During the first week of action, eleven New York Mets hitters got hit by pitches. That’s a lot, no matter how you slice it: Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor could have been seriously hurt after being hit in the head.
Mets’ manager Buck Showalter is, obviously, worried and concerned. However, he doesn’t seem to think his batters were hit on purpose. Instead, he believes that pitchers are still adjusting to life after “sticky stuff.”
“Let’s be frank about it. Gripping a baseball, the pitchers took it too far with the Spider Tack and made it a pitching advantage with spin rate and everything and now I’m not so sure we haven’t gone too far the other way. Trying to grip a baseball that’s been rubbed with mud in April and early May and October is real slick. The rosin just doesn’t do as much as you think. Somehow I think we’ve gone too far.”
The Mets’ skipper is proposing a solution
The Mets’ skipper, a baseball man who has been around the game for decades and knows what he is talking about, offered a solution.
“I’ve always pushed for a universal pitching rag behind the mound where guys can tap their fingers and you won’t have guys getting hit nearly as much. I think a lot of hit-by-pitches are guys can’t grip the baseball. … Let’s say everybody hit without batting gloves, pine tar and wraps around your bat. Because a pitcher is supposed to have his tool without gripping it, yet a batter can do whatever he wants to grip a bat. Just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Showalter is set to make his home debut with the Mets on Friday, as the team will host the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Mets are 5-2 to start the season.