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Additionally, the batter's momentary decisions on speed, location, spin, and game situation are further complicated by his having already built up a precise image of the strike zone, or whether the pitch will be called strike or ball if he doesn't swing. It's a matter of centimeters in the brain's visualization.

Spin is analyzed by noting the movement of the narrow red seams (stitching) on the ball. Good batters can tell if it's a 2-seam or 4-seam fastball, cut fastball, split finger fastball, hard or soft slider (including the back door variety), hard or soft curve, or even a knuckleball, which may or may not be spinning at all, or going backwards. Clear?

Further, the batter must not be impeded in his movements by the hard plastic cup protecting the family jewels, which is why the batter often "adjusts" same. and while it is essential to have a moist mouth, too much moisture can affect the concentration, thus the infamous spitting.

In the old days, getting rid of excess chewing tobacco juice before stepping into the box was essential. It is now absurd to watch grown men, especially with Boston Beards stolen from the Amish, blowing pink bubbles. But that's another story.

Spitting on the catcher's spikes (shoes) was not illegal, although the next pitch was likely to be sent at your head (Chin Music). Thus the catcher's spikes remained free of tobacco juice.

Ummm, almost forgot. The batter also carries images of the particular pitcher's different pitches in his brain... as well as strategic tendencies.

and some players hit better under artificial lighting in night games as opposed to traditional day games, and verse vica.

Also, the batter is blocking out the fans behind the plate yelling, "Swing, rabbit ears!"

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Oct 30th, 2013 at 03:26:48 PM EST
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