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Seeing Is Believing

Women's Softball could be an eye-opener for baseball people. Molly Coppola SO. Cal A's 2024 - Image Credit: D. Coppola for Latino Sports

LOS ANGELES, CA — A funny thing happened on the way to the ball field yesterday. See, here in California, the weather is so nice that outdoor sports are played year-round. I can watch my granddaughter play as many as 160 games a year. I can follow a young player’s progress over twelve months, see the progress that kid has made, and evaluate them quicker than if I could only see them for 30-40 games played in parts of the country where the weather is not so nice for many months.

Because they played so many games, I was able to see the growth of one of the pitchers on my granddaughter’s team. Because of so many injuries to pitchers number two and three, the burden of taking the hill for 80-90% of the innings fell on this one pitcher. I began to track her innings pitched and whether or not the quality of her starts went up or down. There were several weekend tournaments where this 13-year-old would pitch two to three games on Saturday and then as many as two on Sunday.

Image Credit: Alabama Crimson Tide Athletics

What I observed was how much stronger she was getting. Her velocity was noticeably faster, and instead of running out of gas in game three, she would be strong to the end. Yes, I know that throwing underhand is less stressful than overhand. I get that. But there is no denying that throwing all those innings has made her able to pitch longer into the game.

So what’s the point? I am convinced that baseball pitchers can throw more than six innings and 75 pitches because of what I just saw with my own eyes rather than what some Ivy League graduate who, in most cases, never played the game has decided in a closet under the stadium. Starting pitchers are being developed in the minor leagues to go six innings today, not nine. And guess what? Injuries are up, bullpens are being destroyed, and fans are being cheated out of seeing great things on the field.

Here is what you have now: A future first-ballot HOF, three-time Cy Young winner pitcher, Max Scherzer, who has pitched for 16 years who only has TWELVE (12) complete nine-inning games!

Future HOFer Max Scherzer – Image Credit: Forbes

It’s time for the nerds to get out of the bowls of the stadium and observe some women’s softball.

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