Looking for Six, Pitching Bible, Unhappy Umpire

The TinCaps have now won five straight games, after taking down South Bend Wednesday night.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, I talk with BJ Guinn, who was with the team last year. He has just rejoined the club, and is getting healthy after tearing his left quadriceps muscle during the last week of spring training.

PITCHING BIBLE

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was in the Florida State League (Advanced-A) last year, and this season he’s pitching in the big leagues. How does a young pitcher become so successful at such a quick pace? Part of it lies in his preparation:

“He records every mechanical adjustment he makes, even if only temporary, as a reference for the future. When he pitches well, he notes what he did right. When he pitches poorly, he types in a summary of his mistakes, be they mechanical or mental.

Harvey drew on his Pitching Bible a few days before his major-league debut Thursday in Arizona, where he struck out 11 batters over 5-1/3 exhilarating innings. And it will help guide him again here Tuesday night when he faces the San Francisco Giants.

“It’s something I like to keep and something where if I do forget something, I can always go back and look at it,” Harvey said. “It’s just kind of a reminder.”‘

“Here’s a guy at 23 years old that knows his delivery,” Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said. “We have guys at 35 years old that don’t know their deliveries that we still have to talk to all the time. By him doing that, it shows that he has the aptitude to be better and to want to be better.”

The Book of Harvey also shows the influence of Bill Caudill, a former major-league pitcher employed by Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras. Caudill serves as a personal pitching coach to Harvey, who has leaned on him more heavily than on anyone employed by the Mets.

Caudill was the one who suggested to Harvey in 2009, when he was a sophomore at the University of North Carolina, that he keep a pitching diary. It was a measure borne of failure.

After a dominant freshman season, Harvey regressed as a sophomore. He finished with a 5.40 ERA, the highest among Tar Heel starters. North Carolina pitching coach Scott Forbes said Harvey’s biggest problem was an inability to repeat his delivery.

His mechanics were robotic, but he was a robot gone haywire, lacking the rhythm and timing necessary to throw with ease. “He was just fighting himself,” Forbes said.

The process of writing down adjustments—noting what worked and what didn’t mechanically on a given day—created something of a self-help manual.”

UNHAPPY UMPIRE

Last night in Florida State League action, the Daytona Cubs defeated the Fort Myers Miracle. That’s not intriguing.

What is intriguing is that during that game, the Daytona PA announcer and the in-stadium DJ were both ejected by home plate umpire Mario Seneca. This is where MiLB.com’s Danny Wild picks up the story:

“For Daytona Cubs intern deejay Derek Dye, it was nothing more than a nursery rhyme. For home plate umpire Mario Seneca, it crossed the line.

A bizarre scene unfolded Wednesday night when Seneca ejected Dye for playing “Three Blind Mice” on the sound system at Daytona’s Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

 “I thought at first when he yelled, ‘You’re gone,’ he was talking to me,” Daytona manager Brian Harper said. “That was pretty fun.”

Nothing was funny for Seneca. After a questionable play at first base, Harper argued the call with infield umpire Ramon Hernandez. Daytona first baseman Taylor Davis appeared to pick a ball in the dirt thrown by shortstop Tim Saunders, but it came out of his glove when he turned to toss it around the infield. Hernandez ruled Davis had bobbled the ball rather than dropping it on the transfer and declared Fort Myers’ Andy Leer safe.

Dye, a Cubs intern from the University of Illinois, fired up one of his new music clips — an organ version of “Three Blind Mice,” the well-known English nursery rhyme about visually impaired rodents getting into a scuffle with a farmer’s wife.

Seneca wheeled, pointed to Dye in the press box and shouted, “You’re done!” Ditto for the Cubs’ public-address announcer.

“Turn the sound off for the rest of the night,” Seneca could be heard yelling during the Cubs’ broadcast.”

Seneca was an umpire here in the Midwest League last year.

And the kicker:

“I think it’s a pretty popular children’s fable,” Dye said. “He’s umpiring the game tomorrow, so I don’t think I’ll be playing it anytime soon.”

MUSICAL GUEST

OutKast…take it away!

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.

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