I haven't seen this linked anywhere else on AN, but Maury Brown did an excellent interview with former A's and Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson. I would highly recommend that you read it. It's got some great stuff in there about pitching mechanics as well as former A's like Barry Zito and a very interesting moment that he describes from an A's game against the New York Yankees where he was the pitching coach:
And when you talk about memorable trips to the mound, a moment that really sticks out has to be when Jason Isringhausen was pitching for us in Oakland, and we went into Yankee Stadium. It believe it was early September and Barry Zito was winning the game three to two against Roger Clemens. We brought in Izzy in the ninth inning, and the first pitch to Bernie Williams was a homer. And now it's three to three. And the first pitch to David Justice was a homer. So two pitches later – about thirty seconds – we lose. (Laughs.)
And he was, you know, distraught to say the least. It was one of those situations where it affected him. He hadn't closed for a long period of time in his career – I believe it might have been his first full year of closing – and it really had a major impact on him. It really affected him; he felt like he let the team down. He was very de-motivated. Fear, worry and doubt starts to creep in, and he really said, “Look, I need a few days off of this. I need a break.”
The story essentially goes on from there and how Peterson tries to work Izzy through that moment of crisis and dealing with a similar situation later on in the year.
Peterson also talks about the difference between playing or coaching in the New York market as opposed to the Oakland market. He essentially says that in New York you essentially have 162 seasons in a year as opposed to the 162 games in a year in Oakland. By that he means that the drama is amped up to a ridiculous level based on what the team did on that certain day. Apparently he's never been in an AN game thread.
Two other notes about the interview. First, Brown discusses what pitchers from the past that Peterson would've wanted to have coached. Peterson brings up Sandy Koufax. I would've loved to have had Brown tie the elbow issues that Koufax had back to Peterson's work on the injury issues with pitchers. Would Peterson have been able to give Koufax a longer career? I want to know what Peterson thinks.
The other thing is that I'm wondering how much of an impact Peterson leaving the A's has adversely impacted their injury issues. Maybe Peterson's impact on the A's pitching has been overstated, but would the A's pitchers have had as many issues if Peterson was still here? How much do the A's still use the techniques and programs that Peterson had implemented while he was here?