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running the bases

Ok, warning...baseball talk here.

Chien-Ming Wang, a pitcher on the Yankees team, was hurt (foot injury) on Sunday while running the bases.

I guess I should give you a little background on this first. There are two leagues in Major League Baseball; the National League and the American League. In the National League, pitchers get up to bat, hit, and run bases. They even score runs on occasion. In the American League, pitchers only pitch. A designated hitter gets up to bat instead of the pitcher. During interleague play (when teams of different leagues play each other), American League pitchers bat if the game is played in the National League's park. Following me?

On Sunday, the Yankees (an American League team) played the Houston Astros (a National League team) in Houston. Chien-Ming Wang, who was pitching for the Yankess, slipped and injured his foot while running the bases. Naturally, Hank Steinbrenner had something "scholarly" to say about the incident and is blaming the entire National League for this injury:

"My only message is simple: The National League needs to join the 21st century. They need to grow up and join the 21st century. I've got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He's going to be out. I don't like that, and it's about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s.

This is always a concern of American League teams when their pitchers have to run the bases and they're not used to doing it. It's not just us. It's everybody. It probably should be a concern for National League owners, general managers and managers when their pitchers run the bases. Pitchers have enough to do without having to do that."

First, pitchers batted in both leagues until the DH was added to the American League lineup in 1973. Second, no one ran into Wang, no one knocked him down, he was only running! Isn't baseball a sport? Shouldn't athletes, being paid billions of dollars, have enough athletic skill to at least be able to run the bases? Again, National League pitchers run the bases every day! High school kids run bases. I understand that you are upset that your pitcher was hurt, but to blame the entire National League?? I just don't get it Hank...

Comments (3)

Anne:

Well I don't follow baseball so have nothing of intelligence to say about the subject matter of this post...I am just commenting to screech TWO DAYS TO GO, TWO DAYS TO GO!!!! WOOOHOOOOOO!!! How excited are you???

I'm thrilled that you have gotten back in touch with your friend Francesco too! It is so wonderful to reconnect with friends after long absences.

Thanks Anne. I really hit me last night when I realized that next Thursday, I WILL be in Santa Margherita (never mind that I will also be there next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). I think I am cautiously excited at this point.

Kim:

Hank's a putz. I'd love to see them get rid of the DH. I've always wondered if someone did a study to see if the National League has less incidents of batters being hit by pitchers because the pitchers know, eventually, they'll be at bat and a target themselves. I have to imagine beaning batters happens less in the NL.

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