There’s nothing as helpless as watching. The great American Male neurosis–though it isn’t restricted to men–is believing that if you sit in the same position on the couch or wear your lucky jersey you have the power to alter the outcome of a ball game.
Television doesn’t help. Watch enough games on TV and you’ll probably find yourself saying–or thinking–I could have caught that ball, I could have hit that pitch. It’s a natural reaction. It also happens to be horses***.
When Carlos Beltran struck-out looking to end the 2006 NLCS, fans wailed–How could he not swing? I heard a couple of Yankee fans say the same thing about Alex Rodriguez’s final at bat on Friday night (would it have been better if, completely fooled, he waved at the pitch like Derek Jeter did when the Yankee captain whiffed to end the eighth inning?). And this morning, I read a newspaper article where the writer said that Ryan Howard had to go down swinging when he too ended the game looking at a devastating breaking ball on Saturday night.
Can you imagine how difficult it is to adjust from a mid-90s fastball to a perfectly placed breaking ball? Even if you are a professional hitter?
You’ve got to swing at that pitch!
It might be frustrating to watch but how about giving credit to the pitcher?
Baseball is hard. Being an expert is easy.