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View Full Version : At Plate, AL Pitchers in Peril in Interleague Games



Bob Borkowski
06-19-2009, 09:50 AM
Wow, running the bases is dangerous.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2009-06-18-al-pitchers-at-plate_N.htm


At plate, pitchers from AL in peril in interleague games

By Paul White, USA TODAY
PHILADELPHIA For the second season in a row, a key pitcher for an American League contender has been injured after batting in an interleague game at a National League stadium. And Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston isn't taking any more chances after losing his closer Scott Downs.
"I'm just talking about getting out of the way of the ball," Gaston said after Downs sprained a toe while running to first base after batting Tuesday and ended up on the disabled list.

So the next night, Toronto starter Scott Richmond followed Gaston's orders and took all nine pitches he saw in his first two at-bats and struck out both times. Even when allowed to swing the next time, then bunt two innings later, he kept striking out. "He told me no swinging," Richmond said. "I stood there and hoped (Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer) walked me."

Gaston had spoken strongly against his pitchers batting in games in NL parks even before the injury to Downs, who hadn't batted since 2004. Gaston now has gone beyond recommending his pitchers not swing.

"In interleague play," Gaston says, "use the DH. Otherwise, forget it."

He isn't the only one.

Last year, New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said, "I think it's time the National League joined the 21st century," after losing starter Chien-Ming Wang for the final 3 months of the season when he tore a foot tendon running the bases against the Houston Astros. Wang was 8-2 at the time. He has returned this season but is 0-5 with a 12.65 ERA.

"Don't give me that traditionalist crap," Steinbrenner said.

HeatherC1212
06-19-2009, 09:54 AM
Those guys have to bat how few times a year during interleague play (in NL parks ONLY) and they're complaining about it?! Give me a break. I know fluke things sometimes happen but these pitchers could just as easily twist an ankle or sprain their foot running to cover 1B or 3B during one of their regular games. Do injuries to AL pitchers happen every single season or is this something new because I don't remember too many injuries from past seasons during interleague play. :confused:

edabbs44
06-19-2009, 09:58 AM
These guys are athletes...pitchers probably do more running during the season and spring training than any other player.

Give me a break.

RANDY IN INDY
06-19-2009, 10:39 AM
Gaston and Steinbrenner. What a couple of "whiners.

Jpup
06-19-2009, 10:40 AM
Gaston and Steinbrenner. What a couple of "whiners.

or winners.

westofyou
06-19-2009, 10:53 AM
AL Monkeys, they can't eat NL banana's without complaining, too ripe, too green... yawn... the DH is monkey ball.

CarolinaRedleg
06-19-2009, 10:55 AM
They don't like it, they can always forfeit, can't they?

RANDY IN INDY
06-19-2009, 12:31 PM
or winners.

To each his own. Whiners for me. You can have both of them and the DH.

traderumor
06-19-2009, 12:50 PM
Gee, maybe we could make a semicircle around the inner part of the infield that might make a pitcher have to strain himself fielding a ball an automatic out also? Do AL pitchers back up bases and cover first or do they refrain from that because they might strain leg muscles? Bring back golf carts with baseball hats so they don't have to run in from the bullpen. Never know when they might slip trotting in.

Hap
06-19-2009, 01:18 PM
Tom Browning (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1992/B07010HOU1992.htm) tore up his knee sliding into home plate and he was never the same.

RichRed
06-19-2009, 01:54 PM
"Don't give me that traditionalist crap," Steinbrenner said.

Right, it's too bad we don't have more forward-thinking people in baseball like Little Stein.

RANDY IN INDY
06-19-2009, 02:22 PM
Tom Browning (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1992/B07010HOU1992.htm) tore up his knee sliding into home plate and he was never the same.

It's part of the game.

RANDY IN INDY
06-19-2009, 02:27 PM
Might as well put an "L" screen up in front of them and mandate that they can't field bunts, cover first, or back up bases. Just stay in the circle.

