Zack Greinke media notes
Zack was resting Tuesday morning when he received word that he was the 2009 A.L. Cy Young Award recipient. All of a sudden, there was “a lot of stuff going on” at a time in the offseason when Greinke likes “doing nothing.” He passed the word along to his dad and fiancée, who were very happy for him. His mother and brother had yet to find out.
Zack was pleased, but it was the usual low-key Greinke reaction. He thought it would be a much closer balloting process as the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez also had a fantastic season.
One reporter asked where the coveted trophy would be housed. Greinke said that it would probably go at his parent’s house, with his other trophies.
Thanks for the help
Throughout the afternoon, several baseball players, coaches and baseball minds were noted by Zack as people who helped him mature as a pitcher.
Zack credited former Royals manager Buddy Bell, former general manager Allard Baird, reliever David Riske, and current pitching coach Bob McClure for helping him overcome his anxiety issues. Greinke described McClure as a “really smart” coach who challenged him to pitch inside this season.
He has sought advice from two of the top pitchers in the league, who he did not wish to name.
Miguel Olivo caught a majority of Greinke’s starts in 2009. Zack was happy to have the same catcher throughout the season, saying that Olivo did a fantastic job.
We learned that Brian Bannister’s interest in pitching statistics has rubbed off on Greinke. FIP, or Fielder Independent Pitching, is the stat that Zack is now following. FYI, he led the AL and was second in the Majors in that stat in 2009.
Zack read Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller’s book a few years ago. Feller talked about pitching at an 85-90 percent mark for the first few innings, then turning it up at the end. It took a while for Zack to embrace the philosophy, but now he sees that it is the best way to pitch.
Next year and beyond
Reporters focused on whether Zack can improve upon this incredible season. He says that he still makes mistakes and can improve in the physical aspect of the game. He wants to stay with the same mental approach as it worked in 2009.
Dayton Moore comments
General manager Dayton Moore took questions from the local media after the Greinke video conference. He said that people around baseball see the command of a Greg Maddux and the electricity of John Smoltz in Zack. Moore mentioned Bob McClure’s toughness as a pitcher and how he has brought that out in Zack. When asked if Zack can repeat or top the incredible season, Moore noted that Greinke’s one pitch at a time, one game at a time approach would help him.