Sour grapes


I attended a game last week (in the bleachers) and saw a couple of guys not that far from me – small notebook in hand, watching a pitcher go through his stuff. During the second inning, the youngster got the first three pitches called off the outside (ball) and his facial expressions and body language said “SOUR GRAPES” to the plate umpire.

To say that the two guys with the notebooks, sitting along the first baseline, weren’t impressed was nothing compared to posture of the chief umpire and his crew.

Well, after three inning of these antics, the youngster on the mound was pulled … the two guys that came to watch the kid had seen enough … and life went on.

I’m posting this here because I see more youngsters, year after year, season after season, deliberately drown themselves in front of pro scouts and others, out of shear immaturity.

Look, if you’re not getting a call…… ADJUST. If your still not getting a call … adjust some more. And if you really want a dose of reality … scouts and others who are interested in you want to see first hand how your react to adversity. Are you tough enough to HANDLE IT ? If you walk three batters in a row, and the coach pulls you … tough it out. Don’t slam your glove down, don’t kick the ice bucket … tough it out. Sit down on the bench… keep your remarks to yourself … tough it out.

Pitcher’s headed to the upper levels have the maturity and self confidence to know … some days go well … and other don’t. It’s not the end of life as we know it. Tough it out.

Professional athletes are just that … professional. So, you want to perform like a pro … don’t be giving the plate umpire sour grapes …… because that will come back on you.

Coach B.

AND remember…Scouts have seen it ALL!!!
They know bad umping, they understand poor fielding…They understand that the breaks don’t always go your way. They want to see how YOU deal with adversity…Be a spoiled brat and they’ll let you…but just not on their squad…Who wants to HIRE a Problem? Or invest in a 4 year education on a kid who can’t even deal with a chump ump…(I rhymed…a poet and didn’t know it :shock: ).
Before you go thinking you are sooooo special perhaps you may want to look around…just a small example…my son…he recorded the lowest ERA in his schools history…which only made him the #5 rated pitcher in the area…Little cry baby punks are so easy to forget.


Take JD’s post here and glue it to a card. Take the card with you and read it before, during and after every game you pitch in, bat in, field in, warm the bench in.

Believe it or not, your maturity will stand you out in the crowd. Trust me on this one…

Coach B.

Showing up the umpire is never going to get you anything except more bad calls, or tossed out of the game, and maybe suspended by the league.

The leagues in my state are talking about suspending guys for a number of games (not just the next game) who get tossed out of games. This is both high school ball and summer ball.

You cant impress the scouts if you are not on the field or even allowed in the park.


The coach at the place I go to during the winter says that if you want any chance with a scout you need to warm up playing catch and focusing and not screwing around. He said a lot of scouts will go to watch you warmup and if your screwing around they’ll just leave. They won’t even watch you play. I don’t know if that is true or not but I wouldn’t doubt it especially if your on the border of not even being considered.

The coach I go to also is a full believer in the complete game. We go there for 2 hours at a time 1 day a week for 15 weeks and we’ll spend a good 20 mins. in a station with base running. He says nothing can get overlooked. He told us a story of one of the head Astros scouts called him up and asked him about a kid from a nearby town. The scout said that he heard the kid had a really good bat, then asked what this coach thought. The coach replied well he can hit the snot out of the ball with an aluminum bat. The scout then contiued to ask well what about his fielding, the coach replied well he can hit the snot out of the ball with an aluminum bat. The scout then said well what about his throwing or baserunning. He said well he can hit the snot out of the ball with an aluminum bat. The scout said thanks for the heads up I won’t waste my time. That might not be very pitching related but it could aso go that if you throw heat without control that means nothing. Just stories I’ve heard.

Bower you are right.
Baseball is desire…you have to want it enough to forget about you. You have to love it enough not to let anything get in your way, not your pride, not your needs, not your wants. You have to be a good person when you don’t want to be.
Pete Rose was the last guy you’d think would play as long as he did and do what he did…but he did it because NOTHING got in between him and baseball.

The ultimate in sour grapes:
This story is about a high-level minor league general manager who got wind of a phenomenal pitching prospect down in the bushes, and he sent a scout out there to watch the game and see what that pitcher could do. The scout went out there and watched the game, and he got an eyeful. The pitcher was indeed phenomenal. He pitched a perfect game, striking out 23, and only one opposing batter got so much as a loud foul off him. The scout reported back to the general manager, and back came this reply:
“Sign up the guy who got the foul! We’re looking for hitters!”

