Friday, December 27, 2013

Pinch Hitting Guest Blogger: Old Ranger

"Chris" a True Fish Story

I was fishing one day when a young man joined me. we started talking about baseball and he said he was taking a few weeks off from baseball.

It seamed he was a pitcher for a minor league team and was not getting the job done.
I began by asking him what he threw and the speed of each.

He said a 90-93+/- FB, very good change, curve (working on) a power slider that is workable and a so so cutter.
I asked him how he threw, short or long arm, side, over the top, 3/4 what?

He started by saying, what do you mean short or long arm? I asked him to show me, he did, he was another Ewell Blackwell type (long arm). I told him there were a bunch of kids (17-21) playing at the park (very good park), the fish don't like us, let's go.

He was a bit impressed when I told him I had a big time fast ball at about 82-86, he laughed and said most people say they had a 92-95 fastball, let's go.

Well, to (try) and make this short I asked him (with the blessing of the kids) to just pick up the ball and throw to 1st a few times, well it showed me his natural motion is short arm. I asked him to throw all his pitches.

His fast ball had good pop and jump, his change could be a big time pitch (had great feel for it) but, I asked him to throw his cutter after 3 changes and change again. I asked him how many times he was beat by throwing a cutter after a change or a change after cutter. Then do the same with a curve and cutter and a slider and a curve.

Then I asked him to just mix-up the FB, curve, and change. It seemed as though a light went off in his head. After explaining what Eddie Lopat told me about using short and long arm with the same pitches gave one six pitches not three (and worked for me somewhat) junk the cutter and slider. Unless they are dependable pitches...they go a long way when hit.

The following spring he showed up while I was fishing, we talked an had a good day with our catches. As we were leaving he said he had done very well in the winter league and would be moved up a step.

His pitching coach liked his idea of dropping his cutter and slider and try short arm but, the coach told him to stay with his motion (as had I) he said he is getting a bit more bite on his pitches and was thinking about adding his cuter to the mix come ST. I suggested he forget about the slider and concentrate on making his pitches great.

His name was Chris ???????. I moved to another state, later that year. Never have seen him again. I hope it worked out for him.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)