Chat with Orel Hershiser
Hershiser joins Bobby Valentine and Dan Shulman as ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball crew.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, former MLB pitcher Orel Hershiser will stop by to chat about SUBWAY's Little League Appreciation Game and the MLB season.
Hershiser was a three-time All-Star (1987-89). The 1988 season was a career year, as he finished 23-8, setting an MLB record by throwing 59 consecutive scoreless innings. He won the Gold Glove, Cy Young, NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP en route to a World Series win.
The former long-time Dodger is helping the "SUBWAY Baseball DeSIGNS" tour which collects baseballs designed by Little Leaguers and autographed by celebrities to be auctioned off to benefit the Little League Urban Initiative. Celebrities that have autographed baseballs this year include the cast of "Glee," Katy Perry, Zac Efron, Ashley Greene, Blake Griffin, Michael Phelps, Ryan Howard, and Drew Brees, among others.
Send your questions now and join Hershiser Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:02 PM)
Orel is here!
Matthew (Columbia, NJ)
Orel, how much has Cole Hamels impressed you this year?
Orel Hershiser (2:04 PM)
Statistically, of course, he's impressed me. But the fact that he's healthy has brought the life back in his fastball. That gives him a bigger differential in his changeup. I think he was challenged when Roy Halladay, Oswalt and Lee are around him and give him the baton on his night to pitch. There have been guys on great staffs with great pitchers who haven't been able to keep up. But he has and is raising the bar.
How do u feel about the emotions these kids bring to the game. they really leave it all out on the field
Orel Hershiser (2:05 PM)
The youngsters, they not only love the game, but they have their emotions rolled up on their sleeves. They have yet to build the filters that you have as you get older, with the filters of your emotions and being protective of what you feel. That's what I love about Little League baseball. I don't think people lose that passion, they just lose the abilty to show it the way those guys do.
Don (Chino Hills, CA)
Hey Orel,Do you think anyone will break your scoreless streak record in the near future?
Orel Hershiser (2:06 PM)
I hope somebody breaks the record. I think someone should enjoy the things I got to enjoy. The notoriety. Seeing all of your hard work pay off. I think it's good for the sport, having records broken and chased. That doesn't mean it's easy. It just would be fun.
In general, what has the Pirates' pitching staff done to go from worst in the MLB to above average?
Orel Hershiser (2:08 PM)
Good pitching is not an unknown science. I think they've learned to attack the strike zone. Usually young pitchers and staffs have a tendency to avoid contact, because subconsciously they are intimidated. They don't have a lot of experience getting guys out. But they don't have to throw the perfect pitch. The reason you got to the big leagues is because you have fantastic ability. The basics still ring true. Getting ahead in the count. Performing under pressure. I think as a staff, they are starting to do that.
How excited are you to be working with Subway and LL?
Orel Hershiser (2:09 PM)
This is my third year working with Subway and Little League baseball. I had done withe LLWS longer than that. So when Subway came along to join it, it was an easy relationship. Go to SubwayKids.com to learn more about that relationship. You can learn about the Baseball Designs Tour.
do u think the cubs is still a contender in the NLC
Orel Hershiser (2:11 PM)
No. I thought Mike Quade did a great job early on with the injuries and keeping the team close to .500. But they're taking on so much water as far as their abilities on the field and the injuries that I think they'll have a hard time catching up. Not to say they won't be exciting to watch, because we'll have them on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball against the Yankees!
Steven (San Francisco)
What is your take on the current Dodger ownership situation?
Orel Hershiser (2:12 PM)
I think that the Dodgers are working to return to significance. Right now MLB has positioned an executive in there to help them. It's sad for L.A. and all of baseball to not have them be a significant, contributing part of the stories of baseball. I'm pulling for MLB to get the situation squared away.
Do you think that the Indians are on the decline or just a rough patch?
Orel Hershiser (2:13 PM)
I think they surprised everybody the way they started the season. They're coming down to earth as far as how you'd rate their ability on paper. Once you do something magical like they did early in the season, that kind of confidence can carry you through the year. But I don't think the rest of the season is a given. We're just going to have to watch.
Roannie (Chino, CA)
Why is Chad Billingsley so inconsistent?
Orel Hershiser (2:14 PM)
I don't think it's a mental issue. I think sometimes he just has a tough time repeating his mechanics. I've met him a few times and he seems like he has the drive and passion to be consistent, to be great. He just hasn't found the tools in his belt to stay consistent in his mechanics.
Orel Hershiser (2:14 PM)
The thing about the big league level is if the pitching coach has to come out to talk to you, it's probably too late. You have to be your own coach. He's still in the learning phase as far as that goes.
After Jeter who will be the next to reach 3000 hits?
Orel Hershiser (2:15 PM)
We'll see records set. We'll see 300-game winners. We'll see 3,000 hits. The single season home run record might be tough. Every generation of athlete and player get better than the last.
Always like to hear you on Sunday night baseball. What leads you to believe the Brewers are the class on the NL Central? They added two starters yes, but the Reds still have much deeper talented team top to bottom.
Orel Hershiser (2:17 PM)
I never came out to say the Brewers are the best team or class of the division. But I think that will be a hotly contested division. The Reds and Brewers have had to battle injuries. Offenses that are good, but often inconsistent. I think the division will be exciting to watch and come down to the wire. Even though the Brewers have a rookie manager, I think he brings a lot. I've always been a fan of Dusty Baker.
Orel Hershiser (2:18 PM)
Watch Sunday Night Baseball. Check out the Cubs-Yankees game. I love sitting next to Bobby Valentine. He's one of the smartest baseball people I've been around.
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