RANDY IN INDY
06-19-2009, 02:29 PM
In interleague play," Gaston says, "use the DH. Otherwise, forget it."

Best idea yet.

Hap
06-19-2009, 03:04 PM
It's part of the game.

I would have rather had Tom Browning NOT run the bases and NOTtear up his knee and continue to be a productive pitcher all throughout the 1990s.

CTA513
06-19-2009, 03:06 PM
If you don't want to risk getting injured running the bases then take 3 strikes and go back to the dugout.

RANDY IN INDY
06-19-2009, 04:46 PM
I would have rather that Browning had not broken his arm while pitching in 1994, but he was playing the game, and he always played "all out." I would rather that Wayne Simpson had not blown up his arm in 1970 when he was having a great season. You can't play the game in a bubble. Players get hurt. Nobody likes it but it is part of the game. Not sorry that I don't like the American League game with the DH. Terrible rule.

KronoRed
06-19-2009, 04:59 PM
Abolish the DH, and the AL while you're at it

:D

Eric_the_Red
06-19-2009, 05:09 PM
I'm guessing Cito's argument is that AL pitchers aren't used to running the bases, and therefore more likely to injure themselves. Perhaps. But there is an easy solution: do away with the DH completely so the pitchers can bat every game and play the game like it was meant to be played.

*BaseClogger*
06-19-2009, 05:18 PM
Might as well put an "L" screen up in front of them and mandate that they can't field bunts, cover first, or back up bases. Just stay in the circle.

Or maybe just play "pitcher's hand" like in wiffleball... :lol:

Eric_the_Red
06-19-2009, 05:32 PM
Or maybe just play "pitcher's hand" like in wiffleball... :lol:

They could always play "ghost runners" when pitchers reach base.

blumj
06-19-2009, 06:13 PM
If you don't want to risk getting injured running the bases then take 3 strikes and go back to the dugout.

The funny part is, he could have all his pitchers do that, and he could tell everyone that he was doing it, and I'm almost positive that at least one of them would wind up getting walked.

Hap
06-19-2009, 09:02 PM
OK....back to the topic.

I agree that AL pitchers are in peril at the plate in Interleague games played in NL parks.

RANDY IN INDY
06-19-2009, 10:37 PM
The funny thing is that all these guys grew up "playing" the game and I would venture to say that a good number of those AL pitchers were good all around players. I don't buy that any of the AL pitchers are in "peril."

IslandRed
06-19-2009, 10:48 PM
The funny thing is that all these guys grew up "playing" the game and I would venture to say that a good number of those AL pitchers were good all around players. I don't buy that any of the AL pitchers are in "peril."

I don't either.

At the same time, let's be honest, the ability to hit has approximately zero percent effect on whether pitchers reach or stay in the major leagues. It's simply not on the checklist, and the occasional Micah Owings is just a happy accident. Whatever they could do back in Pony League, by the time they're facing major-league pitching they're not much more effective than pulling guys out of the stands. I've never enjoyed watching pitchers hit and I doubt most people do.

That doesn't mean I'm a big fan of the DH either. When NL teams play in AL parks, the AL teams get to use high-priced guys who can rake but can't play the field, and the NL teams get to use someone who can't hit enough to be a regular. Not exactly even up.

My radical interleague solution (tongue firmly in cheek) -- eight-man batting orders. No pitchers AND no DH. :p:

oneupper
06-20-2009, 12:09 AM
Dial back to the late 60-70s.

Problem: Lack of Offense
Proposed Solution: Implement DH

Fast Forward to today

Problem: Games too Long.
Proposed Solution: Eliminate DH

See how easy?

KronoRed
06-20-2009, 01:31 AM
My radical interleague solution (tongue firmly in cheek) -- eight-man batting orders. No pitchers AND no DH. :p:

I like it, more at bats for the hitters would make the players union happy.

RANDY IN INDY
06-20-2009, 06:34 AM
The players union. Now there's a topic.;)