Parting of the Garnet Sea?
Sitting in our Boston Legal-esque chairs brainstorming for our second blog, we realized our situation puts us in an advantageous position to analyze the relationship between pitchers and position players. With Ohmed being an outfielder and John being a pitcher, we thought, what better time than now to infiltrate the mindset of the two groups. A lot of jeering takes place between pitchers and hitters and we wanted to know if it's all in good fun or if there's malicious intent behind the jabs. That is why this journal is dedicated to answering that question...Is there true animosity between pitchers and hitters?
Pitcher's Point of View - John Gast
The concept of exclusively pitching and not contributing offensively begins, for many, in college. Thirteen of the 14 current pitcher only players, or "ponlys" as they are also known as on our team, also hit in high school. Along with the creation of "ponlys" has come the rift between pitchers and hitters. Before the specification of only pitching, all players shared common ground in hitting; now it seems, at times, we're separated like kids at a 6th grade dance. A lot of this has to do with the format of practice. Hitters and pitchers rarely interact, because we are divided into individual groups with the goal of efficiency, and because it would be impossible to do everything as a team.
A Seminole practice is not complete without some sort of scrimmage. In this situation, pitchers and hitters are momentarily transformed from allies to enemies. The results of these scrimmage at-bats are not off limits and often fuel the jeering. Pitchers know they may be reminded about a home run they gave up for a week or so, and likewise we remind the hitters how many times we struck them out.
In addition to scrimmage performance, the banter extends to the subject of who does more work at practice. The pitchers are at a disadvantage in this area because we can't pitch everyday, otherwise our arms would fall off. There are drills and other activities in which we participate; however, these are not deemed physically demanding enough to "count". Unfortunately, most of our difficult work takes place in the weight room, unnoticed by everyone except ourselves and strength coach Jesse Collins. He says, "the position players think the pitchers never have to work hard, 'all they do is sit around'; however, the pitchers workout during practice, which the position players don't see."
Position Player's Perspective - Ohmed Danesh
While sitting at home icing my legs and arms from working so hard, I thought I would spend a moment on a touchy subject about this wonderful game of baseball. When it comes to pitchers and positions players, most baseball enthusiasts would say that position players have the short end of the stick when it comes to easy practices. Now, I understand how exhausting throwing a ball can be, but come on, I mean how hard is it really? As a position player, I have to ask the ultimate question: Where do the pitchers go after pre-practice stretch? I mean, they stretch and then they disappear. Even though this is an unanswered question, it's a curiosity that all position players have.
I understand that a pitcher has a very important job, but it's difficult to say that pitchers work nearly as hard as position players do. If you were to attend a Seminole practice you would notice the position players on the field working tirelessly from 2:30 to around 5:00. You may also notice the absence of pitchers. They can be found inside in the air condition, wearing shorts. They claim they are working out in there but who really knows. Before I go any further, I would like to say on behalf of the outfielders we would like to thank the pitchers for taking time out of their "strenuous" agendas to pick up the balls during batting practice.
Since that's out of the way, I would like to begin to describe to you a typical practice schedule for a pitcher. Their day starts with shagging balls during batting practice, where they resemble roaming cattle. After we all stretch and the pitchers reappear from their mysterious departure, the position players will then notice that they work extra hard on their short boxes and pick offs. We all know that John Gast has a remarkable pick-off move and I suppose that's a result of the hours of pick-off drills. But, while the pitchers are doing these menial tasks the position players are turning their double plays, and diving for their unfeasible catches. All joking aside, every position player knows how important a pitcher is to the team, because without a dominant pitcher on the mound there would be no free hotdogs.
After going our separate ways to analyze our side of this unique battle, we reconvened in our much adored chairs and discussed the question at hand. We agreed the reason we give each other a hard time is because we want to keep everyone in check. If your laziness gets pointed out, we figure you'll be less likely to do it again. We decided there is no real animosity between pitchers and hitters, we are simply different animals. Deep down we realize we need each other.