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April 30, 2024 50 mins

In this episode of 'The Book of Joe Podcast', Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci look at the struggles of Jackson Holliday as the Orioles send the infielder back to the minors.  Tom suggests some options the team has to try in order to turn things around.  How are the Red Sox changing the game right before our eyes?  Plus, which NFL GM's draft day strategy does Tom think Joe would love?   We bow out with a quiz on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and which of Joe's favorites have been enshrined?

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
The Book of Joe podcast is a production of iHeartRadio.
Hey Darren, Welcome back. It is the Book of Joe
podcast with Me, Tom Berducci and of course Joe Madden. Joe,
I got a question for you. Are you a fan
of game shows?

Speaker 2 (00:25):
I think I was. We watched Jeopardy last night a
little bit, so I watched that, you know growing up.
What was it? Was the Gong Show a game show?
I guess the Gonk Show? That was. Yeah, that was big.
When I was playing in Selena's, me and my roommate
Doc Lions would watch it, uh, you know, with just

all the characters and eventually a Geene Jene the Dancing Machine.
Of course, I appeared at home played for us after
a day game at Selenas we all ran up to
the plate started dancing with Gene Jane the Dancing Machine
who came out of his limousine at Home plate.

Speaker 1 (01:01):
Wow, what a thrill. Yeah actually got he got to
meet him?

Speaker 2 (01:05):
Yeah we did. It was was a dream come true,
it really was. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:09):
Well, we're going to play a game later on with you, Joe.
It involves the Hall of Fame. We'll test your knowledge
a little bit. But before we get there we have
to talk about Jackson Holiday. Number one prospect in baseball,
just I can't miss kind of prospect who set the
all time high school record for hits, breaking the record

by J t Rio Muto. Just tore through the minor leagues,
had a great spring training, slugging over six hundred. They
sent him down to start the season just to play
a little more second base, see a few more left
handed pitchers, and then just completely fell on his face
in the big leagues. We're talking about thirty six plate appearances,

and he struck out half the time, two hits when
he did put the ball in play, fifty poll rate.
And I saw him early on in the first couple
of days where you saw the typical nervousness Joe guys
up in the big leagues, especially in the environment like Fenway,
out in front of everything. You just didn't see any

kind of confidence or ease in his body at all.
And then he never did get his feet on the ground.
It was very strange to see someone you think has
grown up around the game, wouldn't be wild by the situation,
has had a ton of success. The Orioles did the
right thing. They had to send him back down the
Triple A. He'll be much better when he gets back,
of course, But Joe, I'd like your take. And you

see a young player, you know is really he's a
good hitter, he's a really good player and will be
and just to fall completely on his face like that.
As a manager, you see something like that going on,
what do you think? How do you handle that situation?

Speaker 2 (02:50):
Yeah, I mean, just got to be honest with yourself
and everybody around. Yeah, I mean, first of all, I've
never seen the kid play, and I know everything you've
talked about and everything I've read or heard, and I
guess it seemed like he was truly ready to be
there obviously, but was there also this pressure to bring
him up to maybe ahead of his time. Everybody's always

concerned about starting a clock and getting complained against because
we're holding him back. We're holding him back. The guy's
really young, heasy, and I don't even know maturity wise,
I'm sure he's fantastic, But it happens, like you said,
it just happens. What was Willie May's like over twenty
six before you hit a home running?

Speaker 1 (03:27):
Yeah, he's like one for twenty three. I mean, listen, Mike,
Trout had to go back to the minor leagues. Yeah,
Byron Buxton was a top pick, number two pick. He
had to go back down. You know last year with
the Orioles, Grayson Rodriguez and Colton cows Aer both went
back down and they've been doing great since they came back.

Speaker 2 (03:45):
Yeah, you got to take catch your breath. I mean
sometimes you just the expectations are there. You get to
the big leagues. Even though it's the same distance as everything,
it just appears differently gets fast. When the world gets fast, man,
your talents go away. It's that simple. Your confidence, Dwayne's
a little bit and all all of a sudden, it's
just different. It gets. The best way to describe it

to those that are not in that situation is everything
moves way too quickly. You can't slow it down. You
don't breathe properly. He goes up to the plate, he's
just swinging up pictures just to put it in play,
not to strike out. He's eager, so he's rolling over
and pulling everything he's in the ball get to him
and drive it the opposite field. Just happens. It just happens.
Like I said, I'm sure he's going to be fine

and next time, next time through if I'm the Oriols,
and I'm sure they're not really concerned about it. The
kid himself's got a great pedigree with his pop and
everybody else, so it's all going to be handled well.
But stuff happens. Expectations can be kind of difficult to
handle sometimes when you're that young, that much expected of you,
and the world gets a little bit too fast.

Speaker 1 (04:48):
Yeah. I mean, you're talking about a guy who's never
failed before. He's only twenty years old, but he has
never gone through anything like this, and it happens at
the big league level with a spotlight on you. It's
a lot to bear, there's no question about it. So
the next day you find yourself in Norfolk, Virginia in
front of eight thousand fans and he started one for
eight in his first two games. But he's obviously going

to be okay if I find any fault here. Joe,
I like your opinion on this is he's a natural shortstop,
But to me, he's not a big league shortstop. You know,
he just doesn't have the arm to play the position,
at least when you compare him to Gunnar Henderson. I mean,
if you were a scout you're watching both these guys
at a showcase, you would say, Gunnar Henderson is my shortstop,

and we'll find a place for the other guy. And
you know, I thought that the Orioles should have known
that coming into this twenty twenty four season and given
him reps at second base exclusively in spring training. And
I know that Gunnery also played some third base last year.
He's a great enough athlete you can put him anywhere.
And I feel the same about Jackson Holliday. Good enough athlete,
you can put him anywhere. And I saw him defensively

at second base as shortstime short time in the big leagues,
and I did not see a shortstop arm, to be
quite honest with you. So he's going to be, I
think a great major league second baseman. But if I'm
the Orioles, I would have just put him there in
spring training and just let him run there and get
comfortable at second base.

