Tireless Work Ethic Defines A's New Pitching Coordinator
OAKLAND—When farm director Keith Lieppman talks about his new pitching
coordinator, the words "energy" and "enthusiasm" are a big part of the
"He's got a boundless amount of energy. He never tires from instructing
the game," Lieppman said of Scott Emerson, 40, whom he named as the new
mound leader for the Athletics. Emerson replaces Gil Patterson, who
moved to the Yankees to take the position as director of pitching.
"When I called (Emerson) to ask him if he wanted to be pitching
coordinator, he said he had been putting things together for 13 years,
because he had a vision of how he wanted to do the job," Lieppman said.
"He is tireless. On any given day, I could call him and he would be
working on something. It might be in the middle of winter, and he's
watching a winter league game on the internet."
Emerson admits to the accusation.
"My wife one time said that I love baseball more than I loved her. I
told her, 'yeah, but I love you more than basketball,' " he joked.
Emerson may be the ultimate baseball rat, living a life centered on the
game and conceiving ideas how to develop his young charges. Even wife
Jill has a baseball connection. Scott met her at the wedding of his
close friend Trot Nixon
when both were toiling in the Red Sox
Emerson grew up in the Phoenix area and was a 40th-round pick out of
Scottsdale (Ariz.) CC in 1991 by the Orioles. He pitched in the minors
for the O's and Red Sox through the 1998 season before retiring and
becoming a coach in the Pirates organization. "The Pirates cleaned house
on everybody and decided not to renew my contract," he said.
There was an opening with Oakland, where Ron Romanick then served as
pitching coordinator. "I got an interview with (Romanick), and that was
one of the best things that ever happened in my life. It was a blessing
Emerson started at high Class A in 2004, then moved through the A's
system to Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento before moving into
his new role. Patterson believes Emerson will succeed at his new job.
" 'Cause I'm going to call him every day," Patterson laughed. "He and I
were on the same page with everything. He'll bring in new and fresh
ideas and continue the foundation that's been there."
Emerson said he particularly wants to employ new technology that gives
pitchers quick access to video and as many other modern tools as
• Darren Bush will take over as bullpen coach for the big league club
next season. Bush managed Triple-A Sacramento the last two seasons. He
will be replaced by Steve Scarsone, who managed at Double-A.
• Infielders Chad Lewis
and Dusty Robinson
will spend three weeks
working at the A's instructional league program in the Dominican
Republic. The A's want the two players to get more field time, plus the
exposure to a different culture.