May 2009

A Special Bond

The other day while taking batting practice, I was shagging in the outfield and was discussing with one of our catchers about the importance of the pitcher/catcher relationship.  We talked about how “under the radar” and how little it is talked about in baseball, but at the same time, how this under-appreciated relationship can pretty much determine how well, or vice versa, a pitcher will throw.  Personally, I am a firm believer that a pitcher is, for the most part, only as good as their catcher.  The ability for a pitcher to trust in what pitch their catcher want them (the pitcher) to throw, is one of the most interesting as well as underrated aspects of all of baseball.  While the pitcher ultimately controls what pitch will be thrown, the catcher plays an enormously important part.  It plays out almost like if a pitcher were driving the car, but the catcher was in the passenger seat giving directions.  Both work hand in hand to reach the ultimate goal.  So while talking with my catcher, I asked him if he would like to be a guest blogger on “Kopper’s Kaos”.  So without futher adu, our catcher from the Palm Beach Cardinals, Nick Derba. 


Hello readers. Let me begin by commending Kopper on the excellent job he has done with this blog. I have been a pretty avid follower of it myself and I look forward to reading his entries. The relationship between pitchers and catchers is probably the closest working relationship in all of sports. There aren’t any other positions in all of sports that depend on each other more than that of the sacred battery. Without a strong performance from a pitcher a catcher is nothing. As a defensive catcher I take pride in great pitching perfomances because it is my job to help these guys get through games with their worst stuff. I say worst stuff because when a pitchers is on he will beat hitters the vast majority of the time. Our work together goes way beyond the game. My practice is his practice. Catchers are the guys taking their (pitchers)bullpens day in and day out.That is where I get to know the individual pitcher. Not only do we as catchers deal help out with the mechanics of the staff but we act as the on-field pitching staff psychologist. I am learning with the help of our pitching coach and legend, Dennis Martinez, how to push pitchers buttons in order to make them work better. All in all, a team is only as good as their pitching staff. There is a reason why the best hitters in baseball fail 7 out of 10 times. Thanks for your time. I hope to get another invitation to blog. If anybody has any questions for me I would be more than happy to come back on and respond. Happy reading.


Looking forward to hearing comments and I will be posting again soon.  Thanks. Kopper