Tuesday, August 17, 2010

K-Rod's History of 'Violence'

A little friendly fist-bumping went too far between K-Rod and his father-in-law

The latest on [former?] Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez is that he's out for the year in an injury sustained while pummeling his father-in-law outside the kiddie room at Citi Field. Any Mets fan knows K-Rod's had a string of violent incidents this year, including a grapple with the Mets bullpen coach. (The bullpen coach? Isn't that like the Barney of the coaching squad?)

I don't recall K-Rod ever having such incidents--or ever having his character questioned--while he was with the Angels. Then again, New York has a way of coaxing bad behavior out of people.

In fact, K-Rod and "violence" have long been linked. So herky jerky, so spasmodic, so whiplashical, is Rodriguez's windup that it's typically described as "violent."

Back in 2008, Scout.com said Rodriguez was, in fact, trying to take some of the "violence" out of his approach to the plate. "I have a really violent delivery," conceded K-Rod.

Last year, a pundit on FanNation.com said of Rodriguez:

K-Rod's violent windup makes you wonder how his shoulder stays in socket and how he also doesn't fall on his face. Rodriguez's windup also screams desire and emotion.

K-Rod isn't the only hurler who's prone to a bit of violence while on the bump. (And I borrow "bump" as a synonym for pitcher's mound from RiverAvenueBlues.com.) A thread on MinorLeagueBall.com is dedicated to "violent" deliveries and grave pitcher injury resulting from them.

Writes some dude:

[Tim] Lincecum will have major issues. He has a violent delivery and has thrown a LOT of offspeed stuff, and a lot of innings all together.

Of course, pitchers aren't the only "violent" players on the field. Here's a quiz for you...when you think of a swing that was described as "violent" over and over throughout his career, who do you think of? Who put the fear of God in third base coaches when he stepped into the plate due to the amount of bat speed that violent delivery generated. Who had a face that Bill Simmons described as the last man you see when you owe your bookie a giant sum of money?

That's right, Gary Sheffield.

"Sheffield mounted a career based on the violent and swift swings of his bat," wrote Bleacher Report last year.

In fact, Sheffield "used the most violent swing in baseball to hit 478 home runs for seven teams," wrote the Washington Times three years ago.

The saturnine Shef always struck me as a violent guy by nature. But if he ever raised his hand to his father-in-law, he wisely did it away from the stadium.

And did not tear thumb ligaments while doing so.

[image: MetsGuide.com]

1 comment:

Alan said...

Isn't it odd that Lincecum and Sheffield attract that same word. I think of each as perhaps displaying the controlled release of power, which is the opposite of what K-Rod is accused of.

Similarly, when I see Pedroia hit a home run with the deep knee bend, it reminds me of Brett Hull's slap shot during which his knee hit the ice, adding extra bracing to control the power. Are these things violent or are they in control. Are the two ideas contrasting or compliments in the best athletes?