… related to The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers.
Do-Overs…There are errors, and there are mistakes. An error is something that just somehow slips through — a missing two-letter word, a comma where a semicolon should have been, that sort of stuff — and they happen to everybody. You just shake your head and say, “We’ll get ’em next time.”A mistake, on the other hand, is something so obvious that you just can’t believe you did that. Makes you want to find every bookstore in the country and pull the books off the shelves. Most of what follows fall under the heading of “mistakes” …. This page last updated March 28, 2010. Ewell Blackwell’s Eephus Ewell Blackwell? Yes, according to my entry for the “Eephus” pitch on Page 14. The problem, of course, is that Rip Sewell invented the Eephus, as we correctly note on Pages 11 (entry for “Blooper”) and Page 381 (Sewell’s entry in Pitch Census). The problem is that “Sewell” sounds a lot like “Ewell,” and my brain keeps getting them mixed up. Anyway, the two references to Blackwell in the Eephus entry are meant to be Sewell instead. Allie Reynolds’s Fastball On Page 30, Allie Reynolds is listed as having the sixth-best and the tenth-best fastball in the game. That was a production error, we think (or hope). Originally, Bill had minor-leaguer Bob Chesnes in the No. 10 slot. Mario Soto The entry for Mario Soto (Page 390) is woefully inadequate. It’s one of the many things I kept meaning to fix, and one of the few things that I never got around to actually fixing. Anyway, here is roughly what Soto’s entry should have looked like (and will if we ever publish another edition of the book)…Pitch Selection: 1. Circle Change 2. Fastball (90-95) 3. Slider (occasional, more in 1985) Sources: The Scouting Report (1985 and 1986 editions); and belowDescription: “Both his fastball and change-up are thrown with an identical three-quarters motion. As National League hitters are all too aware, there is no tip-off as to what pitch is coming. They are faced with either a good moving fastball or the change, which drops dramatically.” Source: The Scouting Report: 1986; same source says that Soto’s change-up is described as “devastating,” “awesome,” and “unbelievable.”Tim McCarver: “I call his change a palmball. Without this pitch he would be a .500 pitcher, but with it, he’s deadly. No lefthanded hitter is safe. He holds the ball, not with his fingers, but back in his palm with his thumb and index finger looped to the side of the ball. Deception comes with the whipping arm motion which leads a hitter to lunge at the pitch, thinking that it might be a fastball.” Source: The Scouting Report: 1983 Bobby Tiefenauer, Ron Tompkins, Todd Frohwirth, Steve Olin Toward the back of the book, Bill and I offer two lists. Mine is major-league knuckleball pitchers, and Bill’s is major-league submarine pitchers. Somehow, both of us managed to miss some obvious names (obvious especially because two of the missing do have entries earlier in the book).Specifically, Page 441 should include a note about knuckleballer Bobby Tiefenauer, and Page 445 should include references to submariners Ron Tompkins, Todd Frohwirth, and Steve Olin. Our apologies to all three pitchers and their loved ones. Also, there’s good evidence that Bruce Dal Canton (1967-1977) should be included on the list of knuckleballers. For more about Dal Canton, see his entry on this page. All that said, I’m happy with the list of 70 knuckleball pitchers in the book. With the exception of Tiefenauer (who, again, is listed as a knuckleballer earlier in the book) and Dal Canton, I’ve not yet heard about anybody that I completely missed. I do suspect there are still a few mystery knuckleballers, but they’re probably guys who pitched just a few innings in the major leagues. I’d love to hear about them, though, along with any minor-league knuckleballers that aren’t among the 13 listed in the book. The Great Joe Harris vs. The Immortal Jack Nabors On Page 235, we — okay, Bill — wrote, “Joe Harris had a major league record of 3 wins, 30 losses–I believe the worst record in major-league history, 25 or more decisions.”Close but no cigar. The worst record, 25 or more decisions, is Bob Nabors’s 1-25 (0-1 with the Athletics in 1915, 0-20 in 1916, 0-0 in 1917). Harris does have the worst winning percentage among pitchers with at least 30 decisions.(Thanks to Brian Disco Snell for the correction.) Pedro Borbon Jr. On page 139 he’s listed as a right-handed pitcher. He was, of course, a lefty. John Candelaria On page 155 we misspelled his last name.