Halama named Revs’ pitching coach

Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Andrew Ball, Butch Hobson, John Halama, Mark Mason, York Revolution

The York Revolution named John Halama the team’s next pitching coach on Wednesday morning.

Click here to read the full story.

Halama stats: Drafted by the Astros in the 23rd round in 1994, Halama went on to pitch for the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. His best big league season came in 2000 when he totaled 14 wins for the Mariners. In six seasons in the Atlantic League, the 6-foot, 5-inch left-hander went 41-29 with a 3.43 ERA in 93 career starts in six seasons. He earned an affiliated contract out of the Atlantic League three years in a row from 2008 to 2010. Last year, he finished fourth in the league in ERA (3.09), fifth in wins (13) and tenth in strikeouts (113). Click here to read about all of his career highlights.

Below are some quotes from conversations I had Tuesday night with related sources:

John Halama

John Halama, new Revs’ pitching coach:

—“It’s not that I can’t physically do it (play anymore). I just thought it was time to move on.”

—“Guys have always asked me questions. ‘What are you seeing while you’re out there pitching?’ I’ll give them my best opinon depending on what they’re asking for. It’s something I’ve been somewhat doing for awhile but without the pitching coach label on me. It’s one of those things where I want to be a part of the game. I really enjoy it. I think I can help out. It’s going to be a tough transition. The good thing about it is having Mason there. He’s been a pitching coach forever.”

—(On his ulimate goals in coaching) “I haven’t thought that far. I haven’t done my one year yet. I know that me personally I’ve always been a person that’s been open-minded. I never try to close every door because you never know when you might need to open it in the future.”

—(On player procurement) “I don’t know anything about that stuff. There’s a lot that I have to learn. It’s not like being at organized ball and making a call to the farm director and tell him that I need an arm. We don’t have that luxury in this league. You have your ten, eleven, twelve pitchers and you have to make due with everything and hopefully they don’t get hurt in that sense. It will be a learning experience. I’m gonna have to learn that, too, and talk to ‘Mace’ about that and find out if there’s anything.”

—(On losing to Long Island in Atlantic League Championship Series) “It is what it is. We played a great series. It was just one of those things where Long Island beat us. They beat us on a squeeze play and we wound up losing the game. They just did us better by one game. On paper we were the better team overall. When you’re playing in a championship series every little mistake adds up.”


Andrew Ball

Andrew Ball, Revs’ baseball operations manager:

—“I think pretty early on Mace (Revs’ pitching Mark Mason) liked him as the top candiate and I agreed with him. (Halama) is comfortable with Atlantic League. He knows the hitters and has ties to guys in Major League Baseball.”

—“We probably had conversations with 10 to 12 people (about the pitching coach job) but it was varying levels of interest. We seriously considered three to five of them.”

—“(Lancaster manager) Butch (Hobson) was pretty high on him. I think he told somebody if (Barnstormers’ pitching coach) Marty (Janzen) wasn’t there, he would’ve loved to have John in Lancaster. He thinks John is going to be an excellent pitching coach and Etch’ (former Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren) thinks the same thing.”

Butch Hobson

Lancaster manager Butch Hobson:

—“It’s a desire he’s (John’s) had. He’s always one of those guys talking to starting pitchers in the dugout. John is always communicating and is always talking about reading a hitters’ swing in certain situations. He’s a very smart man. He’s going to be great pitching coach.”

— “He’s a class act. He’s a hard worker. He’s a no-nonsense guy.”

—“He’ll do everything he can to make sure every pitcher that he works with has an opportunity to get back (to affiliated/big league ball). He’s been in the (Atlantic) League as a pitcher and got signed to go back (to affiliated ball).”

— “If Marty Janzen wasn’t my pitching coach I’d love to have John Halama. Marty has been with me for three years now.”

—“That last game in Long Island he came in and pitched the sixth and seventh (innings) for us. We were down 4-2. I gathered my guys and told them this is the last time this guy (Halama) is going to pitch, lets go out and try to win this game for him. I think that was a good time for him to go out there and help us win that ballgame. It didn’t turn out that way, obviously. But he did a heck of a job.”

Mark Mason

Revs manager Mark Mason:

—“First of all he brings a lot of knowledge and experience to the coaching staff. As a player he’s been to the highest level in baseball. He knows the (Atlantic League) and he has a great personality, which will allow him to be a really good coach because he knows how to interact with people. For me it was a really good fit for us and a good fit for him as far as trying to get his coaching career off the ground and to get it started.”

—“For me it wasn’t so much about coaching experience. He’s a guy that’s been around a long time. He has a lot of value in a lot of ways. John the person, for me, he has the perfect demeanor to be able to be a coach and be able to interact with the guys. He’s going to coach a lot of guys that have different styles of pitching than him. He’s very versatile as far as being able to talk to guys and see what makes them successful.”

—“I’m not asking John to be part of a player procurment at this point. Obviously if he has guys that he recommends we’re all about that. His focus will be to work with the players he brings in to camp. Just work with guys that are there. His job as a pitching coach is not player procurement. Player procurement is our job. We’re going to try and give him the best talent to work with. He’ll be able to work with anybody we bring in.”

—“He always knows he has me to go to to bounce some ideas off of. But I really want him to be able to say this is his pitching staff and work with those guys the best way he sees fit. I’m going to give him the reigns to that. If we need to talk about things then we’ll do that. I don’t want him to feel in any way confined because I was the pitching coach here the last three years.”

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