Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sanchez, With a Twist of Tiant

Aaron Sanchez was doing his thing against the Yankees the other night, hurling pitches on behalf of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yanks appeared somewhat befuddled by his delivery.
"Sanchez does that Tiant Turn," said announcer Michael Kay. "It's a little disconcerting."
He was, of course, referring to Luis Tiant, who would spin toward second base before dealing a pitch. The Cuban Tiant won 229 games, many of them for the Red Sox, in the '60s, '70s and even into the '80s, generating extra power with his distinctive twist.
A discussion on Baseball Prospectus regarding Tiant mentions the "Tiant Twist". Said Doug Thorburn:
I wish that I could say that I had seen every manipulation of the Tiant twist, but I have only seen a handful of clips. But I dig it.
Perhaps Johnny Cueto of Cincinnati is the best known practitioner of the Tiant Twist. Here's what the Red Legs Baseball blog said on Opening Day last year:
Johnny Cueto looked great, but still uses the Tiant-twist. He'd better be right that the twist isn't causing his injuries, because we can't afford another oblique strain.
Tiant Twist seems more popular a term than Tiant Turn, but I do see a cocktail out there in the webiverse called the Tiant Turn. It's made of Brugal Anejo, Sherry, Mezcal and Orange Bitters, and garnished with an orange twist. 
I shall now raise a glass of Tiant Turn, and perhaps one of Tiant's trademark El Tiante cigars, to that colorful old pitcher. 

No comments: