When I was a kid, I thought that sluggers made the moon. I remember, for example, Mickey Mantle (I know I'm dating myself here). Man, that guy was awsome. And I wasn't even a Yankees fan. But when Mickey came to the plate, you stopped everything...all eyes were on him. Back then, I didn't pay much attention to pitchers. Except I used to love the look on their faces when the sluggers took them deep. That look was "priceless".
Fastforward to the future. I got married married and ended up having four kids. Our second child was a boy. Man, was I a proud papa (insert pic of Drew Brees & son here). When Dylan was a year & a half, I had him on the floor and I rolled a baseball to him and said "roll it back to Daddy, son". He picked it up & whizzed it by my head! I thought "I wonder if this is how Nolan Ryan started out?
Dylan started pitching at the age of 5, and boy did he an arm! Through the years, his teamates didn't really have to score alot of runs. Just get ahead by a run or two, and then bring in Dylan. Being his coach all those years, I can tell you, it was GREAT to have that kind of pitching to rely on. Now, he is in the tenth grade. Last night, his HS varsity team had a scrimmage with a 4A varsity's team north of us (our school is only 3A). Dylan started at short stop, and made some great plays, too. But in the bottom of the 8th, our pitcher walked the first 2 batters. We were 1 run ahead at the time. In comes Dylan. The catcher wanted to go over the signs and he tells him, "I'm just going to bring the heat & you just catch it". The catcher says "Okaaay". A pop up, a strike out, and a ground ball to an infielder and we're back in the dugout. Same thing happens in the 9th and the victory is sealed. (BTW...he has a heater in the upper 80's and a nasty breaking ball....and he's only 15!!)
Guys, in baseball, pitching isn't a luxury...it's mandatory!! Now, I know what you're thinking...it's going to be alot harder for Dylan to do that in college & especially in the pros...and you're probably right. But the principles are the same...they just get bumped up a notch the higher up you go. Now, I still like to see Lance go to the Crawford boxes, but don't ever be mistaken....the most important thing in baseball is.....PITCHING!!!