Mind Over Sports

Rookie pitcher had a bad pitching coach

Posted on: September 13, 2006

I’m reminded of a very talented college baseball pitcher I once met who told me that he had been drafted by the Kansas City Royals. He had just finished a highly successful career in college and had fantastic control and a great fast ball. But when he arrived at the Royals’ spring training camp, the pitching coach (I won’t mention any names) insisted on changing his mechanics. The result was his game went down the tubes and he ended up hurting his shoulder because of the change in mechanics insisted on by the pitching coach. When I met him he was a scout for another major league team and told me that if he had it all to do over again, he wouldn’t have listened to that coach and would have stayed with what he had been successful doing. That is, pitching his own way without any interference from a coach. I sometimes wonder if assistant coaches often feel they have to earn their bread by sticking their noses into areas where they really don’t belong. I recall that famous quote by Whitey Herzog that, in many instances, “the team gets rid of the player, when the manager (assistant coach) is the problem all along.”

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