- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Seaver, who has written a book on pitching mechanics, says the biggest reason the four ex-Mets are around is the stress the organization put on teaching proper fundamentals. "When your mechanics are correct," says Seaver, "you allow the bigger muscles of your body, your thighs and your buttocks, to take the strain off your smaller muscles, the ones in your shoulder and elbow."
Last season Mike Marshall was a promising young slugger for the Dodgers. This season, after tinkering with his swing, he looks as if he might become one of the National League's most dangerous hitters. "Last year," says Astros general manager Al Rosen, "he had some holes in his swing. Not now."
"I've moved away from the plate and gotten real deep in the box," says Marshall, who has seven homers and 21 RBIs. "Also, I've flattened my bat so I almost have it laid out in my palm while I'm waiting for the ball. Doing that eliminates a loop in my swing.
"But the most important thing I did was apply some of Charley Lau's theories to my stance. I'm really concentrating on going into everything and hitting the other way." Indeed, four of his homers have been to the opposite field.
Pittsburgh righthander Don Robinson has learned his lesson. Too bad it took him five operations. Robinson, who used to have a 95-mph fastball and an outrageous curve, had surgery on his arm for the fourth and fifth times this past winter. This season he has three saves in six outings, allowed six runs (five in one game) and struck out 16 in 15? innings.
"I wasn't brave," Robinson says, speaking of all the times he pitched in pain. "I was just too damn stupid. I wanted so bad to be out there."
Robinson pitched hurt because he broke some important rules of mound mechanics. So he has finally decided to dispense with painkillers—he even tried DMSO but had to stop when it made him allergic to his contact lens solution—and correct flaws in his motion. He is using his legs more, has extended his follow-through and is throwing across his body only on the curveball.
Robinson works with weights after every game, whether he pitches or not. He doesn't regret the mistakes, the reliance on painkillers (he figures he has had 15 to 30 cortisone shots in the past five years) and the inevitable shortening of his career. "The only thing I regret," he says, "is the numbers I could have put up if I was healthy. My lifetime record is 46-42, and of those 42 losses, a lot of times I shouldn't have been pitching."