Niagara Gazette — One of Base Paths’ most trusted scouts reported that a coach in a playoff game was working at “getting into the head” of the opposing team’s pitcher, tossing out jibes and signaling for the bullpen, among other things.
This was a veteran coach, old enough to know better.
In high school ball, this is inexcusable. There’s a bond of trust between teacher and student, no matter what color uniform is being worn. To bring to bear superior knowledge acquired down through the years amounts to bullying.
For shame. Stop it.
Next time we name names. It may be a while. The offending team lost.
TIME TRAVEL – Baseball America, in a long slump ever since its founders sold out, is promoting a Minor League Ballparks Tour through the northeast.
One of the stops listed is Dunn Tire Park.
That’s going to require a time machine, as the home of the Herd hasn’t been called “Dunn Tire” for two years.
But if they’ve got the technology, let’s include Offermann, War Memorial and Hyde Park.
NOT OUR BAG – Wegmans is running a grainy ad that tries to equate old-time baseball with the grocery chain’s values. Unless your TV’s on the 90-day disabled list, surely you’ve seen it.
But have you listened to it?
It ends with a whistle, not for the beer man two sections over, but a referee’s whistle. Whoever put the ad together knows less about baseball than Baseball America knows about ballparks. There’ll be crying in baseball before there are whistles.
RUNNING IT UP – Hard feelings erupted in the World Baseball Classic when at least one team “ran up” the score in order to meet some run-differential qualification used as a tie-breaker. It got pretty ugly.
The WBC could take a lesson from the ladies. In almost all softball tournaments where tight scheduling precludes playoffs, most ties are settled through fewest runs allowed, not greatest number of runs scored. Is that so hard?
CHET’S LAW – Tonawanda baseball genius Al Chester has a unique reason that pitchers should almost never field a pop-up, even in high school, where many pitchers second-front as infielders.
“Looking up disorients the pitcher,” Chester claims. “He’s lost his frame of reference for a moment. He’s thinking vertically, not horizontally, and almost every time, his next pitch will be a ball.”
That got Base Paths checking for the last popup “F1” in his scorebook and found Grand Island’s John Holody tracking one into foul territory at Kenmore West during a terrific game in April.
Holody threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of 27 batters that day…
But not to the batter following the pop-up.
Score one for “Chet.”Doug Smith offers his wit and wisdom on local baseball every Monday with Base Paths. Contact him at email@example.com