Chat with David Clyde
Moderator (2:53 PM)
David Clyde will be joining the room momentarily.. keep sending your questions.
David Clyde (3:01 PM)
I am here and ready to go!
Peter Gammons has mentioned that some Scouts will argue that if an 18 year old is throwing 95, he will only be throwing 85 by the time he is 23. Did you ever feel you lost some of your abilities from high school when you were in the major leagues? Do you still pick up a glove occasionally and throw? If so, how's your arm doing today?
David Clyde (3:02 PM)
I think I was throwing just as hard, so I would disagree with that statement. If you continue to mature and work hard, you will still throw hard. Throwing a baseball overhand is an unatural motion. So you will damage your arm no matter what.
David, I know you threw a fastball that reached the mid-90s, but did you throw a curve, or a slider as your breaking ball? And what kind of change-up did you throw?
David Clyde (3:03 PM)
When I first signed I was strictly fastball and curveball. I developed an OK changeup and also worked with the slider at times, when my curve ball wasn't working.
Rosco P. Coltrane
What is your take on the insane amounts of money that today's players are making?
David Clyde (3:04 PM)
Not the players fault. Players ask, the owners gave. The owners were convicted of colusion awhile back. They just waited too long to control the salaries. Now that the cat is out of the bag, it's hard to get it back in. But something needs to be done to bring it more in line with the rest of mainstream America.
matt (wilmington DE)
How did you handle the pressure of the other part of Major League Life, on the road, temptations to drink amoung other things especially for a kid just out of high school?
David Clyde (3:05 PM)
I don't really think I did anything different than any 18 year old away from home for the first time. It's all part of the maturing process. Mine was just done under the scrutiny of the media. But to answer your question, I handled it about as well as any 18 year old.
If could change your acent into the majors, what would you change?
David Clyde (3:06 PM)
As grateful as I am to the Rangers for giving me a chance to play, I would tell them not to draft me. From the simple fact that even in today's game, they have not had great success in developing young pitchers.
What do you think about how pitchers are being ejected by hitting a couple guys?
David Clyde (3:07 PM)
Well, there are a lot of things that come into play there! Hitting batters is part of the game. If the opposing team doesn't respect you or your teammates, it's one of the few ways you have to get their attention. But if you throw an inch inside, they think you are throwing at them.
Is there a particular pitcher today that you enjoy watching?
David Clyde (3:08 PM)
I enjoy watching Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Kerry Woods, Mark Prior, there are quite a few. Josh Beckett is from just down the road where I live. I like the guys who like to pitch inside.
Kevin: (Aurora, IL):
What was the toughest part of being an 18 year old in the major leagues?
David Clyde (3:09 PM)
Not having anyone to relate to. No one near my age that I could hang with.
What comes to your mind when i say" alfonso soriano"?
David Clyde (3:09 PM)
Some of the pitches he hits for HRs I can't believe. It's like he's hitting a 2 iron.
David, I think any team would be lucky to have you as a pitching coach. Have you been in any contact with teams, MLB or minors?
David Clyde (3:11 PM)
My desire is to get back in the game. I have made a major career move in the last 30 days. I have been teaching pitching to kids age 9 through college. I have worked with a handful that have gone on to the pros. I have made contact with the Rangers and they are to get back with me after the Draft. I have contacted Jackie Moore of the Astros. We have been playing telephone tag. I would love to get back in the game.
Trent from Ohio
What was the highlight of your Major League career? What is your best memory?
David Clyde (3:12 PM)
Of course my first game was a big highlight. But one of my most satisfying moments was a 4-hitter in my first start with the Indians. It was quite a thrill. Near to that would be pitching the second game of a DH around July 4 in front of 70,000 against Boston.
Clint (Atlanta, GA)
What career did you switch to after you left baseball in 1979?
David Clyde (3:13 PM)
I went into the lumber business. When I was recovering from my second shoulder operation, I got into that business and have enjoyed it for the last 20 years.
If you had been brought along correctly, how good could you have been? How confident were you in your ability to pitch in the majors?
David Clyde (3:14 PM)
When I was 18, I was VERY confident. Everyone has 20/20 hindsight but who knows. The sky could have been the limit. I couldn't duplicate my high school success at the ML level but who knows.
Whats your favorite baseball park? I love wrigley.
David Clyde (3:15 PM)
Fenway. What an awesome place to play. I never won a ballgame there. I pitched there my rookie year. Tommy Harper took me deep and I lost 2-1. I got a standing ovation though and that meant a lot. It's a great place to play .. knowledgable fans who respect the opposition and respect good play by both teams.
Alice (Charlotte, NC)
How did you celebrate your first MLB victory?
David Clyde (3:16 PM)
Well, probably an hour and a half talking to reporters. I spent another hour signing autographs. Then I found my family and had a nice dinner. Actually it was probably breakfast!
