Monday, June 30, 2014

Tommy John

You are all aware of my fascination with baseball, and I happened to hear an interview between Dan Patrick and Tommy John. While they talked a lot about "Tommy John" surgery, other subjects surfaced, like what were Billy Martin and Tommy Lasorda like? He played for both.

It is pretty well documented, but John reinforced the idea that Billy Martin was a bigot and "not a nice person." Tales of his and Mickey Mantle's drunken womanizing have been told before, but he pointed out that he was a successful manager despite the anxiety he created in the clubhouse.

Lasorda, on the other hand, was described by Tommy John as the best motivator of people he had ever known. Lasorda also said he was glad that Billy Grabarkewitz wasn't the one who had the surgery.

They didn't repeat it, but one of my favorite quotes is when Tommy John was interviewed after the surgery that fixed his elbow and has become so common among young pitchers these days. He said, ""When they operated on my arm, I asked them to put in a Koufax fastball. They did, but it turned out to be Mrs. Koufax." - Tommy John (1979)

Wish he would get somebody to listen when he talks about the epidemic of arm trouble with youngsters these days. They need to pitch for a short while, play basketball for a while, football for awhile--not pitch 12 months out of the year when they are 12 years old.

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