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View Full Version : If only the Reds pitchers were this tough



Hoosier Red
08-26-2009, 01:24 PM
Baseball is supposed to teach youngsters the value of teamwork and fair play. But sometimes the game is just so damn frustrating that all you want to do is drill some kid in the back with a fastball. Mercer Island's Brandon Lawler certainly understood that after allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to score in the top of the sixth (and final) inning against Georgia—an inning that included three wild pitches and two passed balls. His coach came out to talk him down, but Lawler was not in the mood.

COACH: "Hey, we're going to come up again."
PITCHER: "Is it okay if I just hit this batter?"
COACH: "What? No. No. Are you kidding me? ... Let's get this guy. Come on. We're still in this game. One-run game. You wanna stay in?"
PITCHER: "No."
COACH: "You wanna come out right now?"
PITCHER: "Yes, I do. Can I sit out?"
COACH: "No, you're going to first base."

RANDY IN INDY
08-26-2009, 01:28 PM
I saw that, and that kid would have came out of the game if I were coaching him. That was embarrassing.

RedsManRick
08-26-2009, 01:34 PM
Great teaching opportunity right there -- help the kid learn how to handle adversity. Kids are not professional athletes and should not be treated as such.

KoryMac5
08-26-2009, 01:39 PM
I try not to equate being tough with being stupid. I do however wish that the Reds had a pitcher who was willing to plunk a guy (Velez) every so often when he shows us up. Cueto was one who I had hope for as he would pitch inside when he first came up, now not so much.

Highlifeman21
08-26-2009, 01:39 PM
I saw that, and that kid would have came out of the game if I were coaching him. That was embarrassing.

You would have given him what he wanted.

Danny Serafini
08-26-2009, 02:16 PM
"Yes, I do. Can I sit out?" sure doesn't sound like toughness to me.

Unassisted
08-26-2009, 02:23 PM
I'm rooting for the San Antonio team that won all 3 of its games in Group B. My son knows a couple of the kids on that team. Seems like a good group of kids and I've been impressed by the job their coach is doing during his trips to the mound.

Nugget
08-26-2009, 02:30 PM
If only he followed his home town Mariners more closely. On Monday Jose Lopez hit a home run so the next time he came up he got plunked right on the hip. Gave the glare and headed down to first. Up comes Griffey and takes the pitcher deep - that's the way to get them back.

RANDY IN INDY
08-26-2009, 02:49 PM
Great teaching opportunity right there -- help the kid learn how to handle adversity. Kids are not professional athletes and should not be treated as such.

Great teaching opportunity, no doubt. The teaching starts on day one. It is a team game and about losing yourself in the team. It's about not quitting. It's about playing the right way and having a good attitude. "Is it ok if I just hit this batter?" That sounds like a problem. The kids and coaches, at this level of play, have been together for a while. If he wanted to come out, and not be in the game, I'm sure there was someone on the bench who would have loved the opportunity. I would have given "that kid," the one who wanted to be there, the opportunity to play and contribute. If the kid didn't want to be out there, it isn't fair to the rest of the team to leave him in to pout and feel sorry for himself. The other kids have worked to hard to get to the Little League World Series. It is not about the individual.

Hoosier Red
08-26-2009, 03:03 PM
"Yes, I do. Can I sit out?" sure doesn't sound like toughness to me.


I was being sarcastic in the title. Many on here have called for Reds pitchers to be tough enough to bean someone on many occasions.

Johnny Footstool
08-26-2009, 03:27 PM
Great teaching opportunity, no doubt. The teaching starts on day one. It is a team game and about losing yourself in the team. It's about not quitting. It's about playing the right way and having a good attitude. "Is it ok if I just hit this batter?" That sounds like a problem. The kids and coaches, at this level of play, have been together for a while. If he wanted to come out, and not be in the game, I'm sure there was someone on the bench who would have loved the opportunity. I would have given "that kid," the one who wanted to be there, the opportunity to play and contribute. If the kid didn't want to be out there, it isn't fair to the rest of the team to leave him in to pout and feel sorry for himself. The other kids have worked to hard to get to the Little League World Series. It is not about the individual.

