Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: PJ Media — Rick Moran @ 4:47 am

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My latest column is up at PJ Media. It’s about Barry Bonds and the controversy surrounding his assault on Hank Aaron’s career home run record.

One aspect of the controversy I cover is why Major League ballplayers overwhelmingly believe that Bonds is the greatest of all time. One reason they believe that certainly has a lot to do with how difficult it is to hit a baseball:

As it leaves the pitcher’s hand, the batter has about 2/10 of a second to read the pitch and decide whether to swing the bat or not. In those fractions of a second, the player must decide what kind of pitch is being thrown, how fast it is going to be arriving at home plate, and whether or not the ball will cross home plate for a strike. Being off a couple thousandths of a second means the difference between hitting the ball or not. And the pitcher, God bless him, has other tricks up his sleeve as well. He can change speeds from pitch to pitch to keep the hitter off balance. He can change the angle of his arm when he delivers the ball – coming “over the top” or “dropping down” and slinging the ball almost sidearm. This will change the rotation of the seams against the air between the mound and home plate causing the ball to shoot across the plate while diving downward.

The ball can also be made to curve so that when leaving the pitcher’s hand, the sphere appears to be making a bee line straight for the batter’s head only to fall harmlessly, knee high, over the outside corner of the pentagon-shaped home plate. The flight of the ball toward the hitter’s noggin initiates the “fight or flee” reflex deep in the primitive medulla oblongata, causing the batter’s rear end to begin to skedaddle and the knees to buckle in anticipation that trying to flee from the white demon would be useless. Meanwhile, 50 million years of cognitive mammalian evolution is screaming at the rump to stay put and swing the damn bat because the pitcher is making you look like an idiot.

The result? A brain cramp that causes the batter to freeze like a side of beef in a Kansas City meat locker while the ball drops gently over the corner for a called strike. The pitcher tries not to smile too broadly because he knows that the next curve ball he throws may not be so perfect. He may, in fact, make a slight error in the way he delivers the pitch and instead of curving, the ball will hang over the middle of home plate like a ripe plum thigh high, at which point the batter will swing, connect, and send the ball into the next zip code.

Thus be it ever the eternal battle between pitcher and hitter.


  1. Barry Bonds, horrible human being, and inarguably a cheater should be booted from the league and all his “records” erased.

    Until a clean player comes along, Maris has the single-season record and Aaron will be the home run king.

    Oh and go Sox.

    Comment by Shawn — 6/15/2007 @ 6:08 pm

  2. Hitting a round ball with a rounded stick…

    Nice description of the near-impossibility of hitting a baseball. Right Wing Nut House. With a note on Barry Bonds….

    Trackback by Maggie's Farm — 6/16/2007 @ 6:04 am

  3. What I find most interesting about the Bond’s controversy is that the “proof” of his being a “cheater” relies - dispite his never failing any drug test - on the scribblings of a couple of reporters and large heapings of guilt by association. The sports media treats his “guilt” as a “given” mainly due to their long standing dislike of Bonds - which he has always actively reciprocated - and the fact that were they to question the credibility and or accuracy of the reporters, they would also bring into question their own. I’m always suspicious when one set of media types, treats the statements of another set, as gospel truth.

    Comment by Michael D. Giles — 6/16/2007 @ 10:26 am

  4. Barry Bonds is considered “uppity”. You all know what that means. When Jackie Robinson started fighting back they called him “uppity” also. Barry Bonds has been the best player in baseball for about thirty years. Go back ten years and look at his career numbers then. Ten years ago they were predicting he would set the home run record. Barry has to much contempt for sports writers. Jock snifers.

    Comment by Carlyle Perry — 6/17/2007 @ 9:46 am

  5. To Carlye. No one called him uppity, nice try you foot licking cuckold boy. Arons,Ruth and so on did it with balls something your midnight fantasy doesn’t have any more .But thats ok, You can still have your dirty little dreams.

    Comment by rofish — 6/17/2007 @ 5:26 pm

  6. Rofish: I must have hit a nerve.

    Comment by Carlyle Perry — 6/19/2007 @ 2:17 pm

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