Turn Off Ads?
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

  1. #1
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,165

    Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    The comment I made in the thread about Chapman meeting with Price in Arizona, that I was anxious to hear more about his philosophy, sent me to the web and I came across this transcript from an NPR story back in 2005. John Liu, the reporter, was traveling around doing stories on teachers and this was his segment about Price teaching him. Reading through this, it almost seems like a Zen thing. Maybe he'll start calling our young pitchers "Grasshopper".

    If anyone else comes across some earlier articles on Price and his techniques and pitching philosophy, please post them.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2112258/

    How I Learned To Pitch A Seattle Mariners coach teaches me to throw a change-up, and much more

    Bryan Price of the Seattle Mariners is one of the most esteemed pitching coaches in the major leagues, and one of the youngest. Only 42, he's been named Baseball Weekly's Pitching Coach of the Year and is increasingly described as manager material. On a recent afternoon I met up with Bryan at the sports complex outside Phoenix, Ariz., where the Mariners hold spring training. His job was to teach me to throw a change-up. My job, I thought, was simply not to embarrass myself. Only by accident would I discover something else in the course of our workout.

    What makes a great pitching coach? Part of it, of course, is having an eye for tiny mechanical adjustments in a pitcher's delivery. Today's pitchers are the latest in a long line of men who've taken the mound as professionals, and nearly every motion they make is inherited, the accreted sum of many generations of incremental tinkering. When you see someone come along like Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, the fabled Cuban defector and onetime Yankee whose knee-to-nose leg kick strained the groins of people watching him, you realize how conservative an institution pitching usually is. El Duque is the exception that proves the rule.

    Pitching demands adherence to a rigorous and unchanging set of physical rules. But it is only the physical conclusion to a process that unfolds mostly inside someone's head. And so a teacher of pitching is ever operating on two levels, a surface curriculum about how to pitch and a curriculum beneath about how to be.

    Failure, in many ways, is the default setting in baseball. A pitcher can be on a roll and cruising through a game, but he is always just one bad pitch, or one fielding mistake, away from a meltdown. The thing Bryan Price teaches is not how to win all the time. What he teaches is how to right yourself when you falter or fail.

    When we met, I'd proposed that Bryan teach me a curveball. But he suggested the change-up instead, because it would be easier on my elbow and because mastering a change is the first step in separating mere throwers from pitchers with craft. A change-up looks to the batter like a fastball and is thrown with all the force and conviction of a fastball. But because of the unorthodox grip—imagine making an "OK" sign and wrapping it around a ball—the pitch comes out of the hand more slowly. That slight difference and deception is enough to upset the batter's timing and balance, tricking him into swinging too early.

    The timing of this lesson, it turns out, was rather apt. All my life, I've been the equivalent of a fastball pitcher—trying to use blazing speed and brute force to wow the people I face. Lately I've been realizing that it would help if I knew how to change speeds from time to time, to be less predictable.

    We got to work. My first few attempts at a change-up were wobbly. I had no control, no feel for the pitch in my fingertips. Worse, I began to think about how I had no feel. I began to think how ridiculous I must look, a clueless amateur. Bryan could see a dozen things wrong with my delivery: arm slot too low, hips not turned enough, follow-through too unbalanced, and on and on. But he chose to home in on one thing only: "Keep your head quiet," he said.

    This meant making sure I held my head steady and square as I pitched, so my eyes would remain fixed on the target. It also meant not overloading my brain with anxiety and data. A quiet head in the psychological sense is hard to achieve. Bryan got me there by emphasizing a quiet head in the physical sense. By worrying only about keeping my gaze steady and my skull centered, I stopped overthinking.

    Sometimes Bryan will do what he calls "dry work" with a pitcher. He'll remove the ball altogether and simply work on the component motions of the delivery. Remove the ball: It's a powerful idea, because the ball is the source of the self-doubt and negative judgment. If you always practice with the ball, you will measure success only externally—by where the ball ends up. If you do dry work without the ball, you learn how to measure success by how intrinsically balanced your movements are. You learn how to listen to your body, and you learn to "self-coach," as Bryan puts it: Diagnose the tiny flaw in your delivery, and then fix it.

    On this day, Bryan didn't do dry work with me, but he did a different kind of bait and switch. After a few dozen pitches, my change-up was getting somewhat better but it was still very inconsistent. So Bryan asked me to start throwing straight four-seam fastballs. The good news here was I threw my fastball to the same spot consistently. The bad news was that the spot was where a right-handed hitter's face would be. I could feel the spiral of criticism start again. Why do I keep throwing it there? Why? Can't I get out of this rut?

