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Three time MLB All-Star and 1982 World Series Champion, Jim Kaat joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich to discuss his visit with the Red Sox during spring training, conditioning today, Jon Lester and the big moves at the trade deadline around the MLB.
Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure is a neighbor of Kaat’s so when McClure and Ben Cherington contacted the former pitcher about coming to spring training to speak he obliged and talked to the pitchers for a couple days. Was there a certain message that Cherington wanted Kaat to get across to the guys in their chats? Maybe something about the collapse the previous season in September?
Kaat went on to say that the he thinks the whole chicken and beer thing from the September collapse was over blown and the same goers for Josh Beckett’s golf outing this season.
“I was quite impressed in the spring, the guy who was probably the most receptive and came up to me personally and thanked me and got a lot of ideas from me was Josh Beckett. And of course he’s going through a tough time on the field and with the media and the fans right now.”
The guys were kind of surprised to hear that about Beckett due to the reports that say he has different priorities now and that he’s not as concerned about his conditioning and performance as he used to be.
“I’m not there on an everyday basis. I was just there to talk pitching, different ideas, making the count work for you, trust your stuff, take less time between pitches and so I’m not privy to the conditioning.”
Kaat then goes on to discuss the conditioning of players today.
“I kind of chuckle and snicker at the conditioning today because you go to a big league camp during spring training or even during the season and they’ve got a tremendous weight room. They have all these exercises where you see players moving around and jumping around and none of them seem to be the same things you do when you play baseball.”
They discussed an idea Kaat mentioned about speeding up time between pitches and what kind of benefit that gives to pitchers.
Plus, they discussed the struggles of Jon Lester and the fact that he can’t seem to find his game this season. What does Kaat think Lester is doing wrong and can it be fixed? If the Sox dealt Lester could that cahnge have helped him get his game back?