• He Couldn’t Tell Him In 2004?

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (10)

    From the AP

    He points to one moment, one conversation with his pal from Cuba.

    Jose Contreras was struggling, and his friend Orlando Hernandez wanted to know what had happened to the pitcher who triggered an auction between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox before ever slipping on a major league uniform.

    So El Duque asked: “Why’d you stop throwing sidearm?”

    The answer was that a coach in Cuba had told Contreras to stop, saying the herky-jerky motion would scratch valuable years off his career.

    Contreras smiles.

    “I regret it all the time, because I lost four years,” Contreras says through an interpreter.

    But the turning point probably was that talk with El Duque.

    Contreras started dropping his arm and rediscovered his form, going 11-2 after the All-Star break and winning his final eight regular-season starts. He helped the White Sox hold off Cleveland for the AL Central title and started the first game of each postseason series, going 3-1 in four outings.

    These two – Duque and Contreras – were together, in the Bronx, during July 2004. Why couldn’t they have talked about this then?

    Imagine how things might be different if they did – just starting with the 2004 ALCS.

    Comments on He Couldn’t Tell Him In 2004?

    1. rbs10025
      June 27th, 2006 | 2:51 pm

      Supposeldy the reason Moose came out of the gate pitching so well this year was because Jorge homered off him in spring training. After the game, Moose asks how’s that and Jorge says you’re tipping your pitch.

      All this commentary shows up on the web and in the press about Jorge helped fixed Moose. But I’m thinking, you couldn’t have told him last year?

    2. baileywalk
      June 27th, 2006 | 3:05 pm

      I think both of those stories are bullshit. Just my take. Contreras doesn’t throw sidearm; he has a three-quarter angle. And since him and Duque were at least a little close while they were both Yankees, it wouldn’t make sense that he never said it to him. Did it just occur when they were ChiSox?

      Also, the idea that Posada, as Mussina’s catcher, could see that he was tipping his changeup but never told him (until he faced him as a batter) is absurd. Besides, that story doesn’t make sense. Moose didn’t change the way he throws the changeup. He just takes more off of it now.

      And I hardly think a guy who’s won over 200 games needs to be “fixed.” What happened with Moose has nothing to do with Posada. He saw he didn’t have the same stuff anymore and figured out how to pitch with his current stuff. It’s exactly what Pedro did — and what all older pitchers do.

    3. JohnnyC
      June 27th, 2006 | 3:16 pm

      bailey, I concur. These stories, like most stories reported in the sports press, are convenient fictions. Trouble is, writers and commentators fall for this pablum…and run with it like crazy kids with scissors. Years later, the truth comes out. If you’ve read Gene Michael’s interview on the YES site this week, you’ll be shocked to find out that the idea to trade for David Cone came from George Steinbrenner and that the “Tampa mafia” wanted nothing to do with trading away a prospect by the name of Marty Jantzen. It was Gene Michael who backed George and got the deal done(this despite the fact that Gene was already on the outs with George and soon to be exiled to “super scout” duties). Like I said, truth is stranger than fiction. You just don’t get a whole lot of it in a typical baseball column.

    4. Nick from Washington Heights
      June 27th, 2006 | 3:47 pm

      I remember during the “fire Mel” days, certain posters seemed to rely heavily on anecdotal evidence to demonstrate why he should be put on the chopping block. Didn’t Andy Pettitte get fixed by his dad during his turn-around season? Anyway, what’s past is past, but it’s odd that we’re finally taking to task the value of stories like the one Steve cites. Should I discount the “story” that George wanted to acquire Ortiz before the 2003 season? Cashman denies that ever happening. Those who are close to George have leaked it out to the press. Who do we believe and why?

    5. JohnnyC
      June 27th, 2006 | 5:21 pm

      Nick, the Ortiz story (BTW, it was Bill Emslie, former full-time umpire and part-time Steinbrenner crony,whispering in George’s ear)was promulgated by Bill Madden…who is by no stretch of the imagination “close” to George. Indeed, it may have been fed to Madden by parties inimical to the “Tampa Mafia.” The article by Madden was a diatribe against the evil men who work for George in the offices of Legends Field. It was an anecdote that was supposed to make Cashman look good (in contrast to the Tampa-ites who allegedly kept wanting to stockpile superfluous talent). So, who do you believe? And why?

    6. rbs10025
      June 27th, 2006 | 6:00 pm

      Trying to see if I could track down more about the Posada and Moose story, I fire up Google… and it seems me back to this blog.


      Can’t seem to find it elsewhere, but maybe I’m not using enough keywords in my search.

    7. Nick from Washington Heights
      June 27th, 2006 | 6:45 pm

      Actually, I don’t know whose story to believe. Is that a fair answer? It was kind of my point.

    8. Raf
      June 27th, 2006 | 7:12 pm

      Trying to see if I could track down more about the Posada and Moose story, I fire up Google… and it seems me back to this blog.


      Can’t seem to find it elsewhere, but maybe I’m not using enough keywords in my search.

      I used “jorge posada, mike mussina, tipping”




    9. rbs10025
      June 27th, 2006 | 8:55 pm

      Ah, intrasquad was the helpful word. Using that, you’ll get a post at Bronx Banter for your first hit.


      And that leads to a piece on SI’s website in late April,


    10. Raf
      June 27th, 2006 | 11:39 pm

      Contreras had an off year when he was traded. His numbers and ratios are awful similar to the numbers he put up when he was here.

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