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Ian Snell: Joe Kerrigan Fixed Me

Michael: What is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever said to you?

Dwight: “Don’t be an idiot.” Changed my life.

(Dwight in confessional)

Dwight: Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, “Would an idiot do that?” and if they would, I do not do that thing.

The Office, "Business School"

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New pitching coach Joe Kerrigan has fixed Ian Snell!

Enter Kerrigan. Immediately, he made an adjustment to Snell.

"Mechanical. Not mental. I'm always there mentally. Mechanically, I was doing one thing wrong," Snell said. "He looked at the film one time. And that was it. Solved."

Kerrigan added of the adjustment: "We're just trying to get him a better turn, get him in a better position over the rubber. And he did that for the most part" Thursday.

"To tell you the truth, I don't even remember" what it was, Snell continued. "He just came one day and told me at minicamp, 'Early work.' The next day, 'Early work.' So I did it every day. Every day I don't pitch, early work. He said, 'From now on, this is how it's going to be.' Early work when you don't pitch. Then preparing to pitch. Come up with a plan the day before [a start]. And there you go. You're ready to rock 'n' roll."

If anyone can make sense of that, let me know. It sounds like Snell is describing changes in his level of preparation, which to me falls under the category of "mental adjustments." Which is how I'd expect Kerrigan to approach working with Snell, because Snell didn't pitch like he had his head on straight last year. There was nothing wrong with his stuff, so it would be surprising to me if his core problem was mechanical. He seemed to throw fastball after fastball, long past the point of it being predictable, and get himself into trouble that way. The idea of planning before pitching sounds pretty obvious, but I'm not really convinced Snell did it last year. If Kerrigan can get him to, that might be a big improvement. A big, stupid, you'd-have-to-be-an-idiot-to-not-already-be-doing-that  improvement. But it'd be a mental improvement, not a mechanical one.

As for the supposed mechanical fix, if Snell can't even remember what it is after--what?--two weeks of working with Kerrigan, I have serious doubts about the mental improvement. I'm not particularly reassured here.