Pau Gasol and photographer, Lori Shepler released their new book on Tuesday titled "Life*Vida". It's a photo book that takes you in to Gasol's life and intimate settings in his home and hotel. Even in his shower!
Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant each wrote a Foreword for the book and a chapter is even dedicated to Pau and Kobe's friendship. It was all the idea of photographer Lori Shepler who has been a photographer on the Los Angeles sports scene for over 30 years. She and Pau formed a close friendship and trust and that's why Gasol agreed to do this. The book is bilingual in English and Spanish.
I caught up with both at the Nike Vault in Downtown LA for their launch and book signing...
INTERVIEW WITH CO AUTHOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER, LORI SHEPLER -
GASOL WITH THE MEDIA BEFORE BOOK SIGNING ON HIS NEW BOOK -
By David Vassegh
A theme of frustration for my partner Kevin Kennedy on "Dodger Talk" during the 2012 season, was the use of the cut fastball or "cutter" as most people in baseball call it now. It isn't that Kevin Kennedy doesn't think it shouldn't be used in a pitchers repetoire of pitches, but could be used too much by pitchers that can throw a 2 seam or 4 seam fastball north of 95 mph.
There is fact that if a pitcher throws the "cutter" too much it will take away velocity from his fastball. Mariano Rivera is the reason why so many pitchers now have incorporated the cut fastball in to their bag of pitches, but Rivera's cutter is a natural pitch for him because his fingers are so long that it creates the natural movement of that pitch. Other pitchers are not physically blessed to get the same consistent results as the Yankee closer.
I interviewed some of the most respected pitching and baseball minds in MLB over the last 9 months, here's their thoughts on the "cutter"...
Padres Manager and former Angels pitching coach, Bud Black conceded there is a place for the cutter, but agreed with Kennedy, it could be over used. Bud Black
Former Yankees star pitcher and now one of the best pitching coaches in the majors for the SF Giants, Dave Righetti does think pitchers do fall in love with the "cutter" because they get addicted to seeing the ball move.
2 Time World Series Championship Manager, Terry Francona, now manager of the Cleveland Indians, brought up the point that the cut fastball can take away from a pitchers 2 seam and/or 4 seam fastball...
It seems like Black, Righetti and Francona all agree with Kevin Kennedy on how the cut fastball should be used, it will interesting to see if we see less of the cutter in 2013. One thing is for sure, we'll be seeing the last of the master of the cutter with Mariona Rivera, since he'll be retiring at the end of the 2013 season.
Major League Baseball held the very first "Cactus League Media Day" at Chase Field in Arizona on Monday. Every team that will play in the Cactus League brought their Manager and General Manager to meet with the media. Here are a few of the more interesting things that were heard.
-Reds Manager Dusty Baker dodged my question on whether or not he likes the World Baseball Classic, but conceded he would have accepted an invitation to play on Team USA if the tournament was around when he was playing. LISTEN HERE AND HERE
-This is the first time around in the Cactus League for Indians Manager, Terry Francona. When he managed the Phillies and Red Sox, their camps were-and still are in Florida playing in the Grapefruit League. I asked Francona if he has felt that his voice has more authority in the Indians clubhouse since he comes in as a 2 time World Series manager compared to being a manager that hadn't won any rings in his first spring training with the Phills and Red Sox. LISTEN HERE
-Billy Beane, the A's GM, did reveal to reporters that he is worried that Mike Trout will be even better this year than he was in 2012.
Great job by KTLA to pull this interview up. Vin did ask all the tough questions like anybody else would at that time. - David Vassegh