Saturday, June 26, 2004

T-minus 6...

Sorry I missed yesterday, all. Let's bang it out.

My Six Favorite Pitches

6. Four-seam fastball: Ok, back me up here. There are few things in life more rewarding than throwing pure, unadulterated heat past someone, right? There are two wonderful qualities to the four-seamer. First, the batter sees four parallel seams coming right at them. Second, it rises slightly if thrown properly. To a mediocre or inexperienced batter, this has the desired effect of seeming to come at their head. Tee hee hee. Why is this not higher on the list? Well, given that my fastest four-seam topped out in the low eighties, it wasn't super effective. I had to rely on off-speeds more often than not. And, as my life unfortunately reflects, chicks dig the fastball.
5. Cutter: often dba as the "slurve," this pitch has the velocity of a pure-bred fastball, but curves slightly away from the side it was thrown from. I always like screaming confusing things when I threw this pitch, like, "I'm gonna cut you so bad, you gonna wish I no cut you so bad!" That could possibly explain why my cutters rarely made it over the plate, and instead sailed off into the crowd.
4. Knuckle-curveball: This is truly a bitchin' pitch. Made famous by Mike Mussina, it is thrown like a curveball, but you bend one finger to induce an erratic arc. I would have possibly rated it higher if Mussina wasn't a cocks*cking Yankee. (Just kidding, I would have rated it number 4 anyway.)
3. Screwball: Another fav, although my coach forbid me to use it. For those of you unfamiliar with the mechanics of pitching, try an experiment with me. Mimic throwing a ball. If you are a righty, notice how your hand and forearm either stay parallel with your body, or lean slightly outward. Ok, now, do it again, except turn your wrist and arm inward. Feel that awkwardness in your wrist? Feel the potential for disaster in your elbow? Yeah, that's why I was forbidden to throw it. This pitch has destroyed more arms than chronic masturbation. The good news, though, is that when it is well-thrown, it curves back towards the side it was thrown from, and almost always works.
2. Eephus: Also known as the 'blooper.' A really f*cked up pitch to watch. It lost its popularity around forty years ago when hitters started more regimented workouts and training routines. The Eephus (pronounced "Eephus," I mean, "E-fus") has one defense; it crosses the plate at an angle almost impossible to hit. The pitch is thrown in a huge, sweeping arc. Seriously, a good eephus would reach somewhere around fifteen feet at its apex. The idea is for it to drop exactly at the inside of the plate. Supafly pitch.
1. Forkball: Most commonly known as a 'splitter,' this little gem bailed me out of countless jams when I was a lad. The grip used causes the ball to drop off late in its arc. It is an especially nifty pitch when thrown sidearm, as the delivery causes the pitch to break down and out almost diagonally. I throw an amazing forkball. (oh, by the way, replace "I" with "Roger Clemens." I'm always doing that. Hello, is Walter Mitty home?)(Incidentally, my forkball is above serviceable, but then again I am a mere shell of the man I once was. Well, a fatter shell, anyway.)

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