Mike Arlt said he was not disappointed.
“I don’t think any of us are,” Arlt said.
Others had yet to hear of the despairing news.
“I wasn’t aware,” Beaulieu said.
Perhaps the reason behind Devore being overlooked was the lack of speed on his fastball. While playing catch in their year, Devore and Arlt once estimated the right-hander’s fastball to reach a speed of only 92 mph. This is two miles slower than what Pautz was clocked at. But Beaulieu questioned the estimation of his teammates.
“It feels like he is throwing some gas behind them,” Beaulieu said. “It feels like my hand is going to break off.”
Some would think that because of his heroic efforts and value to the team, Devore would be pampered. But roommates Arlt, Bob DeWitt (Gophers reliever), Vince Gangl (Gophers reliever) and Eric Gangl (Gophers catcher) don’t let Devore skip out on his daily household chores. Instead, they just modified his technique.
“We make him do all of his work with his left arm so we can save that sucker,” Arlt said, referring to Devore’s throwing arm.
Devore likes to believe that his work ethic on the field is similar to that of his role model Hideo Nomo. The pitcher was recently released by the Los Angeles Dodgers after fizzling on the mound.
“I want to be like him cause he throws nasty stuff,” Devore said, mentioning Nomo’s curve and sinker. “I’m modeling myself after him.”
The resemblance between Devore and Nomo could be deeper than pitching — it might be skin deep.
“They are both kind of ugly,” Beaulieu said.
As soon as Devore steps on to the field, Arlt’s concentration starts to wander off. Considering Devore’s prowess, who can blame him?
“I start not to pay attention,” Arlt said. “I go into a daze. I still go out there, I just kind of stand there. I’m sure you can imagine some of the things I think about. It’s not baseball.”
Said Beaulieu: “I know the outfielders bring those video poker games out on the field with them. I heard (right fielder Craig Selander) won 20 bucks off Arlt once.”
In talking with him, it seems Devore doesn’t give himself enough credit. He says he must work on the curve and the sinker, with particular emphasis on the curve ball.
“It’s too good,” Devore said. “I want to make it a little more hittable.”