Pitchers Intentionally Hitting Batters: Take it or leave it?
- Updated: February 26, 2014
Baseball is still a game steeped in tradition and one of the less favorable traditions is when pitchers intentionally hit batters. I am usually not in favor of this, but at the professional level, I think a retaliatory hitting of a batter is almost a gentlemanly act … when done correctly. Yes, I said it! In my opinion, there is a right and a wrong way of hitting a batter. But before I delve too deeply into this topic, I feel the need to touch upon the topic of hitting batters in general.
For the record, it is never appropriate for pitchers to intentionally hit batters at the little league level … EVER! I would also discourage it at the High School level as well and if it is done at all it should be seriously punishable by way of a multi-game suspension. However, college baseball might be able to play by the same rules as the pro game due to the age and maturity level of the players.
The act of hitting a batter for any reason outside of blatantly “showing up” or acts of “rubbing it in” or after one of your players were blatantly hit should never even be considered. In the rare occasion that retaliation should be carried out, there is a gentlemanly way of going about it. Under NO circumstances is the pitcher to go aim for the head or anywhere else in that vicinity. Nor should targets be the ribs, back, knees, arms or any other vital parts of the body. Therefore, that leaves only the butt or thigh areas (that is, unless the player has a known injury to either of those two spots of their body. Likewise, the next batter in the lineup should never be the target of retaliation nor any other player except for the offending party unless, like in the American League pitchers do not hit. In those circumstances, the next batter faced by the offending party should be targeted. Also of note, the pitch of choice should not be a fastball. This is not an eye for an eye, but is more about standing up for oneself and as a protest against bullying if no other option is available. Winning the game is always the ultimate in retaliation!
I am personally fed up with egotistical pitchers who are too sensitive to opposing player’s emotions and therefore react by their own emotions. “Headhunters” on a team are actually a point of analysis for the oddsmakers at Sports Betting Dime – which should make it clear that the actions of these men should have consequences before someone gets seriously hurt one of these days. I think this would cut down on bench clearing brawls in baseball and let’s be honest, there really is no good reason for them in a sport that has so little contact, unlike hockey, football and even basketball.
In fact, if you can recall a time when a batter was seriously hurt by a beaning, please share that with all of us in the comments that follow this post.