• Clemens & Contreras News

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2005 · Comments (10)

    From an AP report tonight:

    Clemens is the second-oldest pitcher to start a Series game, behind Jack Quinn, who was 46 years, 3 months, 7 days when he pitched for the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics. If Clemens wins, he’ll eclipse Dolf Luque of the New York Giants as the oldest pitcher to win a Series game. Clemens is 15 days older than Luque was when he got the win in the finale of the 1933 Series against Washington.

    Clemens and Luque share Aug. 4 as their birthday, but Luque won on Oct. 7 while Clemens will be pitching on Oct. 22.

    In another coincidence, Luque was born in Havana, also the birthplace of Contreras, who played with Clemens on the 2003 Yankees. That team made it to the World Series but lost to Florida.

    “I have to thank Roger very much because in Cuba I was throwing a two-seam fastball and he taught me how to throw a four-seam fastball,” Contreras said through a translator. “Every time I did something wrong with my mechanics, he helped he correct my errors.”

    OK, so……..

    Mo Rivera has to teach Tanyon Sturtze the cutter.

    Sheffield has to tell Leiter that he’s tipping pitches.

    Joe Kerrigan has to be brought in to fix Randy Johnson.

    And, now, we hear that Clemens had to teach Contreras to change the grip on his fastball.

    Note also that Jose said “Every time I did something wrong with my mechanics, he (Clemens) helped he correct my errors.”

    Hmmmm. Let’s see: Contreras in 2003, with Clemens as a teammate being his “helper,” actually was a productive pitcher – according to the stats. In 2004, in New York without Clemens to “correct” him, Contreras pitched so poorly that the team was happy to give him away – for just about nothing.

    Just what did Mel Stottlemyre do with the Yankees pitchers while he was in New York?

    Comments on Clemens & Contreras News

    1. Raf
      October 23rd, 2005 | 9:26 am

      Here’s the thing;

      Mo Rivera has to teach Tanyon Sturtze the cutter: Sturze’s ERA was worse than the league average

      Sheffield has to tell Leiter that he’s tipping pitches: All well and good, but Leiter’s problem wasn’t tipping pitches, it was throwing strikes

      Joe Kerrigan has to be brought in to fix Randy Johnson: His fix was negligable, as witnessed by his ERA, which was declining since June, IIRC

      As for Contreras, he struggled last year with the White Sox, and IIRC, struggled half of this year with them. He was finally able to work through his problems, though I won’t be convinced until he does it over a full season

    2. October 23rd, 2005 | 9:56 am

      I think it’s not really fair to condemn a pitching coach because players claim to be learning from their peers. Would you prefer that the players never talk to one another and share ideas?

      There may be plenty of reasons to condemn Stottlemyre as a pitching coach – personally, I don’t feel I know enough about pitching or coaching to say one way or the other – but condemning him because his players like learning from one another makes no sense.

    3. October 23rd, 2005 | 10:23 am

      Satch – think of it this way: You own a college. And, you pay your profs very well to teach the students. And, the students have good grades.

      Then, you find out that the profs have not been showing up for class (and they’ve just coming in to give tests) – and, because the profs have been doing nothing (in the day-to-day), the students started to teach themselves – and that’s why their grades have been good.

      So, then, as the owner of the school, do you just close your eyes to the prof situation and say “Well, at least the kids are learning”?

    4. October 23rd, 2005 | 11:03 am

      I agree with Satchel. Of course they are going to learn things from each other. Of course people are brought in to help, give advice, etc. That’s just normal and healthy and usually good. It’s different than college because baseball players are out there doing it – playing baseball. They’re playing, tinkering and working. People in college haven’t reached that point yet, they are likely learning something and afterward will be at that point where they will then start to get right into the craft. College is more like minor league baseball.

    5. Raf
      October 23rd, 2005 | 12:18 pm

      SL:What do you believe is the most common mistake made by a coach?

      Dr. Mike Marshall: Thinking that they know something without having any background in Kinesiology, Applied Anatomy and Motor Learning, Development and Skill Acquisition.

      Nuff said

    6. October 23rd, 2005 | 12:59 pm

      By Marshall’s answer, then he’s the only one in the world who could be a good coach.

      Here’s a question: Has anyone heard a quote from any Yankees pitcher, current or recently current, saying what a mistake it is to let Mel go, after all he’s done for him?

    7. Raf
      October 23rd, 2005 | 1:19 pm

      Marshall’s right, to a degree. You have to know how the body moves in order to get it to do what you want it to do.

      I put a lot more stock in him, Tom House, Leo Mazzone, and others in that school of thought, than many of the “old school” coaches.

      Have you ever seen the site “http://www.pitching-mechanics.org/”

    8. October 23rd, 2005 | 1:52 pm

      Steve said: “Then, you find out that the profs have not been showing up for class (and they’ve just coming in to give tests) – and, because the profs have been doing nothing (in the day-to-day), the students started to teach themselves – and that’s why their grades have been good.”

      All I’m saying is that I personally am not comfortable concluding that Mel Stottlemyre has not been showing up for class. I just don’t know enough about pitching or about coaching to reach that conclusion confidently.

    9. Don
      October 24th, 2005 | 2:03 pm

      I’m sure both Clemens and Pettite complimented Mel.

      And again, where was the Kerrigan ‘fix’ in game three ALDS?

    10. October 24th, 2005 | 4:18 pm

      The fix skipped Game 3 – but, it came on strong in the end in Game 5, no?

      I’m sure Andy and Roger loved Mel. Then again, they had nothing needing fixing.

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