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The Inside Story on Throwing Inside

July 24, 1993

I'm a little confused. Tim Wallach gets hit by a pitch, suffers a broken rib, goes on the disabled list and the Dodgers are upset because he was probably the victim of an intentional pitch inside.

The late Don Drysdale, on the other hand, is virtually canonized for his legendary willingness to hit opposing batters.

John Kruk is roundly criticized for "bailing out" in the All-Star game after Randy Johnson threw a 100-m.p.h. fastball over his head. The episode is treated as a joke. But several days later, all of baseball holds its breath after Johnson accidentally beans Boston's Mike Greenwell.

If something drastic isn't done soon, it is inevitable that another player will either be killed or suffer a career-ending injury from a beanball. Then baseball's powers-that-be will have to act. There is also the possibility that a civil or criminal action will be taken by the injured (or dead) player's family. Remember, Dave Winfield was once arrested for accidentally killing a bird during batting practice.


Redondo Beach


Scott Miller's article ("Politically Correct Baseball," July 14) bemoans the fact that the beanball and the brushback pitch are in danger of becoming extinct.

I couldn't agree with him more. I mean, what's a poor pitcher to do whose stuff has gone south? Those nasty, impolite hitters bouncing line drives off the fences and into the upper deck, there has to be a way for a guy to get his respect back. After all, only one guy has ever died from getting hit by a pitch. And so a hitter gets a bone crushed back into his eyeball? That's no big deal if that hitter breached baseball etiquette.

Like Buck Rodgers says, it's all the hitters' fault. Now these hitters have to stop whining and let the pitchers throw a baseball 90 m.p.h. around their heads so we can go back to the good old days of managers yelling, "Stick it in his ear!" and hitters being carried off the field unconscious. But that's a small price to pay for proper baseball etiquette.



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