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Friday, September 19, 2014

Pitching inside: what is the target if not the batter?

Try it.  Maybe with a tennis ball or wiffle ball.  Try buzzing someone.  A friend.  Kid.  Spouse.  Not to hurt them but to experience what to do.  We all need a target to throw accurately.  There are probably no people on earth who need a target more than major league pitchers.  They are supposed to look at the catcher's mitt and hit it with pitches of amazing variety and speed.  Maybe that's why they are so bad at throwing to second base, where the target may be some empty space over the bag or the front shoulder of a moving infielder.

Ray Chapman's grave in Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland
April 2008 By Jtesla16 via Wikimedia Commons
I have never heard a pitcher, former pitcher or announcer address this.  They just talk vaguely about pitching inside.  At what exactly?  It cannot be the catcher's mitt.  Have you ever seen the mitt positioned near a batter's head when a pitch is thrown there with obvious intent?  I have not.  So how does the pitcher do it, if not by using the batter's head as his target?  Oh, he probably thinks or wants us to think that he actually aims a few inches away from the head but even that is depraved indifference to human life, the definition of murder two in New York, according to no less an authority than the TV show "Law and Order".  The pitcher is putting the burden on the batter to use his world class vision and reflexes to move out of harm's way in the blink of an eye or be smashed in the face as Chase Headley was a few days ago at the hands of one of Joe Maddon's Tampa pitchers.  Headley is back playing but with terrible contusions on his neck, several inches from the point of impact, his chin, where Maddon said Headley had been grazed.  Maddon later revised that a bit but only after being challenged.

What about the most innocuous of inside pitches, the one intended to force the batter to jack knife in order to avoid being smashed?  The target must be the batter's belt buckle.  If not, then what?  Locate the belt buckle and then try throwing a few inches away?  Like throwing to that empty area above second base?

The batter is the target! Wake the heck up!  Stop using euphemisms to hide the barbarous nature of what you as a fan are condoning.

Tony La Russa: you hit one of ours, we hit two of yours. Really? No.  Friday, September 19, 2014

Blood feud: Hit By Pitch. Can technology determine the pitcher's intent?  Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ken Singleton ... a year or two ago while announcing a Yankee game ... recalled being at bat and suddenly noticing that during his windup the pitcher was looking at him and Singleton wondered why and instantly realized that he, the batter, was the target and not the catcher's mitt.

It makes perfect sense.  The pitcher needs a target, which is why the vague notion of pitching inside but not at the batter is such nonsense.
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Crime and punishment.  Friday, March 28, 2014

Ray Chapman:
Born: January 15, 1891 in Beaver Dam, KY
Teams (by GP): Indians/Naps 1912-1920

Final Game: August 16, 1920 (Age 29)
Died: August 17, 1920 in New York, NY (Aged 29)
Buried: Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, OH

Note the proximity of Chapman's final game and his death.  That's because Ray Chapman was killed by a pitched ball thrown by Yankee Carl Mays, who plausibly claimed it was an accident.
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