Sunday, March 15, 2015

R.I.P. Al Rosen

Mr. Al Rosen, former Giants GM and President, has died at age 91.  Without him, there would be no Croix de Candlesticks.


M.C. O'Connor said...


He once cut us off driving on Jamestown Ave to the 'Stick.

Brother Bob said...

One of the best Jewish ballplayers of all time, for what that's worth. And I have a soft spot in my heart for the Cleveland Indians, my mother's old home-town team.

M.C. O'Connor said...

He was great player, period. Check out 1950-1954, that's a hell of a five-hear stretch--over 30 WAR.

He did a lot for the Giants, that's for sure.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Did you see that Zack Wheeler needs Tommy John surgery?

Damn shame. Despite the trade I've always thought of Wheeler as "one of the gang" since the Giants drafted him as the 6th pick in 2009. Mets might have a pretty good team this year, that's a cruel blow. Hate to see a young guy get hurt. So many talented kids out there, so few put together the seasons that guys like Cain, Bum, Timmy have done. Amazing run of health and achievement from our Super Trio.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yeah, saw the news about Wheeler. Honestly, didn't think much of him when he was a Giants prospect, and he's only been about average as a pitcher so far.

And it don't surprise me that he blew his arm out. I remember one of the stories when he was drafted, he said that he reared back to hit 100 when he learned that Sabean was in the crowd watching. I can see a lifetime of rearing back to impress someone or something eventually leading to this TJS.

If you read one of the articles, I think SI, it noted that he was battling arm issues all last year but pitched anyway, and the Mets kept on using him, pushing him up to 110-120 pitches even while his arm was hurting. Of course, most pitchers will say that they pitch with some pain (well, except for Lincecum) so it is a fine line between pitching with pain and needing to take care of his arm/health. But clearly, they crossed that line, both he and the Mets.

nomisnala said...

Why are most decent hitting Jewish ballplayers all nicknamed the Jewish Hammer?

M.C. O'Connor said...

I thought it was the "Hebrew Hammer" and you can at least argue the appeal of the alliteration of that one!

Did you see Yu Darvish needs Tommy John? I'll say it again--our Super Trio of Matt, Tim, and Madison has been amazing. To stay as healthy as they have and deliver so many quality innings (and 3 titles) is very impressive.

Speaking of Darvish, I'm always astounded by the relentless optimism of world-class athletes. I suppose it takes that kind of confidence and positive energy to succeed at the highest level. His quotes after announcing the injury are Pence-like. I imagine that highly successful people in any endeavor have a similar mind-set.

Zo said...

I always thought that Leo Mazzone, Braves pitching coach, was a genius for keeping the Braves' staff so healthy for so long. Maybe Dave Righetti has some of that same magic touch.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah you have to wonder if there are workout regimes or whatnot that keep guys healthy. You'd think that knowledge, if it exists, would spread throughout the game and everyone would do it. I imagine a lot of the problem are the athletes themselves refusing to acknowledge pain or stiffness and hiding the facts from the team. And you have to figure teams want to get the most out of their guys and don't always play it safe. I don't know. I just know the Giants have been fortunate with their guys.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Leo Mazzone's methodology he got from an old timer when he first got into coaching, and it is a radical theory relative to today: to make their arm healthier and less prone to injury, they need to throw more often, which is almost opposite the mantra today of make pitchers throw less.

The problem, it seems to me, is that it is the art of throwing, not the science, like with hitting. Anybody can throw, but who knows the exact right throwing motion for your physiology, is what I'm thinking.

Plus, the mechanics for throwing probably have two dimensions to it, one for throwing faster, the other for throwing healthier, and guys being guys, they will want to throw faster, even if it is not healthy, because you want to beat out the other guys, and speed is the basic formula for most pitchers.

Personally, I think there is something to the throwing more theory. I've read of a number of farmboys over history who have the velocity and the longevity.

Just look at Bumgarner, who, although not really a farmboy growing up, has that mentality enough since he chose to buy a farm. When he came up, he marveled at how little major league pitchers threw between starts, so he figured he should throw less in between to save his arm some for later in the season. But I would still bet that Bumgarner still throws more between starts, as well as in the off-season, than other pitchers. I don't see him changing himself that much just because major leaguers threw less.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Oh, along the times of healthy, I forgot where, but I saw a chart analyzing TJS by organization (also split by just MLB), and the Giants were among the best (I think the lowest MLB in that time period was 2 - 3 teams I think - and the Giants had 3, tied with some teams as well; and I think the Giants had the least across the whole organization with 8). So they are good at least in avoiding that, plus Brian Wilson got his second one as our major leaguer.

I also noted the odd correlation I saw: a number of organizations with ties to the 1990's A's were among the worse in TJS: the A's, the Cards (LaRussa/Jocketty), Reds (Jocketty), and the Mets (Sandy Alderson). On top of that, Boston had the worse in terms of organizational TJS, putting a saber linkage in there.

And that makes some sense. If your organization only looks at numbers, you grab guys who have good numbers, but they might be attaining the good numbers because they are hurting their arms in order to get that performance.

If your team actually have experts in pitching, who understand pitching, and can guide pitchers as to throwing properly, they might not be as productive as the others who throw harder, but they could last longer, because they throw properly.