Speaker 2 (06:08):
Cannot agree with you more. I mean I always to
fight that when in the minor leagues, and this was
a big deal back in the day. You were afraid
to move a guy to his position because you're concerned
about all this awful mental gymnastics, he's going to have
to go through. Go through. But in a situation like that,
if you know that you have a guy at shortstop
and this is his position, you know, but you already

got somebody there established and well, and he could always
go back there if you have to. I'm a big
believer in moving him, absolutely moving him, because when the
bat is ready, you have to have a place to
play somebody. So in a perfect world, say it was
going to be in the minor leagues longer than he was,
and the shortstop was well established position, regardless of the
Oriols or anybody else, move him, Move him around, give
him different positions to play at, get him comfortable, because

when his bat is ready and there's a position or
a spot open or available, you want to be ready
to plug him right into that spot and not have
to wait for a shortstop spot to be open, or
bring him to the big leagues and start teaching him
on the fly completely a new position, which again is
going to rev it up a little bit to the
point where you're right going to the ballpark, dal He's
going to be a little bit different than he hadn't

normally been used to so I agree, I'm all about that.
It was about that in the minor leagues. I wanted
guys moving around. I also, like I said, I thought
you could get to the big league sooner if you
were more adaptable at other positions. So that again, once
the bat is ready and you want the kid there,
you have to be ready to plug him in somewhere,
and you wanted to be ready by having had reps

in the minor leagues.

Speaker 1 (07:35):
Joe, do you recall a situation where you had someone
come up from the minor leagues and just it wasn't happening,
whether you know it wasn't ready for the big leagues,
it was mental, physical, whatever, And how do you handle
that between the manager and the front office. That's a
big decision. Personally, I think it's a lot of blogning
when people say when you bring you up to the
big leagues, you should be there to stay. To me,

there's nothing wrong with having to go back down. It
actually can be really beneficial to a player. But I'm
wondering as a manager, you're handling, you know, a young
guy the big leagues for the first time, and he's failing.
That decision to send him back down. How much of
that should be the manager, how much should be the
front office.

Speaker 2 (08:14):
Yeah, I mean, I do believe that when you bring
somebody up, you bring him up with the intention a
really a real player guy that he's going to stay.
You always bring him up with that intent. You think
he's ready. All the bells and whistles, everybody's considering them
in order, and you think this guy is here to stay.
So I think that's part of the dialogue, and I'm
not opposed to that. But once he gets there and

things are not turning out, well, it's a conversation between
both ends, I believe, because the guys in the dugout
in the clubhouse are going to hear and see things
that the people upstairs are not. People upstairs are not
privy to those conversations, and just like a look, I mean,
I'm a big, big thing about reading faces, and I

believe in it. I'm done it for long enough and
I know and there's a lot of other guys that'll
tell you the same thing. So you'll see a guy
coming back and totally defeated, look in his face, totally
kind of always walking with his head down coming to
the ballpark. There's no life you talk to him conversationally.
There's no confidence. It's just it's just true. It just happens.

So I think it starts with the field people on
the field, and then it's of course it's going to
move to the people upstairs are going to be become
part of the conversation. However, there are sometimes you might
get impatience from the front office, But with the guy
in the dugout, etc. You kind of like, you kind
of like what he looks like, You kind of like
what he's saying. You just think there's like, just give

a little bit more time, Give a little bit more time.
It's going to play. So it can work both ways.
I believe that I've seen that. I'm trying to think
of somebody specifically that I felt we had to set
back down that we did not want to. I can't
remember more specifically with the Cubs or even more recently
with the Angels, guys that we held onto and then

and didn't want to send back. I can't remember that.

Speaker 1 (10:02):
Did you have did you have Joe?

Speaker 2 (10:04):
Yeah, you're right, I did, but yeah I would. But
I always thought he needed more time into minor leagues,
and never thought whenever we brought him up. I didn't.
I wasn't confident that he was going to be there
to stay. Quite frankly, where Brandon Marsha I thought he was.
That was a big conversation that we had between those
two guys back then, and that was me then slicing
it as I got there. That was guys like Marcel

Latchman and others that had been there before. My original
impression was I love them both, and you know, Joe's
got a really high ceiling. But Marcia I thought was
a more polished baseball player, and I thought he had
a chance to be there and stay there sooner than
Joe did. So that was part of my part, part
of the conversation when I spoke in meetings, That's what

I saw. And eventually, of course Marsha gets traded to
the Phillies and then Joe still going up and down
a bit. So that doesn't surprise me. That wasn't a surprise.
So sometimes sometimes I think what does happen is front
officers will push a guy to get to the big
league sooner because quite frankly, I want to validate their

scouting department or somebody that they chose to bring on board.
It happens when you bring somebody on board, when he's
your baby, when he's your highre whatever however you want
to describe it, You're going to be more tolerant, more patient,
and you want to see him there sooner to validate
the process that got him there. And it kind of
looks good just being honest. So that happens, and I

absolutely believe it happens. I've seen it happen. So there's
all those little dynamics going on, all the little politics
that are involved in this too. I just from my perspective,
we've talked about it. I really like to I want
to believe I work from more of a pure intentions.
I have no skin in the game. How much we
paid it, when round he was drafted, and where he
came from, Do I know anybody in his family whatever,

I have nothing of that. It's just like you look
in eyeballs. What am I seeing right here? Based on
my experiences, and I try to make my biased opinion
based on all of that. But I'm here to tell
you there's a lot of bias involved even in opinion
making and why somebody is promoted to the big leagues
rather than later.

Speaker 1 (12:05):
Well, I still think the best Baltimore Orioles team and
you will see this for most of this season, has
Jackson Holiday at second base and Jordan Westberg at third base.
Ramon Orias is playing third base and just I don't
think he's enough of an offensive player to hold down
that position on an everyday basis. But I think Jackson
Holiday will be that type of hitter. So how long

he stays down who knows it. You know, it could
be a matter of weeks, it could be a matter
of months. We don't know. He'll let us know when
he's ready, but I do think you're going to see
him be the everyday second baseman in the second half
of the season, at least for the Baltimore Orioles. My
question for you, Joe, when I look at the Orioles,
they remind me a lot of your twenty sixteen Cubs team.
These young players who are hitting their prime early so

to speak. I love the athleticism, I love the positional versatility.
I think they're starting pitching is better than people think,
especially with John Means and Bradish coming back to the rotation.
They're prime to win. They've got the experience of last
year under their belt. This is not new to them.
They have expectations of winning. The problem for the Baltimore
Orioles and you actually had this in sixteen Joe as well.