Do you think there will be another 300 game winner after maddux and glavine? maybe Prior?
David Clyde (3:17 PM)
Whew! I really don't know. 300 is such an accomplishment. Thats 15 wins a year for 20 years. How many guys can go that longer anymore with the specialization? I'm sure we will but it will be quite some time.
Jeff ( Atlantic City, NJ)
Do you think the kids coming out these days get enough coaching in handling the off the field pressures?
David Clyde (3:19 PM)
I think a lot of that is done at the minor league level. Even when I was playing. But how often do you have an 18 year old in the majors? They tend to protect them a little more these days. But I think there is more mentoring going on, esp. considering how much money they are paying them. There is more at stake these days.
Was it easier to pick up chicks once they knew you were a professional athlete?
David Clyde (3:21 PM)
(Laughing) They are out there! I don't know if it was any easier though! The opportunity is there, it's just whether you decide to lead a certain type of life I guess.
Kevin: (Aurora, IL):
Who is the toughest batter you faced in your major league career?
David Clyde (3:22 PM)
There were a few! I can't remember for sure if he owned me, but Roy White was a tough out. I could get him 0-2 real quick, but he would still be in the box 15 pitches later. We had some epic battles.
What is your opinion about players and storoids? please answer
David Clyde (3:23 PM)
I can't say that I ever saw them in my day. That was 30 years ago. Wasn't really an issue then. I feel very strongly that a player really should avoid them at all costs. No. 1, it's not fair to your competitiors and No. 2, they are very bad for your body. But people also have to understand, it is whether you win or lose at that level. It's not about how you play the game anymore. I guess it goes hand in hand with corking the bat and scuffing the baseball.
David Z (Minneapolis, MN)
Do you harbor any bitterness at former Rangers owner Bob Short for rushing you to the big leagues and stunting your growth?
David Clyde (3:24 PM)
Not at all. Sure, I could be bitter, but why look back when the rest of my life is ahead? Why harbor bitterness about something you can't change? Even though my career turned into a nightmare, how many people get to live their dream?
Art Knapp, Dexter, NY
Dave, You won 18 more games in the majors than 250 million others in the USA. Be proud of your efforts, the true measure of success is attitude and effort, not the results.
David Clyde (3:26 PM)
Thank you! That is pretty much how I view it. My record was mediocre but for whatever reason, I am treated very wonderfully by the fans. I still get fanmail.
Did you ever scuff the ball?
David Clyde (3:28 PM)
I never did, on purpose! If we got one scuffed, we sure didn't give it back! I was pitching in Baltimore one time in '78, I'd walked 5 or 6 by the fifth, the ball was going everywhere. When I picked up the ball to go out in the 6th, I noticed three cuts in the ball. I didn't say anything. I asked for a new ball each inning and never walked another guy. Scuffing a ball makes it do some mighty funny things. The ball moves in the opposite direction of the scuff. If the scuff is on top, it will sink. My dad taught me to never throw back a scuffed ball!
I grew up in Cleveland and I remember clearly when you pitched for the Tribe...I seem to remember that you had some success there. Any personal memories of the Tribe that come to mind?
David Clyde (3:30 PM)
Well, we were the predecessor to the movie Major League! We were not very good. My oldest son was born in Cleveland. I contracted to build a home there but never got to move in. I have wonderful memories of my time there. We had about 6,000 great fans! If we were winning it sounded like 60,000.
Kevin: (Aurora, IL):
Do people still look at you as an ex-big leaguer or are you pretty much a normal Joe now?
David Clyde (3:31 PM)
There are a lot of people who know who I am or what I was, but for the most part I have always wanted to be a normal Joe.
David Clyde (3:31 PM)
It is nice to be remembered for what I have done in the past.
Zach (Houston, Texas)
Was there a team tha you would have rather played for than Texas?
David Clyde (3:32 PM)
I was a Dodger fan growing up because my idol, Sandy Koufax, played for them. I was an A's fan also from their time in Kansas City, where I was born.
David, I remember playing with your son in little league and you were always there coaching, etc. How does your son and family react to and how are they influenced by your history?
David Clyde (3:33 PM)
As I told my kids, if they want to play ball, great. If they don't, that's great too. Don't let what I do, influence you. That's what I tell them.
If you are scouting,and you are looking for a pitcher,What is the first think you see from this guy?
David Clyde (3:36 PM)
The first thing is speed. Velocity. Because that is a god given talent that no one can teach. Second thing is movement. Doesn't matter how hard you throw, if it doesn't move, they will catch up. Lastly, mound presence. Do they exude confidence? Do they act like they have command of the game or does the game have command of them? As a pitcher, you can control the game.
David, Did you have any superstitions as a ball player? Any routines you had to do before pitching?
