This Week in Milford

May 12, 2018

WARNING: Gratuitous Crotch Shot Ahead

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Gil Thorp, Milford Idiots — teenchy @ 10:01 am


Well that foreshadowing was for naught.  We all thought 5’8″ Jay Bhatia was gonna come in and blow that lead but nope, he kept the Sharks guessing and closed the deal.

Short pitchers are the exception, not the rule, though it’s worth noting that the 5’6″ Bobby Shantz had a long and solid career. One of the few stars on some very bad Philadelphia A’s squads, Shantz relied on a vast repertoire of pitches, including the knuckler. What strikes me as more unusual in Bhatia’s case is not his height but his uniform number: How often do you see a pitcher wearing a single digit? I remember Atlee Hammaker wearing #7 for a while (though he mostly wore #14 during his career) but I can’t think of too many more.

The Secret Pelwecki took the collar (if not the golden sombrero) but gets some passive-aggressive reassurance from Gilberto, who implies that Pelwecki’s swings were not good ones. Wonder how Barry Bader did? I’m sure he’ll complain about something on that long-long bus ride back from Bluffton. Too bad Whigham didn’t do his homework and draw in those lovely tall South Carolina pines behind the outfield fence. Maybe he can have the Mudlarks stop off for some Frogmore Stew before they get going.


  1. Pedro Martinez is 5’11”, and he did okay. Ditto Tim Lincecum. And neither were consigned to the slopballer category like Jay Bhatia.

    This height preoccupation is a legitimate part of pro scouting — shorter players are downgraded, but they can make up for it by being really good. It’s still an obstacle; an Astros scout had to convince a skeptical front office to take a chance on a little shorty named Jose Altuve; the team signed him as a free agent for all of $15,000.

    But shortness shouldn’t even be on the radar for a high school coach who has to actively recruit kids to fill out his roster. Gil will take anybody he can get.

    Comment by John S. Walters — May 12, 2018 @ 10:54 am

  2. teenchy, I was like you, I was expecting temporary mind warp and the consequent loading of the bases, then the Second Transfiguration would come out of the sky and Jay would pitch as if the batters were up at the plates with toothpicks for bats. But nooooooo, the ending was anticlimactic and Gil forgot to remove the shoulder pad out of his right shoulder in P3 before boarding the bus.
    Actually, that scenario DID happen back in the ’80’s-90’s where this semi-know-it-all pitcher(name escapes me) teams up with a catcher named Ozzie Bean(dude was black so I’m assuming it was somewhat a reference to Ozzie Smith), the latter of which was a tad street smart and was VERY shrewd in handling pitchers. They wound up in this(correct me if I’m wrong) semi-pro league and the pitcher is nervous as H-E-double hockey sticks and thereby following through on the predictable scenario(i. e., walks the 1st 3 batters and loads the bases). Ozzie comes out, tells the pitcher that he’s nervous too but dammit, stop aiming the ball and wind up and pitch. That, of course, melted any tension and the pitcher not only gets out that inning with flying colors but, as Thorpiverse would will it, he has a career night. Darn, we’ve already used that script, and people might start snooping and drag it out of the attic, blow off the dust and see it’s already been used. Guess we better have Jay go the safe route and have a happy, albeit boring, ending. Gotta get the sure out if ya wanna win the game.
    Oh, but there’s still time to mangle the plot with Moose’s swing and P3 left that door open, thank goodness.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — May 12, 2018 @ 2:47 pm

  3. Sometimes there is a gun hanging on the wall and it is never mentioned again. That seems to be the case here, unless Jay Bhatia’s arm falls off in time for the Monday strip.

    Height is overrated (full disclosure: as a ballet dancer who stands 6-3 I am familiar with the drawbacks of height.) In some sports, such as baseball, football, and obviously basketball, height is usually an advantage. But especially in baseball, there are so many exceptions that there is no rule. Yogi, as another Mfnrdian mentioned a couple of days ago, was 5-7, but both as a catcher and an outfielder, he is remembered for baseball intelligence and focus, not height. Kirby Puckett and Roy Campanella were 5-8. And then we come to perhaps the greatest place-hitter of all time, Wee Willie Keeler…

    Comment by vaganova — May 12, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

  4. I need some punctuation clarity. Gil says, “With some good swings. You’ll be fine.” That says you had some good swings so you’ll be fine. But what if that’s a comma after swings. “With some good swings, you’ll be fine.” That means if you improve your swing , you’ll be fine. Huge difference with the proper punctuation, no?
    Rubin could avoid confusion by saying obvious. “With some good coaching you’ll be fine. “ We know he won’t get that from Gil.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — May 12, 2018 @ 9:49 pm

  5. from wiki “But there has been a bit of a single-digit mound movement in recent years, as a small but growing fraternity of pitchers has embraced the solo numerals. In addition to Stroman and Snell, other examples currently on MLB rosters include Matt Belisle of the Minnesota Twins (No. 9); Carl Edwards Jr. of the Chicago Cubs (No. 6); Mike Leake of the St. Louis Cardinals (No. 8); Adam Ottavino of the Colorado Rockies (No. 0); and Clayton Richard of the San Diego Padres (No. 3). ”

    I forgot about Leake and Edwards; didn’t know about the others. Thanks! – teenchy

    Comment by rowdyman — May 13, 2018 @ 9:39 am

  6. Rowdyman is obviously right, but it’s still true that low numbers for pitchers are unusual (“Now on his way from the bullpen, number 83, the left hander Encarnacio Guzman…”) The Yankees are on the verge of becoming the first team to have no single-digit uniform numbers is use. Right now, only #s 2 and 6 are unretired, and both (2 for Derek Jeter and 6 for Joe Torre) are dead certs to be retired. Neither number has been assigned to anyone since their last wearers moved on. We may see three digit uniforms in spring training before long.

    Comment by vaganova — May 13, 2018 @ 4:28 pm


    Here’s an article about single-digit pitchers. There were 5 in 2016. Mike Leake is the most well-known. I couldnt tell you the last Cub pitcher in single digits.

    Comment by robmize2013 — May 13, 2018 @ 4:33 pm

  8. […] to be dosed a little lower. The way she vacantly smiles while DD and (checks back to May 12th) Jay Bhatia discuss such weighty matters is disconcerting to say the […]

    Pingback by I Would Have Guessed That, At Some Point, A Permission Slip Of Some Sort Would Need To Have Been Signed | This Week in Milford — June 20, 2018 @ 7:58 am

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