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June 19, 2014

Skewed Left

The Missing Mound Charge

by Zachary Levine


You know that scenario that you dreamt up in your backyard for when you someday play in the big leagues? The one that you had to dream up because baseball announcers in every high-leverage situation were telling you that you dreamt it up?

It’s not the one I dreamt up. I couldn’t hit the ball far enough even to picture that trot around the bases after hitting the bottom-of-the-ninth, down-by-three, bases-loaded, two-out, full-count home run. So when I played baseball in the street with my brother and whomever we could find in the neighborhood, there was only one situation that I lived for.

He’d lob the pitch in at twenty-whatever miles per hour and *WHACK* it would hit me on the shoulder because I didn’t bother getting out of the way. And then for that moment every time, I was a goddamn big leaguer. First, I’d throw the bat down, then I’d probably do the “hold me back” thing, but if not, I’d get a few whacks in and then start laughing a lot more than Robin Ventura did when he came to regret baseball’s most famous charge of the mound.

I was a weird kid, but that was one of my favorite parts about baseball, and now baseball players are ruining childhoods. Childhoods of children.

To rewind a little bit to an incident that most likely remains in your memory: Just outside of 14 months ago, Carlos Quentin took a 3-2 fastball in the upper arm from Zack Greinke, who had hit him twice previously. Quentin charged the mound to take on his division rival and his combatant, who was 40 pounds lighter. Greinke tried to (and I guess did) absorb the force by lowering his shoulder. Vin Scully can walk you through it better than I can if by any chance you’ve forgotten.

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Related Content:  Charging The Mound,  Brawls

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (06/19)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Wisdo... (06/12)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: Which Pos... (06/26)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/19)

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