2013

Chris Anderson report 2013

Jon Gray Report

Kohl Stewart

Ryan Eades report 2013

Sean Manaea

Ryne Stanek

OOPS! Forgot this kid!

Trey Ball report 2013

 

Think I cleaned this one up enough, lots to like on this one.

 

Brade Shipley report 2013

#4

February 19, 2013

Thats sure sounds like a performance enhancer cheating to me…

as you’ve been quoted as saying in the past that you believe records should be thrown out for people proven or who admit cheating, should all of your wins while under the influence and use of Toradol be thrown out?

seems like the answer has to be yes, unless…. it’s true and you are the loud-mouth hypocrite that many accuse you of being

 

That was the end of a ‘question’ posted by someone who didn’t want to use their real name, shocker.

 

I apologize that the facts don’t support your argument in any way, any possible way. Toradol is not a PED, it’s a pain killer, like marcaine, like aspirin, like vicodin and others. They are, and have been, used by about every player that’s ever suited up. Your earlier rant about me being a “Government hating Republican” sort of tips one off to the reasons behind the ‘anger’, but that’s not odd really. Most of the people saying what you say start their posts off that way.

 

It’s not a PED, never has been. What I did I did within the confines of the rules. Now whether you agree or not, or like it or not, isn’t relevant in any way. But thanks for the post I guess. I’ll pray you find some happiness somewhere in your life.

Question #3

February 13, 2013

From Mike Murphy

What was the single most memorable moment of your career? What is the one career accomplishment that means most to you?

 

An unfair question. There were moments, both good and bad, that are enduring.

Moment I was most proud of? Winning the Roberto Clemente Award in 2001.

Back in the winter before the 1992 season Shonda and I were talking and she asked me “What’s the one award you want to win before your career is over?”

My answer? The Roberto Clemente Award. The reasons were many. Growing up a Pirate fan (my dad was born and raised in Somerset, PA) I was a fan from the time I can remember, around 1971, until I got to the big leagues. I grew up with the Pirates of the ’70′s, which was a great time to be a Bucs fan. My dads favorite player when I was very young was Mr. Clemente. He loved everything about him, that he was an all around player, could beat you with his bat, legs, arm, glove, whatever was needed to win.

True story. I paid to go to one MLB game in my entire life. My dad took me to see the final regular season game of the 1971 season, September 30th, in Three Rivers. For folks that might not understand the significance, the game was between the Pirates and the Mets. In what would be the final regular season at bat of his career Mr Clemente doubled off John Matlack for his 3000th career hit. He would die in a plane crash three months later, taking aid to Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua. When the news came out, it was the first time I’d ever seen my father cry, so obviously I cried. I idolized Mr Clemente my entire life, because my father did. I was an obsessed baseball fan so I read up on Mr Clemente and came to understand the man was every bit as big, if not bigger, than the player. The way his teammates talked about him, the way fans revered him.

I came to look at the Clemente award as something you had to earn, as a human being, that what you did on the field meant very little other than you needed to be an MLB player to be eligible. But the award represented things that were, when all was said and done, far more important than a win, loss or shutout. You had to impact peoples lives, you had to use the window of opportunity baseball gave you. Shonda and I tried to do that, and in the end, being nominated and then winning, meant that someone thought we had made a positive impact off the field.

I was able to come on the field with Shonda, and (at the time) our 2 kids, Gehrig and Gabriella, and receive the award, and explain to them why this happened. Proud to say our oldest Gehrig is a Best Buddy, and Gabby has aspirations to work with disadvantaged children, and I like to think that these moments meant enough to them to do that.

I was honored and flattered to be able to meet and get to know the Clemente family. I also had a chance to meet Mr Stargell before he passed and got to talk to him at length about playing with Roberto. Pops was my new favorite player after Mr Clemente passed.

Roberto Clemente, like Lou Gehrig, came to represent everything that was amazing about this game, and winning an award with Mr Clemente’s name on it was the, I think, the most important achievement of my career.

#2

February 11, 2013

From Stephen Cabral

Do you feel under appreciated in New England, considering that you were the impetus for delivering a championship to the most championship starved city in the U.S.?

 

Not sure I’ve ever looked at what’s happened since then, with that perspective. I guess I can’t really worry or dwell on it. The guys I suited up with, played with, know, the Lord and my family know, and in the end those are the opinions that matter really. In the same vein, I know those same guys were in many ways every bit, and in some cases more so, responsible than I was. I think Keith Foulke was the single biggest reason we won (well he and Dave Roberts of course:). I still believe his post season in ’04 was one of the greatest ever by a reliever. Stats aside the workload, and results, were nothing short of amazing. The innings Wake pitched to save the pen, the job Bronson did, D Lowe clutching up in 3 series clinchers. There were so many things beyond my contributions that mattered, but the sock grabbed much of the news, which given what we did I think is a bit unfortunate.

