Friday, February 2, 2018

The Price Paid

High and outside is my biggest weakness.  I can hardly leave it be (I hope you can appreciate some good Hoosier breeding in that colloquialism).

It’s not that I’m faked by high and outside such that I believe that it’s in the strike zone.  I’m not that perceptive.  No, it’s really just the highness and outside-ness that I find so innately appealing.   

First, I’m tall.  High requires no laborious bending.  And outside appears to meet the most promising part of my bat. 

Oh, I’m not right about that.  But in the split second I’m allowed to make that assessment, it just seems like, between my long arms and my long bat, that’s where the fat meets the leather.  My impulse for the glory of the long ball makes it such that I don’t just swing, I really swing (if you catch my drift).

Okay, and maybe the angle of the view from the opposite side of the plate fakes me the most into believing the perception of less velocity on that outside ball.  Looking as relatively across its path as one is on an outside pitch, it seems to travel slower.  It seems more hittable
Low and inside, though?  That’s definitely not my temptation.  And, again, it’s not that my perception is good.  It’s not.  It’s not that I think it’s in OR outside the strike zone.  Actually, by the time low and inside has whizzed past my shinbones….or where my shinbones should be – and would be if I wasn’t a chicken – I’ve very likely stepped all the way out of the batter’s box to avoid getting hit.

I think that fear goes all the way back to the season before I got glasses.  I never did see the one that hit me coming.  And, apparently, I never forgot it either.
So, no, I don’t go for the low and inside.

But the count keeps climbing.  And the count doesn’t favor me.  And probability educated by experience tells me I can’t keep tipping foul balls indefinitely. 

It’s going to end. 

 It’s either going to end in glory or shame.  I’m either going to hit or whiff.  And with the choices narrowed by the count, just a bit of panic starts setting in, clouding my judgment a making the latter outcome even more probable.  Shame.  Strikeout.

And then it happens.  

Oh, yeah.  It was never only two choices.  There was that third one all along.

The pitcher paid the price.


  1. Take heart John and keep swinging:

    Alex Cora's 18-Pitch At-Bat

    On May 12, 2004, the Dodgers' Alex Cora won the duel against Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Clement after an epic,18-pitch at-bat. Clement, who had thrown 86 pitches before Cora stepped in, emptied his tank on Cora, who got the pitch-count up to 104. But that's not all Cora did. Facing a 2"“1 count, Cora fouled off 14 straight pitches before finally hitting"¦. a home run, of all things. I say "of all things" because in 13 seasons of Major League ball, the guy has only knocked 35 homers, period. Cora's AB is the third longest documented at-bat since baseball statisticians began keeping track of pitch counts in the mid-1980s.

  2. Above account courtesy of writer David K Israel