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updated: 8/15/2010 11:29 AM

Rothschild wipes slate clean on 'towel drill'

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ST. LOUIS - Now the secret of the "towel drill" can be revealed.

And if you want to "credit" Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild for the odd-looking drill, well, you're all wet.

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In Rothschild's tenure with the Cubs, the towel drill has been one of the most ridiculed and least understood practices.

You know the drill: A pitcher "throws" in the bullpen, but instead of a ball, he's holding a towel and trying to make it snap. The idea is to simulate the proper delivery and follow-through.

The only thing is, Rothschild says the gimmick isn't his. Credit or blame former Cubs pitcher Mark Prior, the phenom who flamed out and now is trying a comeback in independent ball.

"Really, that's not my drill," Rothschild said. "When Prior came here, he had been doing it throughout his career. To keep him comfortable and in his routine, we did it.

"We talked about it times. We cut down on it at the end, but it was something that he had done for a long time in his career. He was comfortable doing it.

"There are other people who do it. That, I think, was a point of view to focus on something that was really meaningless. Whatever. I don't even know if that has any merit at all."

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