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  • Fritz Peterson - Coaches Need Not Apply!

    http://www.examiner.com/article/frit...need-not-apply

    Former major league All-Star Fritz Peterson sent me this nugget regarding sometimes the "over-analysis" by coaches even on the professional level. Let me know what you think.
    Baseball Happenings
    - Linking baseball's past, present and future.
    http://baseballhappenings.blogspot.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by metrotheme View Post
    http://www.examiner.com/article/frit...need-not-apply

    Former major league All-Star Fritz Peterson sent me this nugget regarding sometimes the "over-analysis" by coaches even on the professional level. Let me know what you think.
    This is not an unusual for someone from this era (1970's)..... and I agree with much of what he says... But.... a great deal of the technology that exists today, did not exist when he was playing. I never felt that the greats of yesteryear are any less competent than the greats today... The difference is equipment, training and size.... But there are certainly more of them.

    Too much of anything is bad. And I feel many coaches and parents feel they can make up for lack of talent with training. While this is somewhat true talent trumps training.
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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    • #3
      His comments in proper context are regarding the MLB/professional level.

      The point is, at that level pitchers and hitters know what to do. Coaching (especially over coaching) can do more damage than it can help.

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      • #4
        I've got a couple of problems with his pronouncements. First, you often don't know what you don't know - should this be license to younger players who think they know everything to ignore their coaches? No. Particularly as to pitching, you need to shop around and find someone with whom you can work and see if there's something he can add; if it fits and helps, you keep working with him. If not, move on. And, frankly, my experience with young players is that they often think they're doing something "their way", but are in fact incorporating something they were taught earlier but they earlier were not ready to incorporate the suggestion, whether because it was too big a jump from their then-current motion for it to seem logical, or because they simply mature mentally and physically enough to be willing to accept the suggestion.

        Second, well, it's hard to take anything Fritz has to say as solid common sense, given his weird history. You old timers will know what I mean - perhaps this segment from his Wikipedia page will remind you:
        "He may be best remembered today for swapping families with fellow Yankee pitcher Mike Kekich, an arrangement the pair announced at spring training in March 1973. Peterson and Kekich had been inseparable friends since 1969; both families lived in New Jersey, their children were about the same age, and often they all would visit the Bronx Zoo or the shore or enjoy a picnic together. They decided that they would one day trade wives, children, and even dogs.

        The affair began in 1972, when the two couples joked on a double date about wife swapping, a phenomenon that caught on in some uninhibited circles during the early 1970s. According to one report, the first swap took place that summer, after a party at the home of New York sportswriter Maury Allen. The couples made the change official in October; Kekich moving in with Marilyn Peterson and Peterson with Susanne Kekich, but no word leaked out until spring of 1973. A light moment came when New York Yankees General Manager Lee MacPhail remarked, "We may have to call off Family Day." The trade worked out better for Peterson than it did for Kekich, as Peterson is still married to the former Susanne Kekich, with whom he has had four children. Kekich and Marilyn Peterson did not last long and today Marilyn is most-remembered for her fashion attire of mini-skirts and white boots.[1]"
        sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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        • #5
          What does his personal life / history have to do with his credibility on coaching at the professional level?

          Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
          I've got a couple of problems with his pronouncements. First, you often don't know what you don't know - should this be license to younger players who think they know everything to ignore their coaches? No. Particularly as to pitching, you need to shop around and find someone with whom you can work and see if there's something he can add; if it fits and helps, you keep working with him. If not, move on. And, frankly, my experience with young players is that they often think they're doing something "their way", but are in fact incorporating something they were taught earlier but they earlier were not ready to incorporate the suggestion, whether because it was too big a jump from their then-current motion for it to seem logical, or because they simply mature mentally and physically enough to be willing to accept the suggestion.

          Second, well, it's hard to take anything Fritz has to say as solid common sense, given his weird history. You old timers will know what I mean - perhaps this segment from his Wikipedia page will remind you:
          "He may be best remembered today for swapping families with fellow Yankee pitcher Mike Kekich, an arrangement the pair announced at spring training in March 1973. Peterson and Kekich had been inseparable friends since 1969; both families lived in New Jersey, their children were about the same age, and often they all would visit the Bronx Zoo or the shore or enjoy a picnic together. They decided that they would one day trade wives, children, and even dogs.

          The affair began in 1972, when the two couples joked on a double date about wife swapping, a phenomenon that caught on in some uninhibited circles during the early 1970s. According to one report, the first swap took place that summer, after a party at the home of New York sportswriter Maury Allen. The couples made the change official in October; Kekich moving in with Marilyn Peterson and Peterson with Susanne Kekich, but no word leaked out until spring of 1973. A light moment came when New York Yankees General Manager Lee MacPhail remarked, "We may have to call off Family Day." The trade worked out better for Peterson than it did for Kekich, as Peterson is still married to the former Susanne Kekich, with whom he has had four children. Kekich and Marilyn Peterson did not last long and today Marilyn is most-remembered for her fashion attire of mini-skirts and white boots.[1]"
          Baseball Happenings
          - Linking baseball's past, present and future.
          http://baseballhappenings.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by metrotheme View Post
            What does his personal life / history have to do with his credibility on coaching at the professional level?
            It's inadmissible character evidence, but that doesn't make it any less interesting!

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmmm, all 3 10U coaches have 3 kids and a wife.

              ------------------------------------------------------

              Personally, I agree. I have made similar comments before. The coach's job is performed in practice.

              "Managing" a game is vastly over-rated. Almost all managers manage in a similar fashion, and almost all managers "give away too many outs" using "aggressive" actions like bunts and stolen bases.