Q.E.D. :roll:

My son just pitched in a 24 team regional tournament that attracted colleges and a few pro scouts. He was in the middle of the first inning and not getting the low strike or the corners that he has been used to. His second baseman booted a made to order double play and extended his inning unecessarily and it was an unusual 91 degrees. He had also pitched a game three days before and thrown in a pro scout tryout two days before and an all star tryout one day before (AGAINST THE ADVICE OF DAD) He started his second inning with two walks and got a visit from the head coach, “Son if you walk one more batter I’m going to pull you from this game. And I don’t care how many colleges are here watching you.”

He didn’t have his usual stuff but finished the game throwing mostly two and four seam fastballs and won the game. He was probably one of the most asked about pitcher at the tournament but if he had shown any frustration or anger I doubt anyone would have followed up on him based on his performance.


Outstanding Dad! Now there’s a young man that a scout knows is worth every bit of bus time, motel time, expense report time, and so it goes…

Your son is prospect material… and is considered a “keeper”, in scout terms. His maturity and “handling it” is what makes a young man worth signing… it’s worth a young man going through the Minor System… it’s worth the young man getting a staff assistant tapping him on the shoulder and saying … “skipper want’s to see ya in his office kid”… it’s worth his Minor League skipper saying…'son, their calling you up… get packed cause your needed next Tuesday."

When a youngster is talented… he’s got to have the Moxie to treat his role like his doing a job… nothing personal… little emotion… just cold hard steel… win …lose… or draw.

I congratulate your son on a job VERY WELL DONE… and to you dad for being there for him. And at this posting…Father’s day… your son will looik back on this experience and think of his dad more than anything else. I’ve seen this through the years and there’s no words to describe it.

I sincerely wish you, your family and your son the very best throughout his baseball experience.

Coach B.

There is no proper strike zone. Every night it is different and the team that adjusts to it better is the team that will win.

Kevin Edmund Youkilis
There is no proper strike zone. Every night it is different and the team that adjusts to it better is the team that will win.

adamsmith44 … very well said. If I may, let me just add to the word PROPER in the statement above and include the words …NO static… or NO standard … strike zone for every batter… and plate umpire.

Here’s a good expample:::
The next time your watching a Major League game… take special note of one - Keven Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox. And make sure you note of three important marks to his stance and positon in the box.
(1) His at bat stance prior to the pitch.
(2) His at bat posture during his swing.
(3) And most importantly for the battery and the plate umpire is WHERE HE IS POSITIONED IN THE BATTER’S BOX.

Batters that hug the rear of the batter’s box are a pain. They force the catcher to adjust back … I mean really back, and the strike zone dictated by the batter’s posture … hollow of the knees to the belt line (per MLB blue laws… as their called), challenge even the best of umpires to take a real hard look and the ZONE that the ball has to travel through. Also, becasue of this stance and positioning… curve balls and a lot of other stuff that has breaking action(s) to it… are out of the mix… more often than not.

Youkilis forces a pitcher to send a lot of “away” stuff down the pike… and this mix of pitch(s) can cause a lot of BOB’s… or as the offical scorekeeper would call it … Base on Balls. On the other hand, breaking stuff that tries to sneak in on the back door … like a back door slider… has a good chance of breaking in … right into the sweet spot of the bat… if the pitcher misses just 4 or 5 inches left or right.

By the way, a smart battery would recognize that Youkilis is really OUT of any ORB strike zone because most of his at bat postures are not even close to being in the vertical plain, positioned by home plate. In other words… the batter DOES NOT PROJECT his TOTAL hollow of this knees (both knees) and his belt line forward than what it really is ON HIM while at bat. Hence, the plate umpire has a degree of flexibility not offered other batters…AHHHHHH … a weak spot in the batter’s defense. And seeing how a Major League pitcher deals in smoke… the quick FB over the plate then MAKES IT accross the lower or upper limit of the leading body spot… not total… but spot… is usually called a strike. For example the first knee, and/or the leading hip of the belt line.

JUST THE OPPOSITE effect is slam’d on the pitcher when the batter is in the verticle plain of the plate… but the catcher is excessively back.

If fact I think this is a crictical party of pitcher development that, EVERY single BP session that I attend… after final roster selection… I reserve the last two hours … with the batting coach’s permission… to arrange our batting order in all kinds of locations in the box and I challenge every pitcher to work the ZONE dictated by each batter’s location. A real eye-opener for rookies and vet’s alike I can assure you.

Coach B.