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The Astros' Sammy Gervacio sounds awesome

Mar 19, 2010, 12:16 PM EDT

I had never heard the name Sammy Gervacio until I read this article in the Houston Chronicle this morning, but now I really want to see him pitch:

The
glare, the high leg kick, the delivery from an arm angle somewhere
below three quarters and the high black socks apparently didn’t make
Sammy Gervacio stand out enough on the mound. So he added more . . . The
righthander holds the ball out with his pitching hand, stares at it for
a pronounced second, then translates his stare in an equally
exaggerated manner toward the plate.

Ever since someone gave me some quickie photo-biography of Mark Fidrych when I was a lad I have enjoyed and endorsed any and all weirdness on the mound.  I liked Gene Garber turning around towards second base on his windup. Hideo Nomo’s shtick always made me smile. Submarine pitchers are one of the few things that are pure and good in the universe. I was happy when Paul Byrd started with that 1940s-style double windup thing. I like Pat Neshek’s herky-jerky whatever it is he does.

A pitcher who stares down the ball and the batter had better be good because if he’s not he’s going to get his butt kicked by someone eventually, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

  1. GimmeSomeSteel - Mar 19, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Some of my favorite pitchers have been the guys who just glare at the hitter, then bring it. Of course, I remember only the great or good ones who’ve done that–Gibson, Al Hrabosky, Dave Stewart.

  2. Charles Gates - Mar 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    I found the link from your old stomping grounds at THT, but here’s a pitcher to watch:
    SICKELS: The famous switch-pitcher Pat Venditte. If he keeps putting up ungodly numbers, how fast can he advance?
    NEWMAN: There is no one else like him. From the left side he gets people out with angles and command. From the right side he has an average fastball but a good breaking ball and he throws strikes. We have no comparables for a guy like this, but if he keeps pitching well we will keep promoting him. He will begin him at Tampa but if he keeps up this kind of performance we will advance him aggressively.

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2010/3/18/1379601/interview-with-mark-newman-yankees#storyjump

  3. Chris Simonds - Mar 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    The 1975 Red Sox boasted three wildly entertaining starters who could meet or exceed anyone’s requirements for weirdness (physical or mental)on the mound – Roger Moret, Bill Lee and Luis Tiant.
    Today, I doubt if anyone of those guys would make it past Theo Epstein’s anti-corporate-attitude detection devices.

  4. Ralph Kramden - Mar 19, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    @Chris: You think Haywood Sullivan and Lou Gorman had looser anti-corporate-attitude filters than Theo. I don’t think so.

  5. okobojicat - Mar 19, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Was it Rich Garces who did that violent turn toward the batter?
    I remember it was because it had asthma and had to do it keep his breathing controlled.
    captcha: scale cyrus

  6. Dan in Katonah - Mar 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    If his nickname is not “The Bull” then I effing quit.
    @okobojicat: Loved that guy! I laughed hysterically every time I saw him.
    captcha must know me “staged laws”

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