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Darren Daulton once threatened to rip off Mitch Williams’ arm. God bless him.

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Retired Phillies catcher Darren Daulton is, to steal a description, one of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

He is on record believing in alchemy, auras, telepathy, energy transfers, astral planes, planetary ascension, and parallel universes. He believes that he had an had out of body experiences while playing at Wrigley Field one day. He believes that the universe is created and sustained by numerical synchronicities — the number 11 is particularly important in his life — and
that all matter is charged with extradimensional vibrational energy.

Daulton believes that his moods have altered the weather before, that the pyramids were created by a lost civilization — or possibly aliens. He believed that people with knowledge of the workings of the universe were going ascend to a higher plane of existence on Dec. 21, 2012, at 11:11 a.m. Maybe that happened, maybe it didn’t, but you can’t prove Daulton wrong about that. And not just because he’s still here. Maybe he chose to be, man, in order to help those of us who don’t understand everything get by as best we can. Ever think of that? Didn’t think so.

To put it succinctly, if you don’t love and respect the unadulterated Darren Daultoness of Darren Daulton, I don’t really want to know you.

One person who knows Daulton and his Daultoness well is CSNPhilly’s John Kruk. Kruk tells a story about Daulton in the first episode of his new podcast, called the KrukCast. You can hear it in its entirety via CSNPhilly.com, but this here is the good stuff:

“There was an incident, it’s been documented, with Mitch Williams our closer,” Kruk began. “Terry Mulholland pitched the gem of a complete game, which Terry had a knack to do. When he started it, he wanted to finish it. Mitch came in and he was upset. He yelled at Jimmy Fregosi for not bringing him in, ‘If I’m you’re closer you gotta put me in that game.’ Darren took Mitch to the back room and said, ‘Look, that’s not what we’re about and if that ever happens again I’ll rip your arm off and you’ll never pitch again.'”

Darren Daulton is . . . his own man, to say the least. And I think he operates on a level none of us can truly grapple with. But in his desire to put Mitch Williams and all of his nonsense in his place, he comes across as the hero we all want and the hero we all need.

God bless that man. God bless him.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.