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Message #6399 of 6634  *NEW*
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From:  
Rob Reed  
Subject:  Tom Verducci looks at why fan interest in the game of baseball is declining
Date:  5/05/10, 07:43am
graphic
From the article:

"The cutter has a lot to do with it," said Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long.

Indeed, what the splitter was in the 1980s and the changeup in the 1990s, the cut fastball has become in the 2000s and into this decade. As with pop music, football and junior high fashion, baseball has its own copycat culture, and in the case of pitching, so it is true when it comes to the influence of the best pitchers. Just as pitchers followed Jack Morris, Bruce Sutter and Mike Scott with the splitter, and then Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine with the changeup, today's pitchers want to copy Roy Halladay and Mariano Rivera, the masters of the cut fastball. Dan Haren, John Danks, Scott Feldman, Phil Hughes, Jon Garland, Cole Hamels, Josh Beckett and Clayton Richard are just a few of the pitchers who in recent years have added the cutter.

"Just about everybody is throwing a cutter now," Long said. "But not everybody can command it. A lot of guys have a hard time controlling the location and break on it. And I think that's why you're seeing more walks."

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