Monday, April 23, 2018

"Stranger In A Strange Land"

I shall talk about one play.

Runners on first and third in a close contest late in the game.

The pitcher toes the rubber.

The runner steps out of the box, disrupting the pitcher’s delicate timing.

The batter digs in.

The pitcher steps off the rubber.

Tit for tat.

Pitcher and batter return to position, tensely locked their adversarial "chess match."

The catcher calls for a fastball, the speedy delivery buying him time should the runner on first attempt to steal.

The first baseman nudges the bag, shortening the baserunner’s lead, in defense of a possible “Pick-off.”

The third base coach surreptitiously signals both the batter – “hit” or “take” – and the baserunners – ordering a predesigned play.

The runner on third stretches his lead, raising concerns of a possible “double-steal.”

With his glove shrouding his mouth, the shortstop relays instructions to the second baseman, determining responsibility for covering the bag.

The third baseman "cheating" in, anticipating a possible “Suicide Squeeze.”

The outfielders position themselves consistent with the habitual hitting proclivities of the batter.

The runner on third gauges his chances of scoring on a sacrifice fly., including in his calculation the traveling distance of the fly ball, the direction it takes the pursuing outfielder, their evaluated “arm strength”, their own foot speed, and the outfielder’s ability to accurately throw the ball home.

The pitcher receives the signal, his gripping the baseball determining its velocity and its spin.

The pitcher goes into his windup.

Sending the ball towards the home plate.

And that’s all on one play. 

There is actually a lot more.

But that’s all I personally understand.

By frustrating contrast…

The symphony concert I am attending is concluding.

The audience roars in delirious approval.

And I have no idea why.


Ed, Sr. said...

Why We LOVE Baseball. Excellent.

FFS said...

Family and friends started the roar. Everyone else, not being aware that the roarers were biased and not wanting to appear unknowledgeable, joined the roar. A bit like a standing ovation when you don’t feel that one is deserved but don’t want to be the only one sitting.