Friday, May 12, 2006

A whole new meaning for changeup

I've always wondered how successful a switch-throwing pitcher could be in the big leagues. I tried doing some research and found that there has only been one guy, Greg Harris, who has done it since 1900. As an Expo, he pitched to four batters and had a shutout inning in 1995 against the Reds. For years he had wanted to try it out in the Majors, and after being told no for his whole career, good old Felipe Alou finally let him.

As a sidenote, the first guy to do it was Tony Mullane (shown at left), starting back in 1881. Dude didn't even wear a glove, he just toed the rubber with the ball in both hands and picked one to throw with.

Anyhow, what got my interest going was this article. While I don't think the kid will ever get to the big leagues, it's interesting to think how effective someone who could pitch well from both sides, and was allowed to do so, might be.

Did anyone else know that Bucky Dent is the bench coach for the Cincinnati Reds? I didn't.

Recently, Simmons wrote a great article about his obsession with fantasy baseball, and how his wife doesn't quite understand his fanaticism over his team. As I find myself six weeks into my Yahoo Fantasy League, the article was quite poignant to me. I no longer care about the fate of entire teams, just players. Oakland lost to Toronto 8-3? Who cares, Nick Swisher went 2-4 with two HR's, and he didn't strike out. I don't care that the Twins are 15-19, I care that Torii Hunter is only hitting .268. I won't even dane to glance at the Orioles box score until Brian Roberts comes off of the DL.

It's kind of pathetic, in a way. I've turned into even more of a box-score and stats person than I was before. It's fun, though, at the same time. I have been following baseball much more closely all season, and since I don't have any money invested in this league, if I lose it's still okay. All the same, I wish Joe Mauer was doing as well as everyone thought he was going to.

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