February 26, 2007

The Zen Master

Steve Popper at North Jersey, writes about Rick Peterson helping Oliver Perez find his way back to his old form:

When Oliver Perez arrived in New York last season, he admitted that he was lost. The simplest solution was for Rick Peterson to provide a map.

"If someone says to you, 'I'm lost,' what would be the first thing that you would respond?" Peterson, the Mets' pitching coach, asked. "Where do you want to go? It's a logical question. Can you show me your map? [Perez said] 'I don't have one.' No wonder you're lost."

"When you look at what his plan was, there was no plan," Peterson said. "There was no recipe. There was no map. The first question is, 'Where do you want to go? And where did you come from?' Then you lay out a plan and help them understand that. Not only was he lost, but he was driving in the wrong lane. He thought he was in England. We're driving in the right lane.

"It became a simple thing because he got it very quickly. Just like if you're lost and someone gives you directions, all of the sudden you go down a quarter of a mile, make a right and go, 'Jeez, I know exactly where I am.'

"Because if you look at what he did in 2004, how lost are you? You were one of the dominating pitchers in the National League. So when you look at it from that perspective, it's different."

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