On the eve of the state baseball tournament in Columbus this weekend, we share the thoughts of a number of correspondents over the recent column on the subject of pitch counts in high school baseball. If the National Federation is reading…I’m not sure they’re going to like what they see.
In our May 24th column entitled ‘The Toughest Title Just Got Tougher’ we touched on the reality of what the new pitch count rule might mean to prospective teams with limiting pitching while competing in this weekend’s OHSAA state tournament.
Understand, that the pitch count rule has nothing to do with the OHSAA. It’s a mandate set down by the National Federation of Baseball rules makers that says if, for instance, a pitcher throws 31 pitches in the semi-final round on Friday this week, he cannot come back on Saturday and pitch in the championship game.
We shared the comments of a couple of local players in that May 24th column, but for the fact of Twitter the column went out well beyond the boundaries of local conferences and readership. The responses we received were numerous, and unanimous, in contempt for the new rule, from coaches and players, whose identities, though provided, we’ve chosen not to reveal:
“I like baseball. No, I love baseball and look forward all year to our high school baseball season. The new rule sucks because I train and condition to pitch whenever I’m needed by my team. If I needed to I could throw 50 pitches three days in a row without any problem, or threat of injury. I have one year left to play, so I want to play. It’s not fair.”
“It’s a rule made by old men who don’t play, can’t play, and never did play. If they did they’d know how much fun baseball really is they wouldn’t do this. I know I’m not going to be in the major leagues so this is my only chance to play. Butt out!”
“I play football, too, but baseball is my favorite sport. So if a pitch count is that important how come there’s no limit to the number of times you can carry the ball in football? It doesn’t make sense.”
“The new rule goes against everything I ever learned growing up from my coaches and even professionals. To improve arm strength you have to throw, and the more you throw the more you protect yourself from arm injury. Your body will tell you when you’ve had enough.”
“More politics, and another compromise to political correctness from those who want to make everything in life safer. It makes me sick as a coach because soon there’ll be no motivation to even play hard, let alone win. Believe me, the next rule will be one to exclude kids who throw 90 miles per hour from competitive high school baseball…as a safety precaution.”
“The National Federation and other governing bodies would do well to clean up their own act before they put tinker with something as simple and good as baseball.”
“I’d like to tell the rules makers they can work two months a year, and then try to make ends meet and be happy for the other ten months. Maybe then they’d understand how the rest of us feel about the pitch count rule.”
“Dammit, there have to be some ‘real’ issues out there that need addressing before pitch counts in high school baseball. Let the kids play.”
And one more….
“At the risk of sounding foolish the new rule makes you want to cheat the system for the sake of fairness to the players. It’s their game, after all, and they only have a short time to play. 99% of them are not going to go on to professional baseball, and most won’t even play in college, so what makes the difference how many pitches you throw? If you get sore you’ll quit. If you’re that talented you wouldn’t take physical risks, anyway. Really, what this does is take the most talented out of the equation as another attempt at “competitive balance”. If pitcher ‘A’ pitches on Monday and isn’t available on Tuesday, that would seem to be an advantage for a less talented team. Anything to put more trophies in the hands of more teams and call it competitive balance.” … Robt. Critchley
And, man does not live by baseball alone. You have to have fishing, apparently!
“I want to commend you for the great article you had recently on fishing (May 4, Why People Fish). I absolutely enjoyed that and sent the link to friends, letting them know that they can find these kinds of stories on Press Pros. Very well done, and thanks for sharing the joy that you get from fishing, whether you catch something or not.” … Greg Bennett (Westerville, Oh)
And this response to Hal McCoy’s most recent reader “Q” and “A” on baseball and historical perspective.
“I really enjoyed Hal McCoy’s answer to the question about whether the ’75 Reds seem like ancient history, like the Bronx Bomber Yankees did in the 60s. Let me add this. I very well remember the 1961 Reds team that finally made it to the World Series for the first time since 1940. That 21 year span seemed like an eternity because I wasn’t alive in 1940. Now it’s actually been 25 years since the Reds last appeared in and won the 1990 World Series. And for some reason, as Hal said, that 25 years seems like only yesterday. Great question, and great answer, Hal.” … Denny Wilson (Indianapolis)