Games » Chicago White SoxMay5
The fearsome Gordon Beckham…
Gordon Beckham is hitting .206 and the Royals walked him six times in this series. The Royals have had more walks than Gandhi, and after last night, (if memory serves…and it often doesn’t) 36 of them have scored.
Billy’s mental mistake…
Down by five, Butler leads off the 3rd with a shot down the left field line. Placement said double, everything else said single. Nobody out, chance at a big inning, the Royals needed base runners. It was close, but Billy was out. Not the time to take chances.
Callaspo breaks even…
A nice play on Pierre’s bunt (that throwing off-balance on the run is even harder than it looks) and a bad looking error in the 6th. He moved back wards and played the ball off to the side, both fundamental mistakes. Naturally, you wouldn’t catch me stepping in front of those shots at third unless I was wearing catching equipment, but that’s why I’m a cartoonist instead of a professional ballplayer. Well, that and those ridiculous talent requirements they seem to have in the major leagues.
Porn stars and throwing problems…
Someone asked me why Jason Kendall’s throws kept tailing into runners attempting to steal bases. I can answer that question, but to do so, I’ve got to tell you a XXX-rated story about a nymphomaniac porn star.
But first…when you throw a baseball it’s got two types of movement: forward toward its target and spin. If you hold a baseball with your fingers across the widest part between the seams, you’re holding it in a 4-seam grip. All fielders learn to pick the ball up and find this grip in one motion. (Next time you see an infielder field a grounder, watch him fiddle with the ball in his glove as he prepares to throw…he’s finding the four-seam grip.)
If he releases the ball with his fingers on top, then snaps down, the ball will have 6 to 12 o’clock spin, bottom to top. The raised seams cause more friction on the side moving into the atmosphere than the side with the seams moving away, so there’s pressure on the bottom of the ball and it stays up longer and flies straighter.
(The bit about the porn star is coming up in just a minute.)
Now put your palm on the side of the ball and pull down on the front side with your fingers (like you’re throwing a can of soup end over end) and you’ll have 12 to 6 o’clock movement, top to bottom. That puts more pressure on the top of the ball because those seams are biting into the atmosphere, and the ball goes down. You just threw an overhand curve.
(Another side-story before we get to the extremely hot porn-star XXX-rated details.)
Dan Quisenberry showed me how pitchers will rub up a ball while secretly using a thumbnail to raise the seams to get extra bite on a breaking pitch…cool, huh?
Mix in different arm angles and grips and you get all kinds of movement. Most pitchers experiment until they find something they can control and feel comfortable with…(just like a nymphomaniac porn star…hang on just a bit longer…hot anecdote on the way.)
OK, now hold your glove-side hand straight out in front of you, thumb down. Your shoulder is ‘closed’. Put your throwing hand on your glove-side shoulder and rotate your glove-side thumb up. You can feel your shoulder ‘open’.
Most likely this is what’s happening to Jason Kendall. When your shoulder opens your front-side elbow tends to swing away from your body laterally, instead of dropping and tucking straight back against your side. This lateral movement on your front side drops your throwing arm down into a lateral position on your back side and puts your fingers on the side of the ball. From that position, when you throw the ball, you’ll get 3 to 9 o’clock spin with pressure building up on the 3 o’clock side…and the ball tails into the runner.
This problem is incredibly common. If you see a catcher tap his shoulder before throwing the ball back to the pitcher he’s reminding him to keep the shoulder closed…and one more thing:
THERE IS NO XXX-RATED NYMPHOMANIAC PORN STAR STORY!
But I got you through a boring explanation of a technical detail, didn’t I?