    Just then, Bryan abruptly asked me to throw a change-up. I did, and to my surprise, I nailed it. It was the same change-up, same grip and delivery, as before. But the context was different. Now I was thinking of the change-up as an antidote to my wayward fastball. And now I was able to reel off three, then four, then five perfect change-ups, down and over the plate with perfectly deceptive presentation.

    It struck me only later what Bryan Price had done. He'd used the fastball interlude as a distraction and had gotten me back onto my original objective—throwing a good change. Like any good teacher, Bryan is a master of misdirection: working on a fastball to improve a change-up, using dry work without a ball to sharpen performance with a ball, and talking about how to keep a quiet head when, in fact, we were talking about how to keep a quiet mind.

    The goal for a pitching coach, ultimately, is to turn his pitchers into self-coaches. After all, there are only so many times in a game when the coach can walk out to the mound and point out a problem or suggest a solution. What Bryan Price did that afternoon was give me a taste of how I could become a self-coach. And though I am not likely to step on a major league mound any time soon, the lesson is going to stay with me for a long time.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

    The Baseball Emporium - Books & Things, that's Rallyonion.com

    The Baseball Bookstore

    http://tsc-sales.com/
    http://tscsales.blogspot.com/
    http://silverscreenbooks.com/

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,165

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    Here's an AP story following Price resigning as Pitching Coach for Arizona after Bob Melvin was fired. I think it shows the guy's not afraid to speak his mind and stands on principle.

    In the week since his replacement, A.J. Hinch, took over, they've continued their slide, losing six of eight games.

    Former Diamondbacks pitching coach Bryan Price, who resigned upon Melvin's firing, thinks he knows why.

    "The hiring of A.J., I thought, was a poor decision," Price told the Marin Independent Journal, a Bay Area, Calif., newspaper.

    A former MLB catcher with no previous managerial experience, Hinch, who has a degree in psychology from Stanford, was in his fourth season as the Diamondbacks' director of player development before his hire on May 8.

    "A.J. has worked hard to get his credibility in the business in that [player-development] side of the game, but he doesn't have any credibility between the lines as a manager," Price said of Hinch, who became the youngest manager in the majors since Eric Wedge was hired by the Cleveland Indians in October 2002. "That, for me, just wasn't going to work."

    Hinch said Price's comments had no bearing on his approach to his new job.

    "I'm not shaken by it," Hinch said, according to MLB.com. "I have confidence in my abilities running a game and being in this position. We have a job to do, and I think for me to spend a lot of time thinking about the different reactions that are going on out there is negative energy. So I'm going to stay concentrated on what we're doing on the field, the 25 guys here, the staff that I have here and this organization. I can't pay a lot of attention to it. It's not fair to that group out there."

    The Diamondbacks (14-23), who sit last in the NL West with the majors' third-worst record, acknowledged the hiring of Hinch as unconventional when they announced the move, saying the 34-year-old would offer "organizational advocacy."

    "He brings unique leadership and perspective to the job," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "We're not here to reinvent the wheel, but to change the nature of the job a little bit? OK, we'll do that. A.J.'s a leader. He connects with people. He gets things done."

    Price, who joined the Philadelphia Phillies last week as a minor league pitching consultant, said he left the Diamondbacks on his own accord.

    "I didn't feel I was going to have his back as well as whoever they chose to replace me with," Price said. "There was no way I could stay. It was really hard to leave the pitchers. They are a phenomenal group and very talented group. Great catchers. A really close-knit group of guys. It hurts to know that I left them hanging."
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

    The Baseball Emporium - Books & Things, that's Rallyonion.com

    The Baseball Bookstore

    http://tsc-sales.com/
    http://tscsales.blogspot.com/
    http://silverscreenbooks.com/

  4. #3
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,165

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    Here's another story from the Marin County Independent Journal that appears to be the original source for the smaller AP story above. Just a quick assessment on my part, but I suspect that Price has the potential to one day be a manager.

    Principled Price lands new job shortly after quitting as Diamondbacks pitching coach
    Jack Magruder

    Posted: 05/15/2009 12:53:39 PM PDT

    PHOENIX - Bryan Price suffered a broken collarbone on a mountain bike ride with Bob Melvin a few years ago and joked they would never ride again. Yet there they were Monday, navigating the rocky terrain near their Cave Creek homes.

    Their bond was never so great as nine days ago, when Price - a standout at Tam High in the late 1970s - quit as the pitching coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks after good friend Melvin was fired and colleagues on the coaching staff, most notably Kirk Gibson and Chip Hale, were passed over as manager in favor of A.J. Hinch.

    Principled Price walked away from a six-figure contract that was among the best in the majors, saying simply, "It had to be done."

