Player's eye colour on scout's watch list

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:22 AM ET

ST. LOUIS - We thought we’d heard all the scouting guidelines veteran amateur scouts tell rookies: Stay away from right-handed pitchers under six feet.

Size doesn’t matter when looking at a lefty.

Size matters, look at any major-league roster.

Shoe size is important: Bigger the shoes on a teenager, bigger the man.

Be careful drafting a red head.

You need more patience with a tell lefty than any other position.

If two players are similar, one shaves and one doesn’t, take the one who doesn’t need the Gillette blades — he hasn’t stopped growing.

Yet this week when addressing his foibles as hitting in the day time, the Texas Rangers’ blue-eyed outfielder Josh Hamilton explained that it’s a known fact that people with brown eyes hit better.

What?

We’ve never heard anything so silly.

“I’ve heard that lots of times from older scouts,” said a veteran evaluator in his mid 60s. “It has to do with sun and the glare. Are there any statistical facts to back it up? None that I know of, but older guys told me when I started scouting.

“It was like: ‘Stay away from guys wearing contacts.’ Scouts would say wind and the dust bothers hitters. But I think John Olerud wore contacts. He did OK.”

Hitting a dismal .122 under natural sunlight and .374 under artificial lights, Hamilton explained to ESPN Dallas radio: “I ask guys all the time. Guys with blue eyes, brown eyes, whatever ... guys with blue eyes have a tough time (in the day).”

Dr. Richard L. Ison, an optometrist in Murphy, Tex., says it’s true that having blue eyes makes it tougher to see during the day than those with darker eyes due to the lack of pigment in lighter colour eyes (blue or green vs. brown eyes).

Jays manager John Farrell has heard of the “old scout’s” theory, while blue-eyed Adam Lind had not.

“Doesn’t bother me hitting in the day time, I know I have to squint, but I have no idea what my numbers are,” said Lind, who does not wear sun glasses during day games.

Lind is hitting .282 in day games, .345 at night.

What about a day game at the Rogers Centre with the roof closed? It would be a 1:07 start time on the schedule, but it would be played under artificial light.

Blue-eyed Jason Bay of the New York Mets told the New York Times that’s why he wears sun glasses as he always found himself squinting in Florida.

Now, we know why Willie Nelson sang Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.

Molinas on Molina

With 2/3 of the catching Molina brothers in town, it was time for a comparison as we asked Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals and Jose Molina of the Blue Jays who was the best at certain aspects of the game as teenagers.

Bengie Molina is at home, possibly retired, maybe ready to play the final half of the season.

Yadier’s picks:

Best arm: Jose; best bat: Bengie; best at blocking balls in the dirt: Jose.

Jose’s picks:

Best arm: Yadier; best bat: Bengie; best at blocking balls: Yadier.

Like Hockey Night in Canada when they’d ask Maurice (Rocket) Richard who he thought would score in overtime: “My brother.”

Yoshi, Luigi

As a Jay lefty Brian Tallet started some, relieved some and two springs ago was the champion Mario Kart player of the Jays clubhouse. He had beat Lind, Travis Snider and Josh Roenicke in tournament play.

“I was always ahead of Snider and Roenicke,” Lind said.

Is he the champ of the Cards clubhouse?

“Naw, no one here plays, it’s a tough game,” Tallet said.

Managerial chairs

Unless Jim Riggleman has a contract in his back pocket to manage somewhere else next season — which we seriously doubt — he likely has managed his final game in the majors. Riggleman walked away from the Washington Nationals, winners of 11 of their previous 12, when general manager Mike Rizzo refused to have a meeting with him to discuss picking up his option for 2012. It’s the GM’s job to keep the waters calm around his club. By refusing to even meet with Riggleman, the Nats GM should take more blame in this than the manager. It’s awfully difficult for a manager to have any kind of leverage, power or respect when he’s in the final year of his contract, never mind the final three months. In other words they’re both to blame for this mess ... The love affair between Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Ozzie Guillen began with the Montreal Expos when Guillen served as a coach in 2002, continued in 2003 with the World Series champion Marlins and is on hold — for the moment. Loria would love to have White Sox manager Guillen, the first Latin American to ever win a World Series with the 2005 Sox, manage his Marlins when they move open their new park next season. The White Sox did pick up Guillen’s option for 2012. However, the rumours about the Marlins talking about making a trade for the right to talk to Guillen are true.

Briefly

Colorado Rockies’ Jason Hammel balked home what proved to be the winning run in a 4-3 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday. He stopped in the middle of his wind up. What happened? He said he forgot what pitch he was throwing ... Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter shielded third base coach John Russell when the O’s visited PNC Park. Willie Randolph coached third rather than Russell, the former Bucs manager. Showalter’s reasons were that Russell’s knees have been bothering him and he wanted Russell in the dugout because he was familiar with the Bucs hitters. Likely he didn’t want to subject Russell to being jeered by fans after he went 186-299 in three seasons.

Doc's ready for return to T.O.

Roy Halladay says he’s past the awkward stage.

