In the Philadelphia Phillies seemingly never-ending quest to hire a pitching coach, one of the interview questions probably wasn’t the grammatically incorrect, “What you talkin’ about, Willis?,” but it could have been.
That’s because the Phillies reportedly interviewed Seattle Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis over the weekend, after striking out on top target Roger McDowell and a series of lesser names. While Willis has an impressive resume, the thought here has been that the team has the right town, wrong neighborhood.
Former Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, originally from the Philadelphia suburb of Souderton, has maintained a home in Seattle for many years, and would be the perfect choice to succeed the fired Rich Dubee as leader of the staff, because there has been no pitcher more respected by his peers than Moyer. When he was a pitcher with a 16-7 record for the 2008 Phillies as a 45 year old, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and others gathered around Moyer in the outfield prior to almost every game, and Moyer could be seen holding court, gripping a baseball, and showing those two how he did things.
In return, both Lee and Hamels gave Moyer a lot of credit for outstanding seasons in leading the Phillies to the World Championship. Moyer was the pitching guru on the team that year, not Dubee, who was pitching coach in name only. Phils’ pitchers, even good ones, will listen to Moyer, so who knows how much he can help the impressionable younger members of the staff.
Willis might be a nice choice, but Moyer would be a better one.
Mike Gibson, an Associated Press Sports Editors’ Association and Keystone Press Association award-winner for Best Sports Story and Best Sports Feature, is a Phillies writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.