Transcript of Michael Pineda's Inner Dialogue

While interviewing Yankee righthander Michael Pineda following his third spring start, I notice a pint size angel and devil arguing over each of his shoulders, Looney Tunes – style. The following is a transcript of Michael Pineda’s angel-devil dialogue:

Angel Pineda: “OK now, Michael, I think you’ve had enough fun with your offspeed pitches. The fans are really starting to worry about your fastball velocity – they’re flooding Twitter with radar gun readings. And the New York press is having a field day. We both know you can bring the heat, Michael…why not give the people what they want the next time out?”

Devil Pineda: “Forget the fastball, Mike. From the day you were traded all the fans and the media could talk about was your changeup: changeup this, changeup that, Pineda can’t get out lefties, can’t pitch in Yankee Stadium in the AL East without a changeup. So what have you done so far? You’ve worked on the changeup. And how do the fans thank you? Do they compliment you on the nasty change you threw to strike out Bryce Harper? No, they bitch and moan about the fastball. Just do what you gotta do, man. Don’t bother with the haters.”

Angel: “Now, now, they’re not haters. They’re just hearing some disturbing reports about your velocity, and they’re a little concerned. How about airing it out a couple of times in your next start? Just a couple of 95’sand 96’s is all they ask, nothing more.”

Devil: “Oh I’m sorry, I thought this was spring training, not the March Annual Fastball Velocity Beauty Contest. Just look at what they were doing to poor Ivan Nova. He pitched his heart out for them last year, then after two mediocre spring training starts the fans and media were asking ‘what’s wrong with Nova?’ Lucky for him he shut down the Red Sox in his last start, or they would have been out for his blood. Don't these people understand what spring training is for?”

Angel: “Of course they understand. But you must understand, they gave up their baby, Jesus Montero for you. They had a lot invested in that kid. And they’ve been burned by young pitchers before. They suffered through the Phil Hughes Fastball Mystery last season, and they aren’t looking forward to the sequel. And let’s not forget, Michael, you did show up to camp overweight.”

Devil: “Ten #@&%ing pounds! Do these people have any idea how big you are? Ten pounds is nothing! Are these baseball fans or middle age housewives reading US Weekly? Seriously, all thee fans poring over spring training radar readings need to get a life.”

Angel: “Just remember, Michael, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Devil: “That first impression will come next month, when your blowing your fastball past hitters in games that actually count.

Angel: “Hmm…you might have a point there.”

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