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  • Jan

    IronBirds Hotstove with Buck

    Written by BillySmith

    Just back from the Dinner. Just a few things that were said:

    Buck said Baltimore is his last stop.

    Jim Johnson says the starter talk is water under the bridge. He's a reliever.

    Johnson talked about losing the opportunity last spring to work on the location of his secondary pitches because of injury. While he can pitch to quadrants, he was hoping to work on location within the quadrant and even effectively working outside the strike zone. Hopes to do that this spring. 

    When Jim was asked if Buck had any say or influence on his playing in the WBC, he said none whatsoever, and whatever the non-verbals were that I missed between him and Buck, everyone cracked up. 

    Johnson on Davis's split finger fastball to strike out what's his name, Johnson said "let's get one thing straight, that wasn't a split finger fastball, it was a fastball that sank because it lost steam". 

    Buck talked about how the entire bullpen was on the top step of the dugout during Davis's outing and "being entertained" by the experience more than anything. The dugout was jammed because all the pitchers were there, except Matusz who had to go out to the bullpen by himself. 

    The starting pitchers were putting on their spikes hoping to be pinch runners.

    Buck talked about Johnson's last ST last year where he finally hit mid 90's and Johnson walks by him and said something like "satisfied?"
    Before that, on Johnson's last ST action, he was thinking to himself "show me something man" in response to the media constantly questioning him about Johnson's lack of velocity and what it meant. 

    Buck did not seem certain that Gonzalez was not in the WBC, asking Melewski what he had said. I don't know if Steve was being diplomatic, but he said Gonzalez said he was leaning to not going. 

    I think maybe chaoslex was there? A guy I recognized from a Hangout night.

    Got to say hello to Buck and Jim. 

    Buck pronounced "Gausman" as "Gawman". News to me.

    First time Buck met Johnson was when Johnson was on a rehab assignment in Bowie. Buck went there after an O's game, in uniform, and watched Johnson get the first two outs easy peasy. Since he was supposed to throw all his pitches on the assignment, he threw his 88, 89 per hour change-up to the next batter, a perfect fastball for AA guys, and the guy hit it out of the park. As Johnson passed Buck, he asked "how do you like me now?"

    Johnson was asked who keeps the team loose. He talked about how the pitchers are generally against one side of the clubhouse, with the position players on the other. He seemed to suggest that the ping pong between everyone is pretty intense. Named Jones as a big personality.

    The loudest ovations were when Buck said we drove out the Yank fans and that Sox fans didn't even want to come here. 

    The first question to Johnson was why he eats with his left hand and throws right. He sheepishly had no response, to much laughter from the audience. 

    Buck talking about lessons learned: "Don't be so humble, you're not that good".

    Buck about Johnson and his social media skills: "He can't tweet or twaat...."

    The best quote, and I think Buck was talking about the grind of 200 ballgames a year (including ST, the regular season, and playoffs - he implied we played exactly 200 games this year): "I don't care about the labor, where's the baby?" Huge laughter and he then apologized to his beautiful wife, to much more laughter. Another funny part was when Buck acknowledged that Schoop would play for the Netherlands in the WBC. Hensley Muelins is managing the Netherlands team, and Buck used to be his manager, so he said he would have to give Hensley a call, laughs.

    Wonderful experience for those of you who may be interested. Duquette is going to be in Salisbury soon. Go, go. Fantastic fun.

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