Honestly, there are so many posts I can write about the rules and plays and nuances in baseball, I could probably concentrate on just baseball for the rest of my days, but some readers might get a tad bored by reading shit they already know. I figure if you know the players and what they do, that's half the battle right there. All the rest will fall into place. Maybe. If not, you know where to find me.
So without further ado, I bring you the first installment of Baseball for Beginners. I'm going to start with the PITCHER mainly because (a) he's a pretty integral part of the team, and (b) he's known on the score card as position #1 so it's a natural place to start. He stands on the mound in the middle of the infield and throws (or pitches) the ball to the catcher (more about him next week) and those pitches are judged by the
Pitchers also control the pace of the game. When a pitcher is on his game and retiring batters, the game just flies by. But get a couple guys on base and he becomes preoccupied with those base runners. This is when baseball gets tedious and makes you want to throw your full $8 beer at the pitcher's head. You want a pitcher who gets the ball and throws the ball. You don't want a pitcher who stares down his catcher, shakes off signs and steps off the mound too often. He's obviously uncomfortable with his situation and often times, nothing good comes of it.
The pitcher can also be a whiny bitch. If things aren't going his way, if the umpire has a strike zone the size of a quarter, it can send him over the edge. He can be fiery. He'll roll his eyes, throw up his hands and be generally two-year-old-ish if he's not getting his way. Pitchers have also been known to throw shit, knock over water coolers or worse, sulk. And don't talk to him in the dugout, especially if he's flirting with a no-hitter. Men have been killed for just thinking about a no-hitter.
He's also responsible for avenging his teammates. If someone gets beaned, it's the job of the pitcher to retaliate. Throw a couple high and tight, back the batter off the plate, make him uncomfortable in the batter's box. And then, KAPOW, a high fastball smack in the middle of the back. It's not uncommon for a play like this to end in a bench-clearing
Pitchers are complex beings with intricate routines and even more elaborate superstitions. When
Stop yawning... I think I've pontificated enough on the position of pitcher. Next week, we'll learn about the pitcher's batter mate, the catcher. I know you're all breathless with anticipation. Try to contain yourselves.