David Clyde (3:37 PM)
I don't know that I did. I didn't step on the white line as I went out to the mound.
Ryan (Floral Park, NY)
Do you think the players in your day could match up to today's modern players, in regards to all the advancements in conditioning and weight lifting?
David Clyde (3:38 PM)
I think so. The game isn't that much different than it was 100 years ago. The stars of yesterday would be stars of today using that technology.
whats your favorite pitch?
David Clyde (3:39 PM)
Whats the toughest pitch to hit for you?
David Clyde (3:40 PM)
Like I told my boys, I can find your weakness but as far as being able to fix it, forget it! I wasn't a very good hitter.
Kevin: (Aurora, IL):
My younger brother is a stud high-school pitcher. I am trying to convince him to go to college first and not turn professional just yet. Any advice I could pass along to him?
David Clyde (3:41 PM)
No. 1, it will depend on just how good he is. Where will he go in the draft? $1 million buys a lot of education. The other things is I don't know if I would want to face aluminum bats for another 4 years. If he really has a desire to play pro ball and the money is correct, I would go for it. You never know when he will get hurt. Esp. as a pitcher, it could happen at any time.
Dan (Huntington, NY)
As a pitcher, do you feel that speed is more important than accuracy, or the other way around?
David Clyde (3:43 PM)
As a hitter, you are looking for location first, ball or strike. I think location takes precedence. That being said, velocity is very important to the equation. A guy that throws 85 down the middle will probably get hit. If he throws 95, he can probably get away with it. The more velocity, the more mistakes you can get away with.
Whats your take on the hitters nowadays?..seems in the 60's,70's and 80's it was considered a major accomplishment to hit 40 home runs a year...now 60 to 70 is expected by some....too much expansion?
David Clyde (3:46 PM)
Hard to say. Expansion has something to do with it. The new ballparks also. I know baseball won't admit to it, but I think the balls are juiced. I also think today's hitters are more aggressive in how they approach the game. There is no fear the pitcher will come inside.
Josh (Richmond, VA)
Thanks for your time during the chat. I've always been interested in the stories of the number one draft picks. I am curious as to how you moved on after your career. Did it take you a while to move away from the game? And how did you make that transition to life after baseball? Thanks again.
David Clyde (3:47 PM)
No. I am the type of person, once I make a decision, I don't look back. It just hit me one morning that I didn't want to do it anymore. I walked away on my own terms and no looking back. Now I'm getting down on my hands and knees to come back.
The first time you stepped on a Major League mound at the age of 18, did you feel like you belonged there?
David Clyde (3:50 PM)
At that time, yes. I had been on such a roll of success before that, I didn't expect to fail at anything. But as we moved down the road the following year, it became a question of whether I belonged.
What was the meanest thing a pitching or manager told you once on the mount? (tell us at least some,please)and why
David Clyde (3:52 PM)
Billy Martin told me one time I had quit and that pissed me off. I may not be succeeding but I never quit.
will nashville tn
do you marvel at the advances in the abillity of doctors to heal pitcher's arms of practically any injury and wonder if that could have prolonged your career?
David Clyde (3:52 PM)
Well, I'm a walking medical miracle myself. I had two shoulder surgeries back when it wasn't the science it is today. Science never fails to amaze me.
What do you think of a pitcher like Jaime Moyer? Do you think because a pitcher doesn't throw hard, he won't be as feared?
David Clyde (3:54 PM)
Not really. If you are allowed to pitch inside, the hitters will respect you.
Joshua Pederson Houston, Tx
Mr. Clyde I was on your little league team from Tomball when we went to Waco. I just want to say that was one of the best summers of my life and that you tought me an incredible amount of baseball that summer. You could not have been a better coach and mentor. Thanks again Josh
David Clyde (3:55 PM)
I appreciate that Joshua. I try to teach the game the way the big leaguers play. Why have to relearn the game everytime you step up to a bigger field? I have been successful with young kids but what I teach is not rocket science. I teach that hard work pays off with just rewards.
Which pitching coach helped you the most during your time in the majors?
David Clyde (3:57 PM)
The first one was my manager Jeff Torborg. Then the pitching coach Dave Duncan. I got a lot from both of those fellas.
Bart (Hartford CT)
why can teenagers succeed in NBA but not in MLB ?
David Clyde (3:59 PM)
At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think it's a result of what happened to me. I think people now have a mentor on hand to help them understand what real life is all about. No matter how prepared you are, you are not prepared for being on your own. The one gratifying thing I keep getting out of my career, I hear people say we aren't going to let happen to him what happened to David. People are taking steps to make sure someone is there to take care of them.
David Clyde (4:00 PM)
Thanks to everyone for writing in. I really appreciate all your supportive comments and great questions. I hope we can do this again sometime!
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