San Diego Padres: FoB Sits Down With Friars HOF’er Randy Jones

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12: Former San Diego Padre Randy Jones (R) greets Wil Myers
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12: Former San Diego Padre Randy Jones (R) greets Wil Myers /
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SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Former San Diego Padre Randy Jones (R) greets Wil Myers /

FoB Interview with San Diego Padres legend Randy Jones

The San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies completed a 9-inning game in 1977 in 89 minutes. That will likely never happen again, but do you think the recent changes MLB made to pace-of-play are going to make much of a difference?

RJ: No, I don’t think they’ll make any difference whatsoever. The biggest difference you have today is that most pitchers aren’t geared to go late into ballgames. Teams have a 7th-inning guy, an 8th-inning guy, and then a closer.

In that game, the Phillies pulled Jim Kaat after the 7th. If they would have kept him in we could have finished the game in an hour and fifteen minutes I bet (laughs).

You both worked very, very quick, right? 

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RJ: Oh yeah, really quick. It was phenomenal to watch. Everybody jokes that Jim Kaat had tickets to a concert that night at San Diego Stadium. He got there in plenty of time.

You are a coach to young ballplayers. What’s the mantra you try to preach to them?

RJ: The first thing I teach them is that the best pitch in baseball is a strike. I remind them that a .300 hitter fails seven-out-of-ten times. The batter is going to get himself out most of the time, so just throw strikes.

Also, with young kids that are just starting in the game and have a passion for the game, I remind them the only way you’ll ever get good at anything, baseball included, is to fail.

That’s the biggest part of learning the game. Make a mistake, learn from it, and improve. That’s how we get better, by handling failure.

Once you understand what failure in baseball, it leads you to a whole other perspective. You can kick the dirt and get mad if you want.

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But the key is to learn and move on. You’re gonna fail in baseball. You gotta understand what it means, and as long as you get better, you keep moving on. If you can’t understand it, go play soccer or something (laughs).