Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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All the taking of pitches is too much to take

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: June 1, 2014 - 5:00 AM

The delay of several seconds between live action in a ballgame and what you see on television is quite a convenience if you’re located in the press box. You can be hacking away on the computer, miss a pitch or a play, and have time to take a look as it is being presented on the telecast.

We media types spend a lot of time whining about length of games — heck, we did that when three hours to play nine innings was a marathon — but I’m not sure you get a full appreciation for what’s going on from the press box.

You’re writing, you’re tweeting, you’re checking the numbers for slumps and hot streaks, you’re cracking wise … there are things to do during those 30, 40 seconds between pitches.

Last weekend, I sat in the stands for two nights at AT&T Park in San Francisco. On Friday, we had a row of people behind us babbling incessantly about everything but the ballgame. On Saturday, there were actual fans of the game and the Giants in our area.

I was watching every pitch live — and by the third inning, clenching teeth to prevent myself from screaming, “Swing the #x%**%x BAT!’’

You can sit in the middle of a sidewalk next to a shopping cart and scream anything you choose in San Francisco, but for a senior citizen to suddenly burst into a profane tirade about hitters refusing to swing the bat … they might have called stadium security on me.

I can’t stand it. Hitters in RBI situations taking 2-1 and 3-1 pitches in the middle of the plate has gotten so prevalent that I’d like to be able to walk out to the batter’s box and do a two-handed slap of the earholes on their batting helmets.

I’m not focused on Joe Mauer here. Or Aaron Hicks. There are scores of hitters who would rather wait for a walk than swing at a pitch an inch off “dead central’’ and try to knock in a run.

I hate big-leaguers who take hittable 2-1 and 3-1 pitches in RBI situations. I hate all of you. Swing the #x%**%X BAT!

Plus Three from Patrick

When Gophers were baseball champions

• June 14, 1956: Gophers go 5-0, beating Arizona 12-1 in final game, to win first College World Series. Pitcher Jerry Thomas is Most Outstanding Player.

• June 20, 1960: Gophers go 5-1, beating Southern Cal 2-1 in 10 innings to win second CWS. Second baseman John Erickson is most outstanding.

• June 18, 1964: Gophers go 4-1, beating Missouri 5-1 to win coach Dick Siebert’s third national title. Joe Ferris of Maine is most outstanding.

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