Like the spring of 2010 at Clearwater when the former Blue Jays Cy Young winner faced his old team for the first time.

He’s coming to the Rogers Centre next weekend and the other night in St. Louis he downplayed how difficult this start will be.

“It’s been long enough, it’s not fresh,” said Halladay, traded Dec. 19, 2009 for Kyle Drabek (17.36 ERA after two starts at triple-A Las Vegas), Travis d’Arnaud (.294, seven homers, 21 RBIs) and Brett Wallace, flipped for Anthony Gose (.244, five homers, 30 RBIs, 32 steals) at double-A New Hampshire.

“I don’t feel like I was just there, I’ve faced Lyle Overbay (with the Pittsburgh Pirates) a couple of times,” Halladay said when asked about staring down old pals.

He’s unsure if he’ll pitch next Friday or Saturday. The Phillies lost Roy Oswalt on Thursday due to a back injury and with Monday an off day, the Phillies are unsure if they’ll skip rookie Vance Worley and his bad Mohawk on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox.

“That hair style hasn’t caught on yet,” Halladay said.

Halladay won’t be honoured as was planned last summer when the G20 shifted the series to Philadelphia.

He visited manager last year Cito Gaston. Gaston presented him a Jays 15-year ring and tie pin, now at home in his “safe box.”

Halladay is 9-3 with a 2.51 ERA in 16 starts, fanning 119 in 118 1/3 innings.

Former Jays forever linked

Ted Tanny was in the bowels of Busch Stadium wearing a white Blue Jays jersey Thursday night.

He, or rather his cart, was half-loaded as he waited for the clubhouse attendants to bring out trunks.

Why are you wearing that jersey, are you a Jays fan?

“No, it’s because of my favorite player,” he said and turned to show “Carpenter” on the back. Tanny of nearby Alton, Ill. said he bought the jersey online and has never met the Cardinals starter.

I asked Tanny to stay right there facing the hallway.

About a minute later, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee came along headed for the Phillies bus.

Check this out, I said to Halladay and he smiled seeing the BLUE JAYS in blue stitching.

Tanny turned to show the name on the back of the jersey and Halladay chuckled.

Chris Carpenter smiled when told the story.

“We didn’t see each other this time in, he pitched the first night, I pitched the final game, we did text a lot,” said Carpenter, the two linked forever as former No. 1 Jays picks.

“Last year he brought his wife and kids, they stayed with us when Philly came in.”

My best day

John Schuerholz

President, Atlanta Braves

Oct. 27, 1985

After being down 3-1 to the Blue Jays in the ALCS and 3-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, the Kansas City Royals came back to win Game 7 11-0.

“I was standing there as the proud, young GM standing in the midst of an unbridled, joyous celebration of the first championship of the expansion Royals,” Schuerholz said. “Champagne soaking my head and clothing, burning my eyes, forever changing the smell of that locker room, I accepted that trophy on behalf of the entire organization. That long journey we’d begun 17 years earlier culminated with this ultimate achievement.”

Proving once again baseball is a game of fathers and son, Schuerholz thought of his.

“My dad was still alive then and thinking of him, his life and accomplishments in sports, the impact he’d had on me and the pride I knew he’d feel, champagne in my eyes quickly mixed with heartfelt tears,” he said. “In January of 1966 when I stepped into the Baltimore Orioles office on my first day working, I was certain this was where I was meant to be. Standing in the middle of that Royals clubhouse, clutching the World Series trophy, I KNEW this was where I was meant to be. Today I have no doubt.”

Pizarro was a light's out pitcher

We read Juan Pizarro’s name the other day and it reminded us of a good minor-league story.

Los Angeles Angels’ Joel Pineiro joined Jaime Navarro, Javier Vazquez and Pizzaro as the only Puerto Rican-born pitchers to record 100 wins in the majors.

Lefty Pizarro, who broke in with the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, began 1970 with triple-A Hawaii under manager Chuck Tanner. After going 9-0 his contract was sold to the California Angels.

“I forget what his contract was sold for, but the owner gave me this huge diamond ring,” said Tanner, who was managing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the early 1980s. “He was nasty, but it helped when we turned down the lights a little when the other team was hitting. They never noticed, they could barely see his fastball in day games.”

It's an old man's game

Five times has Jack McKeon has replaced another manager in mid-season. This is his second stint with the Florida Marlins. In 2003, he picked up the reins and led the Fish to an improbable World Series. McKeon took over at 80 years, 209 days of age. The top 10 oldest replacement managers in years and days:

Year, Team, Replacement Manager, Age

2011, Marlins, Jack McKeon, 80.209

2003, Marlins, McKeon, 72.169

1999, Yankees, Don Zimmer, 68.078

1960, Red Sox, Del Baker, 68.036

1990, Cardinals, Red Schoendienst, 67.154

1972, Astros, Leo Durocher, 67.031

1965, Tigers, Chuck Dressen, 66.253

1997, Reds, Jack McKeon, 66.244

1960, Giants, Tom Sheehan, 66.079

1963, Tigers, Dressen, 64.271


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