They need a legitimate closer to run through rounds of
the postseason. You're not getting there with Craig Kimberll. He's
got a little bit of a back issue here. He's
just his ability to throw strikes is too often in question.
He's given it up a couple of times recently. That
could be back related, we don't know. But they need
a surer thing. And you made that the Cubs and

THEO made that move to get a rold As Chapman
on that sixteen team when you were just running away
with things at that point, but knowing to finish off
the team, he needed somebody to back end. I think
the Baltimore Orioles, with all of their great young position players,
are going to have the trade from that depth to
go get a legit closer if they want to win
the World Series.

Speaker 2 (13:55):
That sound, yeah, we did need Chappie to do all that.
I remember when he came on board. I think it
was against Seattle, first game or something at Wrigley. When
you when you when somebody like that arrives on the scene.
It definitely does bring some more life into the clubhouse.
There's a it's definitely felt and it does matter, does

make a difference from a manager's perspective. When you do
have the anchor at the end, it then permits you
to utilize your bullpen differently as you work through the
first eight innings when you get to the playoffs. I
prefer doing when you get to the playoffs more more
often than not, and that's when you might get four
outside of the sky or five outs. Of course, have
done more than that once you've gotten to the playoffs.

So yeah, when you when you have the guy this
is this is Tom Perducci's my ninth Inny Guy, then
the first eight innings become completely different in regards to
how I could work my way through this knowing that
that when inning is taken care of, so it's it's
might not sound like a whole lot. And I know
there's a lot of analytical people that will say that
it's another three outs. It is, but I'll tell you

what it's different. Three outs. It's uh, the offense ramps
it up a bit, and from your perspective, you're doing
it every day. It's something every day with perfection is
the benchmark. It's not about being you know, it's not
like horse shoes coming close once in a while. It's
you've got to be perfect in this particular job and
that there's a mindset that really is necessary to handle

all this. And the biggest part is when you're going
to fail, how does how does this guy react to failure?
How does he when he blows one? What does he do?
And how does he react? And does? That's where real,
significantly good closers separate themselves. So it is a difference maker.
And I agree with you. I think that's exactly what's
going to happen. And sometimes you do have to give

it up. And I know, like I know, THEO proclaimed
he pushed all the chips into the middle of the
table we're in, and with that you've got to make
a move or give some people up you don't normally
want to. At some point, Baltimore has to do that
because you know, theory, reality is one thing. Actually winning
a World Series is something else, and you got to
give something up to get something in return. So in

order to get there, they're probably gonna have to do that.
At some point.

Speaker 1 (16:05):
Yeah, that's well said, because I remember THEO at that
time saying, and I love the line. If not now,
when right, right, you had the best record in the league,
the team had won the World Series more than one
hundred years. Yeah, you're going to trade a guy like
Labor Torres and six years of control. He's going to
make All Star teams, he's going to hit thirty home runs.
It's a high price to pay. But again, if not now, when,

if you're the Baltimore Orioles, if not now, when you
have a team that is World Series capable. You haven't
been there in forever, and you have, whether it's Kobe
Mayo or Heston kurst Ed or Colton Cawser, You've got
some duplication in your system and these young position players,
so you have the depth to trade. And yes, it's

going to hurt, but it should hurt if you're trying
to win the World Series.

Speaker 2 (16:52):
Let's putting on that too. I'm here to say we
don't win that without raw this. We just don't. I mean,
our bullpen guys got hurt. At the end of the year.
Some guys won as good as they had been, and
we were relying on some young folks with Montgomery and
it was one of my tall, skinny guy's name. Again,
I ge't remember right off the top of my head.

Carl Edwards, Carl Edwards Junior. Thank you. I'm sorry, Carl,
if you're listening. But we're relying on a lot of
young guys right there. And and I know people have
made accusations that I used them too long or too much,
but that was the only way to win that thing
was to rely on a roll this because he was
the difference maker for us. He got the big outs,
and without him there, the Cubs have not won a

World Series since, like you know, eight.

Speaker 1 (17:35):
We're going to take a quick break here on the
Book of Joe Podcasts, and when we get back, I
want to talk about how, if you haven't noticed this,
the Boston Red Sox are changing the game of baseball.

Speaker 3 (17:47):
We'll talk about that next, all.

Speaker 1 (18:00):
Right, Joe, I don't know if you paid attention to
the Boston Red Sox. Of course, they hired Craig Breslo
as their chief baseball officer, and they brought in Andrew
Bailey as their pitching coach, and they are bringing an
entirely different model to how to pitch in the big leagues.
The Boston Red Sox pitching staff are throwing fewer fastballs
than any staff in the recorded history of Major League Baseball.

They are down to about thirty percent. I'm not talking
about cutters. I'm talking about four seamers and sinkers. And
what's happened is they have boosted their number of sweepers
to the second most in baseball, their number of cutters
to the most in baseballs. Their four steamers are down
fifteen percent from last year. Last year they were probably

in the middle of the pack, right around major league gaverage.
As you know, fastballs used to be the bread and
butter at pitching, right that's your primary pitch, establish your fastball,
work off your fastball. Well, about three years ago, fastballs
fell below fifty percent for the first time in recorded history,
and it continues to go down down again this year.
But the Red Sox are taking it to an entirely

different level. And again, they were about league average last
year and Breslo and Bailey get in and you know,
they've taken it to a whole new level here. So
it's working. They have the best dra in baseball. So
you know how baseball works, Joe. It's like the NFL
as well, they say, is a copycat league. Somebody has
success and you want people want to copy it. Red

Sox are having success throwing very few fastballs. So I'm
wondering what your take is here, whether this is just
a fad or we're going to see this spread around
the game.

