Helicopter Managers And Pitchers


How is it that a 5’11” 173 lb pitcher can have 11 seasons of 200 or more innings pitched and one season of 18 complete games……..and another who tipped the scales at 170 at 6′ and managed 16 seasons of 250 innings or more (with two seasons of 300 or more innings)………while another pitcher coming in at 6’4′” and 230 lbs has struggled to stay healthy while managing one season with  215 innings in a injury riddled career to date………

Who are the three mystery pitchers……..images-4 That  would be Whitey Ford (photo), Warren Spahn (photo), and Stephen Stratsburg.

This is not to pick on Stratsburg because he is typical of the Helicopter Mom images-5 mentality in baseball today. In the same way a Mom might view her child’s next step as his last,  managers (and front office personnel)  shudder with fear at the all important pitch count.

Old timers can only laugh. Even some young old timers like  Hall of Famer John Smoltz cynically suggest that the pitch count today is ludicrous (Smoltz Talks Sense).

A starting pitcher today gets credit for a “quality start” having pitched only 6 innings  allowing three or fewer runs. Really? Is that the new norm?

Look….pitching requires the use  and exercise  of muscles. Let ‘m  throw  and build those muscles up.  Ford and Spahn are in the Hall of Fame.  It’s no wonder if Stephen Stratburg  can only dream of unleashing himself from the bonds of  his helicopter coaches and GM’s so  he  can do the same.

I know……I know…….it’s all about protecting their “investment” and if you’re paying someone $18 million a year you might be a bit cautious. But that’s exactly my point. Why not get your money’s worth from these starters and get them accustomed to tossing seven or eight innings every time out instead of the four or five that we see so often now.

Most teams carry 12 or 13 pitchers nowadays to fortify their bullpen . This has become a necessity due to the inability of starters to carry the required innings. At the same time, teams can only afford to have two or three bench players reducing the manager’s flexibility and the team’s prospects of scoring runs.  Doesn’t make sense to me………

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