Sunday, February 21, 2010
Clark Spencer wrote about the Marlins' new pitching coach, Randy St. Claire, for today's Miami Herald, and two quotes from St. Claire struck me. The first,
He was even more impressed Saturday when he got to see his pupils in person, with his own naked eyes, as Marlins pitchers began pumping fastballs on Day 1 of spring training.Immediately, he talks about the talent he has. Not too surprising, as you would think he is sending a subtle message to his guys. You guys are pretty good already, he is saying. I'm just here to help you with the little things. This is what you'd want from a guy coaching a young staff, and similar to the approach Jack McKeon took when he managed the team (The "you can do it" approach, so to speak).
"A lot of power arms," St. Claire said afterward. "Big, tall, strong kids that can really get the ball up there. This is really nice. This is the most quality arms I've ever had."
The second comment was not so subtle:
"What makes a good pitching coach?" St. Claire said. "You've got to be able to see changes and not make changes. You've got to know when to be a pitching coach and when not to be. When a guy is going really good, what do you want me to do? You want me to change it? Why mess with it?"St. Claire, in other words, is not a meddler. I'm good with that. If Josh Johnson or another member of the staff is rolling, don't get in his way, just make sure he doesn't overwork himself. In other words, it is reassuring to me to hear the coaching staff talk about how talented the team is. Because talent tends to win out over 162 games, you see.
And finally, apropos of nothing, St. Claire was asked to join the Marlins when Jeffrey Loria bought the team, having served as the Expos' Triple-A pitching coach. St. Claire declined. I just like the fact that there is someone on the team now who has survived after telling Loria no. I think the rest of the coaching staff may like him now.