For all our young readers out there with dreams of the bigs and ding dongs for days, here are a few tips that can help you stand out in the crowd.
Step 1: Pitter patter, lets get atter
Develop an intricate batters-box procedure. The process should start as you leave the on-deck circle and last between 30 to 45 seconds. Check Nomar Garciaparra’s all-time great pattern. Notice how he leaves no accessory unfiddled. Now it is totally up to your discretion, but remember “more is always more” so keep going until the ump forces you to stop, and then keep going.
The pitcher should be furious, send the next one at your noggin and boom. Free base and a guaranteed 1.000 OBP. It’ll really stand out in the stat sheet (how do you think Anthony Rizzo got his start?)
Step 2: Superman like its 2009 and you’re listening to Soulja Boy
Never ever ever ever ever go for the sliding catch. It looks incredibly stupid. There’s no danger, no excitement, no pizzazz. Real dirt dogs go head first only. There is no fly ball on earth that could only be caught by the slide, and the slide 100% of the time is lame. You’re not going to convince anyone of your grit unless its fully horizontal and the neck snaps at least 90 degrees. Fly baby fly.
Step 3: Celly hard, celly often.
Soccer players have known this for years, and finally the art of the post-accomplishment festivity has made its way to the diamond. In Boston, after every win, Mookie Betts, JBJ, and Andrew Benintendi engage in an expertly choreographed “Win, dance, repeat” routine, and so should you.
Make a catch in center field? “Dab on em”. Sweet pick on the throw to first? JuJu all the way back to the dugout. It keeps things fresh and your name on the tip of everyones young. Sure, you might take a Roughned Odor knuckle sandwich from time to time for showboating, but then you get on ESPN so its doubly as effective.
Step 4: Keep em up:
If you are not good at baseball, have no fear, you can still make it to the majors. All it takes are old-school high socks. Wearing stirrups show you are a baseball purist, appreciate history, and are therefore fundamentally sound/could probably hit above .245. A “Great locker room guy,” “very coachable” they’ll say. Its a classic optical illusion utilized by guys like Cody Ross and Chris Coghlan to hid their woeful lack of talent.
Step 5: Wear it
They’ve taken the home plate collision out of the game but they can’t take the game out of the home plate collision. That sentence doesn’t make a ton of sense but let me explain. If you want to stand out, you have to prove your dominance over every other player on the field. To do so, make every base a war-zone.
On offense that means as soon as you round first, you should be looking for the nearest baseman’s sternum so you can firmly plant your shoulder into it. Hell, even clothesline your own base coach to let ’em know never to hold you up at 3rd agin when everyone knows ol’ freight train’s got a head of steam going. Shut up Larry! You don’t know me.
If you utilize these tips, you’ll make magic out there, and who knows? Maybe someday, if you try really really hard, you’ll find yourself ripping stingers in Single A for the Peoria Chiefs, a mere torn meniscus or unpaid bill away from the big time in AA Springfield.