More Baseball Fundamentals

Did you watch the Orioles versus Blue Jays game tonight? Of course you didn’t. Why would you? That’s not even 100 percent American, and the Orioles always suck…right?

Wait, they are in first place?! Holy Cal Ripken!

Now that I’ve successfully caught you up to speed on the 2012 baseball season, let me teach you a little somethin’ somethin’.

When you throw a pitch, you gotta finish. And I don’t mean like throw the ball when you’re holding you’re still holding your leg kick. I mean you release the ball and finish in a defensive position.

Because baseballs come back when you throw them, and sometimes they come back HARD. Just ask Javy Guerra. Or ask today’s victim, Brandon Morrow.

If you’re not ready to at least defend yourself against a small, hard object traveling over 100 MPH, you’re toast.

Morrow released a pitch today and was hit in the side of the leg by a line drive. He limped away before being helped off the field. He was very lucky with where the ball hit him, and escaped with just a bruise. But it could have been a lot worse.

And while I would never place complete blame on a pitcher for a thing like this, it’s not ALL Lady Luck’s fault either. Throw the ball, your throwing-side leg comes over with the finish, and you should be standing mostly square to the plate, knees bent, hands up, mind aware.

I kid you not – I tried to do this every single time I threw a pitch in high school. There were some close calls, but I was never hit by a come backer. I was also able to field my position very well.

Greg Maddux, 18-time Gold Glove winner as a pitcher, would tell you the same thing: be prepared for the ball to come back at you.

One of these days a pitcher is going to be severely injured or worse. And if guys like Guerra or Morrow would just be ready for the ball, like they should be, it could be avoided. And those young, up-and-coming little hurlers in middle and high schools might see how well they defend themselves on the mound, and maybe avoid future injuries of their own.

Oh, who am I kidding? Those kids weren’t watching the Orioles and Blue Jays play either.

Until next time, don’t hang that curve ball. Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman.

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