Speaker 2 (19:41):
Well, I mean, velocity has been it maybe I don't
even know if they somehow believe it's a combination of
throwing more breaking balls and the fact that you have
less likelihood of injury. I mean, because we just had
our guests on recently talking about it's not only trying
to chase velocity, but it's always it's also chasing a
lot of breaking balls and the sweeper. And I think

the sweeper was mentioned in that particular episode two. So
I don't know. I don't have an answer for that.
It's another fatish kind of a thing, I think, because
wait for the hitters to make the adjustment. Let's see
what happens as we move this thing through and furthermore,
the attrition rate of their pitching stuff. I don't know.
I don't know enough yet, but I also know that

really a good wealth placed fastball is still very difficult
to hit again. I'd like to know maybe their equation
has something to do with the injury problem, and by
throwing less fastballs and not chasing velocity as much, they
believe we're less likely to be hurt. There's more to it.
I know Craig and he's he's a very bright young man.

I've had Andrew around a bit too, and I know
he's very inquisitive. Also, this is one thing I think
requires more time and more than anything. And you're right though,
I trust you. I trust me it's right. If it
in fact shows to be somewhat productive, you're gonna see
everybody chase, and everybody because that's how our league works,

everybody chases with the flavor of the month. Is my
guess would be it's going to level out. I would
like to think, or I believe that maybe the next
time through. Are they going to go more to the fastball.
I don't know, because they're going to see like hitters
making adjustments to it. I've always believed you could throw
too many breaking balls, you're going to start hanging and
they're going to start getting banged, because primarily your teach
hitters to look for fastball first and then adjust down

to the off speech stuff. So maybe it might be
a philosophical change on how you approach them when you
face the Red Sox. Yeah, I would just wait and see.
I'm not totally convinced yet.

Speaker 1 (21:36):
Yeah, listen, it's only a month of the season. I
get it. And one thing to keep an eye on
is as well as the Red Sox have pitched, they
do not have pitchers who have a lot of innings
under their belt. I'm talking about one hundred and sixty
one hundred and seventy innings that you know. They just
don't have pictures who've gotten to that level. So at
some point, assuming they stay healthy, you know, the Tanner

Hawks and the Cutter Crawfords and the Garrett Whitlocks are
going to get to a point of uncharted territories. So
that alone will be a factor in the second half
of the season. But I you know, Cutter Crawford is
now one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he's
going to throw a fastball thirty percent of the time.
That's it. He's really boosted his sweeper percentage. And to me, Joe,

it's it's really data driven more than anything. Else. Maybe
there's some health issues here, but an elite fastball is
actually easier to hit than an average breaking ball. Think
about that. An elite fastball I'm talking about upper nineties
is easier to hit than an average breaking ball. The
overall average on four seamers is two forty four. That's

slightly above the major league gaverage in April, which is
only two forty one. We can talk about that in
a minute. So two forty four against four steamers. Against sweepers,
it's two oh nine. So if you follow the data,
you'll just say, well, throw more sweepers, throw fewer four seamers.
That's what the Red side doing. And I agree with

you it's a little too early to call it a success.
But from one month into this season, the Red Sox
to me, are challenged offensively, are hanging in there because
they are taking the idea of pitching backward to a
whole new extreme.

Speaker 2 (23:20):
Yeah again, it is different. As a hitter, you've been
training yourself to approach this at back differently to the
point where it's hard. Sometimes it looks soft because when
you're looking soft, I've always felt this, if you're looking
something soft, beating a breaking ball, and a pitcher throws
you a fastball, there's really very little chance to hit
that ball well. But if you're thinking fastball, thinking hard,

and he happens to throw something soft, breaking ball, you
could adjust down and do something with it. That's always
been part of it. So I think right now, if
they're throwing just all breaking balls, I mean they might
adjust down to the point where they're saying the heck
with the fastball, even though I'm laid on it, I'm
just going to make my adjustment down. Time it up.
Maybe you're going to see higher lay kicks. Maybe you're
going to see something different that's going to permit the

to stay back longer or see it forte click longer,
more acceptance. And again, where is it that the sweepers
know me away? Right? We're down and into a lefty
down in a way to a writing something to that effect,
that's going to be how you're going to adjust your vision.
They'll talk about it a lot and way. I think
players today are willing to follow the data to the
to the extent that going into a series, all you

need is one or two teams in a row to
make an adjustment to teach the next group how to
do this and they will so again, I just think
it's early to be normally like what wasn't just an
issue in the past. We I think we talked about
it in the playoffs. I remember with the Cubs we
saw way more breaking ball, I thought, in the postseason
than we saw during the season, which then resulted in
us hitting less in the postseason. Maybe it's just to

carry over into the season and seeing if you could
do it all year and if your arms could hold
up to it. Do you have enough arms? Like you're
saying pictures that haven't thrown enough innings? Wow, there's so
much going on there. Man. I would just play it
on out and then just try to sift through it
as we move through this season. But I'm curious if
the next time through all these teams that are seeing
the Red Sox were the first time, if in fact

they're able to make an adjustment the second time they
see this team.

Speaker 1 (25:14):
Yeah, well see. I mean I will say that, especially
with Cutter Crawford, most of these Red Sox pitchers, they
do not pitch to patterns at all. Cutter Crawford, he's
got like five different pitches. Is throw a split, he
throw a sinker, occasional forced seamer. He's got the sweeper.
He actually reminds me of you, Darbish, with the way
he can spin the baseball and stay out of patterns.

You know, sometimes with you Darbish, you think, you know
he's got too many weapons and he doesn't attack enough.
But Cutter Crawford does a great job of mixing his
pitches and staying out of patterns. And I think when
we talk about the Red Sox going to more non fastballs,
they have a variety of pitches. So and by the way,
the only two guys I've ever known who could sit

soft and react to fastballs, Bryce Harper and Don Mattingly.
Both of them told me there were times where they
set soft and still could hit a fastball. I mean
that's freakish, Yeah, it is.