Exactly.

It's not about the individual. Clearly, the pitcher wasn't handling the situation well -- three wild pitches. His performance was hurting the team, and he knew it. Better for him to get out of that situation and let someone else step up.

I play softball ever year, and every year I have about two games in which I can't do anything right, even basic stuff. Sometimes, no amount of "mental toughness" fixes the problem. You have to know when to fold 'em.

traderumor
08-26-2009, 04:26 PM
Great teaching opportunity, no doubt. The teaching starts on day one. It is a team game and about losing yourself in the team. It's about not quitting. It's about playing the right way and having a good attitude. "Is it ok if I just hit this batter?" That sounds like a problem. The kids and coaches, at this level of play, have been together for a while. If he wanted to come out, and not be in the game, I'm sure there was someone on the bench who would have loved the opportunity. I would have given "that kid," the one who wanted to be there, the opportunity to play and contribute. If the kid didn't want to be out there, it isn't fair to the rest of the team to leave him in to pout and feel sorry for himself. The other kids have worked to hard to get to the Little League World Series. It is not about the individual.Maybe he was the coach's son ;)

Highlifeman21
08-26-2009, 04:34 PM
Maybe coaches should properly teach the art of the brush back pitch?

RANDY IN INDY
08-26-2009, 05:07 PM
Maybe coaches should properly teach the art of the brush back pitch?

Most eleven and twelve year olds are effectively wild enough to not make that a necessity.

OnBaseMachine
08-26-2009, 05:12 PM
I try not to equate being tough with being stupid. I do however wish that the Reds had a pitcher who was willing to plunk a guy (Velez) every so often when he shows us up. Cueto was one who I had hope for as he would pitch inside when he first came up, now not so much.

Cueto tied for the league lead in HBP last year (with Volquez) and was first this year before going on the DL.

traderumor
08-26-2009, 05:40 PM
Maybe coaches should properly teach the art of the brush back pitch?Yea, don't want that kid that can barely get the ball out of the infield diving out over the plate :p:

Highlifeman21
08-26-2009, 05:56 PM
Most eleven and twelve year olds are effectively wild enough to not make that a necessity.

Yeah, but effectively wild isn't the same as a purpose pitch.

While it can be a valuable weapon to be effectively wild, it's a completely different weapon to be able to get batters off the plate when you mean it, rather than essentially having a kid on the mound who has no idea where the ball's going.

IslandRed
08-26-2009, 06:29 PM
Yeah, but effectively wild isn't the same as a purpose pitch.

While it can be a valuable weapon to be effectively wild, it's a completely different weapon to be able to get batters off the plate when you mean it, rather than essentially having a kid on the mound who has no idea where the ball's going.

Well, we're talking about 11- and 12-year-olds, and the difference between a purpose pitch and a beanball is less than a foot. Not many of them can be trusted to throw a purpose pitch without it being functionally equivalent to headhunting.

jojo
08-26-2009, 06:38 PM
Seriously, we're talking about letting a pitcher purposefully bean a hitter in little league?

You don't bench a (11 or 12 year old) kid for throwing at a batter. You kick him out of the league.

Brutus
08-26-2009, 06:39 PM
Great teaching opportunity, no doubt. The teaching starts on day one. It is a team game and about losing yourself in the team. It's about not quitting. It's about playing the right way and having a good attitude. "Is it ok if I just hit this batter?" That sounds like a problem. The kids and coaches, at this level of play, have been together for a while. If he wanted to come out, and not be in the game, I'm sure there was someone on the bench who would have loved the opportunity. I would have given "that kid," the one who wanted to be there, the opportunity to play and contribute. If the kid didn't want to be out there, it isn't fair to the rest of the team to leave him in to pout and feel sorry for himself. The other kids have worked to hard to get to the Little League World Series. It is not about the individual.

It's a fine line though. It's also not teaching much to a kid to let him quit at the first sign of trouble. Baseball is a game, but it's also good for life lessons, too.

