Always run on a strikeout

One summer, when I was playing competitive girls’ softball, I had a coach who mandated that anytime one of us struck out, no matter what, we were to drop the bat and run to first.  And he made it very clear that this was not optional, hinting at some undesirable consequences should anyone neglect to do so.  Nobody on the team wanted to discover what these consequences might be, so every strikeout, without fail, the batter automatically sprinted for first.  I don’t recall now whether anyone ever actually made it to first — I think maybe it did happen once or twice.

San Francisco’s Gregor Blanco proved last night exactly why my old coach had been so adamant about this.  When it comes to baseball and softball, even the smallest thing can make a huge difference.  Last night, Blanco struck out to lead off the game against the Rockies, but when Nick Hundley couldn’t corral the pitch, Blanco set out for first.  An ill-advised throw from Hundley down the first base line went wild, and suddenly, Blanco found himself on third.

After the game, Blanco commented, “It was weird. I struck out but I got to third base. So I kind of felt like I did my job. As a leadoff man, you’re supposed to get on base no matter what.”

Unfortunately for Blanco, the at-bat still goes down as a strikeout.  However, I’m sure the Giants don’t have too many complaints about how that plate appearance turned out.

Quote of the day

No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined.

~Paul Gallico

Library of Congress

Pittsburgh softball team’s interview video bomb

A little bit of humor to start off our Friday.

Early last week, the Pitt softball team decided to video bomb their coach, Holly Aprile, during what appears to be a pre-game interview.  They put a creative twist on it too, donning swimming goggles and “swimming” in the background.  It’s hilarious to watch, and even better to see the attempt to push through the interview without giggling.

This day in baseball: Switch-hitting fail

After hitting three homers already on May 21, 1930, Babe Ruth decided to try his hand at switch-hitting.  In the ninth inning against the A’s Jack Quinn, Ruth stepped up to the right side of the plate to take his cuts.  It quickly became evident that he was no Mickey Mantle, however, as he quickly found himself down by two strikes.  Ruth then decided to return to the left side of the plate, but it was too late, and Quinn completed the strikeout.

Wikimedia Commons
Babe Ruth, 1921 (public domain)