    "There is an unbelievably strong connection to Bob and a loyalty to Bob. I feel his termination was unfair and uncalled for. They fire one of my friends, who I believe in firmly, and they replace him with somebody with no experience," Price said.

    "To me it was a slap in the face not only to Bob but to Chip and to Gibby and to anybody who has actually managed or coached in the past. I thought it bypassed people who were more prepared to finish out the year."

    Price, Baseball America magazine's major league assistant of the year in 2007 and one of most well-respected men in the game, was not out of work long.

    World Series-champion Philadelphia hired him as a special assistant earlier this week, where he will evaluate the pitchers in the system and also scout pro and amateur pitchers for possible trades or as June draft candidates.

    "Bryan Price - you don't find a friend or a colleague like that, ever, really. The pitching staff since he has been here has overachieved every single year. That's due to his talent and his hard work," said Melvin, who hired Price from Seattle in 2006.

    The D'backs, 12-17 when Melvin was let go, lost five of their first six games under Hinch, who was elevated from being the player personnel director. Hinch has no previous managing or coaching experience at any level.

    "The hiring of A.J., I thought, was a poor decision. A.J. has worked hard to get his credibility in the business in that (player development) side of the game, but he doesn't have any credibility between the lines as a manager. That, for me, just wasn't going to work," Price said.

    "I didn't feel I was going to have his back as well as whoever they chose to replace me with. There was no way I could stay. It was really hard to leave the pitchers. They are a phenomenal group and very talented group. Great catchers. A really close-knit group of guys. It hurts to know that I left them hanging.

    "In the same respect, I chose to support the manager."

    Melvin, like Price a former college player at Cal, was the NL manager of the year in 2007, when the D'backs led the league with 90 victories and reached the NLCS despite scoring 20 fewer runs than their opponents, a first in modern major league history.

    Arizona's front office traded for a rental outfielder in Adam Dunn (who had an expiring contract) for seven weeks last season but other than that have done little to improve an offense that entered Friday's games last in the majors in batting average (.232) and hitting with runners in scoring position (.192), 21 percentage points behind No. 29 San Diego.

    "We didn't have a middle of the lineup," Price said. "If you played L.A., St. Louis, whoever it was, their 3-4-5 guys were guys that typically did some fairly significant damage. That probably wasn't our strength.

    "So we were back to having to win the 3-2 game all the time, and we probably weren't built for that. Everyone is going to reference 2007, and 2007 was a special year, but it was also a year that hadn't happened since 1900.

    "It can't be that this is how we are going to play and this is how we are going to win - we are going to be constantly outscored but we are still going to lead the league in wins. That was an anomaly that happened, and that was great, and we were all tickled to death to be a part of that club. In the same respect, it was also a team that was crying for probably a couple of other holes to be filled that haven't been."

    Such a limited offense creates an extra amount of stress on both sides of the ball, Price believes.

    "It sucks the life out of you," Price said.

    "It's a constant mental grind to scratch out runs, and for the pitchers to try to hold on and minimize the damage with a very small margin of error. One-hundred-sixty-two games is hard enough to play when you play well. It's even harder when the ones that you win are so hard-fought.

    "It's a draining process to have to be that locked in for nine innings every day in the games that you have a chance to win."
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

    The Baseball Emporium - Books & Things, that's Rallyonion.com

    The Baseball Bookstore

    http://tsc-sales.com/
    http://tscsales.blogspot.com/
    http://silverscreenbooks.com/

  5. #4
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    13,447

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    Based on what I've read, I like the idea of Price as the manager-in-waiting.
    /r/reds

  6. #5
    Member membengal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    9,040

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    Price feels refreshingly out of the box as a hire for this organization. Still real happy about it.

  7. #6
    Joey Votto Fangirl HeatherC1212's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    2,658

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    I was really impressed with Bryan at Redsfest and after reading more about him, I'm even more excited to see how he does with the pitching staff. Great hire by the Reds.
    "I tried to play golf, but I found out I wasn't very good." -Joey Votto on his offseason hobby search

    An MLB.com reporter asked what one thing Votto couldn’t do. “I can’t skate or play hockey,” Votto said. “Well, I can skate ... but I can’t stop.”

  8. #7
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio
    Posts
    9,052

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Based on what I've read, I like the idea of Price as the manager-in-waiting.
    Certainly sounds like a step in the right direction if they were to go that route. My question would be if he believed that much in Melvin it's because he bought in to whatever his philosophy was, so what was Melvins philosophy, anyone here know? What I mean is does Melvin share some of the archaic principles as our own Baker? I'm sure Price did a little research on Baker before he accepted the job and vice versa, how much do they see eye to eye? FWIW it doesn't sound like Price is typical but it hasn't been completely addressed, since he is just the pitching coach.