Speaker 2 (26:08):
I mean the best way I could describe it to
people listening. If you're a catcher, which I was, and
as let's say there's a run around second base, we
used to roll our signs, and so if you put
down which you perceived to be a you put the
fastball signed down. But the pitcher somehow saw something breaking ball,
whether the slider, curveball or change up. He goes in
and throws at your minds thinking, here comes a fastball,

and he throws something soft. Here, you're able to react
to it as a catch. You could knock it down,
you could catch, you could make an adjustment. Okay, we're okay.
But if you put down something soft, whether it's a curveball, slider,
or even a change up, and he saw a fastball,
that's when umpires got hit because it's really hard to
react mentally and get your glove of mient time to
actually catch the fastball thinking something soft. And that's why

I've always I think Gary Guyatty told me the same
thing one time. Gary was able to sit soft and
hit hard. But that's it. I mean, that was the
way I've described it the hitters in the past to
try to get them to always say keep your fastball, hack,
load it, and adjust down. Man, it's somebody that's just
breaking ball, breaking ball, breaking ball, then you might want
to try something differently. But that's for those just think

about it. For the baseball people listening. As a catcher,
especially when you're expecting something hard and it's soft, I'm okay,
But opposite, that's when somebody gets hurt.

Speaker 1 (27:23):
Well, I do think in general, we talk a lot
about velocity, but the rise of the sweeper and the
adoption of the cutter as a fastball replacement really made
hitting extremely hard. And I know the rules last year
were designed to create more action and less time, and
overall did that, but man, the hitting environment is so
tough these days. Joe, the lowest April batting average in

Major League Baseball since the mound was lowered in nineteen
sixty nine. The three lowests have happened in the last
four years, twenty twenty one, twenty twenty two, and this
year twenty twenty four, where it's two forty one. It's
down six points from last year. Slugging is down eighteen
points from April of last year. It's the second lowest
in April in the Wildcard era. Hits per game is

tracking to be the lowest in a full season since
nineteen sixty eight. So as much as I and I
love the rule changes to improve the pace of action,
on just pace of game, but man, the hitting environment
right now is just so hard.

Speaker 2 (28:23):
Well that's with regardless of the team you're on, everybody
wants to pitch away from slug right, I mean, that
was the big thing, even back in the day with
the cubbies. And so when the pitches you're talking about
are really designed to make the plate wider. You're put
this a lot of east to west going on. There,
this slider, the cutter, and then of course the sweeper

by expanding the plate making it a wider plates, that's
what we're talking about. And I think with that you
are always trying to attempting to pitch away from slug velocity.
The last couple of years, I don't know how many
years we're talking about, but the elevated velocity fastball was
a big part of it. You know, when it was
at the top there we're swinging underneath it all all
because he's trying to lift the ball. Adjustments are being made,

even to the point more recently, who am I volpe
with the And that's in one year. The kid from
last year didn't like to swing at all and really
was a lot of lift in it. Now all of
a sudden, it's not so within one year he's learned
how to handle the elevated velocity fastball. It's evolution, man,
These guys have seen so much of it. It's not

become as effective as when they first came on the
scene kind of talking into the Red Sox situation. Now
we're working about a wider east west plate and staying
away from slut, and that also includes the back door
breaking ball. See, it's not just about the ball moving
away from you. When you can make the plate larger
by hitting the back to the outside edge with this

breaking ball, that starts as a ball ball and becomes
a strike, that really makes things problematic right there. Giants
a couple of years ago is very popular to do
the back door cutter slider. We're getting a lot of
called strikes with that, and again making the plate wider,
and Andrew was a part of that, I believe Bailey
while he was there. So it's about that seventeen inches

whatever they're trying to make it into nineteen twenty twenty
one inches wide. And with that, let's stay off slug. Okay,
the ball's gonna be put in play, not as hard
or if it is hit somewhat decently, it's not going
over the wall. And that's a big part of their
philosophy I believe too.

Speaker 1 (30:21):
Yeah, I like the way you put that. Staying away
from slug, it's definitely the driving force and that includes
now pe pitchers do not mind the walk, and walks
are going up, and that's why you see three two
three one sweepers and cutters. Nobody's giving in the idea is, well,
you know what, I don't mind walking a guy because

I'm staying away from the home run and I can
try for the swing and miss on the next guy.
I see that happen all the time, even at the
bottom of the lineup. So the walk, now, you know,
used to say joe with a manager. It used to
drive managers crazy, right, I think there's maybe it's too
hard to say, or too I'm going too far to
say it's accepted. But it's definitely accepted more than it

used to be.

Speaker 2 (31:06):
Well, when it's intentional, you know, it's like, you know,
if a guy's just wild, that's one thing. If a
guy can't throw a strike when he want major league
pitcher should be able to throw a strike when he
wants to. That should be the definition of a major
league pitcher. So maybe he doesn't want to, you know,
it's a strike ball kind of a pitch that they're
looking they get the chase, or oh well when move
on to the next hitter. So philosophically, what are we

trying to do here? Are we trying to throw a strike?
If you are and you can't, that's a problem. But
if you're trying to throw a strike ball and you're succeeding,
that's okay. So I think it comes down to understanding
which we're trying to get done here. From a manager's perspective,
there's a conversation before the game, or you're being clued
in by your pitching coach before the game. They know

what we're trying to get done here today, and overwatching
philosophy of the organization in general. Mattie Moore for years,
Mattie Moe would walk people a lot. He's a little
bit better right now, but a lot better actually, But
we never really were worried about it because even if
you walk the cup guys, to get to square them
up and drive those runs in was an issue. So
it's philosophical and it's built in what do we want?

But at the end of the day, as a major
league manager, I want my major league pitchers to be
able to throw a strike when they want to, want
them to be able to shape a ball becoming a
strike or a strike becoming a ball and that's a
big part of what's going on today.

Speaker 1 (32:25):
Hey, Joe, did you pay attention at all to the
NFL Draft?

Speaker 2 (32:28):
I know I did not.