Yea the didn't want to be in there. You make a good point that it's not fair to the rest of the team. But I also think the kid isn't being done any favors to just quit on himself and his team so easily.

westofyou
08-26-2009, 08:15 PM
Seriously, we're talking about letting a pitcher purposefully bean a hitter in little league?

You don't bench a (11 or 12 year old) kid for throwing at a batter. You kick him out of the league.


Or ya smack him and he throws the next pitch, fields the grounder and lets the guy circle the bag as his teammates wrestle him for the ball.. at least that's how Brandon Cruz played teh scenario out in The Bad News Bears

RANDY IN INDY
08-27-2009, 10:16 AM
Yeah, but effectively wild isn't the same as a purpose pitch.

While it can be a valuable weapon to be effectively wild, it's a completely different weapon to be able to get batters off the plate when you mean it, rather than essentially having a kid on the mound who has no idea where the ball's going.

I have to agree with IslandRed and jojo. There really doesn't need to be brushback pitches in Little League Baseball. Certainly, don't need pitchers throwing at hitters in Little League. The beauty of the Little League game is the kids and the innocence that the majority of them bring. By the time they are 12 and 13, you see a few that start copping the attitudes, but for the most part, they are still nice, polite, little boys who want to please and do their best. The majority love to play, love to learn, and love to be with their friends and meet new ones.

traderumor
08-27-2009, 10:22 AM
Seriously, it is unbelievable that anyone would even consider "pitching inside" as something to teach at the Little League level, even in situations with predominantly advanced players.

Of course, my boys have been asking me if you are allowed to charge the mound in Little League, so maybe they have ideas next time they get plunked ;)

Johnny Footstool
08-27-2009, 11:26 AM
It's a fine line though. It's also not teaching much to a kid to let him quit at the first sign of trouble. Baseball is a game, but it's also good for life lessons, too.

Yea the didn't want to be in there. You make a good point that it's not fair to the rest of the team. But I also think the kid isn't being done any favors to just quit on himself and his team so easily.

The kid knew he was done. The kid's manager should have recognized that the kid didn't have it that day and taken him out of the game.

bucksfan2
08-27-2009, 02:52 PM
Just saw the video and the kid was a punk kid. He wanted to throw at the batter because he was about to have a hissy fit. The manager should have pulled him instead of sending him to 1b.

Highlifeman21
08-27-2009, 03:03 PM
I have to agree with IslandRed and jojo. There really doesn't need to be brushback pitches in Little League Baseball. Certainly, don't need pitchers throwing at hitters in Little League. The beauty of the Little League game is the kids and the innocence that the majority of them bring. By the time they are 12 and 13, you see a few that start copping the attitudes, but for the most part, they are still nice, polite, little boys who want to please and do their best. The majority love to play, love to learn, and love to be with their friends and meet new ones.

So when do you teach kids the brush back?

Gotta learn it at some point, no?

On a similar note, when do you begin to teach kids to pitch on the inner 1/3 of the plate? Also a skill that needs to be both learned and taught.

jojo
08-27-2009, 03:22 PM
So when do you teach kids the brush back?

Gotta learn it at some point, no?

On a similar note, when do you begin to teach kids to pitch on the inner 1/3 of the plate? Also a skill that needs to be both learned and taught.

You can teach kids how to pitch without teaching them the brush back (having a kid throw at people as part of his arsenal can actually stunt his growth as a pitcher-it certainly doesn't do much for developing his character).

Pitching inside really isn't the same thing as making a batter eat dirt.

At this level, teaching sportsmanship is a priority over cultivating an ultra-competitive, do whatever it takes to win attitude IMHO.

RANDY IN INDY
08-27-2009, 03:35 PM
You can teach kids how to pitch without teaching them the brush back (having a kid throw at people as part of his arsenal can actually stunt his growth as a pitcher-it certainly doesn't do much for developing his character).

Pitching inside really isn't the same thing as making a batter eat dirt.

At this level, teaching sportsmanship is a priority over cultivating an ultra-competitive, do whatever it takes to win attitude IMHO.

Couldn't have said it better. There is plenty of time to learn to control the plate.

