One of the greatest.
The following is a guest post by Clam Simmons, a librarian living in New England. Clam is not my pen name or persona. Clam is clam, a venerable Royals historian of the old school. Clam is on twitter @orangehunchback. He recently contacted me about writing a series of pieces about the 1994 Royals. These are their stories.
The last century was loaded with explorers and scientists: Nicola Tesla, hunter/gatherer/ of electricity/lightning, George Washington Carver, pioneer and innovator of peanut technologies, Jane Goodall, champion of primates and family interactions among chimps, and Royals Legend Dr. Kevin Appier, lead investigator of pitching mechanics at the Stan Belinda Center for Empirical Baseball Research.
I recently had the chance to speak to Dr. Appier. He made me promise I would not divulge any information about our meeting. He said if I wanted paper confirmation to verify our conversation I would remain completely silent. I went a step further. I had my estranged girlfriend Debra hypnotize me and erase all of my memories of my meeting with Dr. Appier. I still remember the part where we fed the carp the dog food but for two weeks it was like the meeting never happened.
Then, suddenly, two days ago, I got a large cardboard box in the mail. Per the custom, I opened it. It contained thousands of files from Dr. Appier's work at the Stan Belinda Center. Everything came flooding back. I don't have the time or the manpower to summarize all of the documents so I concentrated on Dr. Appier's pitching mechanics experiments from 1994. Here are Dr. Appier's findings from that year.
A-Series Tests: Footwear, Significance as a Variable
It is harder to pitch in rattlesnake boots than flip-flops. Never pitch a curveball in snowshoes. Barefoot is preferable due to toenail grip.
B-Series Tests: Diet, Handling Fluctuations of Quantity and Quality
Chico Lind's horsemeat pies increase stamina but may be laced with cocaine(currently illegal). Bruce Kison's all "liquid" diet-disastrous. Bran is preferable.
C-Series Tests: Sleep, Deprivations and Rhythms
After one sleepless night retain ability to throw a solid 2-3 innings IF I remember to meditate on David Howard. Three nights of sleeplessness created fearful hallucinations of Albert Belle Death Squad. Six hours uninterrupted sleep in dugout preferable (sans Kison!)
F-Series Tests: Three Fingers Brown Experiment
Tried pitching with only three fingers. (Did not sever digits.) Used industrial strength adhesive on my digits. Hard to get off. Five fingers optimal for grip, movement, heat, self esteem etc...
H-Series Tests: Hair, fashion, accessories.
Pitching with Darth Vader mask great for intimidation. Pitfall: efficacy nullified by poor ventilation. Wanted haircut like guy from Metallica but Mark Gubicza cut my hair TOO short. Wore undersized jersey, pants, lowered my drag coefficient but hindered my circulation in the diodes.
Running on the treadmill, wind sprints, stretching are all completely inert tactics. It is preferable to wiggle my arms and legs for ten minutes before first pitch. All wiggles, no stretches.