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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Best mound conversation ever

The other day a friend asked me "what do coaches tell pitchers when they go to the mound?"  It reminded me of the best mound conversation I ever heard.  First, here's some background on the story.
I was playing shortstop at the time but because I had pitched in college as well, I always was interested in what pitching coaches told their pitchers so I would frequently walk in to the mound to hear what was being said.  The pitcher in this story was one of the best all-round athletes I ever played with.  He threw very hard but early in his pro career he frequently just tried to throw the ball past everyone.  It took him a while to learn to pitch instead of just throw.  Many conversations by our pitching coach didn't seem to be all that effective.  In short, he drove our pitching coach nuts.  One night, the pitcher was again stuck in that strategy and was struggling with his command.  The pitching coach decided on a different approach.  He called time, walked to the mound and said the following:
"Ok, here's what I want you to do.  Keep trying to throw as hard as you can, don't get ahead of batters, stay up in the zone, don't change speeds, and let's see just how long we can be out here tonight." 
"...we're dealing with a lot of **** here."
 He then patted him on the butt and jogged off the field leaving the pitcher completely bewildered and me laughing (with my glove up in front of my face) all the way back to shortstop.  

I don't know if it tops the wedding gift / animal sacrifice meeting in the movie Bull Durham, but I sure liked it!

Have any good stories of your own?


  1. This is a great inspiring article. I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post.

  2. Thanks for sharing this- good stuff! Keep up the great work,
    we look forward to reading more from you in the future!

  3. The best conversation I had on the mound was when I had one of worst games on the bump. Like all pitchers I hated when any coach would come out to talk with me, because it means your ineffective and already rattled. That year we had a pitching coach named Ray. Now Ray was old as time, and the staff thought he probably taught Jesus Christ himself how to throw a slider. With Ray being so old no one could ever get mad or frustrated when he came out to the mound.
    This paticular game, I had absolutely no command and no pitch seemed to be working. On the mound, I heard time being called and Ray begin to shuffle to the mound. It took Ray about 10 minutes to make his way to the mound, and I was patiently waiting with my catcher and a few the infielders. Ray finally arrives, and I anticipate the words of wisdom that will help me get through the inning. Ray really knew his stuff, and always delivered it in his usual calm and quiet manner. Instead I heard this:
    "Well Dom, in 60 years of coaching this game...I have never seen a guy pitch so shitty. Now give me the ball." He said, with a half smile. His face stressed from holding back his laughter. My teammates where in stiches. By God, I pitched so badly I man an 80 year old man swear. I never laughed so hard on the way back to the dugout aftering getting torched.
    Ray has long since past, but his memory lives on. Thanks Ray.

  4. That's a great story! Thanks for sharing it. The baseball world needs more Coach Rays. I wish I knew him. Sounds like a gem.
    Take care and thanks for reading.