Friday, April 14, 2006

World Baseball Classic at PNC Park

"We had a Mexican pitcher, a Puerto Rican catcher and a Korean pitcher all yelling at each other," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "I couldn't understand what any of them said."

This makes me wonder, could language barriers be contributing to Perez's problems? When he first came up, he spoke no English and had to give interviews with Cota at his side as a translator. He's now had two English-speaking pitching coaches advising him on his mechanics, and the word "confused" is an apt word to describe his recent performances.

Speaking of pitching coaches--I do keep telling myself that it's early, and it's certainly too early to judge our young starters to be failures, but so far, Mr. Colburn's highly touted skills as a pitching coach have not been evident. He got a bit chesty the other day when asked about Duke, so things are going badly enough that he has adopted a defensive posture. Duke said over the winter that the previous regime was hypercritical.
The left-hander was atypical after the season ended, too, disparaging former manager Lloyd McClendon and pitching coach Spin Williams for difficult teaching methods he said began with "barking" and quickly proceeded to yelling. He said new manager Jim Tracy and pitching coach Jim Colborn are far less confrontational and more intent on teaching than preaching.

Duke's words were echoed by fellow rookie pitcher Ian Snell, who said it felt good to be able to go through a spring training workout "without being yelled at."

The early results suggest that at least a small dose of the sort of tough love previously dispensed by Spin Williams might now be therapeutic.

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