RANDY IN INDY
08-27-2009, 03:55 PM
Just saw the video and the kid was a punk kid. He wanted to throw at the batter because he was about to have a hissy fit. The manager should have pulled him instead of sending him to 1b.

I kind of got that impression, as well. Been coaching a long time and you notice the attitude.

westofyou
08-27-2009, 05:35 PM
So when do you teach kids the brush back?

Gotta learn it at some point, no?



When they're adults, when they have vested interest in the results of the game that aren't completely egocentric.

In short they'll learn when the hitter is trying to take food off their families table.

Brutus
08-27-2009, 07:35 PM
The kid knew he was done. The kid's manager should have recognized that the kid didn't have it that day and taken him out of the game.

There's a big difference with kids in knowing you're done and thinking you're done. If you take a kid out everytime he thinks he can't do something, not many kids would last long. I'm not saying be irresponsible about it, but I feel like this was a case where the kid simply didn't want the pressure and not so much that he was 'done' so to speak.

traderumor
08-27-2009, 07:36 PM
So when do you teach kids the brush back?

Gotta learn it at some point, no?

On a similar note, when do you begin to teach kids to pitch on the inner 1/3 of the plate? Also a skill that needs to be both learned and taught.

In youth baseball, regardless of the level of competition, they are most needing to learn the fundamentals of pitching mechanics and repeating their deliveries along with strategies like keeping the hitters off balance with changing speeds, working both sides of the plate, and a low stress offspeed pitch, and perhaps two grip fastballs.

Pitching off the plate inside on purpose is beyond the scope of a youth pitcher's ability.

bucksfan2
08-28-2009, 09:48 AM
I was watching the LLWS one day at the gym. Some of the outside strikes that were being called would have hit a reverse batter. It really proved to me why pitchers don't work on the inside portion of the plate so much.

The main reason why I despise LLWS is the amount of curve balls that the coaches allow the pitcher to throw. Too many pitchers aren't taught the right way to throw a curve an blow out their arm way too early in their life. Nothing must be like being a LLWS champ who has a bum arm by the time they enter their 20's.

Hoosier Red
08-28-2009, 11:49 AM
I was watching the LLWS one day at the gym. Some of the outside strikes that were being called would have hit a reverse batter. It really proved to me why pitchers don't work on the inside portion of the plate so much.

The main reason why I despise LLWS is the amount of curve balls that the coaches allow the pitcher to throw. Too many pitchers aren't taught the right way to throw a curve an blow out their arm way too early in their life. Nothing must be like being a LLWS champ who has a bum arm by the time they enter their 20's.

Yeah but it's cool. The lucky ones blow out their arms in time to have Tommy John surgery and now people are coming back from that stronger than before.
:rolleyes:

traderumor
08-28-2009, 11:57 AM
I was watching the LLWS one day at the gym. Some of the outside strikes that were being called would have hit a reverse batter. It really proved to me why pitchers don't work on the inside portion of the plate so much.

The main reason why I despise LLWS is the amount of curve balls that the coaches allow the pitcher to throw. Too many pitchers aren't taught the right way to throw a curve an blow out their arm way too early in their life. Nothing must be like being a LLWS champ who has a bum arm by the time they enter their 20's.I am starting to think that at the little league level, if you teach kids to throw a two seam and four seam fastball plus a grip dependent change up (as opposed to slowing down arm speed, which is most likely all the average LL coach could teach) that they would have an ample arsenal of pitches and would have no need for the elbow/wrist twisting breaking pitches. If changing speeds and movement on a fastball gets major league hitters out, it surely will work on little league hitters. Save the breaking pitches for the post-puberty years. The only problem is that I doubt most little league coaches know how to teach those things.

Highlifeman21
08-28-2009, 01:12 PM
Couldn't have said it better. There is plenty of time to learn to control the plate.

But when do you start the lesson to control the plate?

What's the magical age?

7th grade was about the time I remember coaching staff @ baseball camps talking about it, coaches for whom I played talking about it.

While only a few coaches condoned and openly suggested the occasional plunk on purpose, every coach I ran across from 7th grade on emphasized the importance of pitching inside to hitters.