              There are plenty of guys that are "coaching their asses off" during games, and IMO a lot of the time they're just busy to be busy. They're "making something happen" or "pressing the action".

              I am perfectly fine with being Earl Weaver ... gets guys on base, and then blast one. Earl Weaver was probably the least involved manager around, but he understpood it's the players that matter. Get on base, hit extra base hits, play great D at key positions, and combine it with good SP. You don;t need low OBP fast guys at the top of the order to be creative with and that stuff.

              Like I said, I think there are a lot of guys that manage that way [1] because they think that's what a coach primarily does, [2] so they show everyone how much they're doing and [3] so they can eventually claim credit for coaching a great game.

              To me, my best coached games are ones where I am not needed. Thin k about that, my players are so prepared that they don;t need me to play well. That's ultimate coaching. As an administrator, I feel the same thing about teaching. If the students know what to do and problem solve without you guiding their every move, then you've really accomplished something.

              With guys like Tony LaRussa, I don;t think it's always a case of being so smart that you manage every move. I think there's an aspect of being worried about learning that your team could win without you making all the decisions you do.

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              • #8
                I'm not in agreement with Peterson. The closest I can get is there is often too much analysis and too much coaching.

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                • #9
                  I'm thrilled Fritz Peterson is still involved in baseball and he remembers all the old Ball Four Bouton stories.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                    I'm not in agreement with Peterson. The closest I can get is there is often too much analysis and too much coaching.
                    To the other extreme, "hit em where they ain't" and "smoke em inside" were primary strategies of yesteryear.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The first hitting coaching I had was in college. No one wanted to touch success in high school. Starting college 0-16 with 9 K's required some analysis and adjustments. Everything was changed. I also pitched in relief the first couple of years of college. I got to college having no idea how to hold runners. It hadn't been an issue. There weren't many runners in high school. The only thing I had going for me with runners is I was a lefthanded. In college I needed to be taught.

                      With my son I knew he needed help with hitting after soph year. Until soph year he intentionally tried to pull everthing. He got away with it through freshman year on JV. On varsity as a soph. balls he should have been ripping the other way were pulled soft flair hits or caught. He hit .340 but it was due to speed and bunt hits. After having his stance changed and driven nuts about going with the pitch he was a much better hitter. Imagine BP hitting the other way for an hour. It's the only hitting instruction he ever had. The college coach likes his swing. Maybe it's because a former college coach worked with him. I sent him to a pitching instructor for a month in high school. A mechanics change raised his velocity 4 mph. I knew what was wrong. He wouldn't listen to me.

                      In minor league ball the coaching can be extensive and excessive. Kids I know complain the roving hitting instructor will come to town and not be on the same page as the team's hitting coach. In the minors a slump can lead to coaching overload. Most say they sort it out on their own then thank the coaches for all the help.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by metrotheme View Post
                        What does his personal life / history have to do with his credibility on coaching at the professional level?
                        Well, primarily I was just having fun with the guy, because his wife swap escapade was one of the major and iconic events of the 70's and, as Root points out, it's interesting.

                        But, on a serious note, I wouldn't bring it up (well, maybe I would, but purely as an aside) if he were just talking about mechanics. But, he's talking about disregarding pretty much the entire universe of pitching coaches. Given that his handling of the 'swapping' deal shows a major lack of 'me-first' character, I question whether he's willing to admit to himself that he actually benefitted from coaching even if he did. (Good coaches often make you think a suggestion is really one of your own creation, to help invest you in it.) As I understand the story, he and his teammate's wife (Susan Kekich) had an affair and thought they'd legitimize it in the eyes of their spouses by saying, "Hey, why don't you guys try it to?" The teammate and the then-current Mrs. Peterson tried it and felt pressured into agreeing with the arrangement, but then dropped it after the swap, but Fritz and the then-Mrs. Kekich stuck to their relationship, regardless of the humiliation visited upon their families (including kids and the dog). Not well handled. And I believe that bad character and bad judgment often extends from one part of a person's life to another - a la, "show me a guy who cheats on his wife and I'll show you a guy who cheats on his expense accounts as well."

                        This article also opens up a second issue - a responsible ballplayer would caution others that his 'advice' may not serve others well ("Don't try this at home, kids."). That doesn't seem to fit into Peterson's shtick - he wants to make it seem like he was smarter than everyone and, once again, make it all about him. This does not display good judgment either. In doing so, he throws one of the most successful and revered pitching coaches in history - Johnny Sain - under the bus by saying that Sain's secret was to do as little coaching as possible, which defies logic and the testimonial of numerous pitchers whose careers he turned around. This article gives a more realistic feel for Sain's successes.

                        Do some MLB coaches needlessly tinker with the mechanics of players? Certainly. But, that's of no benefit to this forum, as none of us coach or parent MLB players. To extrapolate from this numbskull's self-aggrandizing statements to anything that relates to kids we coach would be dangerous. The most important lesson to be extracted - albeit only tacitly - from the article is that we as parents have to be wise consumers of coaching and keep our eyes sharpened against coaches who teach bad theory, or who don't 'coach to the kid', or who simply have a style that is inconsistent with the needs of your particular kid. That strategy is also important in picking an accountant or a doctor or a mechanic. But saying that most coaching at a high level is worthless isn't helpful or, I'd say, accurate. If I had to choose between the opinions of Peterson and those of a high-character guy - say a Dave Dravecky - I know which way I'd go, all other things being equal.
                        sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's a bad idea to listen to your coach because he might "mess you up" but it's a good idea to swap out your wife.

                          I'm going to have to give this one some more thought.
                          Major Figure

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