I was unsure of what to write tonight. I had a variety of different topics that were on my mind. So I did what every person does when they face indecision, I made a post of Facebook asking for ideas. I got a few. Some were good, some not so much. The messages I got from people made me realize there was a list I did want to write.
A few months ago, Dallas Braden took exception to Alex Rodriguez’s running across the pitching mound during an at-bat. For days after this event, Braden would not let it go saying that Rodriguez violated an unwritten rule of baseball. Remembering this event, I started to think about more of them and how people really would react to breaking the unwritten rules of baseball. So, I have come up with today’s Top 5. Top 5 Ways To Avoid Getting Yourself Hit By a Pitch.
#1 – When you stand in the batter’s box, do not look at the catcher’s signs. This is crazy. There is a person 60 feet, six inches away from you with a baseball in his hand. You are going to try to cheat to get an advantage? What you will get is a fastball at your head. So when you get into the batter’s box if you can peak without getting caught, good luck. Otherwise, duck.
#2 – When you know you hit a home run, act like you have done it before. Pitchers have memories (you will see that again). When you show them up, they do not like it. You see guys hitting home runs, putting their head down and just running. Pitchers do not mind that, because they know they just got beat. But, those batters that hit a ball, stand there are pose will be sure to feel a ball in their back very soon. I found this on ESPN.com, where Goose Gossage was asked about this. “When I was pitching for the Cubs, Ron Gant hit a home run that was eight miles foul. He stomped around the batter’s box for about five minutes because he was so bummed out. He was a rookie then and I didn’t even know who he was.
“So he’s all up in arms about this ball going foul, and he’s causing this big scene while I’m out there waiting to throw the next pitch to [catcher] Jody Davis. When he finally steps back in the box, I plug him with the first pitch.
“Gant looks out at me and says, ‘What did you hit me for, man?’ And I said, ‘If you ever do that again, I’ll hit you in the head.’ He never understood, but a year later Jody Davis went over and played for Atlanta. He told Gant, ‘You must be the dumbest SOB in the league. Everybody in the stadium knew you were going to get drilled, except you.”’
#3 – Never bunt to break up a no-hitter or a perfect game. I can understand this if you are down by a run, or if it is tied. But, if the game is out of hand and you are doing it just to break up the no-hitter, expect problems. It may not be that game, but the next time. Gossage once again courtesy of ESPN.com, “Usually a no-hitter is a tight ballgame, and they’re trying to beat you. You need baserunners, and I can’t blame the opposition for trying to get on base. If the game is out of reach, then it’s a different story. I would take offense to that. I’d drill the SOB. ‘If you want to get on base, here, I’ll put you on base.”
#4 – Have a ridiculous celebration on the field after a walk-off home run. I think it was the Brewers last year who had two celebrations that got other teams upset. If I remember the two celebrations correctly, one had a home run by Prince Fielder. As he crossed the plate after the home run, everyone jumped at once and when they landed, they all fell like bowling pins. This upset the Giants, who felt the move was unprofessional and disrespectful. The other incident had a game winning home run being hit and everyone on the Brewers immediately running into the clubhouse. The person that hit the ball (I do not remember) ran around the bases and then immediately sprinted into the clubhouse, not shaking the hands of the coaches. As I said before, pitchers have memories. It may not be the pitcher you hit the ball off of, it may be a member of that team, but someone will get you back for showing them up. We all love walk offs, but as I said earlier the preference is that you act like you did it before.
#5 – Do not call time and step out during a delivery. This upsets the pitcher because the pitcher can stop suddenly and injure himself. I have actually seen pitchers throw the ball over the batter’s head as a warning. Do it once, you are warned. Do it twice and you will be bruised.
There you go. This week’s Top 5 about baseball etiquette and how not to be bruised by a fastball. Hope you all have a good week. Congrats to my cousin Ilana for bringing a new relative into the world this past week. Enjoy all…..and if you have any lists you would like to see, feel free to ask!