Littlefield: Tips For A Batter Just Struck By A Pitch

After watching Kevin Youkilis charge the mound in Tuesday night's game against the Tigers, WBUR's sports commentator has some suggestions for a batter who has been hit by a pitch. A note: Youkilis' method is not recommended.

Oh, swear a streak as blue as any sky we’ve ever seen,
Or slam your bat upon the ground and make a face that’s mean
Or run along to first as if the fastball didn’t hurt,
Or glare out at the pitcher and then spit into the dirt,

As if to say “I spit upon the pitch you tossed my way,”
Or shrug the whole thing off and play the game you’re paid to play.
The options for a hitter who’s been plunked are many, so
I offer these suggestions and now all of you will know

That when a batter turns and takes a fastball to the back,
He needn’t feel compelled to think that he must then attack
But even if he does, can we agree now, one and all,
One should not throw one’s helmet at the guy who threw the ball?

Oh, holler at the pitcher. Tell him you have had enough.
Or shake your fist and threaten him, and show him that you’re tough.
Or turn and tell the umpire that the guy should be thrown out
For hitting you upon the back, because, while there is doubt

That he hit you on purpose, heck, perhaps the ball just slipped,
You have a gripe, there is no doubt, but even if you’ve flipped
And lost your temper utterly at that young pitcher’s gall,
You needn’t throw your helmet at the guy who threw the ball.

Perhaps you think that baseball’s play; perhaps you think it’s work.
No matter how you view it, though, a guy looks like a jerk
When he rears back and throws his helmet, never mind the cause
When thinking of a helmet throw, a hitter ought to pause

And recognize that helmets aren’t for throwing. The result
Of throwing one is that you don’t look much like an adult
You look, instead, quite childish, like a tantrum-tossing tot,
In doing that you lose whatever dignity you’ve got.

So here’s a rule of thumb for any baseball-playing lad,
When you have been hit by a pitch, if angry, sore, or sad,
Pick any option other than the one decried by all
And never throw your helmet at the guy who threw the ball.

Related Links:

This program aired on August 12, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



More from WBUR

Listen Live