Occasionally I regret writing a blog post describing Mitch Williams as a moron:
Mitch Williams: MLB network embarrassment March 25, 2011
On March 23, 2014 Williams earned that again.
On the MLB Network there was a program with two former players, Mitch Williams and Harold Reynolds, and an announcer and a writer, Tom Verducci.
They discussed the recent incidents of two pitchers being hit in the face with line drives: Aroldis Chapman of Cincinnati and Matt Moore of Tampa.
Deaden the damn ball before someone gets killed: player, ump, fan.
Williams insisted repeatedly and vociferously that pitchers should be allowed to pitch inside, a euphemism for hitting batters. Williams never actually stated that pitchers should be allowed to hit batters. But he complained that batters now wear armor and are not afraid because pitchers are warned my umpires about throwing at batters. Williams wants pitchers to throw inside with impunity in order to intimidate batters as he seems to think occurred in some undefined old days. Williams stated that the result has been that batters "dive out over the plate" and pull outside pitches that smash pitchers in the face.
Do I need to dissect the shear stupidity of this?
Maybe we should arrange a seance for Williams with Herb Score who led the American League in strike outs in his first two seasons, 1955 and 1956, but was smashed in the face by a line drive hit by Yankee shortstop Gil McDougald Tuesday May 7, 1957 in Cleveland Stadium before 18,386 fans. The ball was fielded by third baseman Al Smith who threw to first baseman Vic Wertz retiring McDougald. Score got an assist. Score was replaced with two out in the first inning by Bob Lemon who won 2-1. Score did not pitch again in 1957 and his career ended in 1962 at age 29. Score was never the same dominating pitcher again.
Was Herb Score hit because the batter was not afraid of him? Is that why McDougald hit the ball straight up the middle?
|Carl Mays via Wiki Commons|
I am revolted by the prevalence of the caviler baseball attitude about it being OK for a pitcher to hit a batter. That it's OK to "plunk" a batter in the torso. Drilled or smashed would be accurate descriptions of a baseball travelling at 90 miles per hour (MPH) crashing into a person's torso. Pitching inside deliberately means that the pitcher is being irresponsible enough to not care if his accuracy is off just a bit and that inside pitch hits the batter. That's depraved indifference, murder two in New York.
Some batters wear some plastic protection. PLASTIC! Not armor. Would Williams put that plastic on his body and shoot a gun at it? How about throw a ball at it? It's NOT armor.
And what about the others on that MLB Network program? Reynolds agreed with Williams! I guess that neither former player was familiar with the concept that many batters try to hit the ball where it is pitched:
- outside to the opposite field
- inside pull
- middle: up the middle.
On what planet did these guys play?
To buttress the contention of Williams they showed an interview with Aroldis Chapman through an interpreter in which Aroldis indicates that he should pitch inside more so that the batters will pull more and he will not get hit. Maybe he should throw the ball slower than 105 MPH so that batters have more control. Also, let's consider that Aroldis was hit in the head just a few days ago. He's got an excuse for saying something silly.
The writer Verducci simply gave up stating that players cannot be protected from everything so just do nothing.
The announcer suggested a protective facemask but Williams brushed that off. At least twice the announcer told Williams that LeBron James had recently scored 62 points in an NBA game wearing a facemask. Williams insisted that it was impossible for a human being to pitch while wearing a facemask.
Mitch Williams is a moron. If the MLB Network had any standards Williams would have been fired long ago.