If you are a baseball fan you will no doubt be familiar with last weekend’s nasty game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals. After several batters were hit by pitches, and players from both teams were ejected, the match degenerated into a dugout-clearing altercation.
As a lifelong hockey fan I always get a kick out of watching baseball fights. The players look great dashing out of the dugouts and sprinting in from the bullpen to confront their opponents, but as they near each other the brakes tend to come on and more grabbing and chirping takes place than does the throwing of hay-makers. Add to the mayhem the fact that both teams were wearing uniforms of similar colors and the fun really begins!
The most serious problem with last weekend’s set-to wasn’t the ‘brawl’, but the throwing of beanballs. Major league pitchers, even those who rely on ball movement instead of the outright velocity of their pitches, can cause serious damage should one of their tosses bonk a batter on the cranium. Even with a helmet.
I never played anything close to Major League Baseball, but as a pitcher the thought often crossed my mind how stupid it is to throw at a batter. I’m not talking about moving an aggressive batter off the plate a bit, but to actually try to hit the batter.
I base my opinion not on kindheartedness, but pure logic. Consider this: the pitcher stands a mere sixty and a half feet from the batter. Each player has but one weapon: the pitcher has a ball, the hitter a bat. What part of throwing your only weapon at your opponent is sound? It puts the pitcher in the position of needing to at least knock-out the batter, merely winging him will only result in a sore, angry and still bat-toting hitter coming at the now weaponless pitcher. Not a great position to be in unless you like your chances with the business end of a Louisville Slugger. I never did.
Throwing beanballs is dumb as it poses a great danger to the batter, and dumber as a means of warfare!