We Want a 1, Not a Belly Itcher!

From today’s title, did you think that this installment was going to be about Barry Zito’s pitching on Tuesday night?  Good guess, but you are incorrect. Sorry, Barry.  You are one of my boys and I love you, but you need to get it together if you want to remain in the starting rotation.

Today’s lesson is about baseball positions.  As there are abbreviations for the possible outcomes of an at bat when scoring, there are also abbreviations for the nine positions on a baseball team.  Each position is numbered.  Here is the code:

1 = Pitcher

2 = Catcher

3 = First Base

4 = Second Base

5 = Third Base

6 = Short Stop

7 = Left Field

8 = Center Field

9 = Right Field

I did not know these off the top of my head.  I knew they existed, but I haven’t committed them to memory yet, so again, I am learning along with you.  They are used on the scorecard if someone gets out.  For example, if a ball is caught by the left fielder, a 7 would be written in the box.  If a ball is fielded by the right fielder and thrown to first base for an out, 9-3 would be written in the box.  A double play is typically a 4-6-3.  These abbreviations are used on the Comcast SportsNet scorecards that they occasionally display and by the broadcasters.

I would like to take some time to address some of the comments that I’ve gotten so far (thanks so much – they make my day!!).  My cousin, Joey, mentioned another reason you could get fined by the league besides messing with the fans (like Nyjer Morgan the other night).  You can also get fined for a uniform infraction.  He reminded me of the time last season when Brian Wilson was fined $1000 for wearing orange cleats.  Apparently they were “too flashy.”  He ended up coloring half of them with a black sharpie.  I’m not sure of other specifics of this uniform code, and I had trouble finding info online.  If anyone else can add to this, please post a comment.

My friend, Donna, posted that her husband and son suggested I do a crotch adjustment count along with the spit count.  This is another disgusting part of baseball, and I bet the counts would be pretty high.  Great suggestion, but I’m not sure I want to be concentrating on crotches while I’m trying to enjoy the game (especially when I’m already concentrating on spitting!).  But keep those suggestions coming!  Maybe Jeff and Stefan could do the crotch counts for me (LOL)?

My cousin, Katerina, suggests that the spitting comes from tobacco chewers getting rid of the spit that would otherwise upset their stomach if ingested.  That does happen a lot, but not all the spit is coming from tobacco chewers.  She also made the observation that you can see the circular chaw package in the back pocket of some players (due to the tight baseball pants).  Her boyfriend is a baseball player, and he spits out sunflower seed shells in the dugout but does not spit otherwise, so we have more evidence that spitting is not a necessary thing.

And now, here are the results of tonight’s spit count:

July 27th


–         Cain  5

–         Lincecum 4

–         Sandoval 3

–         Huff 3

–         Keppinger 3

–         Whiteside 2

–         Wilson 2

–         Fontenot 2

–         Rowand 1


–         Howard 8

–         Rollins 6

–         Ibanez 6

–         Utley 4

–         Martinez 2

–         Ruiz 1

Game Spit Master General = Howard at 8 spits

Cain led for the Giants at 5.

That’s a total of 52 spits in a game that lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes, which makes the average almost 1 spit every 3 minutes.

A new spitting phenomenon has emerged – spitting into your batting gloves.  Every time Howard and Fontenot spat, it was into their batting gloves.  I guess that helps you grip the bat?  Wouldn’t want that bat as a souvenir.  There were two sunflower seed shell spits chalked up by Lincecum today.  Also, we have our first machine gun spits recorded.  All three of Keppinger’s spits were made in rapid succession.  This was the first time I had observed this type of spitting.  The winning pitcher was not the Spit Master General this time, but he did spit more than the losing pitcher.  And the pitcher from the Phillies, Hamels, did not have any televised spits in the entire almost seven innings that he was in the game (and he is a very good pitcher).  Hats off to him.

I made several observations during tonight’s game.  Did you notice when Cain and Whiteside both went after the same popup that should have been an easy out, but they crashed and dropped the ball?  Isn’t this a little league mistake?  I actually see this type of error more times than you would expect from the big leaguers.  I’ve heard that part of the reason is it’s so loud in the stadium, even if you call the ball the other person can’t hear you.  Another thing you don’t see every day was when a batter swung and connected but in the process hit Whiteside’s mitt.  Rowand caught the ball, but it was called catcher interference and the player got to go to first.  I had never seen this before.  Lastly, did anyone else notice the humungous hole in Whiteside’s pants right below his right buttocks?  Not that I am focusing on Mr. Whiteside (who happens to be my favorite player, partly because he’s prematurely grey like me), but don’t they have other pants that he could have changed into?  I don’t recall ever seeing a player play with a huge hole in his pants or shirt.  Could that be called a uniform violation?

Lastly I would like to congratulate Utley on his inside-the-park homerun yesterday.  That is another thing that you rarely see.  Good job, but don’t let it go to your head.  The Giants are still going to kick your butt tomorrow.  GO GIANTS!!




  1. D Marsh

    I think it’s just the pitchers that have to control their “flashiness.” It’s considered distracting to the batters. Had Wilson played another position, probably would not have been fined, if I remember correctly.

    Go Giants! And Go Carm!

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