Beek’s Blog: Weinstein’s book a must-read for catchers

Posted by Brian VanderBeek on April 12, 2014 

Every year at this time, a flood of new baseball books comes into the market, trying to take advantage of opening day and the birth of the season.

The vast majority fall into three categories: biographies, remembrances of magical seasons and poetic waxing on the wonders of baseball.

Except for those bent on statistics and their analysis, very few ever fall into the category of reference, and that’s where the new book penned by former Nuts’ manager Jerry Weinstein comes in.

Weinstein, in town this weekend in his new role as Colorado’s system-wide offensive coordinator, recently published “The Complete Handbook of Coaching Catchers,” a labor of love he began during his five seasons as Modesto’s manager.

“From start to finish, about five years, but there have been a lot of vacations, like baseball season, when I didn’t work on it,” Weinstein said. “And then the publisher decided to work on other things for a year. It was good that it took five years because it allowed me to fine-tune the book.”

The book includes hundreds of insights from Weinstein’s 45 years as a coach and manager, but his aim was to reach catchers at every level of the game.

“There’s real basic information in there for the neophyte and I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from professional catchers,” Weinstein said. “When it first came out I started putting comments on Twitter to familiarize people with the book. Then I started to get feedback and saw that people appreciated the things I was writing.

“I’m just trying to share information to help the game. There are a lot of little insights in the book, and as you know for me there are no little things. Everything’s important.”

When he started working on the book, he tucked photos and thoughts into binders, which he kept in his office at John Thurman Field during the season. He wanted to use many of those same photos in the book, but they included many major league catchers in gear. He found out that any photo that included an MLB logo had to be licensed.

The bill for licensing would have run $10,000, so many of the more than 400 photos in the book were recreated with former Nuts’ catcher Beau Seabury as the model.

“My publisher told me that there will never be another catching book because no one will be able to put more into it than I did in terms of detail and especially in the areas pertaining to pitch calling and game management and managing pitchers’ emotions,” Weinstein said.

The book has been well-received in baseball circles, and if it continues to earn word-of-mouth praise there might be the chance for a second edition – something Weinstein wouldn’t mind.

“I didn’t read the book for three months after ir came out,” Weinstein said. “I was afraid that I’d find stuff that needed to be changed. I hope the publisher has sold more copies than I have, and then maybe we’d do a second edition.

“Writing a book is not a profitable venture. You don’t write books to make money. I’ll never get paid back for the time and effort I put into this book.”

The book, in paperback and e-format, is available on Weinstein’s Web site www.coachingcatchers.com and also through Amazon.

GAGNON TO D.L. – Pitcher Tyler Gagnon, who came out of Thursday’s homer opener with a sore pitching shoulder, has been placed on the disabled list. He has been replaced on the roster by righty Nate Striz, a 25-year-old righty out of the University of North Carolina. Striz was released by Boston last July and pitched in three games for Double-A Tulsa before being sent to the Nuts

Also, infielder Francisco Sosa, out since the third game of the season after being hit in the head by a pitch, could return to action as early as Monday, according to manager Don Sneddon. Sosa has yet to clear the battery of concussion tests.

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