“It’s no fun if they don’t run.”
Former Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers catcher Don Werner
Don Werner had a great arm and took a lot of pride in throwing out would-be base stealers.
Werner played professionally for 18 years and got big league time with Cincinnati and Texas. Hall of Famer Tom Seaver threw one no-hitter in his career (June of 1978) and Werner was his catcher.
Don Werner has been a Minor League manager, coach and instructor in his post-playing days. He was in his 23rd year of working in the Minor Leagues when last week the Baltimore Orioles brought him to the Major Leagues as their bullpen coach.
Last week, the Baltimore Orioles made a very smart move when they hired Don Werner as their bullpen coach.
I have known Don since 1976 when he played for the Indianapolis Indians. He is a very knowledgeable baseball man and also possesses great people skills. There are people in the Minor Leagues working as managers and coaches who are very deserving of a break. It is great that Don got one.
The biggest intangible in baseball is that of a catcher working with his pitching staff. As someone who has broadcast baseball for his entire adult life, I can tell you first hand what having a good catcher means to pitchers.
When a pitcher has confidence in his catcher’s ability to call a game, it gives the pitcher freedom of thought. While it can’t be measured, some baseball people feel having a good defensive catcher is worth two runs a game.
Catchers who are good hitters get all the glory. Catchers who work well with pitchers are unsung heroes. Don Werner was an unsung hero.