Saying The Right Thing At The Right Time

An important part of being a pitching coach is to be able to say just the right thing at the right time when a pitcher is having a rough go of it. Being that pillar of stability, that rock to lean on, that true-blue keeper of wisdom, and an all round one-heck of a nice guy.

So here’s a collection of things that I use to say:

Son, we have a certain pitch in this game and it’s called a strike. I could really use three of them right about now.
Ya know, manslaughter is a felony in this state - so, could you please just put one or two of those things over the plate - because you’re killing me!
It ain’t easy being out here all alone with the game resting on your shoulders, the potential of everyone going back feeling down and depressed, the sports page raking us over the coals, Skipper just one year away from retirement, and my last operation that just hasn’t healed up right, and our bat boy’s puppy just ran away … — but hey, enough about our troubles … we’re all behind ya kid!
Ok son, just settle down and regroup. You’ve got an infield here that’ll help you - use them! Oh, by the way … your girl friend left you a message in the dugout, something about a test turning pink or blue … oh heck you can read about it once your finished here.
Son, just keep repeating to yourself … the ball is my friend … the ball is my friend.
Son, the only thing that you haven’t thrown to these guys has been your glove, your hat, your shoes and your pants. At the very least - you’re consistent, so lets think of this situation as being all down hill from here.
Son, you look like your favorite dog just ran away.
“ ah coach, I ain’t got a dog.”
Well now, see … things are looking up already! Go get-em kid.

Coach B.

Very nice post coach B.

Speaking of saying the right thing at the right time—on occasion when one of our other starting pitchers would run into trouble, usually because he was trying too hard, our manager would have me go out to the mound to talk to the pitcher, rather than go out there himself. And I would tell the poor fish on the hill something that Ed Lopat had told me a long time ago. I would say, “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.” It took less than a minute, but it served to steady the pitcher, and when I went back to the dugout he did just that—he let the shortstop or some other infielder grab a grounder and fire to first to get the batter, and he got out of trouble. :slight_smile: