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According to Carlos Tosca, that's the key to mental toughness: concentrate on your approach, and accept that results are sometimes random, but your response to those results is something you can control. That's just part of an interesting profile of the Jays' skipper in today's Boston Globe. Gordon Edes also quotes Paul Godfrey about J.P. Ricciardi:

"He's straightforward, direct, and honest. He gave me a plan on Nov. 7, 2001, and since he's been here, he hasn't veered from the plan. He knew what he wants, he's a great judge of talent, and he works very well with everyone around him."

Thanks to one of our longtime BB readers for this link; Pistol has met Harvey Dorfman, the sports psychologist mentioned in the article, and says he was highly complimentary of what the Blue Jays are doing. Tosca acknowledges Dorfman as a tremendous influence, and has encouraged his players to consult him as well. With eight games left in the Terrible Twenty, let's hope the Toronto bullpen has learned how to respond positively to some disappointing recent results. I was at a clinic all day and missed the latest meltdown, but it seems to me Aquilino Lopez can't do much worse than Creek and Miller against lefty batters, and he certainly makes righties look sick.
Approach, Results, Response | 3 comments | Create New Account
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_jason - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#90670) #
Hinske seems to be coming out of it, although I guess he'll be sitting tommorow against Pettit. And Phelps had a hit and a walk today, so those are both encouraging signs.

It strikes me that Edgardo Alfonzo and Armis Ramirez are probably the 3rd basemen most comparable to Hinske, minus a little speed, and they're also mired in mini-slumps. I don't really know what this has to do with anything other than the fact that I think they're all too good to stay in their slumps for much longer.

Also, whats up with the "aces" of MLB being rocked? Oswalt got shelled today, Pedro yesterday, Randy Johnson the day before. (And I think Zito is also getting his bowl of pummella as I write this.) Although, it looks like Maddux made some much-needed adjustments to grab a win today, so maybe this trend will end soon.
_Jordan - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#90671) #
By any definition, it's been a bizarre start to 2003. The unbeaten (till today) Kansas City Royals? Randy Johnson getting his head handed to him by the Brewers? Pedro ransacked by the O's? Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the war, maybe it's the long-awaited reversal of the magnetic poles. Weird things have been afoot lately, but I think it's time for a little regression to the mean. In this case, that means taking the under on the Royals the next few games and praying you're not the next team to face the Big Unit.

Watching Aqualino today was a joy -- that slider is simply unfair to right-handers, and I daresay lefties won't like it much either. It was certainly a fine outing, but I'd be careful about letting him roam too far too fast. I actually think Tosca has the right idea keeping him on a short leash: let him get his exposure to the big leagues gradually, accumulating a run of success under his belt, so that when his first big bombing happens -- and it will -- it won't be one of those confidence-crushing experiences rookie pitchers so often face.

Plus, the rest of this tattered bullpen has to pull itself together. Escobar will settle down soon enough, or at least settle back to his usual cardiac-inducing self. And Tam and Politte haven't really been terrible -- that's been the lefties' job so far. I think we'd all agree that Miller and especially Creek have been about as much fun to watch as Dan Rather, but they're going to have to get straightened out and they're going to need the innings to do it. Moreover, Creek has a guaranteed contract -- the Jays are paying him a million dollars whether he's pitching here, in Syracuse, or in the Greater Akron Beer League. I don't think he's quite this bad -- I sure hope not -- and I think he'll be serviceable for the most part going forward, especially when the schedule turns cream-puffy. Patience will have to continue to be our watchword.

It sure would be nice if someone down there could keep a close game close, though, wouldn't it?
Dave Till - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#90672) #
The article on Tosca also contains praise for Jose Cruz Jr., who is off to a great start in San Francisco (five home runs, 1.171 OPS).

My guess is that they're throwing Cruz fastballs, and he's been able to hit those from Day 1. Memo to NL pitchers: get two strikes on him, and throw him an off-speed breaking pitch.
Approach, Results, Response | 3 comments | Create New Account
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