The Disappearing Beanball: Wake Up Big League Pitchers, The Plate Belongs To You

Michael MulraneyCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2008

In these days of showy homerun trots and the ability to take commercial breaks while athletes are running the bases a sports fan can wonder why does he not get one in the ribs the next time he hits. With the retirement of Roger Clemens, Pedro becoming a finesse pitcher, and the league investigating every time Ozzie Guillen's pitchers hit someone have we seen the last of keeping hitters in check?

The antics of Jose Reyes, the fact that people can get up and get another beer while Manny takes a Sunday Stroll around the bases, and the bat flips just about everyone has to do...why not give them a little chin music? Why has the game changed to protect the hitter?

For those of us who were taught how to pitch the first lesson is "Do you see that plate? That's your property and no one should feel comfortable in your yard." I hardly doubt if Manny get "buzzed" or got a bruise under his second rib he would take five minutes to stroll the bases.

One more thing pitchers are failing to do is protect their own teammates. When your guy gets hit you go right out their and drill the first hitter regardless of who it is, right square in the back, and protect your buddy. Too many times is a player hit in the back and then the next half inning they go without a HBP. Show your teammates that you have the kahunas to go out there and show other teams if you hit my guys your guys are going to pay, big time.

Why do pitchers now tolerate being showed up? Is it that they fear suspensions? Do they fear fines? They shouldn't. If anything they should fear the respect they're losing because someone is taking their property. Pitching should be about the fear you instill in the hitters. The fear they had in Bob Gibson going up and in. The fear that sent Larry Walker into the right handed box when he saw the Big Unit a little too closely. That fear has all but vanished into today's offensive era.

Some of today's offensive minded fans who couldn't name their teams own fifth starter would tell you its for the better but for those of us who like the pitchers duels and have great respect for the position we wouldn't mind having that fear creep back into the hitter's minds and give them a few more bruises.