Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 148

Thread: Baseball question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,379

    Baseball question

    Last week, I was at the ballpark watching my Phavorite baseball team lose in extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, my team had the bases loaded with two outs. I noticed that next batter was in the on-deck circle. The question in my mind is why. The current batter will either end the game by getting on base or the game will go to the 11th inning. There is no way the on-deck batter will bat in the current inning, so why bother warming up? He wasn't just standing there either. He was swinging the bat with the donut and stretching, etc. Is there a rule that the on-deck circle must be occupied even in the situation I just described?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    The Space Coast
    Posts
    4,703
    Might just be habit. Was it the actual batter next due up, or a bench player, in case the current batter somehow got injured (I know, long shot) and someone needed to pinch hit the rest of the at-bat? Otherwise, I agree with your assessment. There's no real reason for him to be there. I do not think there's any rule about the on-deck circle having to be occupied.

    CJSF
    "The sun is a quagmire
    It's not made of fire
    Forget what you've been told in the past
    Electrons are free
    (Plasma!) Fourth state of matter
    Not gas, not liquid, not solid"

    -They Might Be Giants, "Why Does The Sun Really Shine?"


    lonelybirder.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    8,958
    For what it's worth, I too have noticed that batters go out on-deck and warm up even though there's no chance they'll be batting in the inning.

    I think it's just force of habit. Also, Baseball players, as a rule, tend to be superstitious - so that may be part of why they don't do things differently even when the normal behavior is not necessary.

    (By the way, you forgot to specify that the score was still tied. That's important.)
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    I bet the players on the bench are chompin' at the bit to get out and get moving a bit too. I'd have a hard time sitting still in the dugout after being active in the field. Practice swings can still help keep your blood pump'n.

    . . . that, or he just wanted to be the first guy to pile on in the event of a walk-off hit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,327
    Quote Originally Posted by jfribrg View Post
    Last week, I was at the ballpark watching my Phavorite baseball team lose in extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, my team had the bases loaded with two outs. I noticed that next batter was in the on-deck circle. The question in my mind is why. The current batter will either end the game by getting on base or the game will go to the 11th inning. There is no way the on-deck batter will bat in the current inning, so why bother warming up? He wasn't just standing there either. He was swinging the bat with the donut and stretching, etc. Is there a rule that the on-deck circle must be occupied even in the situation I just described?
    My bold

    What was the score? I assume, your Phavorite team (the one batting) was losing by one run. If the current batter walked (which is possible), the game would be tied, and it wouldn't be over.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,379
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    (By the way, you forgot to specify that the score was still tied. That's important.)
    True. When I wrote it, I thought that the tie game was implied by the fact that they were still playing, but as you pointed out, it wasn't. If the home team was losing, then of course the on-deck batter may indeed bat in the same inning.

    Also, to answer the question by CJSF, it wasn't a pinch hitter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Clear Lake City, TX
    Posts
    13,041
    Quote Originally Posted by jfribrg View Post
    Last week, I was at the ballpark watching my Phavorite baseball team lose in extra innings. ...
    That is so inefficient. The Astros can easily lose a game in nine innings. In fact, they've been trying very hard this year to lose in seven or less.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

    Moderation will be in purple.
    Rules for Posting to This Board

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    16,561
    As a Mariners supporter, you have my sympathies.

    Here's my baseball question:
    You're in the American league, so the designated hitter rule applies. Do you HAVE to use a designated hitter? In the admittedly unrealistic case of a pitcher being a pretty good hitter, can you let him hit? Can you have the DH replace some other position, or does it have to be the pitcher?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    8,958
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    As a Mariners supporter, you have my sympathies.

    Here's my baseball question:
    You're in the American league, so the designated hitter rule applies. Do you HAVE to use a designated hitter? In the admittedly unrealistic case of a pitcher being a pretty good hitter, can you let him hit? Can you have the DH replace some other position, or does it have to be the pitcher?
    The DH can replace any defensive player, not just the pitcher.

    You do not need to use the DH if you don't want to, you can let your nine defensive players bat.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    564
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    The DH can replace any defensive player, not just the pitcher.