 

But here’s the thing.

I’ve haven’t done any of  the following: Hit my wife, hit my kids, cheated on my taxes, gotten drunk and driven, done drugs, used PED’s, been a racist, stolen, cheated on my wife, beaten an animal, talked behind a teammates back. In other words I haven’t done the things that make news and turn public opinion on many athletes.

 

Now don’t misunderstand me. That’s not to say I haven’t made my share of mistakes because I surely have. Anyone that talks as much as I have, and did, is bound to make mistakes. But I put my head on the pillow at night because I haven’t, and don’t make mistakes out of malice or ill will. I’ve said many many dumb things, and saying “well who hasn’t?” doesn’t make my mistakes ok, they just make me human, and I am ok with that. The only perfect human I know of walked this earth a little over 2000 years ago, every one since then has been and done wrong, everyone. Again, that doesn’t make it ok, it just makes it easier to live every day, knowing perfection, while desirable, is unattainable. Doesn’t mean you stop trying.

 

But the hatred, the vitriol, I’d say 90% of the ‘stuff’ that’s come out the past 8-9 years has as much, if not more, to do with my political  beliefs than anything else. I can certainly appreciate and understand the difference in opinions, even if I disagree with them, but that’s what makes this country great.

 

As for 38, that’s certainly garnered the lions share of ‘news’ about me in the past year. The amazing thing is how much opinion has been formed with so little, very little, of the actual events about and around what happened, being made public. I created a company, invested over 30 million dollars of my own money into it, created and provided 400+ jobs for 5+ years, took an offer from the State of Rhode Island that ANY, and I mean ANY, entrepreneur would have taken. We had something amazing, something that would have been what we set out to make it, had it not ended when, and how, it did. There has been an amazing amount of anger, bitterness, hatred and other stuff from that. I can absolutely understand ANYONE that had issues with the original deal. I have always understood anyone having issue there, but there was nothing, not one thing, done below board. Once the deal was done I expected the state to be as invested in 38 being successful as we were, as I was, and that was where I made one of many fatal mistakes.

 

That is one of the most painful events I’ve ever gone through, still is actually. 400+ families lost their jobs ‘overnight’ for reasons that will likely come out over the next year or two, and when they do I’m hopeful people will see what really happened, and how and why it happened, and point the venom and anger in the appropriate directions. I do understand people bothered by the deal though, and always have. I think we made a big mistake at 38 by not getting more involved locally, in Providence, in the community more, to show them who we were, what we were doing because the people that worked at 38 didn’t deserve the public scorn, and anger, that they got. They were hard working incredibly talented people with families to provide for.

 

Went off on a tangent there (as I often do, but hey it’s my blog so I think it’s ok). But if you look at what’s happened since ’04, it’s never been about something I ‘did’ has it? I think it’s been far more about things I’ve said, which I can understand in many cases if you don’t agree with me on one or more things. Somehow I grew up the polar opposite of my incredible father, a man of very few words, but I’ve always been very obsessed and passionate about the things I believe in, the things I love, and when people ask me about them, I’ve never been a ‘canned answer’ sort of guy. Maybe I should have been, but that’s never been who I am, or likely who I ever will be.

 

At the end of the day I’ll continue to ask the Lord for forgiveness for the stupid and bad things I’ve done, and will do, and I can look my 3 boys, my daughter, and my wife, in the eye and know for better or worse, I am who I’ve said I was, and always have been. That’s all we’ve ever asked of our kids, to please be themselves, go out, change the world, and be themselves. If you do that I think you can put your head on the pillow each night and sleep.

 

Hope that answers your question.

 

P.S. I am not going back and re-reading or editing, so this is all raw, off the cuff stuff, sorry for any typos.

 

 

1st Question

February 10, 2013

I am sitting at Logan Airport and with an hour before we board figured I’d try to kick this off.

I like it. Compare and contrast each World Series club house that you were a part of. Were there some that felt like winning was inevitable? Were there honest moments when losing felt just as inevitable?

The 4 World Series I played in were 4 incredibly different clubhouses from a personality standpoint. I would tell you that 2004 and 2007 were the two instances where I believe our team ‘knew’ we were winning it all before the series started. Our offenses, and in 2007 with Josh Beckett on a Gibson like run, led us to feel, and I think rightly so, that neither the ’04 Cards (without Carpenter) and the ’07 Rockies had anyone on their staff, starter or reliever, that could stop us from scoring, a lot.

