Monday, May 17, 2010

Sit down, and let Grandpa tell you a story

Larry Dierker's new article today has some things that you need to remember, young'un:

When I got the manager's job with the Astros in 1997, I often said I didn't want to simply do what everyone else was doing, but do it better. Instead, I wanted to do what everyone else was going to do next, but do it first. I didn't want to use my mop-up men in the bullpen. So I tried to push the starters deeper into the game. Since most hitters of recent vintage have no clue what contact hitting means, I hardly ever employed the hit-and-run play. I did encourage practically every one of our players to steal on their own. But -- and this is a very big but -- I told our hitters to hit away when a runner was stealing. "You're only going to get that fat pitch a few times in a game," I said. "If you get it, swing! Forget the runner!" You'd be surprised how many times I was credited with the masterful use of the hit-and-run play.

We didn't win because I had a crystal ball. We won because we had good players. But I do believe that I anticipated the next cycle, though perhaps prematurely. If the pitchers gain the upper hand again, it will augur a new trend toward speed and defense.

I grew up in L.A., following the Dodgers of the late 50s and early 60s. They won a lot of games with a puny offense. But it was exciting because almost every game was close.

I still remember trying to beat Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Don Sutton, Claude Osteen, Bill Singer and Tommy John. I also remember 1968.

Good pitching beats good hitting -- period!


This article sets the record for the most implied "Back in my day"s in MLB.com history...

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