Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

My curiosity brings you a poll

michaelkaypitch

Some of my tweets from Saturday night.

At times I get self-conscious about how often I use Twitter.  Now, I’m currently out of work and spend most of my time online looking for work and applying for work, so I’m there anyway.  It isn’t my time online that I fret over, it’s how many consecutive tweets I send out in a single time period on any given day.  I don’t want to flood anyone’s Twitter feed.  I hate when people do it to me and I’ve unfollowed many people I enjoy following because I had opened up Twitter and was greeted by nothing but THEIR tweets pushing everyone else I follow out of my feed.  So I’m conscious of the fact that I shouldn’t use Twitter just to ramble on and on and on…but sometimes I forget myself.  The above tweets are examples of that.

But those tweets gave me an idea.  And here’s where I totally change gears:

I don’t want to write about Twitter.  I want to write about pitchers and catchers and how they are perceived by the fans and the media.

I didn’t choose to rename my blog “Toeing the Rubber” just because it was one of the only baseball-related phrases still available to take as a domain name.  I’m fascinated by pitchers.  There are many reasons why I often mention that I’d love to sit down and interview Kyle Snyder and one of them is to try and get an idea of the thoughts are of someone who chooses to put their body through what pitchers do.  Sure, position players play every day, but to my way of thinking, it’s the playing every day that would be easier.  Pitchers have to sit around, whether waiting for their turn in the rotation or waiting for that call to the bullpen, and they’re expected to be on top of their game every time.  They aren’t doing the same things day after day the way position players are and they don’t have 162 opportunities to prove themselves.   I genuinely can’t wrap my mind around the idea that the job of a pitcher is “easy”.

Putting aside the fact that I think Michael Kay is an asshat, I realize that a lot of people probably feel this same way.  And putting aside the fact that I absolutely can’t stand Reggie Jackson, I can honestly say that, given the choice, I would rather have had Nolan Ryan at any point in his career on my team than Reggie Jackson at any point in his career.  To me it’s a  no-brainer.

But, again, I realize to others it isn’t a no-brainer.  So what is it that I’m missing?  Do folks think pitchers have it easier than position players?  Do you think both have it equally as difficult?  Do you think this is a ridiculous question because they play a game and to describe what they do as hard or difficult is a slap in the face to people who have hard/difficult jobs?  Let me know by responding to the poll posted to the right of this entry!

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September 13, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 | , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. I don’t agree with Kay, but I don’t think it’s easy to compare the two. (Voted tough on both, FWIW.) Pitchers–starters, at least–have a predictable routine. They know exactly what they’re trying to do in workouts, bullpens, etc.–and the ball is within THEIR control (as opposed to a fielder or batter who needs to react to less predictable circumstances). The spotlight shines a lot brighter on them while they’re on the mound, but they have the maximum opportunity to get set up for their appearances. The grind for position players is different; there’s virtually no rest for an everyday player. Doesn’t make pitching at an elite level “easy” by any means but I do wonder if talent is a bigger factor for pitchers, and whether as a result that makes it “easier” in some way.

    Comment by KellyO | September 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. You bring up an interesting question Cyn. Mentally I think pitchers have a tougher time. Have a rough outing? Starters usually gotta wait 4 or 5 days to “redeem yourself”. Blow a save and you’ve lost a game for your team. If it was really rough you might be “unavailable” for a few days. Positions players generally have the next inning or at the very least the next game to do something positive and get back into the groove.

    That being said playing day in and day out has to be just as greuling physically as mentally. My dad always likes to point out that today’s pitchers are wimps. When a pitcher is struggling, his favorite thing to say is he didn’t pitch both ends of a double header yesterday did he? To some extent I agree, with the advent of specialized pitching roles and pitch counts, I think physically pitchers do not have as much strain on them as they once did.

    But give me a brillant Pedro, Nolan or Santana performance and nothing can beat it. One pitcher taking on nine batters vs one batter maybe facing 3 or 4 pitchers.

    Comment by mntekfan | September 13, 2010 | Reply

  3. I read “Michael Kay” and immediately dislike whatever it is he said. But I’ll take Nolan every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Comment by Ted | September 13, 2010 | Reply

  4. I always hear that if you don’t have the pitching you have nothing…but that isn’t the only reason I would take Nolan over Jackson. My choice in who I like in baseball is very personal and Reggie Jackson has never been on my list of favorites.

    Each job has its own stress and pitchers and every day players have their own issues and it isn’t really easy to compare them. I think playing every day may actually make it easier but maybe I’m all wet on that. Also the game is set up for the pitcher but they have so much more to lose than the position player. Like Lynn says, one bad outing and it all crumbles and is heavy on the pitcher’s shoulders. That isn’t easy to bounce back from when you have so many days to dwell on it. Really the spotlight of any major league player is way too much for me to really comprehend.

    What I do know though is I like Nolan Ryan. 🙂

    Comment by Cruiser | September 13, 2010 | Reply

  5. When I was young I thought pitchers were overrated and usually showoffs while position players were more deserving of a fan’s attention. Gradually, I changed my mind about pitchers and now I believe so much rides on pitching that it has to be a top priority. It fascinates me to see them develop and to sometimes emerge as truly spectacular. The mental discipline seems particularly severe for a pitcher and he is always at risk for wrecking his arm. I’d think closers really have to be practically adrenaline junkies because they have to be pinpoint perfect. So yeah, I’d say Nolan Ryan but who wouldn’t say Nolan Ryan!

    As for strain on the body, I have real sympathy for catchers. That just looks like hard work.

    Comment by Anita | September 13, 2010 | Reply

  6. if you hadnt used nolan ryan as the pitcher, i might agree. but he remains the most overrated pitchers of the past 50 years

    Comment by josh blue | September 14, 2010 | Reply

  7. I would definitely want Nolan Ryan over Reggie Jackson and I actually like Reggie Jackson (lived in Yankee territory while he played for them). I think pitchers and everyday players both have it tough but just for different reasons as pointed out by Cyn and others here.

    Comment by Brenken | September 14, 2010 | Reply

  8. Well, to weigh in after I’ve voted…I’ve always said Baseball is a Thinking Man’s game…that said, every sport is physical in some aspect and some harder than others.
    However, the mental part of the game (to me) outweighs the physical part (i.e. Sox this year) as you can grind things out physically but if you keep your heads in the game….no matter if you’re almost entire team goes on the DL, you could still be in the running for the playoffs come September.
    Nolan of course is my pick. SHOCKER I know.
    I think the mental aspect of this game is tougher
    Not saying the every day player’s job is easier than the pitchers but I’m still picking Nolan cos well you know

    He’s from Texas after all 🙂

    Comment by Tex19 | September 14, 2010 | Reply


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