Speaker 1 (32:30):
Sorry, there's a story I saw reminded me of you.
We need to talk about this. It involves Brad Holmes.
He's the GM of the Detroit Lions. You know, they
went to the NFC championship game last year. Last year
in the draft, in his first four picks and it
was in the top forty five overall, he took a
running back, a linebacker, a tight end, and a defensive back.

And the draft people I'm talking about the critics, ripped
him for not picking what they call positional value. In
other words, in the NFL, it's about the quarterback first
of all, it's about an edge rusher, and it's about
a tackle to protect a quarterback. So the analytics people
put value on positions rather than players. NFL, the Tigers

go to the NFC championship game. His picks all turned
out really well. So the same thing happened again with Detroit.
And he had some great lines here because he got
ripped for not picking positions rather than players. And he said,
when I got tipped on what positional value was last year,

I didn't even know what it was. It was just
like a new analytic. As I thought about it, I
was like, positional value, so you pick a position, not
a player. I was thinking, No, we're looking for football players.
Did you win the draft because you drafted those positions?
We're trying to draft football players that make us a

better football team.

Speaker 2 (34:02):
Huge fan. I've never even heard huge fan. I mean,
oh my god. If you just start basing it based
on position, and you're going to avoid a player that
you research and you like him, you like his skills,
you like how he's going to fit into my group organization,
into the clubhouse, et cetera, et cetera. Over drafting up position,

it is a little bit funny. Actually, and again that
that does sound analytically inclined. I'm so happy that he
said he never heard about it. That really I am.
I am now, Well, first of all, I love their
skipperor cambell. I think he's outstanding. So now I'm officially,
from this moment forward, an official my secondary team. Well,

the secondary team is kind of the Jets. I mean,
I'm a Cardinal Fan born and bred, and of course
my Buccaneers. But let's go Jets. And now that the
Lions are on my radar on a weekly basis, I'm serious,
I'm going to start reading more and more about him
because I think that's beautiful.

Speaker 1 (35:00):
I'm with you. I love the fact that he wasn't
even aware of such a thing existed.

Speaker 2 (35:04):
Oh my god, that's great. I love Hey. I thought
you love honesty though. I mean, yes, some guys would
have like glossed over it at that well, you know,
but no, he said, and I've never heard of it.

Speaker 1 (35:14):
Yeah, I love that, and that is press conference. This
is great. He actually wore a sweatshirt with the words
positional villain on it.

Speaker 2 (35:24):
He is. I'm went, I went over, thank you, I
went over. Hey.

Speaker 1 (35:29):
I promise you. We're gonna play a game show and
it involves the Hall of Fame. We're gonna do that
right after this. We'll see how good Joe is on
the Hall of Fame. Okay, Joe, it's time to play

a Hall of Fame game show here. But there's a
twist to this. We're not talking about the Baseball Hall
of Fame. We're talking about the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame. The new inductees were announced this past week,
and we've got some interesting names here. I think Foreigner
is in for the first time. How about that you

have Foreigner fan?

Speaker 2 (36:12):
Yeah? I listened to them, you know, but I don't
seek them out right.

Speaker 1 (36:15):
Okay, But what I want to do is, uh, by
the way, Peter Frampton, you got to be a Peter
Frampton fan, right, I'm.

Speaker 2 (36:23):
Okay, I mean not one of those guys. I mean
that that the song that he Wang Wang Wang's you know,
the different.

Speaker 1 (36:29):
Yeah, what do they call that? Something pedal? Yeah?

Speaker 2 (36:32):
Yeah, whatever that was. Everybody was going nuts over and
every time I hear it now in the radio, I
advance it. I really, I've heard enough of that. All right.

Speaker 1 (36:40):
Cool in the Gang okay with them and being.

Speaker 2 (36:42):
A rock yeah yeah, I love Cooling the Gang. Yeah. Right.

Speaker 1 (36:46):
So there were eight new editions. But what I want
to do is give you some names of artists and
you tell me whether they're in the Hall of Fame
or not. Oh wow, okay, sure, all right, let's start
with Sticks. I'm trying to get right in your wheelhouse
to some of these seventies and eighties rock and roll bands.

Speaker 2 (37:03):
Stick Sticks Sticks more recently was in the Hall of Fame. Correct, No,
they're not in, but they were being sought to be
in the Hall of Fame.

Speaker 1 (37:10):
Yes, they might have been nominated. Okay, okay, how about
Duran Duran God, I think they are in the Hall
of Fame or not.

Speaker 2 (37:19):
I think I think they are. They are.

Speaker 1 (37:21):
It's a good call.

Speaker 2 (37:22):
Yeah, I think I think they are.

Speaker 1 (37:23):
Graham Parsons, I don't even know.

Speaker 2 (37:26):
I mean, I'm the I'm the.

Speaker 1 (37:29):
Parsons right now. All right, let's get back into your wheelhouse, then,
bad Company. That's not your wheelhouse, bad Company.

Speaker 2 (37:38):
Brother, I am so, I'm honest to God, I'm not
sure that would be an absolute guess. And I'm saying no,
you're correct saying no.

Speaker 1 (37:46):

Speaker 2 (37:48):
I love Steppenwolf, now there. I love Steppenwolf. Born to
Be Wild that was like my that was my thing
back in the day. You know, Uh, they're not in,
but they but I love the song.

Speaker 1 (37:58):
They are in. Really Born to Be Wild alone gets
them in in my book. Okay, okay, all right. How
about the Canadian band Bachman Turner Overdrive b BTO.

Speaker 2 (38:08):
I love bt O. They should be, yes, but they're not.
They're not.

Speaker 1 (38:12):
Okay, yeah, yeah, this was one of my favorites in college,
the Jay Giles band.

Speaker 2 (38:19):
Yes, Jay Oiles played in Hazeltons Got Lost. We were
they were at the right They were at Saint Jose
Jim I can't remember who they were. Black Oak, Arkansas
and Jay Giles were at the Saint Jose gym right
down here off of Wyoming Street. And my buddy we
used to Tommy Cassette, we called him Minora. Ripped off
the back door of the Saint Joe's gym. We got

in for free. I can't remember the year it was,
but Jay Giles was in.

