TEACHER'S PET : JETHAWKS' BURLESON TAKES MOLINA UNDER WING.Byline: Chris Cocoles Daily News Staff Writer
The two shortstops met outside their dugout for a private teaching session.
One was a former 13-year major-leaguer and a four-time All-Star who struggled for years to come back from shoulder surgery.
The other was a 23-year-old prospect with skills to make the big leagues but a serious knee injury to overcome.
``I hope to be able to help him from what I've learned in my career,'' JetHawks' manager Rick Burleson
Having at the age of eighteen become a member of the Society of Jesus, he studied theology at Coimbra, and afterward became professor in the university of Évora, Portugal. . ``The glove, the arm and the range are there.''
At the plate, Molina appears to have made a full recovery from a 1996 season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament anterior cruciate ligament
n. Abbr. ACL
The cruciate ligament of the knee that crosses from the anterior intercondylar area of the tibia to the posterior part of the lateral condyle of the femur. in his left knee, batting .300 with two homers and 11 RBI RBI
runs batted in
Noun 1. rbi - a run that is the result of the batter's performance; "he had more than 100 rbi last season"
run batted in .
Burleson, however, says there is some hesitancy hes·i·tan·cy
An involuntary delay or inability in starting the urinary stream. defensively and running the bases.
``He still has a (slight limp) when he runs the bases and I have to spell him periodically,'' Burleson said. ``But he can play five or six days a week.''
Molina suffered his injury when a Modesto baserunner slid into him at second trying to break up a double play last May 26. In 37 games, he batted .254 with 10 RBI.
``I talked with him about being more aggressive around the bag and to stay close to the action,'' Burleson said. ``He has to realize when he has the ball he has control over the runners.''Burleson is also trying to improve Molina's reaction to where the ball is hit.
``I'm trying to teach him position, seeing where a batter hits the ball and to be aware of that the next time he comes up to the plate,'' Burleson said. ``There are a lot of shortstops that don't have his range but know how to play hitters.''
Those kind of intangibles contributed to Burleson's success as a player. Just a year after joining the Angels in 1981, Burleson tore his rotator cuff rotator cuff
A set of muscles and tendons that secures the arm to the shoulder joint and permits rotation of the arm. Also called musculotendinous cuff. so badly that he played just 51 games during the next three seasons. In 1986, he batted .284 and was named UPI UPI
United Press International Player of the Year.
``He pushes me to make it to the major leagues,'' Molina said of Burleson. ``He played for a long time and I try to listen to everything he says.''
Molina made a quick recovery, thanks to then-JetHawks trainer Rob Nodine and Molina's surgeon, Los Angeles-based Domenick J. Sisto.
Molina, a Nicaraguan native, rehabilitated the rest of the season, splitting time between Lancaster and his home in Panama City Panama City, city (1990 pop. 34,378), seat of Bay co., NW Fla., on St. Andrews Bay; inc. 1909. A Gulf Coast resort with amusement parks and excellent fishing, it is also a port of entry. The city's industries produce paper, clothing, and chemicals. , Panama.
``When I came back to Panama I lifted a lot of weights and put on about 15 pounds,'' Molina said. ``I feel great now. My knee is not bothering me.''Just a few games into this season, Molina had another problem to deal with: his eyes. Molina's contact lenses contact lenses contact npl → verres mpl de contact
contact lenses contact npl → Kontaktlinsen pl
contact lenses npl began irritating his eyes and trainer Troy McIntosh suggested prescription glasses.
``Lancaster is too windy (for contacts). They were bothering my eyes,'' said Molina, who wears goggles goggles,
n the protective eyewear worn by dental personnel and patients during dental procedures.
see periocular leukotrichia. during games. ``I can see even clearer now. I wear Superman glasses when I'm not playing.''
And while his defense is top-notch (just two errors through the first 19 games), Molina is overcoming the stereotype of a light-hitting shortstop. He has produced from the No. 9 hole and his two homers are just one fewer than he had in four previous seasons.
``Both of the home runs were line drives,'' said JetHawks batting coach Dana Williams. ``Guys like Luis are learning that ground balls turn into line drives and line drives turn into home runs. Luis is having fun out there, and I'm having fun watching him.''