Same subject, different viewpoints

Ask a catcher how it is to work with a pitcher and you will get one response. Ask the pitcher how it is to work with the catcher and suddenly the opinion varies.

As long as they can communicate effectively in game situations, everything should be fine.

They have had enough practice at it considering they both went to NC State and were reunited in the Padres system this year.

"I think Colt (Morton) hates catching me," right-hander Vern Sterry said. "I like to call my own game and I shake so much. I am very, very picky with everything I do. He will never admit it, but I think I frustrate him. Sometimes I get under his skin because I am very, very picky."

Colt Morton, we await your rebuttal:

"You run into pitchers like that," his former ACC teammate said. "I caught Vern in college which was fun. It is cool because I get to catch him again now."

Is it really as bad as he says? Does he get under your skin?

"Vern is an interesting guy," Morton sidesteps. "It takes some work but it is fun. You have got guys like Vern and then you have guys that don't say a word at all and have no idea what they are thinking out there and they will never ever shake you off. You are like, ‘well does he like what I am calling right now. Does he feel comfortable with this?' He just keeps going with it. Then you have guys who just go out there and couldn't tell you how many outs there are or what the score of the game is, they just go up there and are throwing it.

"It makes my job fun because if everyone is the same it would get a little boring after a while. You have all these different personalities and I am glad I have a mask on back there because I am laughing half the time I am back there."

Vern – he says you aren't half bad. Were you setting us up?

"He is a great guy," Sterry shrugs. "It is tough to like anybody more than you will like him. He is always upbeat. I have never seen him down."

Colt says you are just a different personality – an interesting guy. It doesn't sound like he is ready to give you anything just yet. What is going on here, exactly?

"I predetermine my pitches," Sterry explains. "I know what the next pitch is going to be and if doesn't work out I know what the next pitch is. Colt tries to call his game and basically he is just throwing out suggestions and if I don't like it I will keep shaking to get a new one."

That is all well and good, but you guys get together before the game – and I don't mean just for pasta dinner. You meet up the day you are going to pitch and talk about what is going to go on that night.

"I know what I can do," Sterry says. "I trust my stuff. Alls he wants me to do is throw strikes and get the game going fast. He doesn't want it to take a long time and can't blame him."

You didn't actually expect to see a pitcher and catcher agree on anything, did you?


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