- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Lachemann: "He's a f——DH. He don't have no f——position."
Later, when most of the team has gathered, the discussion turns to how the Red Sox will be pitched.
Duncan: "The thing about this club is that they are aggressive, swinging early in the count."
Lachemann: "With the exception of Boggs."
Duncan: "A lot of their young guys are up there hacking, so make quality pitches early in the count. Burks. He's a bad breaking-ball hitter. He's a dead high fastball hitter. You can jam him, get in on him good with fastballs; you can go down and away with fastballs. Keep it down, throw him a lot of off-speed pitches."
Ron Hassey (the Athletics' catcher tonight and formerly of the Chicago White Sox): "I remember him going deep when I was with Chicago, with a fastball."
Duncan: "When we throw the fastball to him, it's basically a purpose pitch."
On and on and on it goes.
Barrett, says Duncan, is a "guess hitter," so vary the pattern of pitches. Lachemann warns Hassey, "Don't let him peek on you," meaning that Lachemann thinks Barrett likes to sneak looks back at the catcher's signs. Hassey says that when Barrett closes his stance, he wants to shoot the ball to rightfield. But Barrett knows teams are pitching him inside, so he's opening up and hitting down the leftfield line. With Boggs, says Duncan, take it for granted until late in the game or an RBI situation that he will take the first strike. So get the first strike with a fastball down the middle. Evans looks for thigh-high out and away. Go by the book with him: hard stuff up and in, keep the breaking stuff down and use it early in the count. On Greenwell, anything inside has to be off the plate or it is going to be out of the park. Hassey says: Get the first strike with a breaking ball, and then use the forkball and mix the fastball in and out. When Greenwell starts diving for the outside pitch, bust him inside.
There is more, much more, but you get the picture. It is a pointillist painting, lots of dots of information resulting in a filled canvas, a portrait of the Red Sox. The proper way to view a pointillist painting is to stand back far enough to permit your eyes to see the points of color blend into forms with sharp lines and clear shades and shadings. Standing back is what the manager and his coaches do before they step onto the field.