“The pitcher had electric stuff but couldn’t find the plate…” Poor Pustulio. I don’t know why you and everyone else had to put up with that guy—he seems to be one of those who either couldn’t, or wouldn’t learn. Probably the best thing to do with such players is get rid of them. In another post, addressed to Coach B., I said something about how to deal with a pitcher who wouldn’t listen no matter what you did—I said, lose him. Take him out of the rotation, stick him in the bullpen and never call on him except for mop-up jobs in games where your team is way behind, and then just drop him. You have better things to do than try to cope with this particular situation.
There was a case, perhaps less extreme but nonetheless fitting into this category. The Cincinnati Reds had a pitcher named Jay Hook who, when he was good was very good, but when he was bad stank. On one occasion he was pitching against the Pirates, and he absolutely stank on hot ice! The Pirates were eating him alive, converting every pitch he threw into line-drive extra-base hits, and finally in the fifth inning manager Fred Hutchinson had to take him out of the game. Hook returned to the dugout, and he sat in a corner bemoaning the loss of his fast ball—it had just up and gone to the moon, or Mars, or Alpha Centauri IV, or wherever. And trying to explain things to him was like talking to a stone wall; he just continued to moan over and over and over, “Without my fast ball I can’t pitch.” Well, he had stunk on hot ice once too often, and the Reds let him go—traded him, or released him, I don’t know, but he didn’t last long after that.
I’m glad to say that I never had that experience with any of the other pitchers on my staff. If one of them ran into trouble I was able to talk to him and get him squared away—sometimes all I had to say to him was something Satchel Paige had said once: “Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.” Or something Ed Lopat had told me: “You know, you have some good fielders behind you. Let them do some of the work. Let them get a few outs for you now and then.” That often did the trick, and the pitcher was able to steady himself, right his ship as it were, and get the side out. 8) And you don’t even have to be a coach—maybe just being a fellow pitcher who has everything together.