It was no surprise to me, the better pitchers I had as teammates, and the better pitchers I faced were definitely above average at pitching inside and challenging hitters in that manner.

redhawkfish
08-28-2009, 01:29 PM
I wonder how many major leaguers actually started as pichers in their early childhood baseball playing days?

My daughter did ask me this question last night when watching California vs. Georgia in the LLWS. Musburger briefly mentioned that LL teams bat their best hitters at the top of the line-up, and she asked "why don't the Reds do that?"

jojo
08-28-2009, 01:31 PM
Locating pitches is a lesson that is fundamental and should occur as mechanics are being taught. Pitching on the inner half of the plate is part of locating.

Throwing at batters is not the same thing as "owning the inside" and it's a lesson that is at odds with the mission of little league baseball.

If a pitcher has to hit batters in order to own the inside of the plate, he's going to find himself at the back of the line pretty quickly as the talent level increases.

IslandRed
08-28-2009, 01:34 PM
Throwing at batters is not the same thing as "owning the inside" and it's a lesson that is at odds with the mission of little league baseball.

Agreed. Not being afraid to pitch on the inside half is one thing, intentionally going up and in (the classic purpose pitch) is something else.

Highlifeman21
08-28-2009, 02:11 PM
So let's get a show of hands, how many people are anti-purpose pitch?

jojo
08-28-2009, 02:13 PM
So let's get a show of hands, how many people are anti-purpose pitch?

In little league?

traderumor
08-28-2009, 02:15 PM
So let's get a show of hands, how many people are anti-purpose pitch?I am anti-Little Leaguers shooting a loaded gun when they don't even know how to aim the thing properly yet.

Highlifeman21
08-28-2009, 02:16 PM
In little league?

What are we defining as little league?

I played knothole in the Cincinnati area from Kindergarten until I was a Junior in HS, along with playing in other leagues and organizations.

I considered knothole as "little league", so was it the entire K - 11? Or was it just K - 6?

jojo
08-28-2009, 02:24 PM
What are we defining as little league?

I played knothole in the Cincinnati area from Kindergarten until I was a Junior in HS, along with playing in other leagues and organizations.

I considered knothole as "little league", so was it the entire K - 11? Or was it just K - 6?

Little league is for 9 thru 12 yo. But basically, IMHO, if you're not a professional, you shouldn't be throwing at people. If you're a professional and you throw at someone, IMHO you're a smuck but at least you're an adult and can face the consequences.

Hoosier Red
08-28-2009, 02:28 PM
What logical reason is there to throw a pitch at someone elses head?

Judging from the fact that the kid had thrown 3 WP's already in the inning, if I was the coach when the kid asked me that, I'd have said, "Probably not if you're aiming at him."

RANDY IN INDY
08-28-2009, 04:37 PM
Locating pitches is a lesson that is fundamental and should occur as mechanics are being taught. Pitching on the inner half of the plate is part of locating.

Throwing at batters is not the same thing as "owning the inside" and it's a lesson that is at odds with the mission of little league baseball.

If a pitcher has to hit batters in order to own the inside of the plate, he's going to find himself at the back of the line pretty quickly as the talent level increases.

The bolded statement is totally on the mark and I fully agree. A lot of the pitchers that I have watched, in the Little League World Series, and in my direct experience with Little League and travel baseball, throw to the inside half of the plate quite effectively. My son throws to the inside half of the plate and is effective with it. Occasionally, with all pitchers, one gets away and someone gets "plunked" but I have not seen anything that I think is intentional. The technology of aluminum and composite bats have made it such that just about anyone with any semblance of talent can handle an inside pitch. Pitching is about mechanics, location and upsetting the timing of the hitter. Anyone that thinks youngsters need to intentionally throw at hitters is totally out of touch in my opinion.

westofyou
08-28-2009, 04:39 PM
So let's get a show of hands, how many people are anti-purpose pitch?

Purpose pitch?

For a 12 year old?

No time for fun anymore, travel teams, one sport focus, purpose pitches?

When someone wants your dinner then you can use a purpose pitch, if you're going to DQ win or lose then no purpose pitch.