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Friday, March 23, 2007

Sutton prepared to advise the pitching staff?

The Washington Times answered a question that has been with me since that first spring training game that Bob Carpenter and Don Sutton did for MASN this month, namely, would having Hall-of-Fame pitcher Don Sutton around be a possible boon for the Nats pitching staff?

Here the Times addressed my question almost directly:

"And if those building blocks of pitchers ever asked Sutton, with 324 major league victories for the Dodgers, Astros, Brewers, Athletics and Angels on his resume, for help, would he offer it?
"I would probably say how much time do you have, and is it OK with Randy [St. Claire]," Sutton said. "Randy is the pitching coach, and I honor and respect titles. It's his job. If Randy said to me, 'Chad Cordero wants to work on a curve ball, you busy?' I would say, 'What time?' There were people who gave me time in my career, from Carl Erskine to Sandy Koufax to Don Drysdale. I have plenty of time, and I lost over 250 ballgames, so I should have learned something, too."

I think that is really cool.

I've always wondered how much influence that Hall-of-Fame broadcasters have on the players that they see regularly. For example, I've long suspected that Redskins quarterback and living legend Sonny Jurguensen gives tips and advice to the young Redskin quarterbacks, and I figured that if these youngsters had any brains in their head, that they paid attention whenever Sonny held forth on how he saw them developing.

I can't imagine that any of the Nationals pitchers are too proud to ask Don Sutton for his counsel and advice. If nothing else, record the games and pay close attention when Sutton discusses your play. Could Sutton have had such influence on the great Braves pitchers of the 1990's? That's a question that I'd love to ask him in person.

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