May 30, 2006


New pitch is born out of compromise (MARC TOPKIN, May 30, 2006, St. Petersburg Times)

When Doug Waechter was warming up to pitch in Boston on Thursday, he didn't have a good feel for the split-finger fastball he had debuted in his previous start.

He fidgeted with his grip until it felt comfortable and ended up somewhere between how he holds the ball for a splitter and how he holds it for a changeup, with his index finger on the side of the ball and his middle finger on a seam.

From that, the "splange" was born.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 30, 2006 4:37 PM

Wow! Less than a week since its invention and no mention that the entire pitching staff uses it exclusively? What's taking them so long, don't they want to win? Who knows, by this time next week it could have swept the league to the exclusion of every other pitch! Why, there's evidence it could even cut down on the number of gopher balls Eddie Guardado serves up!

I guess when things aren't going well, anything about your team is newsworthy.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 30, 2006 5:23 PM

The circle change took off about that fast.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 5:28 PM

Whatever happened to the palm ball? I haven't heard of anyone using it for probably 30 years, although my day-to-day interest in the game is down considerably from, say, 1980 or 1990.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 1, 2006 11:51 PM

The Braves had a fat blonde closer who threw one in the 80s.

Posted by: oj at June 2, 2006 7:28 AM

Gene Garber?

Growing up in Pittsburgh, I remember Dave Guisti throwing it from 70-73 or so. He was very good, but when he lost the lead in Game 5 of the NLCS (throwing a homer to Johnny Bench), he went downhill fast. I still gripe because Bill Virdon should have left Ramon Hernandez in the game - he had set the Reds down in order in the 8th.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 2, 2006 10:09 AM


Posted by: bonzai at June 12, 2006 9:17 PM