“This is great,” Calvin said Wednesday. “The ball travels here. We didn’t know what the ball would do, but it’s gonna travel. The fans are gonna love it. Now all we got to do is learn how to catch it.”
Calvin may be smiling now. But Chicago White Sox pitcher Jerry Koosman said Calvin’s grin may collapse come negotiating time next year.
“Calvin’s going to have to pay out more money next year with all those home runs and ribbies,” Koosman said Wednesday before a practice game with the Toronto Blue Jays. “Of course he can take it away from the pitchers with the ERAs they’re going to have.”
The pitchers. Pity the poor pitchers.
It will be the job of pitching coach Johnny Podres to hold the shaking hands of the Twins pitchers. He’s the man who’s going to have to say, “Son, I know you don’t want to go out there and pitch, but you’ve got to. Don’t worry, you probably won’t be out there long.”
Podres, though, never has been the hand-holding sort. And ever since the Twins got their first look at the Dome, he’s had a bemused look on his face. In the flush of spring in Florida, his pitchers were cocky. They tended to be amused by the old Pod. Now they are looking to him for advice and friendship.
“Tell you what,” said Podres, “these guys are going to learn that they got to be low-ball pitchers. They’re also gonna have to learn that they can’t get discouraged. Earned-run average isn’t going to mean much in here. It’s wins and losses that count. They’re gonna have to learn that just because they give up three or four runs, they can’t give up. We might come back and get seven.”