    You do not need to use the DH if you don't want to, you can let your nine defensive players bat.
    Almost: from Wikipedia:

    "The rule

    In Major League Baseball, the designated hitter is a hitter who does not play a position, but instead fills in the batting order for the pitcher. DH at the MLB level may be used for the pitcher only as stated in Rule 6.10. In any case, use of the DH is optional, however, the manager must designate a DH prior to the start of the game; failure to do so forfeits the right to use the DH, and the pitcher must then take his turn at bat. The designated hitter may not play a field position and he may only be replaced by another player not currently in the lineup. However, the designated hitter may become a position player at any point during the game; if he does so, his team forfeits the role of the designated hitter, and the pitcher or another player (possible only in case of a multiple substitution) must bat in the newly opened spot in the batting order. "

    and even more complications if the DH becomes the pitcher or more complicated switching is involved...

    Also rules for minor league and amateur baseball differ from MLB rules. For amateur leagues, the DH can substitute for other positions.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    8,958
    Quote Originally Posted by BioSci View Post
    Almost: from Wikipedia:

    "The rule

    In Major League Baseball, the designated hitter is a hitter who does not play a position, but instead fills in the batting order for the pitcher. DH at the MLB level may be used for the pitcher only as stated in Rule 6.10. In any case, use of the DH is optional, however, the manager must designate a DH prior to the start of the game; failure to do so forfeits the right to use the DH, and the pitcher must then take his turn at bat. The designated hitter may not play a field position and he may only be replaced by another player not currently in the lineup. However, the designated hitter may become a position player at any point during the game; if he does so, his team forfeits the role of the designated hitter, and the pitcher or another player (possible only in case of a multiple substitution) must bat in the newly opened spot in the batting order. "

    and even more complications if the DH becomes the pitcher or more complicated switching is involved...

    Also rules for minor league and amateur baseball differ from MLB rules. For amateur leagues, the DH can substitute for other positions.
    Huh. I had not realized that MLB restricted the DH to the pitcher. Thanks for the info.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    I always thought it strange that pitchers tend to not be very good batters. You'd think they'd have an edge. And most had to bat through the various leagues they played in growing up in baseball.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,327
    Quote Originally Posted by BioSci View Post
    In any case, use of the DH is optional, however, the manager must designate a DH prior to the start of the game; failure to do so forfeits the right to use the DH, and the pitcher must then take his turn at bat.
    I watched a game (I think on TV) that this happened at. There was some last minute line-up changes, they forgot to list a DH, and the pitcher was forced to bat.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,327
    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    I always thought it strange that pitchers tend to not be very good batters. You'd think they'd have an edge. And most had to bat through the various leagues they played in growing up in baseball.
    The excuse is that they don't get nearly as many at-bats. Figure 4 at-bats a game, six games a week, your average position player get 20 to 25 at-bats a week. Your average starting pitcher, even in the National League, get 3 or 4. But you do wonder why they are as bad as they are.

    There have also been some pitchers who were good hitters. In my youth, the Mets' pitcher, Jerry Koosman, generally batted around 0.275 to 0.300, and had a few homeruns. IIRC, C.C. Sabathia, even though he is in the AL, has batted pretty well with both the Indians and the Yankess.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I watched a game (I think on TV) that this happened at. There was some last minute line-up changes, they forgot to list a DH, and the pitcher was forced to bat.
    Sounds familiar; so maybe an Indians game a few years back? Though I don't *think* it was the Indians who made the mistake.

    Some of my favorite sports moments are when players have to step out of their role to fill a position, and they rise up to the challenge. Last year, Columbus [Crew's] keeper went down with a broken collarbone after they had already used all their substitutions. Eddie Gaven, a midfielder, put on some gloves and took up position in goal. He even made a few awesome saves! It made the bitterness of losing Hesmer to injury just before the playoffs a little less painful, at least for that night.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,327
    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    Sounds familiar; so maybe an Indians game a few years back? Though I don't *think* it was the Indians who made the mistake.

    Some of my favorite sports moments are when players have to step out of their role to fill a position, and they rise up to the challenge. Last year, Columbus [Crew's] keeper went down with a broken collarbone after they had already used all their substitutions. Eddie Gaven, a midfielder, put on some gloves and took up position in goal. He even made a few awesome saves! It made the bitterness of losing Hesmer to injury just before the playoffs a little less painful, at least for that night.
    Yes, I think it was an Indians game.

