PG: A couple of times I've had late-night discussions with Mike Flannigan and Jim Palmer, who talk a lot about being in four-man rotations when they were pitching in the 70s, and that they both felt that the emphasis was not on stuff, it was surviving and getting out. They felt they were better and sharper pitching on three day's rest in four-man rotations. Would it be almost impossible today to put guys in four-man rotations?
CS: In the big leagues? Yeah, absolutely. If you evolve that way — and I think Theo and Mike speak to this more — but those college seasons these kids are coming out of are abusive schedules. The kids that they're talking about, these upper tier kids in the draft, get abused in college. And it's almost like this conundrum of college being 'win at all cost', and this $7-billion industry about protecting the player. You'd think it would almost be in reverse. But if you're brought up in the minor leagues pitching a specific way, and John had some exposure to that four-man rotation —
JF: Curt, how old do you think I am? [laughter]
CS: It's a credit to you!
JF: Thank you!
CF: — and if you put kids on the four-man rotation in the minor leagues it's something natural to them. But I don't think you're ever gonna see it again given the amount of dollars invested in the sport.
PG: Rich, when you were coming up through the Cubs system, did you feel that you were sort of moved around too much and not allowed to go out and throw 20 starts and just go out and pitch?
RICH HILL: Yeah, but I think the most comfortable I felt, when I got called up from Chicago and had a conversation with Jim Henry, who said 'we're going to give you the ball every fifth day, regardless.' And the year wasn't going that well when I came up — we were about halfway through the season and in last place. But knowing that, and gaining that confidence over time really helped, knowing that we want to go out there aggressive attack and have a good game plan of throwing strikes and being efficient, but at the same time as a young pitcher you knew you were going to get the ball five days later. As far as minor leagues, I felt that the coaching that was there and some of the people that were instrumental to my development were very important.
PG: One thing I'm really interested in, and Bob Tewksbury and Curt Schilling are great examples of this, I know all of you have been hurt at one time or another. Talk about the process coming back from injury. And part of that is, did you have problems convincing people that you really weren't hurt? Secondly, the process — how much do you have to go through when you're coming back from a shoulder operation?