Don't know how I missed this when it was announced. I guess I was done with baseball and fully into football by the time. It was announced about 2 weeks ago, but I dug up a little bit of info on the guy from a great article Yahoo! wrote about the Twins pitching staff a few month back.
That's right, Rick Knapp was one of the minor league pitching coaches responsible for the array of pitching talent that has come up through the Twins organization. He is replacing Chuck Hernandez, who was fired after his staff produced a 4.87 earned-run average, third-worst in the major leagues in 2008. Sent him packing with his replacing Chuck Hernandez, who was fired after his staff produced a 4.87 earned-run average, third-worst in the major leagues in 2008. Sent him packing with a passport and pronbably to Japan after his horrid season.
Knapp, 46, has been coaching in the Texas and Minnesota minor league systems since 1988.
Well...people were a bit miffed they didn't try to go out and get Mazzone. The guy that had 3 HOF pitchers going for him when he was part of the Atlanta Braves historic division winning romp. I guess there is something to it, but the guy hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire since he left either.
Either way...if you are going to take someone to coach your pitchers, you are probably making a pretty good gamble taking a guy out of the Twins organization.
The best part about this guy is one quote from the Yahoo! article:
“If you buy into it and trust it and believe it, it’ll work for you,” Knapp said. “No question about it. You can latch on to different philosophies, but I can guarantee that if you throw the ball over the plate, you’re going to be successful. If velocity is third or fourth on the list for elements of success for a pitcher, you’ll be way better off.
“And if you’re walking more guys than the recommended daily allowance, you will hear from me.”
There you have it. Exactly the kind of mindset these guys need.
THE BEST thing about all of this is that we should no longer be subject to the moronic "hold the ball over the head" pick off move that seemed to come into play during the Chuck Hernandez era.