    I heard a story similar to your Crew's story; it was during one of the recent Indians games, and they were talking about some Indians game back in the 80s. The opposing team had a batter coming up that the Indians manager wanted to bring in a different pitcher for, but he only wanted to do it for the one batter, and otherwise wanted to keep his starting pitcher. So, he pulled his second baseman, and had the starting pitcher move to second. He brought in this new pitcher as a substitue for the second baseman, had him pitch to the one batter (who struck out), took out the substitute pitcher, put a new second baseman in, and had the starting pitcher go back to pitching.

    Of course, if the batter hits a ground ball to your second baseman pitcher, and he can't field it, your plan seems pretty stupid. But, in this case, it worked.

    There have also been a number of times where, in a long, extra-innings game, a team runs out of pitchers, and has to have someone else pitch.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    The Space Coast
    Posts
    4,703
    Pitchers also have a different work out and practice schedule. There's less time for batting practice, and work outs are going to, on the whole, focus on arm speed and strength, and on the other muscles supporting throwing perhaps 100+ pitches (for a starter).

    CJSF
    "The sun is a quagmire
    It's not made of fire
    Forget what you've been told in the past
    Electrons are free
    (Plasma!) Fourth state of matter
    Not gas, not liquid, not solid"

    -They Might Be Giants, "Why Does The Sun Really Shine?"


    lonelybirder.org

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    8,958
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I watched a game (I think on TV) that this happened at. There was some last minute line-up changes, they forgot to list a DH, and the pitcher was forced to bat.
    We had one of the other situations occur with our local minor league team last week - the DH got put in at a defensive position, so the pitcher had to bat the rest of the game.

    We had a couple of players who were unavailable to play because of minor injuries, and our starting right fielder got himself ejected. The only available replacement was the guy who was already in the game as the DH. In fact, we moved our starting first basemen out to right field and put our DH at first base.

    That DH was also our backup catcher, so it's a good thing the starting catcher didn't end up getting hurt or something...
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    564
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    The excuse is that they don't get nearly as many at-bats. Figure 4 at-bats a game, six games a week, your average position player get 20 to 25 at-bats a week. Your average starting pitcher, even in the National League, get 3 or 4. But you do wonder why they are as bad as they are.

    There have also been some pitchers who were good hitters. In my youth, the Mets' pitcher, Jerry Koosman, generally batted around 0.275 to 0.300, and had a few homeruns. IIRC, C.C. Sabathia, even though he is in the AL, has batted pretty well with both the Indians and the Yankess.
    It may be more that the intense selection for performance means that a pitcher can win a game with little or no batting skill and be considered a "star" player - whereas a field player can become a star by batting well and only needs average field performance but if he is not good at batting he will not become a star player based only on field performance.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Pitchers also have a different work out and practice schedule. There's less time for batting practice, and work outs are going to, on the whole, focus on arm speed and strength, and on the other muscles supporting throwing perhaps 100+ pitches (for a starter).

    CJSF
    Sure, but if they were all forced to bat, then I'm sure they'd readjust the training to add in some more batting.

    Though, what I didn't consider, is many pitchers don't just show up as starters. So even in the NL, you'd see many many less live at-bats if you were a reliever, and even fewer if you were a closer.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    of Greatest Eclipse, Aug. 21 2017 (Kentucky, USA)
    Posts
    4,552
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    As a Mariners supporter, you have my sympathies.
    And mine as well.

    Being way out here, I haven't watched a Mariners game in years. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,379
    I believe that the real reason that pitchers are poor hitters is that they use the DH in the minor leagues, even NL farm teams. When a pitcher shows up in the majors, many of them haven't faced a pitcher in serious competition since high school or even little league. There's a huge difference between your average high school varsity pitcher and an MLB caliber pitcher. Of course not all pitchers are bad hitters. There seem to be more and more pitchers whose average is above .200. In fact, in the game I mentioned in the OP, the pitcher for my Phavorite team had a 10 pitch at-bat, which ended with him depositing the ball in the stands beyond center field. Unfortunately for the home team, that was the only scoring that said home team would do.

