Friday, June 9, 2006, 3:02 pm
A little different look against the left-hander …
Pods, LF; Ozuna, 3B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Iguchi, 2B; Uribe, SS, Anderson, CF. Vazquez pitching.
Afternoon Well Spent
I joined Ozzie Guillen and Chris Singleton this afternoon at the Polo Cafe (just north of 35th and Morgan) for the monthly meeting of the Windy City Sox Fans.
The food was great, as was the company, and as usual, Mr. Guillen was quite entertaining with his answers. Both Ozzie and Chris signed for everyone in attendance at the well-run event. Kudos to the WCSF club.
Inside the Mind of Don Cooper
Don’t mind the dust and the cobwebs …
Rick Hahn (our assistant GM) and I were speaking to Coop yesterday before the game, and he made a really good observation. The comedian in me wants to point out that this rarely happens, but that would be too mean to Coop, who indeed is very good at his job (just look at the track record). But Coop is also from Long Island, so it is very easy to give him a hard time.
Anyway, his point was this:
Confidence is so important to pitchers, especially closers. One of the things he has learned (actually, we all have learned) is how fleeting confidence is. That’s probably not just true about sports figures. It’s probably also true about humans in general. Our pitching staff last year — especially last October — performed on the largest stage in the world and did just survive … they starred.
"You would think pitching like we did throughout the playoffs and World Series would give you confidence for the rest of your life," Coop said.
But one of the things we have all learned is how fragile confidence is and how it needs to be nutured and built up over time. Five great outings can be destroyed by one bad pitch … and then you start all over.
Which took us to closers. Coop talked about how important confidence is in the back of the bullpen. He pointed out closers through the years who succeeded even though their stuff did not fit the typical image of a closer.
For me, certainly Matt Karchner and Keith Foulke fit that description. They both turned in fantastic roles in the bullpen, in Keith’s case for years, without having dominating, overwhelming stuff. They did it with confidence in themselves and in their ability to pitch. By this argument, guys can create their own persona on the mound, a persona that might even make them better than their physical abilities.
Not really sure what, if any, conclusions I am trying to draw. Just thought the point was an interesting one.
We moved Friday night start times back 30 minutes to 7:30 pm this year because of our expectations for construction on the Dan Ryan and general, Chicago traffic on a Friday night.
Has it helped? Has it made a difference for you? Let me know. I would love to hear from you.