Listen: New York Mets, Baseball, Lance Mccullers discussed on The Twelve Six Podcast
"Thanks for being here. This is this is really isn't important day because you're the first coach that's been on the podcast MAC. I knew you'd be good at this and it's not easy and I'm enjoying enjoy this kind of stuff, especially with somebody like yourself. I will have to say you of all the people that have been requested to be on the show. You probably come the most highly recommended from people who, who are listening, because I mean you've got how many years of baseball professional baseball under your belt. Now nineteen seventy was my first year after graduate from college. So what does that almost forty eight years while that? So it's, it's been a long time. And I'm not sure where the years have gone for. You're young man. You're still you're still young man here in this game. Well, I don't know if seventy is today's forty I don't know if that's true. But dealing with you young guys tried to keep me younger. Although the music I can't quite get used to that yet. Your big Motown guy, right? Love the Motown the Motown sound grew up with it four tops, temptations, Marvin Gaye the whole bit. That's, that's my kind of music. Now. You and Lance mccullers have probably vastly different music tastes at this point. Correct. I would say we vastly different in a lot of things, quite frankly. But, you know, I enjoy Lance. He's he's, he's very refreshing for me. I always tell people he's pop culture. Guru cause anything that I need to know that's going on in pop culture, these days, he a as heard of before anybody else hasn't and understands it down. Yeah. He's very he's into a lot of different things. And my favorite photo, I have is rehabbing his elbow while he's on the phone at the same time. So he he's a multitasker extraordinaire, so how I meant meaning to ask you this because I was talking to early on about. About it a little bit. The other day he is a little bit from different generation baseball players playing for fourteen fifteen years now. And when he said when he came up into the big leagues, it was different because guys had cell phones, but there was no like smartphones at the time the internet was like it was the out there. But there wasn't a whole lot to do on it while you were in the clubhouse everybody just talked or interacted or played cards whatever what was your clubhouse experience. Like when you came into the back then there was no computers, the, if any computers were held by the military and about the size of this room, room, that we're talking right now paper and pad. A lot of verbal stuff. You looked at eight millimeter film. There was VHS those kind of things, but nothing to the extent that is now in its. I'm just grateful that I got on board. Otherwise, I'd be a dinosaur right now and trying to stay up with you guys. It can be trying at times. But that's, that's one of the things that's made you as successful as you have been at this level really in baseball. General's because you, you keep adapting and you keep yourself you seem to keep yourself open to whatever is new whatever. On the cutting edge while also having the reference point of forty years of baseball experience. It's funny, I tell people I get these. I got an award last year as, as coach of the year majorly coach of the year, and people come up and congratulate me all the time. And I tell him to say Bill Parcells once said writers, right coaches coach players play. So I know where my bread is buttered. It's what the players and I've been I've been blessed, especially the last three three years, or so, to have exceptional exceptional exceptional pitchers to work with make me look good. The funny thing ironic thing about it is a lot of the same stuff that I'm teaching now I taught years ago, all it did was give me fired. And, and so as almost like I was out on the gang plant plank by myself talking about elevated heaters talking about forcing fastballs talking about the vertical game when I was with an organization at the. Time the cardinals that were definitely not a vertical team. They were a horizontal east west team writers, sliders. I can still remember with fond memories, your first game you ever pitched for us at the big level up in Seattle. That was a that was a leap of faith that you took with me, and I prayed, I prayed quite a great deal that game. I think you ended up going seven and a third seven two thirds eleven punch outs. Never saw the minor leagues again. And I to this day, I tell that story and, basically, we were facing seven maybe eight left hitters in Seattle and you had come up to be a spot start guy, boy, what a, what a story for you, and in what you've done the last few years has been exceptional nineteen game winner done very well for yourself. And one of top pitchers in the in the in the big leagues. Will thank you. I appreciate that. I was looking back at your career when you're pitching and I saw that you, you a or drafted three times. We went to USC to national titles at USC. Yeah, we one in sixty eight and seventy lost out to UCLA in nineteen sixty nine however, even that was different. We didn't