Quote of the day: Don Cooper don’t need to think about no stinkin’ biomechanics

33 Comments

There’s a long article in the ESPN the Magazine season preview issue about pitching and biomechanics. About how a pitchers’ motion and physical approach could make all the difference in terms of whether that pitcher maintains his health and avoids those visits to Dr. James Andrews.

I’m not gonna say I fully understand this stuff. Even the experts have some disputes among one another and the data is far from perfected yet. But I read this this quote from White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper and I don’t want to live on this planet anymore:

“I’m not going to let new-school ways get in the way of my old-school thinking. I don’t need biomechanics. I have experience. I have my eyes. I just watch and look.”

If you were an executive in a billion dollar business and one of your supervisors took that approach when presented with something that, even if untested, at least claimed to have significant benefits for your business, you would fire him.  Indeed, even if you were skeptical yourself, you would fire that guy if he didn’t at least engage the new information if, for no other reason, than to debunk it.

But not baseball! In baseball, people like Cooper ignore and dismiss new stuff until they have absolutely have no choice but to acknowledge it.  Or, more commonly, until their successors acknowledge it while they sit in the retirement home and continue to talk smack about the new-fangled ways of doing things.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

John McCoy/Getty Images
4 Comments

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.