Yu Darvish, Literally Pitching Backwards

Darvish AG

Merely a brief glance at the animated GIF embedded here might compel the reader to conclude that Texas right-hander Yu Darvish performed last (Thursday) night — in his start against Tampa Bay — rather a commonplace (if aborted) pick-off move towards second base against the Rays. In fact, further inspection reveals that the video footage is depicting Darvish, a fixture among baseball’s avant-garde always, literally pitching backwards.

Said Darvish of the episode:

The dominant hegemony, if it mandates that I must pitch to the plate, it’s my obligation as an artist-pitcher to subvert that. One considers Warren Spahn‘s wisdom on the topic — namely, that ‘Hitting is timing, and pitching is upsetting timing.’ Is there a more effective way of upsetting a hitter than to throw 180 degrees away from him? I conclude not.

But why merely pretend to throw the ball towards second? To this question, Darvish has a response, as well:

Pitching is an act of perpetual mimesis. In the first recorded game, a Knickerbocker throws to a batter from the New York Nine. In 2013, Yu Darvish throws to a member of the Tampa Bay club. The intent is largely, if not precisely, the same — the motion, too. My decision not to release the ball is a commentary: a literal pantomime of what is, more or less, a metaphorical pantomime reaching back to the genesis of the game.



Print This Post

Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Roy-Z
Guest
Roy-Z

This is so NotGraphs.

I love it.

GoodEnoughForMe
Member
GoodEnoughForMe

This made me re-examine my life. Thank you.

hsivraD uY
Guest
hsivraD uY

!em fo edis tnereffid a sredaer ruoy gniwohs rof sknahT

ettin
Guest
ettin

So he does have a reverse split?

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas

Underrated comment

Resolution
Guest
Resolution

Cistulli, was this Darvish himself, or Darvish through a translator? I’d like to believe the former.

It was Cistuli, through a translator
Guest
It was Cistuli, through a translator

It was a Translater, through Cistulli, Through Darvish
Guest
It was a Translater, through Cistulli, Through Darvish

Phillip McIntyre
Guest
Phillip McIntyre

This was spectacular.

cass
Guest
cass

You have resolved the question of whether pitching is a science or an art. Bravo.

Jill
Guest
Jill

After last night’s loss to the Royals, this Rangers fan needed a laugh. Thanks for providing it!

wpDiscuz