One of the hardest things to do in sports is to hit a baseball. A round stick, trying to hit a round ball, traveling over 90 MPH, the ball moving
sometimes as if its going to hit you just before it cuts over the plate.
A batter has just milliseconds to decide if the pitch is going to be in the strike zone, what kind of pitch it is, how fast it is going, where it will
be when it crosses the plate, and whether to swing, let it go by, or get the hell out of the way. All this with the external pressure of runners on
base, score of the game, ball / strike count, how many outs there are, or the hostile fans of a rival club.
A good batter can tell what kind of pitch it is going to be by small clues, such as the release point of the pitchers arm, the pattern the spinning
ball is making in the air, or the arm speed of the pitcher. A good pitcher can mask some of these clues to confuse the batter.
I've said all this to say its understandable someone who has never had an at-bat at the major league level could be a little nervous and scared. That
was the case back in 2011 when relief pitcher Santiago Casilla was sent to the plate to face off against Marlins pitcher Jose Ceda for his first
at-bat in his 8 years in the majors. His team was winning 5-2 with 2 outs in the 8th inning. His teams closer was unavailable and the manager wanted
him to pitch again in the 9th so he did not pinch hit for him.
With strict orders to just go up there and not swing, Casilla made his way to the plate .
Now logic would tell you that if the opposing team knew you intended to strike out they probably would just go easy and throw 3 strikes down the
middle. Casilla either tried to telegraph that he had no intention of swinging or he was understandably scared, or possibly both.
Here is how far he stood away from the plate, with one foot out of the batters box.
So how did this turn out for Casilla? Just watch for yourself.
Ceda friggin walked him on 4 pitches
Cassilla was confused, he didn't know what to do with his bat, he even walked back to the dugout to take off his gear before going to first.
So the guy with the least interest in reaching base EVER.....reached base. All because the guy on the mound couldn't throw three uncontested strikes.
He couldn't even throw one.
I don't care what the manager says, if I get my first ever at bat, I'm swinging at everything. It would probably be the only chance you get and having
a career average batting 1000 would be awesome.
If you're interested these guys break it down pretty good and give you about 10 more reasons why it is the saddest ever. Enjoy.
edit on 16-8-2017 by FauxMulder because: (no reason given)
originally posted by: FauxMulder
How did you get to do that? I'm pretty jealous.
Season ticketholder since 1996, so they have special events for the longer standing ticket owners. We also took BP in the simulator like in your video
which I found to be harder than on the field with the BP pitchers. We also got to play catch in the outfield and soft toss in the bull pen.
They did other things like private tours and player meet and greets but this was in my opinion the most interesting.
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