Pirates Pitching Coach Searage Draws The Line For Charlie Morton


We have no idea what Charlie Morton

said to Ray Searage in the bullpen before the Pittsburgh Pirates took on the Tampa Rays. Does it matter? Listen to the video that Colin Dunlap took of Morton after the game. We are used to seeing and hearing Charlie Morton be interviewed.

In most of the post game interviews Morton seems to be lip biting analytical. In several of his interviews with Rocco DeMaro last season it was the same thing. One can only imagine what happened in his brain when he watched all that video. Really, video?

It appears to us that Ray Searage listens. We have watched Searage since he came to Pittsburgh, but much more closely over the past two days. Most of the time he is listening and observing. He certainly listened to Charlie Morton as he began to warm up in the bullpen before the game against the Rays yesterday. Watch how Searage reacts to Morton in our amateur pictures and video below.

Now what the hell was Searage doing?   We got the feeling that maybe homeplate appeared a little bit out of line with the pitching rubber. Perhaps a silly game by the Rays or something trivial. But it doesn’t really matter. Searage heard what Morton said.  Then he fixed the concern.

Maybe it’s that simple to figuring out Charlie Morton. Listen and act. Don’t tell. Require Morton to do one thing–pitch effectively.

Since Morton has been under the coaching of Searage he has pitched better.   Yesterday he faced six good Tampa hitters.  He had his good sinker, his electric stuff.   He went inside on hitters, especially Evan Longoria.

Morton got two double play balls from the stretch.  Remember Morton from the stretch last season?

Not too many people have been able to solve Morton.  He’s had some harsh labels.  But maybe that’s the problem, why try to figure him out?  He has the stuff.  He needs to figure it out, it can’t be done for him.  And if Morton has questions, he needs someone to draw some lines for him, listen to him, hell, just answers his questions.

It’s not like Morton is a diva.  He’s insanely likeable.  Check it out….minutes before he ran to the mound at Charlotte Sports Park, Charlie listened to the Pirates fans we met up with at the game. We were on the Boardwalk above the bullpen and Keith and Flip wished Charlie good luck.  He was about to step on that bullpen mound in a matter of thirty seconds.  But it didn’t matter.

Charlie looked up, made direct eye contact and asked “how are you guys doing?”  He didn’t just look away either, he waited for the guys to reply.

It was a bunch of little moments in a silly fake baseball Spring Training game. But let’s remember one big thing, the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates season will be a long one. For it to resemble anything positive, it will certainly need Charlie Morton to be effective.

And yesterday, all two innings of it, got off to a damn good start for Charlie Morton.

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