“Top Ten” Qualifications for a Major League Pitching Coach

Since the Orioles are interviewing candidates for the position of pitching coach, I thought I would highlight the Top Ten Qualifications for a Major League Pitching Coach.  This seems like a cushy job to me.  You stay behind the scenes and don’t face any of the media pressure.  The manager ultimately makes all of the decisions anyway about which pitchers to start and when to relieve them.  You offer some level of advice but have very little criticism directed your way.  If you are fortunate to catch on with a team that has a couple of aces you will be considered a genius and enjoy a long run in the game.

10) Must know how to speak out of both sides of his mouth so that he can offer that type of paradoxical counsel that ensures he is never wrong:

– Be aggressive in the strike zone              – Don’t give the hitter anything good to hit

– Get ahead in the count                               – Don’t be predictable

– Never get beat with your third pitch       – Keep the batter guessing

– Hit your spots                                               – Cut it loose

– Pitch to your strength                                 – Exploit the batter’s weakness

– Throw strikes                                                – Don’t give in to the hitter

– Don’t let the runner get a lead                   – Concentrate on the batter

– Don’t overthrow                                           – Maintain your velocity

– Find your release point and arm slot     – Don’t over-think your mechanics

9) Must be able to communicate effectively and motivate a wide range of personalities who perform a variety of roles from starter to long relief to specialist to setup man to closer

8) Must be able to take rejection as the prima donna big league pitchers reject all of his advice

7) Must have the patience to sit next to the manager all season without getting on his nerves

6) Must be able to either chew gum or spit sunflower seeds to stay awake for the entire game

5) Must be creative in coming up with tidbits of advice for those priceless visits to the mound

4) Must know how to utilize video equipment and cutting edge software to evaluate changes in a pitcher’s delivery – comparing his good days to what he is currently doing wrong

3) Must have some type of gimmick pitch that he can share with older pitchers to prolong their careers

2) Must know how to stall and buy time for the reliever that is warming up in a hurry – it helps if you can walk super slowly out to the mound

1) Must be able to select the best restaurants in town