Colborn is always analyzing and asking. He recently engaged teammate George Scott in a lengthy discussion about hitting. "George and I use different words and expressions to say the same things, perhaps," Colborn says, "but George has a lot to say, and I listen. For instance, he gave me his theory about guess-hitters. George is a guess-hitter, so he knew what he was talking about. Now I try to throw guess-hitters like Bobby Murcer pitches they can't hit out of the park, and guess-hitters like Frank Robinson pitches they don't want to hit. There's a difference. Murcer will not hit an outside fastball for an opposite field home run, but Robinson will. They're both guess-hitters, but you must pitch them differently."
Like many of the Brewers, Colborn has benefited from the methods of Crandall, who does not react with hot words or chair-tossing tantrums when his players fail to fulfill his expectations. "But patience is a tricky subject," Crandall says. "If you do not expect things out of players, they might think you're being patient out of indifference. You also can be patient to an extreme."
Crandall kept his customary cool recently when Scott, in a slump, balked at a batting-order change moving him from fourth to seventh. When he noticed the change, he developed an instant groin pull and missed two games. "I'm not a No. 7 hitter, let's put it that way," Scott said. "I get paid $80,000 a year, and they don't pay $80,000 to players who bat seventh." On the third day Crandall waited until game time and then asked Scott if he could play. "I guess so," he answered. "Good," Crandall said, and he wrote Scott's name into the No. 7 position in the batting order. Scott got two hits, and soon was back in his familiar No. 4 position.
Makes you think, as Jim Colborn might say.