I think we all ‘knew’ we were winning before the 1st pitch of either of those series.

The 1993 Phillies team was literally one in a million. As offensively talented and deep as just about any team of that era (except for the team we were playing actually). That was very different, at least for me personally, in that I wasn’t ‘in’ on that team. It was a team of older players that didn’t take to younger guys much, especially younger players that talked a lot, like me. I knew they respected me when I had the ball, and I felt that they wanted me to have the ball, but that was a very hard year for me personally. Todd Pratt, Mickey, Kevin Jordan, Ben Rivera, those were pretty much my only close friends on the team. I did a lot of sitting in my hotel room watching TV, or playing on my laptop. Towards the end of the year I had software that would become the cornerstone of my career in scouting hitters and stuff (which I became obsessed with).

Everything was new that year, Shonda and I had just gotten married that past winter, and we were both trying to figure out how this thing was supposed to work. That was a team that had a very clear team/family line of demarcation, and you did not cross that line. No family on the road except for the family trips and playoffs. It was a challenge, but it was also a huge lesson in what was to become the life. It was also somewhat of a ‘dying breed’ in as much as the next few years, and then the decade after that, families started to become ‘more involved’ in the life, traveling more and being around more. The ‘old school’ way was to never have wives, kids and family around if at all possible, and that changed dramatically in the 90′s.

As for the World Series, I don’t know if we ever thought we’d win, for sure, or lose, for sure. That Toronto team was loaded, but we weren’t scared of anyone, we truly did take on the city personae in ‘taking on the world’, and it served us well, right up to Joe Carter’s at bat. I remember watching that ball get hit, and knowing the second it did our season was over. And realizing just how suddenly life can change. I also remember thinking “I am witnessing one of the greatest moments in baseball history”, though on the wrong side.

The 2001 team? I think we felt we were a lock to win it after RJ dominated in game 2, and after game 5 I am not sure what anyone thought. If you were not a Yankee fan then that World Series happened in perfect fashion. In a raw post 9/11 America New York hosted 3 of the most amazing World Series games you’ve ever seen, and I truly felt like the city got some sort of a lift from that. I think the ‘pliable” nature of that team, and the fact that RJ was going game 6, was the main reasons we didn’t fold up shop after game 5. We felt we couldn’t get beat when we pitched, and I think the guys in the field believed that as well.

To this day I still believe that was the best World Series ever.

Input?

February 10, 2013

I’m never going to truly ‘write’ a book. For one I talk too much, it would be way too long and likely way too boring. Not to mention to truly write a book about the things I’ve seen, done and been around I’d likely have to tell stories that would hurt other people and that wouldn’t be much fun.

But I started thinking what I might do.

To be able to talk about the things I’ve seen, done and been involved in, that might interest people.

What if I allowed you to ask me a direct question, and I’d ‘write’ the answer out every few weeks? No subject is off limits, and I’d answer as openly and honestly as possible. That way I’d likely be writing about stuff that was interesting to more folks than just me. Since it would be on my blog, and people would have to make an effort, at least some effort, to get here and ask, it would likely be able to focus on things people were curious about.

Why writers write, coaches coach, and players play.

August 11, 2011

Someone forwarded me a piece in the Washington Post about comments I made regarding Stephen Strasburg and his rehab, last week on ESPN. I wasn’t sure of the angle the writer was after until the next to last line of his column, which ended up being the motivating piece for the title of this blog post.

I don’t know why it matters if he’s facing the instructional leaguers or the Astros.

Holy crap. To me that’s exactly like saying “I don’t know why it’s different benching 25 pounds or 500 pounds? Those two settings are about as different as you can possibly get for a pitcher. Yes you exert effort and try to pitch your best in a rehab, you work to do the things you do normally, but the setting, the environment are such strong impacting forces for any good pitcher that it cannot help but be insanely different. 21 people (if it’s a good day) at extended spring in Florida vs. 50k+ people in a major league stadium? Ya, it’s very different, and it takes a very different toll on your arm and body.

I was blessed to be taken care of by someone I think has earned a reputation as the premiere shoulder physician in the world, Dr Craig Morgan out of Wilmington, Delaware. I also was one of the earliest cases and fixes of a SLAP repair on my throwing shoulder. My surgeon and my PT, along with Jeff Cooper and Mark Anderson (trainers in Philly), Paul Lessard (trainer in Az and Boston) set me up to pitch over 3000 innings AFTER I had this major surgery. I did it because they drove my rehab, they allowed me to get back on the mound, at the right levels, with a combination of input.

I don’t think for a second the Nationals will or would do anything to jeopardize this kids future, because it’s theirs too, but you show your ignorance of the game making dumb statements like the one above.

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