have the brackets, the sixty four. He just had to win a regional, right? Then you win another willing. Presume, you find yourself in the in Omaha. And, and even then coming out of the west your, you know, your competition was Oklahoma, state, Texas, maybe a team in the south but you know then we've faced teams like Harvard or something like that. And really, it was tougher to get out of our regional that wants to win those games in the college World Series. Right. And you got drafted third overall nineteen seventy secondary phase. It wasn't. Once they headed rule back than if you were drafted and did not sign you would go into a different phase. And it was a secondary phase for people that had been drafted before I think some baseball people out there may remember Dave Kingman slugger was drafted high Jim Barr. My teammate USC pitch. For number years with the giants was drafted high. Then I started my career with the with the New York Mets at as it I so we both have that in common that we both we both were former Mets and on top of that your debut at the Mets. Well, I didn't get a win. But you pitched I can remember it. Vividly. You never forget your first. Now I'm sure you won't ever. Forget your first game. Remember it was against the Montreal Expos Willie Mays played first base for me, which was kind of neat. I went nine innings got a notice isn in little denote my next game I started against the big red machine. I gave up a home run to Johnny bench and the top of the second and that wasn't the difficult part for me. The difficult part was going is in my arm after the game and listening to interview on Johnny bench. And the question was asked Johnny what did would you hit? And he says, I don't know if it was a fast bowler change up. That was a little defeating at that time. You know, at least I gave up a home run to haul Famer oh, man. So we have kind of similar stories in that in that respect that I came up with the Mets had a good debut at the Mets, and then proceeded to have a pretty bad next year for them up and down between the minor leagues in the big leagues. Did not pitch. Well, get traded to Colorado. And then when I came to Houston, it was kind of that breath of fresh air. And I know you kind of you bounce around from the Mets to Cleveland. And then finally to San Diego, correct? Yeah, I got back to my hometown in San Diego. I think they were happy because had a lot of guys drink beer. That would come out and watch fish. They made some money at the concession stands, but that was that was probably the highlight of my short career. Unfortunately arm injuries derailed by my dreams, I fully plan to pitch fifteen years in the big leagues. I think I think what really happened galling his as a youth really over extended myself pitched way too much. You didn't have any instruction at the time. And like yourself I had a good curve ball. And when you're youngster with a good curve ball. You like to throw it a lot. Yeah. And I and I ended up having became the second guy to have Tommy, John surgery and tried to come back, but just could make it and ended up getting into the coaching field with dodgers. What was it like being at we always we joke about if, if it would have been how many years earlier before time Jonah went been the prints from the Bernstorff surgery. I unfortunately I won twenty two major league games, and he won two hundred eighty eight. So I, I think I think the Tommy, John surgery boats, better with the with the general public. But you came back, you did come back from it. You you pitched a little bit afterwards but there was no game. There was no like road path, or a path for how to rehab that surgery at that point, was there. Well, it's funny I was talking to Jeremiah trainer just or the day and I know what, you know, I noticed what, what Lance is going through with his Tommy, John surgery, in the, the overriding concern, and always being taken care of I laugh about mine. You know I I was out of the game. I went ahead, Tommy, John surgery got in my car, I drove from San Diego to Los Angeles, had the surgery and turned around and drove back. I me myself. And I just that's the way it goes, there was. No. I think is as I look back. There was no really prescribed way to rehab in terms of now you watch land soon, as you came out of surgery. There was a plan to strengthen and get the arm flexibility back in. So I look at Lance now and, and his right arm. Look, so much exactly like his left in terms of his ability to straighten it, I forced to this day. I can't really. Yeah. And Dr job did the surgery with Dr curl, and I believe, right? How was your relationship with them going into because it was really was kind of an explorer, still, they couldn't wait to do it? They were excited done. Tommy, john. Right. And, and so when I realized I, I was masking, the pain, I'd had you know, back, then I was using weights. Now a thing called capsule, in which is banned right now. And so I would just apply a massive amount of heat on my arm just to just to take the pain away, and I knew I was on a slip. Slope at the time you're in the major leagues insure dream, you don't wanna lose it.."