Beaning batters

A few weeks ago, I cut a newspaper clip out of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that pertained to pitchers knocking hitters down. I wanted to address it in a blog article, but thought I’d throw it out here first.

In the article, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon, said:

“I’ve never asked a pitcher to hit anybody. And I never would. It’s really a simply philosophy. Who am I to tell a player how to react or feel? If you think something was done unjustly to a teammate, and you feel strong about it, then take care of it. You don’t need me to tell you what to do.”

What are your thoughts? What are you seeing at your level of play?

At some age a pitcher will take matters into their own hands. A coach, at any age level, should never send that message. The difference is at what age a pitcher will attempt a beanball and what will be the reaction? Will his action be reinforced? Will he get a little charge out of it and like it? Will he be a little embarrrased that he even did and wait a long time before trying it again.

Beanballs always have been adn always will be a part of the game. Everyone knows that. Aiming for a leg or ribs is a whole lot different than headhunting though. At 10 year old level its not even joked about.

‘Black’ Jack Morris was heard discussing intential walks saying ‘Why throw four pitches when you can get him over to first with one pitch?’

Below HS I would not even allow a kid to intentionally hit a batter. I’d pull a kid if I thought he’d done it. They are wild enough without adding batters hit on purpose. My club team staff would not ask a pitcher to retaliate in this manner. Even in HS or above, I’d advise my pitchers never to throw above the shoulders with the intent to hit or intimidate a hitter. At the same time, we expect all of our pitchers to be able to command the inside part of the plate. If they miss in and hit a batter, the hitter and the pitcher have to understand that is part of the game.

Hitting batters should only be done if the pitcher can control 100% where his pitches go. Unless you can hit with perfection, then you shouldn’t do it. I think that you don’t even come close to that kind of control until at least High School. And it should never bethe coaches telling the pitch to hit. If it’s a personal thing, or if they have been aimed at I can understand, but it must be justified.

i think that sometimes people do it out of spite, but in most cases i think it is truly accidental.
when ure pitching up there you may just slip or open up too early or just havn a bad day.
i know ive done it and i dont do it on purpose it just happens, its not like you feel good, its just that you are under alot of pressure.
saying that, it doesnt happen very often and if it does then you would expect your coach to have a quiet word with you.

As a closer, I almost never hit batters. But, if I noticed a pitcher hit a few guys over and over again in a series, yeah, I would take it to two outs and catch him in the thigh. Actually, I ended up striking out a batter with a pitch that hit him just there. Thats when I knew every fastball I threw had become a changeup.

Well, in the matter of not throwing high and inside, thats all about pitching, personally as a 16 year old, i like to come up and in with my 89 mph fastball and then throw a outside curveball or slider, thats part of the game, so if you tell a pitcher not to throw up and in, ur takin away a big part of pitching, and thats gettin hitters off balance

Have you guyz read three nights in August yet?Its explains the way la russa and duncan handle the situation…A good read

No, is it a book? Or can I find it online? Even though I don’t like La Russa or Ducan, it should be worth reading.

How dare you not like the Cards!.Best franchise in the N.L…

How dare you question my dedication to the Cardinals! :wink: No I love the Cardinals, but I simply dispise La Russa and Duncan. They are both to controlling, and by forcing players to do things the way they think it should be done, they have actually ruined players careers. Off the top of my head, Bo Hart, Rick Ankiel, Bud Smith. They were all absoultey amazing players until they had to change their batting stance a little, or the way their stride was. I just don’t like them. And yes we are going all the way this year, last year at Busch= World Series. Thats that.

im 15 and from england. my team coach has never told a pitcher at the club to bean anybody and probably never will at club level. he does however teach it at the gb academy. other coaches however teach it at both levels. 2 years ago we were playing my ex-assisstant head coaches team (bracknell). he signalled the pitcher to hit me and he did. the reason behind this was to put me on base with the least number of pitchers. previously i had been intentionall walked. this occured again playing nilton keyens for the same reason.

if i was pithing or catching, and there was an adequate reason id either throw or sinal a bean ball. i believe that it would be justified if:

  • he had deliberately hit team mates

  • deliberately injured a team mate

  • or if he was a viable threat to the game

i would also be willing to get hit under any circumstances and i would “try” to get out of the way. i respect why it would be done and not question it or complain. also, if the need for it occured i would deliberately allow myself to get hit for the good of the team.