    The preceeding stories bring up alot of thoughts and questions. Such as, he seems to favor an approach of doing it slowly and properly (which is a great thing), will the fans or more importantly management be so patient? Will he divide the pitchers and position players if his guys don't get much run support? Will he quit if say Rick Sweet is the '11 manager? There is a lot of things in those write ups and I think they are pretty positive but some things could lead to blowing up in our face. On the flipside he should be great for our pitchers and he has some recent knowledge of both the D-Backs and Phillies system and by proxy due to trades the Jays, Tigers and Indians now.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

  9. #8
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,165

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    Certainly sounds like a step in the right direction if they were to go that route. My question would be if he believed that much in Melvin it's because he bought in to whatever his philosophy was, so what was Melvins philosophy, anyone here know? What I mean is does Melvin share some of the archaic principles as our own Baker? I'm sure Price did a little research on Baker before he accepted the job and vice versa, how much do they see eye to eye? FWIW it doesn't sound like Price is typical but it hasn't been completely addressed, since he is just the pitching coach.

    The preceeding stories bring up alot of thoughts and questions. Such as, he seems to favor an approach of doing it slowly and properly (which is a great thing), will the fans or more importantly management be so patient? Will he divide the pitchers and position players if his guys don't get much run support? Will he quit if say Rick Sweet is the '11 manager? There is a lot of things in those write ups and I think they are pretty positive but some things could lead to blowing up in our face. On the flipside he should be great for our pitchers and he has some recent knowledge of both the D-Backs and Phillies system and by proxy due to trades the Jays, Tigers and Indians now.
    The first thing that comes to me is the Reds jumped at the chance to get Price. They said when they dismissed Pole, if I'm remembering correctly, that it wasn't a reflection on him. I think we really wanted Price.

    Secondly, and I know we debate this endlessly here, I'm not convinced that with regards to our pitching, that Baker is as archaic as his caricature. With the exception of the Harang relief appearance, he has not really run most of our pitchers into the ground.

    I don't think it's a given that Baker's gone next year, as much as that's a popular position on RZ. But it seems Prices objection was partly about Melvin, but also that Melvin was dismissed and a guy who Price believed was not ready whatsoever who replaced him. Likewise, Price's hiring was not made in a vacuum. It appeared to me that Baker had some input and he's been high on Price the few times I've head him talk about it. And that's with Pole and Baker having lots of history.

    I really think this guy's going to be exciting working with our pitchers. Even with the point he made about the lack of run support, he basically still worked with the pitchers to see that they kept their heads on straight even without run support. That's my interpretation. Price is one more piece to this organization making strides.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

    The Baseball Emporium - Books & Things, that's Rallyonion.com

    The Baseball Bookstore

    http://tsc-sales.com/
    http://tscsales.blogspot.com/
    http://silverscreenbooks.com/

  10. #9
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    16,601

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    There's a wave of sports psychology sweeping the highest levels of every sport. People who understand the importance of the mental process and can coach that aspect of the game are going to be in greater and greater demand.

    I'm really happy we have this guy.
    "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."
    ~ Mark Twain

  11. #10
    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    4,716

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    I love everything about Price. I think that is going to be a major upgrade -- going from Pole to Price.

  12. #11
    Member Topcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,934

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    Pitching is so obviously mental and confidence. I find it very refreshing that the reds have signed a pitching coach like price.
    2006 Redzone mock Draftee's- 1(st) Daniel Bard(redsox), 1(st sup)( Jordan Walden (Angels), 2(nd) rd.- Zach Britton(Orioles), 3(rd) Blair Erickson(Cardinals), 3(rd) Tim Norton( Yankees),(cuz its a Tim Hortons thing

    Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.

  13. #12
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,228

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    I just hope he doesn't feel the same loyalty to Baker that he did to Melvin, and leave when Dusty is replaced.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

  14. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Lexington
    Posts
    5,883

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    I just hope he doesn't feel the same loyalty to Baker that he did to Melvin, and leave when Dusty is replaced.
    What if he did feel that same loyalty to the Bakernator then the Reds were to let him go only to replace him with Melvin. His head might just
    Last edited by corkedbat; 01-23-2010 at 01:47 AM.

  15. #14
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,165

    Re: Bryan Price, Pitching Coach

    I thought about adding this thread to one of threads discussing various manager options, but decided instead to bump it up. The Slate article is a good one. There are three different articles on Price at the start of this thread.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

    The Baseball Emporium - Books & Things, that's Rallyonion.com

    The Baseball Bookstore

    http://tsc-sales.com/
    http://tscsales.blogspot.com/
    http://silverscreenbooks.com/

  16. Likes:

    wolfboy (10-08-2013)


Turn Off Ads?

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25