View Full Version : Interesting interview with Pete Harnisch

06-05-2009, 08:14 AM
Posting the item on Brett Tomko got me looking at what Pete Harnisch is doing. It's a long piece, so I won't duplicate it here, but here's the link to the story:


One highlight though was the end of his career and some regrets he had with not resigning with the Reds. It's in retrospect and how he reinjured himself with Colorado, but he also talks about how the Reds approached him then. He also talks elsewhere about first signing with Cincinnati after his bout with depression.

LICN: You pitched in the major leagues for quite a long time (1988 – 2001). How would you rate your satisfaction with your career?

PH: I was very satisfied. At the end I made one mistake. I had minor elbow surgery my last year with Cincinnati (2001) to fix a tendon in my arm. My ligament was okay, my rehab was fabulous, my throwing program was fabulous…I was throwing 200 feet as hard as I wanted on flat ground. The only mistake was that I should have gone back to Cincinnati. They were in tune with the rehab and what had to be done. I signed with Colorado, and the first day they had me throw a full workout, which I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be doing. So I was supposed to throw 15 to 20 nice easy straight pitches off the mound…I threw [for] 10 to 12 minutes like all the other pitchers, throwing breaking balls… It was the first day of spring training and afterwards I could not lift my arm. I threw the rest of spring training biting the inside of my mouth, throwing every other day trying to get my arm in shape. I had an MRI just before opening day…the whole elbow was destroyed. The thing I had fixed – the ligament – was torn. I was going to blow it off, but I got the whole thing fixed. Rehab was going great. I went back to Cincinnati again (in 2003) to the Triple A (minor leagues) to get my arm in shape, and was on a timetable to be back May 15th. The Reds gave up 20 runs the first few games and panicked. I was supposed to stay in Florida another 3 or 4 weeks and throw every 5th day in extended spring training, so they throw me into Triple A in Toledo in 15° weather on April 7th and I pulled my hamstring. That set me back a couple of weeks. The doctor said it was going to be 12 to 15 months (post surgery) before I had full velocity back, and I was 9 months post surgery and pitching in Triple A. I was getting blasted every game, throwing 85 to 87 mph. It went back and forth for a few months like that and they released me. I had 10 Triple A starts and my ERA was like 8. The mistake I made was leaving Cincinnati and going to Colorado. If I hadn’t left, I wouldn’t have had that second injury.

LICN: So why did you leave Cincinnati?

PH: I thought I was going to get a better deal somewhere else. They were offering me no money [and] wouldn’t give me a guarantee. The other team did. I felt like I was in the big leagues for 12 years and I deserved a major league deal. I wasn’t looking for the moon, but they wanted to sign me to a minor league contract for $2,000 a month and bring me into the minor league camp. I found someone who gave me a better deal and a guarantee of another year on the roster. With the other deal, they could have cut me anytime they wanted. Looking back, for the few hundred grand I guaranteed myself, it was the wrong decision.

06-05-2009, 11:33 AM
Pete Harnisch is one of my favorite Reds of all-time. The 1999 season is special to me, and Pete Harnisch was a huge part of that season. I remember going to a game at Riverfront and seeing Harnisch riding down the sidewalk on his bicycle. He seemed like a nice guy, he was almost always willing to sign autographs, and was always joking around.

06-06-2009, 03:26 PM
Harnisch was awesome. One of the good guys.

06-06-2009, 03:32 PM
I loved Harnisch. At least four of the Reds starters currently probably have better stuff now than he did then, but the guy was an absolute bulldog. That's a cliche, but it's the truth. There was no fear, no hesitation, he just came right at you. He was the heart and soul of that starting rotation.

06-06-2009, 11:20 PM
When I saw the thread title, I thought it was going to have something to do with Pete's struggles with clinical depression then related to the Votto situation. Not saying that's the issue with Votto, but it's certainly a possibility.


06-07-2009, 07:31 AM
When I saw the thread title, I thought it was going to have something to do with Pete's struggles with clinical depression then related to the Votto situation. Not saying that's the issue with Votto, but it's certainly a possibility.

It's certainly possible. It has to have been tough losing his father so suddenly and being away from home most of the time, not able to process things better.