There should never be a teaching of intentionally hitting another batter. That is classless. We should always be teachng our pitchers to pitch inside, to hit spots when they need to. They must establish the inner half in order to take away the outside corner. Our high school pitchers have always learned to pitch inside and hit spots. We had an opponent hit 2 of our guys once during a close game. We turned both into runs scored. However, our 1st baseman over heard them in the dugout laughing and the pitcher said he may hit another, since we weren’t doing anything about it. You can’t charge in high school or college, or you will be ejected and possibly forfeit the game, fines for coaches and son on. We did tell our pitcher, a very good one, to get one in real tight to the next batter, maybe hit his thigh. Well, this kid that could always hit his spots, must have been nervous and threw one about 2 feet outside. We got a good laugh out of that one. When I hear youth coaches or players complain about a picther hitting a batter, I laugh because don’t have nearly the control or the gumption to do it.


I dont really like the idea of younger guys beaning battrers, but I know in the college environment there have been some times where we were forced to take some action because of other players. We’ve had position players being spiked on their achielles tendon when the batter is leading off, tipping signs from 2nd base, etc…I think then maybe you need to send a message to the coach and other players that it will not be tolerated…

Other than that I dont think there is a reason, I remember watching the LLWS and the hawaii team was tipping off pitches as well (According to Harold Reynolds) and I thought that wasn’t cool either.

As a pitcher myself beaning batters is a great way to intimidate and take back certain parts of the plate that have been previously owned by certain hitters,especially older more experienced hitters.This also intimidates the younger hitters in the line up who may look to the experienced player for guidence ,therfore plugging 1 hitter may give you an advantage against the rest of the line up. The most important thing about being an aggressive pitcher is your pressence no matter how hard you throw.You can plug a guy at 80 or at 90 but if your a p**** it wont matter as if push comes to shove you will get your ass kicked and if the hitter realises this conciously or subconciously you have wasted a pitch as you really havent intimidated anyone but yourself.If you hit a guy on purpose he has to no that you want to kick his ass and thats why your doing it so we get to the real point of intimidation.the bottom line.If your not willing to back yourself in the bench clearer get in front and work away

What??? As a Pitcher, I try not to hit the opposing batter, sometimes it’ll happen If I throw a two seam fastball inside, but that’s not on purpose! It’s just not something that’s called for. It’s a cheap shot… If you’re a good pitcher, you’ll know how to hit that inside corner! And to hit the number one hitter on a team on purpose proves nothing.

obviously you get in front and work away…pussy

obviously… But still, theres no need to hit them… It proves nothing… You want to intimidate them, I say give them a little chin music, if they still don’t budge, keep throwing it there, and then maybe throw an inside curve to clip the inside corner… If you want to hit the best hitters on the team to prove something, then all it proves is you’re the coward. If you’re a good enough pitcher, you’ll be able to get them out… If I see a teamate get hit, I crowd the plate. Because, if all else fails, that pitcher won’t be able to hit that inside corner, and instead will just hit me… Which means a free pass to first base…

Where are you going with that ? Of course if you own someone your gonna get em out mate , it would make no sense to put him on by plugging him.We are talking about the guys that own you, the guys who pine tar up when they see you coming to the hill, the guys who are all over the dish swinging out of there shoes , mate they need to be plugged as chin music will achieve nothing unless they know you are a plugger anyway…you scare no-one,only yourself especially when your nemisis hits an outside fastball straight at you on purpose to spin your cap,outside up the middle because he is alll over the plate and he just laughed at your chin music, I guess that makes him a dangerous hitter and we all should pitch with a screen or out law up the middle hitting … get em off the plate … stick it in thier ribs and spit a seed …

Also frank if you throw a 2 seamer inside and hit a guy obviously you are not that good anyway and probably dont understand what i am talking about.
That curve ball on the inside corner after chin music mate still hasnt landed as you intimidated no one and fell behind in the count and old mate is sweating on your off speed because your fastball is now BP and he knows your scared…but its all good as i wouldnt hit anyone in the beer drinking leagues anyway so i hear where your coming from… 8)