August 2010

Kevin Burkhardt on Chip Hale’s preparation

Despite the unfortunate outcome of Friday’s rubber game against the Marlins, I loved hearing Kevin Burkhardt’s insight about what goes into Mets third base coach Chip Hale’s preparation for both team defense and base running.

At the top of the broadcast, KB ran a clip showing how Hale uses the computer to evaluate both the Mets and the opposing team. Watching how he can pull up individual plays with a click of the mouse was fascinating, and Kevin later explained how these plays are connected to lists. But let’s let him explain it, with this transcript from the bottom of the 5th:
Chip Hale gets here at 1 oclock in the afternoon, and really one of the first things he does is go to the computer. He figures out how how this team is going to play defensively for the night. And how he does that, in this computer he can put in any split you can possibly imagine: left, right, how they’ve done the last month, anything you can imagine he puts it in. And not only that, they can pull up hit charts, and off those hit charts he can pull up highlights to see just about anything he wants to see to determine how he’s going to put together the defense. 

When he does that he then puts together a sheet that each player gets on their bench when they come in for the day, and on that sheet it tells the players where they’re going to play against each batter. It’ll also have little nuggets about, ‘this batter likes to bunt on one strike,’ ‘this batter likes to steal 3rd,’ little tidbits of information that are helpful to the fielder. And then what Chip will do next, he’ll stay on that computer, and he’ll look at the outfield arms of the other team. Of course as a 3rd base coach, you want to know who’s doing what…He looks at what they’ve done lately. He basically will pull up the last month on video, and he can see any throw that these guys have made. So he’ll pull one up and watch where the opposing team’s runner is as a guy is getting the ball. So let’s say Raul Ibanez is making a throw home to get somebody out. He’ll watch where the runner is on the base pass when Ibanez gets the ball. So if it was a good throw home and the guy’s out, Chip has an idea, kind of comparing speeds, ‘alright I have an idea if my runner is here, I may not send him the way Ibanez is throwing lately.’ That all goes into this.”

Very cool stuff, KB. As always, the SNY broadcast offers great viewing even if the outcome of the game is…let’s use the word frustrating

But last night was an impressive Pelfrey-led win, and who knows what tonight will bring? Let’s Go Mets!

 

Me on PIX news. Oy, K-Rod.

Saturday evening found me on the 7 train off to watch the Mets play the Phils, an uneven match up of Misch vs. Halladay, when I received a text from awesome WPIX field correspondent and Pick Me Up Some Mets friend Debra Alfarone. 

This would be K-Rod’s first game back after his two-day suspension for…sigh…beating his fiance’s father in full view of the clubhouse family lounge. At the time, Mets fans figured he was back–our hot head closer on the day of his public apology. Debra was at Citi Field interviewing fans to see if they accepted K-Rod’s apology, and to see what happened next. 
Before heading in to watch the game with a friend, we stopped off to talk with Debra about what K-Rod needed to do to smooth things over with his teammates. The clip caught the last part of the interview, and I’ll add the caveat that I’m much more comfortable writing than speaking! K-Rod’s actions were bad enough before–and I can’t say (as the clip says) that I do think management would have forgiven him–but now the fans are unlikely to ever speak his name well again. And there’s no hope of making up his actions to his teammates.
K-Rod’s temper turned out to make him a bad teammate, embroiling his comrades in the worst way in his own personal turmoil. He’s out for the season, likely never to wear a Mets uniform again, and now our beleaguered team has no closer. Help us Hisanori Takahashi, you’re our only hope. 

http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/xegbwl?additionalInfos=0

Here’s K-Rod’s last time entering the field. The boos were louder on the broadcast. Badly done, K-Rod, injuring yourself, your family, and the team we root so passionately for. 

http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/xeg7yu?additionalInfos=0

But despite the unfortunate circumstances, this past Saturday, I loved seeing talented Debra Alfarone at work, and I hope PIX features many more of her segments to come. Here I am with my friend Tobey, Debra, and her awesome cameraman. Add in a green-themed cap giveaway for Irish Day (Tobey and I got the very last two at the left field gate!), steak tacos, and a frozen mango rum drink to the great company, and we proved it’s still possible to have a fun time at Citi during a disappointing season. 
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