Under His Wing

Saturday, March 29 2003 @ 02:57 AM EST

Contributed by: Coach

Many thanks to Steve Z. for alerting me to this terrific piece in the National Post, a paper I seldom read. Dave Feschuk profiles Jays pitching coach Gil Patterson, whose dreams of big-league stardom were cut short by a series of injuries. The former Yankees phenom learned the hard way about being rushed and overworked, so he's become a patient nurturer of talent. Just ask one of his former pupils, Al Leiter:

"He's not abusive on pitchers. He's one of the best pitching coaches anywhere, because he knows how hard pitching is, and he knows what a pitcher goes through to get to the big leagues."

Patterson's hiring is further evidence that J.P. Ricciardi's eye for talent -- on and off the field -- is paying dividends. Years ago, they coached together in A-ball, and J.P. has a long memory. There's nothing in this well-written feature about mechanics, pitch selection or any of the other things we might think of as his main responsibilities, but it left me with great admiration for Patterson, and a feeling that Toronto pitchers are in very capable hands.