    As an aside, Babe Ruth played mostly as a pitcher for 6 years. They moved him to the outfield so that he could hit every day. Back then, there was no DH. Imagine if he had played every day for those 6 years. He might still have the home run record.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Durham NC USA
    Posts
    8,204
    Quote Originally Posted by jfribrg View Post
    I believe that the real reason that pitchers are poor hitters is that they use the DH in the minor leagues, even NL farm teams.
    Pitchers were poor hitters in general before there was such a thing as the DH.
    As an aside, Babe Ruth played mostly as a pitcher for 6 years. They moved him to the outfield so that he could hit every day. Back then, there was no DH. Imagine if he had played every day for those 6 years. He might still have the home run record.
    It looks more like 3 1/2 years, in the majors. And he must've been used as a pinch hitter in those, because the Baseball Encyclopedia says he played in 10-20 more games than he pitched, those years.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Florida.
    Posts
    6,090
    I think there's some rule that the next batter has to be ready to hit at all times. Long ago, the leadoff man might stand in the circle while the #8 man batted, so that the pitcher could stay in the dugout and rest unjtil he really had to go up there. If the pitcher actually got on base (gasp!), he was allowed to wear a warmup jacket on cool days while running the bases. I haven't seen that in a long time.

    Used to be that if the catcher had to stand on-deck with two out, he might still have his shin guards strapped on, so that if the current batter made the last out, he'd save time in getting in gear for defense. They made a rule against that some time in the 1960s to speed up the game -- in the cases where he did get to bat it took an additional 10 seconds to lose the shin guards.

    Back when the pitchers were still expected to bat, some hard-working regulars were still terrible hitters. Sandy Koufax was awful at the plate, and quite perversely, he hit from a right-handed stance, which meant that his million-dollar left arm was exposed to the other pitcher's fast ball. Were he on my team, he'd have to wear an iron glove when batting.

    Then again, some pitchers could take care of themselves on offense: Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale and Don Newcombe come to mind.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,379
    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Then again, some pitchers could take care of themselves on offense: Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale and Don Newcombe come to mind.
    I also remember Rick Wise. In 1971 he hit two home runs in the same game that he no-hit the Reds. Later in the year he hit a grand slam. After the game he said he was just trying to hit a fly ball far enough to score the runner on third. That's exactly what he did.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    The Wild West
    Posts
    9,514
    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    I think there's some rule that the next batter has to be ready to hit at all times.
    Right. I think the ump will stop the game until somebody is in the on-deck circle, apparently whether he will possibly get up or not.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    3,234
    In general, pitchers are poor hitters because people who excel (are among the best in the world) at two different things are rare.

    It's much easier to find someone who will be a good hitter, or someone who will be a good pitcher, than it is to find someone who will be both.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    16,561
    Dave McNally, who was from the town where I grew up, is still the only pitcher ever to hit a grand slam in a World Series as far as I know.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    12,185
    Quote Originally Posted by aurora View Post
    In general, pitchers are poor hitters because people who excel (are among the best in the world) at two different things are rare.

    It's much easier to find someone who will be a good hitter, or someone who will be a good pitcher, than it is to find someone who will be both.
    So, why are there stellar short stops that can hit, or all-star outfielders who can hit? I don't buy that reason at all.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,379
    I believe that it is because pitching is a specialized position. I have no experience in coaching a baseball team ( alothough I have a neighbor who is a college coach; I will ask him next time I see him), but I think that the pitchers spend all of their time developing their throwing arm. In addition, since they will be hitting at most once every 4 or 5 days or so, it makes sense that you don't spend too much time working on the hitting. On the other hand, maybe some visionary coach will change that and let all the pitchers get batting practice etc. That would give the team a whole bullpen full of potential pinch hitters and change the dynamics of the game rather substantially.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 2011-Aug-28, 04:24 PM
  2. An elementary baseball question
    By Jens in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 2009-Nov-13, 10:55 PM
  3. Collectables question (baseball cards)
    By Tog in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 2009-Feb-17, 07:07 AM
  4. Some interesting baseball **...
    By Hornblower in forum Science and Technology
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 2008-Sep-18, 01:41 AM
  5. Baseball Playoffs
    By Normandy6644 in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 124
    Last Post: 2004-Oct-29, 10:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •