Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fellow Submarines

Interesting (and interestingly timed and titled) piece on Jason Brown, Mike Myers and the art of the submarine delivery.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox were at home for October’s American League Division Series with Chicago. On their roster was a 36-year old veteran pitcher named Mike Myers who, like Brown, threw from the rare “submarine” arm slot.

Unbeknownst to Brown, Myers kept in contact with Walsh, a former Cape League coach.

“I got a phone call that Mike Myers wanted to use [O’Donnell Field],” Walsh says. “He was going to work out a guy in the minors...who was dropping down.”

Brown was on his way to class in the afternoon when he received a call on his cell phone. It was Walsh.

“Hey, Mike’s going to be down here this afternoon at 1:00,” the coach said. “Would you want to go down and get a chance to work with him?”

Says Brown, “I immediately left class and went straight down.”

Brown worked with Myers for more than half an hour, correcting subtle kinks in his delivery.

For one, Walsh says, Myers instructed Brown to dip down as he attacked the plate rather than before, as he had previously done. Myers also helped him with his arm angle and demonstrated an improved sidearmer grip.

“He was a really nice guy, really patient,” Brown says. “Because nothing came to me quick when I was working with him...He was willing to just work with me. He didn’t count it as, like, a hassle or like I was bugging him or anything.”

All of a sudden, Brown was throwing darts. His pitch movement had increased. His slider broke harder. His control had improved.

“This fall,” Walsh says, “he’s throwing 83, nobody can touch him. Nobody. I can’t wait to wheel him out. His ball is just tch tch tch tch. When we have indoor workouts, if Jason’s throwing in the cage and somebody’s throwing 90 in the other cage, [the batters] all jump in the 90 cage. He’s making guys look silly.”
Also, Frank Herrmann contributes Part III of his spring training diary, which has been a delight. (Part II was here.)

1 comment:

David said...

I hope the Rockies draft Brown. It looks like those funky deliveries are effective in Colorado.