I’m not a professional athlete. I’m not even an athlete. I used to be, back in my youth. You’ll hear a cornucopia of opinions on sports from me, from strategy to execution. When a player does something fantastic, I’ll say it. When a player does something awful, I’ll say it. What you will never hear me say, however, is “I could have done that better.”
But there’s a whole army of keyboard warriors sitting at home who tend to make that comment.
And on, and on.
Sit down, Twitter troll, no you absolutely could not have.
I’ll grant the fact that it’s possible to get lucky, sure. The former high school varsity baseball player that’s put on 50 pounds since graduation and is watching the game while drinking a beer could, in theory, take a good hack down the middle of the plate and luck into barreling up a pitch. It’s conceivable. But don’t tell me that you think you’re going to get the best of a professional pitcher in an era where the MLB batting average continues to drop, strikeout rates are up, and the league slugging percentage is currently under .400 for the first time since 2014.
Contact is down, strikeouts are up, and pitchers are dominating professional baseball with ever-increasing velocity. It simply feels like pitchers just know they have the upper hand right now.
You watch this video and tell me you could handle being at the plate against a professional pitcher.
You cannot. I cannot. That’s why we are not professional baseball players. That guy on the mound is Vanderbilt’s Jack Leiter, son of former MLB All-Star pitcher Al Leiter, and a contender to be the first overall pick in the MLB draft.
Leiter, at 21 years old, already has a fastball that tops off at 98 miles per hour. He can throw a 12-6 curveball in the upper 70s that can land for a strike or get hitters chasing. He also has a slider in his arsenal.
When pitchers are making hitters look this silly at the plate, trust me when I say you and I have essentially a zero percent chance of a positive outcome.
So, Twitter trolls, before you utter the words from the comfort of your couch “I could have hit that,” please refrain from doing so unless you’re willing to step up to the plate and be wildly humiliated.