"The system is based on the attitude and habits that great performers have," says Peterson.
When did this develop? He was a coach in the Chicago White Sox organization and came in contact with Andrews.
"We went back to the Bob Gibson days and started looking at pitchers of that era and started asking the question, ‘Is there something that all these guys do that we could maybe design a system around?'"
|MR. PREPARATION: Rick Peterson is one of most prepared coaches in baseball and it's showed over the last few seasons with the Athletics.|
Hopefully, it'll also improve the Mets team ERA, which ranked 18th in baseball last season at 4.48.
One thing is certain: its worked for the A's.
But, on the other hand, a contributing factor could be that they had the likes of Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder engraved into their rotation.
In addition, as Matthew M. Cerrone of MetsBlog.com writes: "Peterson is at the forefront of a new generation of pitching coaches. He relies heavily on state-of-the-art technologies, including a system he helped develop for Tendu Inc., a new scouting service that helps track every pitch in a MLB season allowing its users to track the tendencies of pitchers and hitters. Only the A's and Mets are official subscribers of Tendu."
When Peterson arrived with Oakland prior to the 1998 season, he was inheriting a staff that finished with 5.49 ERA the year before -- last in the American League -- and also ranked last in the AL in walks, hits, and runs.
That began to change.
Following his arrival, the team's earned run average dropped considerably over the course of his first four seasons. In 1998 his staff finished with a 4.83 ERA (ninth in AL), 1999 at 4.69 (third), 4.58 in 2000 (third), 3.59 in 2001 (second), and at 3.68 in 2002 (first).
Whatever the man's doing, it works.
|HUH? Many of the Oakland Athletics pitchers, including Aaron Harang (above) and Mark Mulder, don't understand Peterson's method, but it has worked well over the last few seasons.|
Mark Mulder, did you believe, or at any rate understand, his biomechanics theory?
"I don't really understand it all either, but you know what? What he does and how he does it, he's been very successful and he's done a great job," Mulder said in a WFAN interview on Wednesday. "More than anything, I know for me, as far as picking out little things in my mechanics, he did a great job with me and helping me with that."
In other words, enter baseball's version of "Bill Nye The Science Guy".
Al Leiter and company are in for a change. It's safe to assume that Dave Wallace, Charlie Hough, and Vern Ruhle didn't apply these methods.
"He's going to help [the Mets] out," Mulder continued, "and I can guarantee you they will be a much better pitching staff with him next year."
They'll probably be a little smarter too.
E-mail baseball analyst Christopher Guy at CGGuy86@Yahoo.com
Quotes from both Mark Mulder and Rick Peterson were taken from WFAN 660 in New York, where both were interviewed on Wednesday afternoon.