“Once a week or so, instead of taking batting practice on the field, we will take it inside, in the stadium batting cage. And for a lot of guys, that is an invitation to bare all. Without fail, a teammate will decide to take off his clothes and rub some sort of condiment — mustard, peanut butter, whatever— all over himself before he steps in to take a few swings. The sight of a big fella covered in peanut butter taking swings a a baseball tends to keep things light. Even BP pitchers get in on the act. Some days I’ll show up in the cage, and the guy throwing to me has on his birthday suit. Let me tell you, nothing tests your focus more than trying to hit a baseball thrown by a man with his junk hanging out.”—
Insane competitor is insanely competitive. Which also means he was upset with himself in this pic. Which further breaks my heart :(
It can be a fine line—analyzing their emotions and reactions on the mound—but those pitchers who beat themselves up for tough luck losses and runs allowed are the most admirable and inhabit a special place in my baseball heart as opposed to those who show up fielders or are generally prissy and infantile.
Look around the big leagues and find the left-handed starting pitchers that average 93 mph or better with their fastball. It’s a very short list. Throw in the fact that Banuelos is a consistent strike-throwing machine with two above-average secondary pitches and you have a very rare commodity.
If you’re looking for any negatives with Banuelos, it’s his lack of size. But given the ease of his delivery, plus stuff and greatly advanced pitching aptitude, this is a particular talent that goes against the stereotype. If he can remain healthy and keep his shorter frame in check, he is a true front-of-the-rotation type pitcher.
All of a sudden, the Yankees farm system is stacked with promising pitchers. And catchers.
Both Serena Williams (foot) and Venus Williams (knee) are currently sidelined with injury, but both expect to be fit for the US Open, and both have now committed to represent the U.S. in the Fed Cup final, hosting Italy on Nov. 6-7, 2010, in San Diego, Calif.