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Colorado Rockies pitchers welcome a mentor in new manager Bud Black

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Rockies news and links for February 13, 2017.

What a game Bud Black pitched 24 years ago may say about how he’ll manage the Rockies | Denver Post

The game Nick Kosmider is referring to in this Post article took place on May 12, 1993. It was Black’s only start in Denver. He got off to a rough start and gave up a couple of runs in the first inning, but after Black escaped the first inning, he allowed just one more base runner through the eighth inning (a hit batsman). The lesson Black took from that game, which Kosmider relays here, says less about how he’ll manage than it does about his view of pitching at elevation.

“The trick is, if you’re a starting pitcher and you’re going to throw a hundred pitches, the goal is to throw a hundred good ones,” Black tells Kosmider. It’s another way of saying “play to your strengths and don’t let Coors Field get in your head.” It’s a sound lesson to bring. And, if Gray’s comments about his interactions with Black so far are any indication, it’s also a message that current starters welcome.

Ultimately and obviously, Black has to manage more than pitchers, so his connection with hurlers doesn’t really tell us much about how he’ll manage (though it’s a welcome bonus). His nine years managing in San Diego, however, offer up a lot of optimism, even if it’s not reflected in his win-loss record.

Baylor overcame obstacles off the field | MLB.com

Thomas Harding has an excellent interview with former Rockies manager Don Baylor. Baylor describes growing up in a segregated Austin, TX in the 1960s, and his experience being one of the first group of African American students to integrate his junior high and high school.

MLB whiffs yet again on resolving non-existent pace-of-play woes | Fan Rag Sports

Jonathan Bernhardt provides a smart analysis of Joe Torre’s terrible idea, to be tested in a couple Rookie leagues, of starting extra innings with a runner on second base. The piece concludes:

If MLB really wanted to grow its youth engagement, it’s been told repeatedly how to do that: Loosen up its draconian content restrictions online, let people post clips to YouTube and Twitter, and market the hell out of its young, talented, engaging stars. That’s the secret to the NBA’s success, inasmuch as there’s something there that MLB can adopt for its own. This pace-of-play stuff is a waste of time. The problem has never been the game itself. The problem’s been how it’s sold.

Amen.