May 22, 2005

I played some softball this afternoon with a bunch of friends who I hadn't seen in a long time. It was fun even though I didn't hit all that well (need to develop opposite field power before softball season starts) or make any web gem level plays in the field.

One thing that surprised me today was the number of guys that threw like girls*. (I realize saying 'You play ball like a girl!' is the ultimate insult, but I am just making an observation.) Most of these guys are decent athletes, in good shape, who used to and still may play a lot of hoops. But there was a noticable lack of arm strength on many defensive players. In one game, our defense had to resort to just stopping ground balls and setting up a force at second because the middle infielders couldn't make the throw to first. Of course, just stopping ground balls was an adventure in itself. It was hilarious. Somehow, we still won.

*Throwing like a girl: I don't mean to insult females or emasculate guys who throw this way, there's just no other way to describe it. I think almost everyone knows what I mean. It's a throwing motion where you don't really use the shoulder/rotator cuff muscles so there is really no power in the throw. A poor release point makes this action even worse, as the thrown object will either just lob into the air a short distance or go straight into the ground. Many eprops to the girls who have overcome this throwing disorder.

A year or two ago, track star Carl Lewis was throwing out the first pitch at a Mariners' game. He did a little windup, and then made a funky throwing motion using only his forearm (I don't think his elbow moved) and had a very late release, which meant the ball hit the ground about 12 feet from the pitcher's mound and rolled another 10 or so feet. Greatest first pitch I ever saw.

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