Ron, Scott Proctor really had a breakthrough type of season this year, and just wanted to get your thoughts on working with him and why you think he's been successful, had that breakthrough type of year?
RON GUIDRY: Well, Scotty has been up here a couple of years on and off. He's always had a lot of talent. I just think it has taken him a while to polish it, to understand some of the things you can do and can't do when you're pitching, you know, depending on the type of pitcher that you are.
And you know, he started off slowly, but we worked on a few things. You know, he's eager to learn. Sometimes he can get hard-headed, but you know, for the most part, when we spoke him and I together, when I tried to explain to him some of the things that you need to learn as a power pitcher, you know, when you learn some of those things, you might lose a battle here and there, but it's winning the war at the end of the year that you want to come out on top. I think overall he's done that.
With Randy Johnson's back, what kind of adjustments, if at all, does he have to make, will he be basically the same pitcher?
RON GUIDRY: He'll be basically the same. He threw really well in the bullpen yesterday. That was a good sign. He got a lot of extension and it was a lot easier than it was the time before. I'm sure that, you know, his back is probably -- far as the problem that he has, is always going to be stiff, but I think it's something that he works through. And, you know, if he throws just like he threw in the bullpen yesterday, his game tomorrow, he should throw pretty well.
Just wondering if you've noticed a big difference in the atmosphere of the playoffs and just how things have changed since you pitched?
RON GUIDRY: I don't think they sleep anymore. I don't see anybody taking naps in their locker like we used to do.
I think it's a great atmosphere. It's different type of players. You know, now they all have the earphones or they all have their computers. We didn't have the earphones, the computers, the DVDs, all that stuff. All we had was each other. I know a lot of guys used to take naps. I know a lot of the pitchers did. There was not very much else for us to do but take a little nap before, you know, our games. Personally when I went through it, I didn't want to have to think about anything more about the game. I just assumed take a nap and forget about it, clear my mind, and so when I go out to the pen, I can't -- you know, everybody always said, well, what did you prepare for. I didn't know because I won't know until I throw what I have in the bullpen. I don't know if I'll be throwing the ball hard, slow; I don't know if a slider will be breaking or not. I'm not going to give myself any problems to worry about until I see what I can go out there with. That's why I took a nap.
You had the big season in 1978 and then eight years later, you won 22 games, I think it was. You probably were not the same pitcher over that span. Was the transition you made similar to the way you've coached Randy Johnson this year, to maybe win with different velocity or different stuff?
RON GUIDRY: That's correct. You can throw so hard so long, and there's just so many real exceptional pitches in your shoulder, your arm, whatever. So as you get older, you might lose the consistency of your pitches. Doesn't mean you can't throw same speed-wise, you know, '95, '96, every once in awhile.
The thing that you lose is the ability to throw it for nine innings. You have to learn to pitch with it for maybe five, six, seven innings. It's an adjustment. Until you learn how to go about it fully, it's going to present a battle to you. You're really going to have to fight it.
And I mean, as far as RJ is concerned, that's probably some of the stuff that he went through this year, trying to become a better pitcher by throwing more pitches way out of the strike zone towards the outside par of the plate and not always trying to challenge guys inside. There's a lot of things that you have to learn, but he's learning.
How has this year gone for you, your decision to get back in the game full time?
RON GUIDRY: Well, it's been fun. It's what I thought it would be. There's a lot of tension moments, there's a lot of fun moments. It's good to be back with a full-time job because you don't see a lot of the stuff when you're watching it on television, what you have to go through. I think the toughest part of the job was Spring Training, when you have 30-somewhat pitchers that you can control to make sure that they all get a certain amount of throwing in to prepare for the season. That was the biggest thing that I had to learn how to do.
You know, when you start the season, you're only going to have 11 or 12, that's a little bit easier. But it's almost a format. You place them and then that's how it goes, but you're supposed to place them at the beginning of the spring so they can go through the year. But it's all the other guys that you're trying to look at, give a shot to maybe make the team, see what you can do, so if we need you, we can call you. It's those guys that's more or less in your hands, and it's their careers that you're playing with. So that was the hardest thing.
I wanted to make sure that, you know, I gave everybody a fair shot at doing it, even the young kids coming up. I remember what it was like when I was here. Of course, you know, whether you say you want to cater to the every day guys that you're going to have, I understand that, but you invite a lot of pitchers to come, and it's a shame if you don't throw them at some point in time. Because a lot of times that I was here, we didn't do that. We invited a lot of arms to come, but we never used them.
So you never knew if somebody broke down, if you needed a left-hander or a right-hander, who can you call. We didn't have a lot of people to call up because we didn't know what they could do in setting in the big leagues. That was one of the things that gave me a lot of sleepless nights in the spring. But for future references, it would be a lot easier to do it from here on because I'll know what to expect.
Did you talk to Randy today and do you have a Game 4 starter?
RON GUIDRY: Did I talk to Randy today? No, I did not.
And do you have a Game 4 starter?
RON GUIDRY: I haven't gotten that far yet.
I might be too old to ask this question, but it seems to me that, you know, pitch counts, there's been an obsession with pitch count now, I never remembered it to be emphasized as much as it has been in the last few years, do you find that now or are you a subscriber to that?
RON GUIDRY: Well, we pay attention to it. Whether it's the right thing, I can't tell you that. I just think that the way the game has changed a lot, because of the emphasis on the long men, middle relievers, closers, set up guys, all of that has a lot to do with the way that the game is played today. And you have so many guys that are good at that job, that you know, the chance to use them are always great.
So whether you say the pitch count is bad, good, I don't know. There's probably more good things about it because you can save your pitchers from wearing down a lot faster, so they will be a little bit stronger, where guys like me used to throw 250, 260, 270 innings, and you got tired at the end. Everybody throws 200,220, 230 might be a lot today. But if it saves an extra year or two on your career, I think that would be great.
So, you know, there are good things, there are bad things. If I was pitching today, I wouldn't want to come out of the game. It didn't make any difference how many pitches. Sometimes in today's game, you know, it's more meaningful to watch the pitchers to make sure, because you will see, if it's been like that for a few years, then your body is programmed to throw X amount of pitches and when you get higher up all of a sudden, you get tired a lot faster.
Do you think with some guys it becomes are more of a mental thing than a physical thing, and comes back, hey, how many pitchers have I thrown that type of thing?
RON GUIDRY: I haven't asked anybody if they felt like that before, so I can't answer that honestly. I haven't had anybody say that or ask me that. It's just most of the time in a game situation, and you're following your pitcher, you know basically where his strength will go to, where it will carry, and if he gets in the neighborhood of 80 to 100 pitches but he's only in the fifth or sixth inning, you know he's probably not going to be able to go much further. And then you have to make a decision on do we chance going further with him or do we take him out now. That's all that it's based on.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.