Marty Noble at Mets.com writes about Brian Schneider and how he intends to learn his new pitcher’s pitching preferences:
Schneider served as Santana's catcher for the first time. As the man in charge, he gave the Mets ace his orders: Defy me. Not in so many words, perhaps, but before Santana began his four-inning workday against the Red Sox, Schneider told him, "Shake me off as much as you can."
It is Schneider's considered opinion that the best way to learn the tendencies and preferences of his new pitchers is to let them run the game. The more veteran starters -- Santana, Martinez and El Duque -- are going to be ultimately responsible for choice of pitches anyway. So, in the way Schneider suggested, he'll come to understand how they approach some hitters and circumstances and once the season begins and he is putting down fingers to alert the position players and to make sure he and he pitcher are in agreement, there will be more agreement.
Note From David: THIS is why the acquisition of Schneider was SO important this off-season!!! Schneider is the best defensive catcher, in his prime, that we've had going all the way back to Jerry Grote! Schneider's ability to bring Johan Santana up to speed on the NL hitters, as well as keeping Perez and Maines' focus during the game makes up for the loss of Lastings Milledge. Ryan Church, though a great pick-up himself, was secondary in this deal, one which Omar must have known about the day he decided to rescind his offer to Torrealba (Rockies catcher). Schneider is one of the 2-3 best at calling a game, has plenty of "time in" at his position to know the entire NL by now, and has forged quick bonds with his pitching staff. The Mets are playing to win this year, right now, which is why they made this deal; Schneider makes a difference every day that he is out there, and his bat is far secondary to what he brings to the table defensively each and every day.