The Philadelphia Phillies announced Monday that Doug Pederson, coach of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Phillies’ home opener on Thursday.
In his second year as coach, Pederson led the Eagles to the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory, a 41-33 win over the New England Patriots.
That all-corners approach seems appropriate for an organization so thorough in its processes, though the Dodgers have long been one of baseball’s most diverse teams. It makes for an interesting mix of clubhouse personalities that despite their differing backgrounds seem to mesh just fine.
It’s pretty seamless, Roberts said. It’s funny hearing what people think is normal and how they adjust. For me, to get an outside view of how these guys interact with one another, it’s a lot of fun.
Looking around that clubhouse, you couldn’t help but notice how similar it looked after the game on Nov. 1, when the atmosphere was a little more somber. Chargois wasn’t there, nor was reliever Scott Alexander. Kemp watched the World Series on television, with what he has admitted was a bit of jealousy.
The major league ball is slicker and smoother, the Japanese baseball softer with higher seams. Every Japanese pitcher has had to adjust to a mound that is harder and — they say — steeper. In Japan, the looseness of the dirt allows pitchers to dig out a landing spot that gives them the confidence to repeat their delivery. Ohtani’s ability to get down the mound gave him the downward tilt that made his splitter vicious and his fastball appear to be rising as it approached the plate. This spring, in contrast, his release point varied, leading him to both spike and sail fastballs. It’s rare for big league pitchers to bounce fastballs, and Ohtani bounced a ton of them in Arizona.
(Start at the 0:20 mark of this video to see how loose and fluid his motion was in Japan. And then watch the fastball that starts at 2:40 here to see the difference.)
Those in Japan who know Ohtani best have noticed a reluctance to stride out as far as he did on the softer mounds. They wonder if he will adjust his mechanics, and how soon. Their worst fear is that he’ll hurt an elbow or a shoulder before he figures it out.