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Connolly Interview w/Brocail

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There are many quotes, here are some excerpts. 
I do think the Orioles coverage on the Athletic is worth the subscription price


On his expectations with the Orioles: “I know the guys that are coming over here. I know they can make a difference. I know that having Chris Holt is a huge factor in our development of our young pitchers and also here at the big-league level. Chris brings over something (success at meshing analytics and development) that a lot of teams don’t have. Sig and Mike, knowing what they did in Houston, and being part of that really early and not getting to finish off with Houston there, kind of left me like, ‘OK, where is this gonna take us?’ Give us the information and let us run with it. … We’re gonna get good information. We’re gonna get great tacticians. And we’re gonna go to war with that.”


On what he stresses with his players: “I’m really big on hyper-communication. I know that’s an uber-word, but you can’t talk enough. Because if we don’t communicate the (player might think) that his question is stupid. You know, ‘I have a question for you. Nah, never mind.’ If it doesn’t get answered, we don’t get better. I told the guys, I said, ‘Every single day you are gonna get sick and tired of me coming in and talking about your outing, I might have another question and you think we covered it yesterday. But I’m gonna pull a bit of information out that I’m gonna use sometime when you’re on the mound that is gonna click for you. Hey, remember that day in spring training when I asked that question and you were tired of answering questions?’ And you said, ‘Well, here’s what I felt.’ Well, I’m gonna bring that back up and you’re gonna get right back to that and your pitch development is going to be right there and then you’ll say. ‘Oh, God, that’s all I have to do?’”


On being a thrower and not a pitcher when he was playing and how he works with his players to become pitchers first: “We have guys that are all elbows and rear ends and heads flying and flopping. The thing I want these guys to understand is I don’t want a guy that just says, ‘I’ll take the ball.’ I’ll take the ball means you may not know what you’re doing. I was that guy. Hell, yeah, I can go throw. Not that I was going to go pitch. But I could go give an inning and throw it. I want these guys to let their talents come out. Let’s find out what you’re good at and let’s expose it to the world and you pitch the next 15 years off of your talent. … I thought I was probably better than I was. I think we all do. It’s not a bad thing. I got by throwing the baseball. I also didn’t get by (by) throwing the baseball. I lost games because I threw the baseball and I couldn’t hit a spot. … I want you to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and what it does, and you figure out the how. If you need help with the how, we’ll help you with the how. But the what and the why is important as hell.”


On the importance of the pitcher-catcher relationship: “We want our catchers to know everything inside and out with our pitchers. You see it all the time. You see (pitchers) shake, shake, shake, then step off. (And say) ‘We don’t work good together. He can never get to my pitch.’ … That tandem is gonna be a 1-2 punch. It’s not gonna be, ‘Well, I lost the ballgame.’ Hey, it’s ‘We lost the ballgame. The pitcher-catcher.’ Because as much as you put the blame on yourself as a pitcher, I want those guys thinking together. Let the (catcher) quarterback, put the signs down. He’s gotta know your stuff well enough that you should just go, ‘Hell, yeah, I have conviction with this pitch. Let’s go there.’”


On former O’s pitching coach Ray Miller’s adage of “Work fast, change speeds, throw strikes”: Think about that. It’s the truth. It’s a simplistic approach. But if you do those three things, if you work fast and you change speeds and you throw strikes, my defense isn’t lulling. I change speeds because I’m trying to keep them off my No. 1, which is always everyone’s No. 1, a fastball. And then throw strikes. That’s what we need, unless you want to have a 5 1/2-hour game.”


On Bundy, who was expected to be an ace when the Orioles drafted him in 2011’s first round: “He’s a kid still (age 26). Here’s the thing. I also know the hunger is there. Sitting down and talking with these guys, the first thing out of their mouths is, ‘Dude, I was 8-16.’ OK, so the way he is saying it, he wants to get better. … That’s the excitement I have. These guys have (talent) and are willing to work.”

On providing tough love if his pitchers aren’t buying in: “If it means being the bad guy every now and then, I’ll be the bad guy. I don’t care if I hurt feelings, because if I’m hurting feelings, then you don’t know how good you’re supposed to be. And that’s important. The old pat on the shoulder and the ‘It’s gonna be all right’? No. It ain’t. It’s not gonna be all right. Because we can continue to get our rear ends handed to us if we don’t get better. That is unacceptable.”


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4 minutes ago, Rene88 said:

I like anyone that quotes Ray Miller. Best pitching coach I have seen! 

But what about Leo Mazzone and the magic he worked in Baltimore? 🙄

You could have had a mannequin be the pitching coach when you have Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz on your pitching staff.  


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