Thursday, July 12, 2007

Radar guns are bad

This is just something I never considered but, from a pitchers point of view, what an interesting point of view. Jonathon Papelbon, the Sox ace closer, is suggesting MLB should do away with radar guns at games. He makes the point that it gives the hitters a huge advantage over pitchers.

“It’s a total advantage to a hitter - If I’m throwing 98 [mph] pitch after pitch, a batter can get set for what’s coming. If I’m throwing 93, they might know I’m not feeling as well. Why don’t we just tell guys what’s coming? It’s terrible. They’ll know what range your fastball is and what your offspeed stuff is. I have no idea why they started doing this.”
From the Buffalo news online

I completely agree with Papelbon, it is unfair, now that I think about it. Why should the hitters get such information on a pitcher? Should pitchers be shown a little stat of the upcoming batters bat speed on the day? Of course not. So, if the batter was out all last night knocking back shots in a underground bar with Tara Reid and Derek Lowe, should it be announced to all at the game that his bat speed is lagging at 40mph? Of course not.

I can tell you the guys on the Irish National Baseball team aren't huge radar gun fans either. Perhaps for slightly different reasons. In 2001 the Irish National team had the honour of playing an exhibition game at Fenway Park. During the game, we were fascinated with the radar gun readings which were being shown near the scoreboard. Former Irish team player Brian Connolly giddily shouted out almost every pitches speed.

Radar guns are bad!
Irish baseball team v Slocum, RI - Fenway Aug 2001

The Rhode Island club we played, Slocum Baseball Club, had one kid throwing ninety. The Irish pitching on the day was either mid seventies or lower. At one stage, with former Irish team pitcher Ken Murphy on the hill, Brian roared out excitedly 'He hit 78! He hit 78!'.

Bill Beglane, who was the winning pitcher for Ireland first ever win, a 10-9 decision over Yugoslavia in 1996, came back to the dugout laughing to himself after one inning. I asked what was up with him and he replied, 'Did you see that changeup I threw? It was 53 mph!'

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The Irish Team in Croatia 2000

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