Speaker 1 (38:44):
Not in, not in shooting, not in.

Speaker 2 (38:46):
But we got into Jay Giles because we took the
door off.

Speaker 1 (38:51):
Uh. Cheap trick.

Speaker 2 (38:54):
Love cheap trick. Remember cheap trick? T Lee? T Lee
and I Terry League. That was in nineteen seventy nine.

Speaker 1 (39:00):
They were big.

Speaker 2 (39:01):
I love cheap trick. We were playing for the Bakersfield Outlaws.
I was out of organization, out of a particular organization.
I was just independent ball at that time in the
Cal League. And they used to go down to T
Lee's house in Pismo Beach area, San Luis Obispo. And
t Lee was a big cheap trick guy, cheap trick,

and so I got into cheap trick and they got
to be in. I love cheap trick. They're in. They're outstanding. Yes,
love cheap trick. Here.

Speaker 1 (39:29):
This got probably another one of your favorites. Deep purple.

Speaker 2 (39:32):
It's my car, am I twenty sixteen, twenty sixteen hellcat
as plumb crazy with the black stripes down with the
six speed trimming transmission. I'll tell you what not only fast,
one of the best cars on the road, just built well.
So yeah, I'm gonna go deep purple and just based
on the color of my car.

Speaker 1 (39:51):
Good call, good call.

Speaker 2 (39:53):
They're in.

Speaker 1 (39:53):
Yeah, yeah, meat Loaf.

Speaker 2 (39:56):
That's when that's another wheelhouse. Meat Loaf two out of
three ain't bad. Every time we want a series two
out of three, I would say we meet low them.
Rocky Heart Picture Show was huge when I was uh
living in Salinas. There was at the theater, the theater
in downtown Monterey. Everybody sat on a pillow. I think
it came on at midnight. I don't even know how

many days in Row played. I loved Me. I loved Me.
I thought really underrated musically, Lyrically, I'm saying yes.

Speaker 1 (40:26):
They're not in. Can you believe they amazing? Yeah? I
don't love is not in the rock and roll.

Speaker 2 (40:33):
Hall passion passion.

Speaker 1 (40:34):
Oh my god, the guy was great musicians, I believe.

Speaker 2 (40:37):
Yeah, yeah, all.

Speaker 1 (40:38):
Right, how about Grand Funk Railroad.

Speaker 2 (40:42):
There you go, uh captain, I'm your captain from Lafayette College.
Three dudes making all that sound? Yeah, I was, Oh god,
I love Grand Funk Railroad. That was a big part
of Lofayette. Mark Belly, one of my roomies down there,
really was into them too. I gotta say, yes, they
got to be it. I love Grand Funk, they are
not in. Say we're going to get him in somehow.

Speaker 1 (41:03):
Got to get him in. Robert Palmer.

Speaker 2 (41:06):
Yes, how about that video? Right? Oh, groundbreaking, that's when
that's when videos are coming out, and he nailed it
with that. I just think on that video alone, Robert
Palmer's got to be in the rock and Roll Hall
of Fame.

Speaker 1 (41:20):
Should be, but he's not.

Speaker 2 (41:21):
At least the girls should be.

Speaker 1 (41:23):
Oh my god, all right, we'll do two more here.

Speaker 2 (41:26):
I'm really bad at this game, but I'm enjoying it.

Speaker 1 (41:29):
The go Gos love her.

Speaker 2 (41:31):
Pull in the Carlisle. I had a chance to catch
the first pitch from her really at the TRUP one time. Yeah,
I don't know what I did or couldn't get there,
where was whatever, but the t with the race. They
were in town there somehow and she was there and
I thought she was pretty attractive growing up. I want

them to be in so badly. Yes, yeah, they're in.

Speaker 1 (41:56):
Good call Okay, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (41:59):
One of my faves the B fifty two. Yes, be
fifty two's that was love the Beef. I do love,
but I don't think they're in. But I love them.

Speaker 1 (42:08):
Yeah, you nail that one. We love them, but they're
not in. That's a lot of bands we got to
get into the Hall of Fame.

Speaker 2 (42:15):
Joe Dude. That was really you know again, if you
just go on your own taste buds. So do we
say Peter Frampton was in or not in?

Speaker 1 (42:25):
Yeah, he's in this year's class twenty twenty four.

Speaker 2 (42:27):
Okay, in this your class? Yeah, I did they know.
I was listening. I heard that recently. You're right, but no,
I just I just it's probably a great guy. I
think he's a great I probably have enjoy having a
beer with him, But I just the music wise, I
just it's not one of those things that I would
put on and want to listen to like over and
over again. Uh, the universal sound wasn't there for me.

So that's that's where I dropped off on him.

Speaker 1 (42:51):
By the way he's going in with Share and this
is really in.

Speaker 2 (42:55):
That's that's real, that's real.

Speaker 1 (42:56):
Oh yeah, Share claims, and I don't doubt her that
in each of the last seven decades she has had
a number one song, either on her own or with
of course with Sonny Sonny and Shrif. Seven decades really.
So she went on the Kelly Clarkson Show last December

and Kelly Clarkson couldn't believe that she was not yet
in the Hall of Fame. I mean, you talk about
an incredible career and chare when Kelly Clarkson says, are
you serious you're not in the Hall of Fame, and
she says, I wouldn't be in it now if they
gave me a million dollars that I did read that,
I'm never going to change my mind. They can just go.

Speaker 2 (43:38):
Ticket you know what themselves.

Speaker 1 (43:41):
How about that? So now we got some drama whether
Share actually shows up at the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame when she's inducted this year.

Speaker 2 (43:47):
That makes me like her even more. I swear it does.
I mean I've always been a fan, always loved their stuff,
the Sonny and Share stuff, I Got You Babe in
the sixties, man, that was you know, it's all the
visceral component of music when you were younger, because how
did it make you feel? So when the song comes on,
it just in the case to me a good time
in my life. When I hear the Sonny and Share

stuff and especially I Got You Babe, I've been a
fan forever. I'm with her. Don't show up, don't let
them induct you and send somebody else, or have them
appoint somebody to accept the A word for you. I'm
on board with Share. I think she's great.

Speaker 1 (44:23):
Music is amazing, isn't it, Joe. I mean, it can
make you feel a certain way, the way a site
or a sound can just the song in your head.
And sometimes I'm sure this happens to you, Joe. You
hear a song that you haven't heard of in so
long I'm talking years, maybe decades, and the lyrics come
back to you immediately, right. It's just fascinating the way

it just wraps around your brain.

Speaker 2 (44:47):
And again the short, long and short term memory. More
like the newer songs. I mean, there are newer songs
that I will like, but not to the extent that
the stuff that we grew up with that's embedded, like
you said in our Minor Psyche and the visceral component.
I'm really big on that. I mean, because I didn't
know words, and I was a kid, I didn't listen
well enough. I mean I could go back to Satisfaction

by the Stones, and of course I knew the words
to that, but Simon and Garfuncle, they made a a
verbal impact on me. Words mattered with Simon and Garfunkle.
The Halies a little bit, I love. I mean, I
thought the Hollies were very underrated. None cool woman in
a black dress. God, that's one of the best beginnings
of the song ever. But then I be ain't heavy

for my brother. I mean stuff like that a combination
with some of them, with the lyrics and the sound.
But primarily in the sixties I thought it was more visceral,
and the seventies I became a little bit more intelligent
and was able to listen to words and process them.
But I mean the sound of the sixties to me, really,
I don't think there's a song. If I hear it

that I remember from back in the day, always makes
me feel good because it was such I had such
a wonderful time growing up in this area in Pennsylvania.

Speaker 1 (45:59):
Especially if you hear it again on vinyl, right.

Speaker 2 (46:02):
Oh my god, that I got it. I got the
vinyl women to set it up on this new room's done.
We're gonna have the vinyl, big, big old speakers blaring
out the back. Man, I'm gonna have you come around
my place during the summertime. You're gonna hear my place too.
I love it.

Speaker 1 (46:17):
I love it well, Joe. You always do a great
job taking us home and following up by the way,
you did really well on that, better than I thought.
It's so hard with the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame because they've really diversified. Obviously, it's not just rock
and roll in terms of the artistry that's going in there,
so it's not an easy call. I thought you did
really well, and you followed your heart for the most

part when it came to some of these bands. I
did nothing wrong with that.

Speaker 2 (46:41):
I never And then it speaks to our quote of
the day, And actually I guess the quote was designed
for this and of all people come from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
But I think to be yourself in a world that
is constantly trying to make you something else is the
greatest accomplishment and share. Oh right, g gez. She has

always been herself. All these all these rock and roll icons,
they've always been themselves. I mean that was my kind
of my thought to myself as a kid growing up
that I was I was not going to reform. How
do I can't remember exactly how I said this to myself.
Wish I could, But during the sixties and the seventies,
I wanted always to adhere to what I believed in.

My dad wanted me to cut my hair. I did
not want to cut my hair. You know. They wanted
me to dress a certain way, did not want to
dress a certain way. I wanted to dress the way
I wanted to dress. That's why I was so adamant
about when I became a major league manager, about dress
codes and who's why is a collared shirt so more
acceptable than a non collared shirt? Why is polyester pants

better than jeans? I mean all these things. Really, I
was a non conformist and a conforming society. That was
my line to myself in the seventies. And I wasn't,
by any means any kind of a rebel, I don't think,
but maybe in certain ways I was. But I definitely
always adhere to what I thought was the right thing

to do, regardless of the popular opinion of the day.
And I still think that is true. So I think
in some ways, trying to make to be yourself in
a word that is constantly trying to make you something
else from Ralph Waldo Emerson really resonated for me, and
I think I've always applied that to myself and to
today's artists and athletes, and to the GM of the

Detroit Lions. What's his name? One more time, Brad Holmes.
Well done, Brad, I can't wait to meet you.

Speaker 1 (48:34):
Yeah, that's so well said, by the way. I love
that quote from Ralph Waldo, our buddy.

Speaker 2 (48:39):

Speaker 1 (48:40):
Yeah, Because I tell a young people, especially all the time,
when there's that pressure to conform, right, you look around
you and you want to fit in rather than honor
your true self. If you look around you want to
be like the people around you. That's a good way
to become average, you really will be average. If that's
what you want to be, then go ahead and conform.

I don't think any of us should be average, because
there's a better part within us. And it reminds me
of what Vince Scully once told me. The best advice
he had was early in his career, and it came
from Red Barber. I mean it was better than Red
Barber at that time, and he talked about avoid trying
to copy other people's style because when you do that,
you water your own wine. And it was a way

of Red Barber telling Vince Scully, you know, the best
version of you lies within you, it doesn't lie within others.
Can you learn from others, of course you can, But
in trying to copy others and be others, you're going
to miss out on your true self. And so I
love that quote, Joe. I think it applies to really
anybody across the board, no matter what you do.

Speaker 2 (49:41):
And organizations, right, I mean, you're just we're just talking
about that in another way. But this copycat world, I
don't quite understand it. And a lot of the I
think copycat copy catedness is the residue of really not
going out there and suffering through mistakes and having to
work for an opportunity and having things just presented to

you because you don't really know what you think. You
have to find out what you think through trial and error.
And I really believe that. I believe things are handed
out too easily, things aren't necessarily earned. And with that,
there's this group that needs to look at somebody else
in order to find their way, whereas opposed to looking
from within. And that's the part to me that this

bothers him sometime, and those that do, God do I
love that.

Speaker 1 (50:29):
Yeah, that brings us back to Jackson holiday failing the
way he has for the first time. He'll be a
better player because of that.

Speaker 2 (50:35):
I agreed.

Speaker 1 (50:37):
That was fine, Joe. We'll see you next time.

Speaker 2 (50:39):
Thanks brother.

Speaker 1 (50:50):
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