Things pitchers do that drive their teammates nuts
Pitchers are a different breed. Lefties are a whole different species but that’s for another post.
You wouldn’t be able to tell below the college level because most pitchers at those younger levels play
other positions besides just pitch and therefore still have a little bit of “normal” in the ole noggin. But something clearly changes when the pitcher spends all his time on the hill. Maybe it’s the altitude.
I was fortunate to get to AA as a shortstop first and then back there as a pitcher the following year so I have a unique perspective. I’d like to think my days as a shortstop helped me avoid driving my teammates nuts but I think it’s inevitable when you start walking up the hill 100% of the time.
Based on my experience, here are some tips for pitchers in order to avoid the wrath of their teammates.
Stop wasting time! This one is the granddaddy of them all. Nobody likes three hour games, especially your teammates who have to play in that heat every single day. More specifics about this in tomorrow’s post!
Don’t just cheerlead on the days you pitch! If you do, you will be hated by your teammates. Nothing says “I only care about the score when I pitch” more than a guy who sits at the end of the dugout and chats about nothing for four days during all games and then all of a sudden becomes the team’s best advocate when he takes the bump. Total fraud.
NEVER try to get a hit changed to an error. I’ve seen this too many times than I care to remember. An opposing hitter hits a ball that arguably should have been caught but isn’t. The scorekeeper gives it a hit and maybe even an earned run. The pitcher either talks to the scorekeeper after the game or tries to get his pitching coach or manager to do it. (Yes, this really does happen) Somehow the pitcher fails to realize that the error that is now charged goes to one of his teammates. I saw three clubhouse fights break out over this very thing and each time the pitcher seemed to have no clue as to what he did wrong. Again, I think it’s the altitude.
Don’t ignore pickoff attempts. Some pitchers would seemingly rather be caught dead than to try a pickoff move to second base. Pitchers need to understand that getting an out without having to throw a pitch is a good thing! The infielders are not doing it to annoy you. They want to help.
Do not show any negativity towards your fielders when they screw up. Yesterday’s post was an example of this. I’ve witnessed several fights over this one as well. Fielders don’t show you up when you walk the bases loaded or groove an 0-2 fastball so return the favor.
When you become a pitcher full-time, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a position player. Treat your fielding teammates with respect and they will play harder for you in return.
Tomorrow’s post: Ways that pitchers can stop wasting time