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Thread: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

  1. #61
    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum View Post
    Best. name. ever.
    I was thinking the exact same thing haha

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  3. #62
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by forfreelin04 View Post
    How do you figure that? Pitch to contact means to limit walks as much as possible by allowing the batter to see more strikes. I think what Pole (or whatever name you are choosing to call him before he actually gets a shot to make a difference) is referring to here is not overthrowing the ball or trying to make a perfect pitch with two strikes. This quote suggests to me that Maddux learned here to stay within himself in his delivery, stay with his strengths (location and speed change), and become much more of a pitcher then a thrower. I don't think anyone in the Major Leagues barring someone that can throw a fastball by the majority of hitters is ever thinking of striking out every hitter. Few have it and those that do not and still try have little sucess in the majors. I think your jumping to conclusions here about Pole. He has made a difference for alot of pitchers who were so so before they were under his wing. Let's the year play out before we pass judgement.
    Well said, forfreel. "Pitching to contact" was Dan O'Brien's spin on the age old pitching philosophy called "Inviting contact." It is not new, and it is universally embraced.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

  4. #63
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    A little more on Richard!

    11/07/2006 7:26 PM ET
    Pole named Reds pitching coach
    Veteran instructor takes over talented, but young pitching staff
    By Jason Beck / MLB.com


    Future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux has called Dick Pole one of the best influences on his career. But as Pole points out, he's not coaching Maddux anymore.
    The Reds finalized their 2007 staff on Tuesday by naming Pole as their new pitching coach. Pole's next challenge is taking over a relatively young pitching staff in Cincinnati that made strides in 2006 but still has room to grow.

    Pole fills a vacancy that had been in transition since Vern Ruhle was diagnosed with cancer. Tom Hume filled the position this past season, but the Reds prefer to return him to his previous role as bullpen coach and look for a more veteran pitching instructor.

    They quickly found their guy with Pole, who embarks on his 19th year as a Major League coach with his sixth big-league pitching coach assignment.

    "Just competing against him, seeing him through the years, I've always been impressed with the way he goes about his business," manager Jerry Narron said on Tuesday. "His reputation has been outstanding. There's been some very good pitchers who believe in him. He's been a grinder. He's stuck around in this game and he loved it."

    The biggest name of those pitchers is Maddux, who became Pole's project in 1988 coming off a 6-14 record as a 21-year-old rookie the previous season. As the story goes, Pole tried to get Maddux to think less about strikeouts and more about simply making pitches and getting outs in whatever fashion.

    Maddux improved to 18-8 in that '88 season, the first of 17 consecutive seasons with 15 or more wins and 14 straight seasons with over 200 innings pitched. His innings per start went up, his hits per inning went down and the rest, as they say, was history.

    "I know that's something that kind of stuck with Dick," general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "When a guy like Maddux says something like that, it has to make you feel good."

    Pole and Maddux were reunited the last few years with the Cubs, except that Pole was the bench coach instead of the pitching coach. When Narron and Krivsky approached him about the Cincinnati opening, Pole said that it was a chance for him to return to his roots.

    Plus, he's doing it in a league and a division he knows pretty well over the last several years.

    "The last few years I've seen them get better," Pole said. "I've seen [Aaron] Harang, and then they added [Bronson] Arroyo. They have some young pitchers that need to get better, but I saw Wayne make some moves near the end of the year. That's part of my job [with young pitchers], to let them know they belong."

    The numbers should help in that regard. Despite playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, the Reds finished in the top half of the National League with a 4.51 earned run average, lowest of any team in the Central Division except for the pitching-rich Astros. Their nine complete games were an NL best.

    Likewise, their 464 walks allowed were the fewest of any NL team, helping mitigate the effect of their NL-high 213 home runs surrendered and 2,593 total bases allowed.

    "The one thing that impressed me about that pitching staff is how few walks they had in that ballpark," Pole said. "When you don't walk a lot of guys in a ballpark like that or Coors Field, you give yourself a chance. You let them hit one-run homers instead of three-run homers."

    That's one part of being able to pitch effectively in a small ballpark. The rest, he pointed out, is a matter of pitching to the opponent rather than the dimensions.

    "The biggest thing in a park like that is execute your pitches," Pole said. "Whether you're a sinkerball pitcher or a four-seam pitcher, if you execute, you're going to get your outs. I can't come into a place like that and take somebody who's a four-seam pitcher and say, 'Uh-oh, we have to get you throwing sinkers.'"

    He doesn't want to change Reds pitchers, but part of his task will be to develop them. Take away the trio of Arroyo, Harang and Eric Milton, and 55 of the remaining 66 starts came from pitchers age 27 or younger. Key relievers Todd Coffey and Bill Bray are trying to build on two seasons or less of big-league experience, while Gary Majewski will try to turn his career back in the right direction after a nightmarish 2006.

    Before Pole can teach, he said, he has to earn their trust. Like new hitting coach Brook Jacoby, that will be part of Pole's job in Spring Training.

    "From my perspective, I don't think it's good for a guy like me to go into a situation and see a guy two times and say you've got to change this or change that," Pole said. "The first part of my job is to observe them and see what they can do. Change has to be a little bit at a time. If you come in and say to a guy you've got to totally revamp them, you're going to lose their trust real quick."

    The Reds already held a special place in Pole's life before this. His only career playoff assignment came against Cincinnati in the 1975 World Series, walking the only two batters he faced in Game 3.

    Pole pitched six Major League seasons in a career shortened by a freak line-drive back up the middle. He made 122 career appearances, 77 of them starts, with the Red Sox and Mariners before finishing his career in Mexico.
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    Well said, forfreel. "Pitching to contact" was Dan O'Brien's spin on the age old pitching philosophy called "Inviting contact." It is not new, and it is universally embraced.
    Over the past five years, there are solid correlations between high Runs Allowed and low K rates from pitching staffs. I've checked. Voros McCraken checked before me and I concur with his findings.

