March 26, 2007

Billy Wagner On Speed - as in VELOCITY!!!!

Over at, they are featuring a series of articles about the need for speed in pitching. One of their articles happens to be written by the Mets' own, Billy Wagner, entitled "Velocity helps, but location is important, too." You can read this article by clicking on the title of this post.

On his velocity:

I think Larry Dierker had the best explanation for my fastball. He compared me to Nolan Ryan because of our big legs and strong wrists. The wrists allow you to just reach out there and really get a lot of spin on the ball. I think it's God-given. I don't want to psychoanalyze it and make it more than it is. It's just throwing a baseball. It's not curing cancer.


In my first year in Philadelphia, I threw my first two pitches 100 [mph]. Then my third one was 99, and the fans were booing. So that tells you more people are looking for the velocity than anything.

Those are the same Phillie fans who booed Santa Claus!

On Burgos:

There are guys like that in every camp. Ambiorix Burgos, who's here with the Mets, throws 103, but one minute it's over here and the next pitch is over there. He'll always have a job because people will say, "Wow, he throws hard. Let's see if we can change his mechanics and help him."

Finally, on how he'd like to be remembered:

My goal is to get to the Hall of Fame, but I can't define my career by strikeouts. I want it to be defined by people saying, "He threw hard, he located, and he led his team to the World Series." That's how you define your career."

The series began today, and you can check out the overview and the additional articles by clicking here. I believe this is in place of prior years' "Hot Stove Heaters" as hey are calling this "Heat Wave." Tuesday's feature is "Milestone Men"; Wednesday is "Construction Workers"; Thursday, their NL Preview; Friday, their AL Preview; Saturday, what I am looking forward to most, a series of articles entitled "After Jackie"; and, Sunday, staff Predictions. I'm sure this will be great reading, and we'll have some overviews of the top articles each day. Enjoy!

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