Yesterday, Short Matt asked if I could pinch-hit for Cookie – with very last-minute notice. I read it as “Could I pinch Cookie?” So I asked for her address and a permission slip from Mr. Cookie… Surely, I jest. As it turns out, I had squat prepared for this kind of request and as I usually beg off with work-kids-travel-carpal tunnel excuses, so since our pinch-hitter extraordinaire, Junoir Blaber, has apparently been stolen by RugbyWrapUp, I thought I’d squeeze out a piece on “pinch-hitting” itself…
We’re probably all familiar with the move in baseball where a pinch-hitter is a substitute batter, typically for pitchers. It’s a National League specialty. That’s because the pathetic Junior Circuit has the “Designated Hitter.” (Those words were spoken with whiny derision). Maybe the American League needs a hitter for the catchers, too? They’re not usually exceptional at the plate.
Anyway, Mets fans are well versed in the art of pinch-hitting mavens what with Steady Eddie Kranepool, flamboyant ginger Rusty Staub and the all time pinch-hit leader Lenny Harris . Yes friends, these are shining moments Mets supporters live for: baseball’s immortal pinch-hitters.
In football, one could argue that members of special teams, third-down backs and third-down pass rushers are pinch hitters. Go ahead, argue… Interestingly, it took a pinch hitter like LaDainian Tomlinson to publicly address Santonio Holmes’ thumb-in-mouth sabotaging of the Jet offense and Mark Sanchez, who was doing it just fine on his own, thank you!
Cricket is sometimes thought of as one of baseball’s ancestors, and it too has a pinch-hitter position. (How’s that for a segue?) He/she is not a substitution player like in our sport, but one who is moved up in the order during a match because he is a superior batsman. Cricket, however, is a tiresome sport to try to understand and another shining example of why the US is a way better country than the UK. Crickets are meant for crop devastation, bizarre eating and companionship to wooden boys…. Not a week-long snooze-fest.
Outside of the world of sport, some of us (me) are well-acquainted with the “reefer“ (nod to Cookie) smoking apparatus commonly referred to as a pinch-hitter. Also known as a dugout, this device is often a metal pipe shaped like either a baseball bat or a faux cigarette (to throw off olfactory defective cops). The “dugout” itself contains two chambers – a larger one to hold the weed and a smaller tube-like one with a spring that releases the one hitter. At one end the one hitter the Mary Jane is packed into a small scoop buried into the stash and from the other end you toke. This has nothing to do with sports.
The last thing that comes to mind takes this post right where it belongs. When we’re “dropping the kids off at the pool,” we sometimes hear the sound of the “pinch” hitting the water. BOOM
So, stop prairie-dogging and pinch a loaf with a comment and swing by tomorrow for The Public Professor, as he pushes cloth.