    "Inviting contact" is a horrible idea. Always has been. Always will be.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Over the past five years, there are solid correlations between high Runs Allowed and low K rates from pitching staffs. I've checked. Voros McCraken checked before me and I concur with his findings.

    "Inviting contact" is a horrible idea. Always has been. Always will be.


    This sounds way too general to me. It depends on the pitchers stuff the approach he should take.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    Over the past five years, there are solid correlations between high Runs Allowed and low K rates from pitching staffs. I've checked. Voros McCraken checked before me and I concur with his findings.

    "Inviting contact" is a horrible idea. Always has been. Always will be.
    Choke...cough...What!?!? Inviting contact has absolutely nothing to do with low strikeout totals. Inviting contact actually is the very philosophy pitchers use to get ahead in the count. Check the statistics, a pitcher's success rate is far better when ahead in the count. Inviting contact is about getting ahead in the count by hitting spots within the strike zone with pitches that limit solid contact and then getting the batter out with the pitcher's pitch. It is exactly what Aaron Harang used to lead the league in strikeouts this season.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

  8. #67
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark View Post
    Good idea. You should listen to the Raul Gonzalez interview I have posted. Good stuff.
    I have TC -- Good stuff indeed.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  9. #68
    Senor Votto Degenerate39's Avatar
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    The Old Dick Pole will bring the Reds back to glory
    Last edited by Degenerate39; 11-09-2006 at 11:56 AM.

  10. #69
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    Choke...cough...What!?!? Inviting contact has absolutely nothing to do with low strikeout totals. Inviting contact actually is the very philosophy pitchers use to get ahead in the count. Check the statistics, a pitcher's success rate is far better when ahead in the count. Inviting contact is about getting ahead in the count by hitting spots within the strike zone with pitches that limit solid contact and then getting the batter out with the pitcher's pitch. It is exactly what Aaron Harang used to lead the league in strikeouts this season.
    You're actually describing a process of forcing contact and then pitching away from contact situationally rather than "inviting contact". While "forcing/avoiding" process involves an attempt to get ahead in the count early (a good practice), it's fundamentally different from inviting contact.

    The philosophy of "inviting contact" revolves around the practice of attempting to minimize damage by coaxing low pitch count ground balls and allowing your defense to do the work. That's "pitch-to-contact" in a nutshell and it's an awful idea because it needs three things to work. First, it needs a very strong defense. Secondly, it requires an extreme ground ball pitcher. Third, it requires a pitcher who holds some control over his BABIP (which is where the philosophy suffers significant breakdown).

    Basically, you're right about how Aaron Harang led the NL in K's, but "inviting contact" is a fundamentally different animal than the process Harang used.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
    --Ted Williams

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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    You're actually describing a process of forcing contact and then pitching away from contact situationally rather than "inviting contact". While "forcing/avoiding" process involves an attempt to get ahead in the count early (a good practice), it's fundamentally different from inviting contact.

    The philosophy of "inviting contact" revolves around the practice of attempting to minimize damage by coaxing low pitch count ground balls and allowing your defense to do the work. That's "pitch-to-contact" in a nutshell and it's an awful idea because it needs three things to work. First, it needs a very strong defense. Secondly, it requires an extreme ground ball pitcher. Third, it requires a pitcher who holds some control over his BABIP (which is where the philosophy suffers significant breakdown).

    Basically, you're right about how Aaron Harang led the NL in K's, but "inviting contact" is a fundamentally different animal than the process Harang used.
    You're splitting hairs. You know very well they're talking about throwing strikes, getting ahead in the count, and minimizing walks. Those are all good things. If you honestly don't see that, you're looking at your numbers in entirely the wrong way.

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by osuceltic View Post
    You're splitting hairs. You know very well they're talking about throwing strikes, getting ahead in the count, and minimizing walks. Those are all good things. If you honestly don't see that, you're looking at your numbers in entirely the wrong way.
    Exactly. I have spent more than thirty years working for, working as , and talking to pitching coaches, and now I find the term redfined. Inviting contact is, as you say, throwing strikes, getting ahead in the count, and minimizing walks.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

  13. #72
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    There's a difference between "pitch to contact" and "don't pitch away from contact"...
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    I think way too many people are making a big deal out of the pitching coach. Major league pitchers are in the major leagues because they are major league ready to pitch. A tweak here or there is understandable, but major mechanics should be worked ou in the minors. It shows the importance of having great coaches in the minor leagues.

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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    I think way too many people are making a big deal out of the pitching coach. Major league pitchers are in the major leagues because they are major league ready to pitch. A tweak here or there is understandable, but major mechanics should be worked ou in the minors. It shows the importance of having great coaches in the minor leagues.
    Ask the Atlanta Braves how important a pitching coach is. The idea that "Major league pitchers are in the major leagues because they are major league ready to pitch." is absurd. How many pitchers have the Reds trotted out over the last few years that just got killed? Players wind up in the Majors for a number of reasons. Talent is only one.

  16. #75
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Reds name Dick Pole as pitching coach...

    Quote Originally Posted by Handofdeath View Post
    Ask the Atlanta Braves how important a pitching coach is. The idea that "Major league pitchers are in the major leagues because they are major league ready to pitch." is absurd. How many pitchers have the Reds trotted out over the last few years that just got killed? Players wind up in the Majors for a number of reasons. Talent is only one.
    So, if that is the case, the experience of the Orioles last year certainly throws a wrench in your theory.


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