Coach: Do you want to run or get hit by a car?
Player: How fast is the car going?
Could this be the year of the pitcher...again? Not since 1968 have we in the baseball world seen pitching performances so good in such a cluster. Perfect games from Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay, and Armando Galarraga (minus Jim Joyce's hiccup) and a no hitter from Ubaldo Jiminez, who also happens to be 10-1 with a 0.78 ERA. So many people have commentary on these guys, but I have a different type of question regarding them. I wonder how much running has to do with all their success? I only ask this because, in my personal baseball opinion, running is the worst part about pitching. I mean we only run about 90 ft total during a game, and if strength is what we are going for...have you seen those marathon runners?? Yet year after year nearly all organizations implement some sort of "flush" runs for their pitchers after they throw. A flush run is a long distance jog meant to "flush" the crap out of your body that your pitching created the night before. I don't like running. It's boring to me. But hey, if these guys are doing it, who am I to argue.
Seen the day after his no hitter in Atlanta in April, Ubaldo Jiminez was running the streets of Atlanta. His 6 mile trek led him through downtown Atlanta, down Peachtree St., and into Grant Park. He threw 128 pitches that day, which was the highest total in the league to that point, so I guess he felt the need to flush a little extra. I'm not sure what the others did after their performances, but I imagine it was some form of distance running (though I did hear that Dallas Braden liked running stadium steps after pitching...yuck). Here's my problem with it all. Running in circles around the field so monotonous, and in Savannah's 90+ degree 100% humidity weather it's almost unbearable.
So in the spirit of Ubaldo, I told our strength coach that I was going on a scenic journey of Daffin Park (the park around Grayson Stadium). I threw my headphones in, put on some Phoenix, and started my run. My goal was to run as close to the trees as possible so that they could be my natural sun block, but the spanish moss was hanging too low and I wasn't in the mood to get chiggers on my face. I kept to the rubberized track next to the sidewalk for half of the trip which led me by the pond and fountain. Now as I'm running by this little pond I thought wow this would be a great place to take Ashley on a picnic. That thought lasted about 30 seconds as I strolled up on two large people taking up an entire park bench and making out on it as if it were their parents basement couch. Kinda ruined the picture i had in my head. On the back side of the pond sat 4 older gentlemen crouched next to their bicycles discussing something. I like to think that they were talking about how irresponsible GM has been and how their boycott of the motor vehicles will catch on soon enough. Who knows. Anyway, the middle part of my run was a blur partly because i left the shade of the oak trees and partly because I was paranoid that someone was following me. I just kept looking behind me thinking "I'm too tired to outrun anyone right now". As I saw the homestretch I knew that I wanted to make an entrance into the stadium like a champion. The center field gate was open and I saw my opportunity. With arms raised and head back I ran through the gate to the sound of riotous applause...in my own head of course. In reality the team was in the middle of BP and nobody noticed my entrance. No worries though, one day I'll flush run down 5th Ave. in NY and maybe someone will say "Hey, there goes Collin Mchugh!"