Thursday, April 28, 2005

More adventures in Rhode Island, and Joe Walsh unplugged

Oh snap, a tune-up. URI leads Harvard 9-1 in the 4th, Warren and Bruton have pitched. Farkes started at shortstop.

Also, I'm not sure how old this is, but here's a very colorful article with Joe Walsh. Some interesting stuff here, particularly concerning recruiting and dealing with the Admissions Department and what he looks for in a pitcher. Some of the details are a little iffy at points, but you know. And it's something of a throwback in its own right, since so much about the way this team goes about winning has changed since the late 90s.

Of course, some of it's very much the same:
Specifically, and with the ball player who’s a pitcher, I love the kid who throws the breaking ball. I am a guy that believes that a lot of college coaches are converting kids to the slider because its a quick fix pitch. The curve ball takes longer to develop. And the umpires are not calling curve balls for strikes, you have to get guys to swing at it.

I still think that it’s the pitch that separates the men from the boys. If I can get a kid here who throws two pitches for strikes and one of those is a breaking ball, he is going to win for me and I don’t care how hard he throws it if he can locate. I feel that if a kid works hard enough he can develop a change-up. The pitch that’s missing is whether or not a kid can throw a breaking ball or whether his mechanics and motion look like he can. I’m a breaking ball guy, I love the guys who can throw the breaking ball. We had a kid last year throwing 81-82 and he beat UCLA and Miami with a breaking ball. We have a kid who was a sophomore last year who was not recruited by any of the top schools around here and he has been all-New England 1st team for the past few seasons. The kid’s out pitch is a breaking ball.

I guess all coaches learn from each other and I read an article a few years back by Skip Bertman (LSU) , and he basically said if you get a kid who’s hitting on the HS level he is gonna probably hit on the college level. Then if you get a kid who’s not hitting on the HS level; is he gonna hit on the college level? I don’t know. Number one you look for the kid who has the ball jump off his bat when he swings. Statistics and averages do not mean much to me because the style of baseball we play is moving runners up, we hit and run a lot we play a lot of that type baseball.

I'd be interested in whether this is the same now, since Harvard's become more in love with the big inning.

Character guys:
I had a kid that I went to see this year, he’s a catcher, the ball got by him and he’s chasing the ball back to the back stop swearing his head off. He walks out and gives the pitcher a hard time and I was in my car before he got back behind the plate. I wasn’t gonna stick around. There are just certain things that you see. I have people telling me "Your not recruiting so and so" and I say "No, let somebody else deal with him for four years."

1 comment:

Brian said...

It's late in the season, so maybe this needs to wait for next year. But I would love to at some point see one of the enterprising young Crimson dudes do a scrutiny on the new brand of Harvard baseball. Because it is not the Harvard baseball of the late 90s. Other schools beat Harvard now by playing old-style Harvard baseball.

I think it would be cool to hear Walsh's thoughts, and those of others (players included), on how this metamorphosis took place. At some point along the way, the recruits started being the guys who could the ball where the grass doesn't grow, not the slickest fielders or the guys who could lay down the best bunts. I am not saying one is better than the other, I am just saying I think the decade-old characterization of the Joe Walsh philosophy no longer applies.