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Absolutely Bill Fischer
2008-02-23 21:10
by Bob Timmermann

Joe Posnanski in the Kansas City Star has a profile of Royals pitching consultant, Bill Fischer, who at age 77 is in his 60th year of working in baseball.

Fischer has a set of absolutes he tries to impart to all pitchers:

Absolute No. 1: Don’t bang your heel.

Don’t bang your heel. That’s the first absolute. Young pitchers get hurt all the time. They blow out their arms, their elbows, their shoulders, they chip bones, they tear tendons, and why? Fish will tell you why; he’s been in this game since Harry Truman was in office. It’s because these numskulls wind up, throw as hard as they can, and on their follow-through they bang the heel of their front foot into the ground, BAM, all that force rattles through them, shakes up the arm, a mini-earthquake every pitch.

Absolute No. 2: Throw four-seam fastballs.

“The pitchers are all trying to pitch the same,” he says. “You hear them talk, it’s all ‘Keep the ball down. Keep the ball down.’ What a bunch of bleep that is. That’s where all the bleeping guys hit, down. The worst bleeping hitters are low-ball hitters. The hardest pitch in baseball to hit is right here, up and in, high and tight, and there ain’t no way you can throw a two-seam fastball up here.”

Absolute No. 3: Don’t pitch across your body.

Well, that’s all Fish needed to hear. There’s a reason his third absolute is that pitchers should not throw across their bodies — it’s unnatural. “If I’m going to hit you, I don’t step across my body, do I? No. I step straight in. Boom. Then I can drop you.”

Absolute No. 4: Right-handers throw from the right-hand side of the pitching rubber; lefties throw from the left-hand side of the pitching rubber.

The lengthy profile is rich in some great anecdotes from Fischer about his career.
2008-02-24 05:21:27
1.   Johnny Nucleo
Great article. I love the crusty old baseball guys.
2008-02-25 11:28:20
2.   El Lay Dave
Kansas City gets Posnanski; here in LA, we get bleeping Plaschke. Bleep.

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