BP vs Minor League Pitcher Matt Barnes
Almost two months ago, I had the opportunity to face Matt Barnes of the Washington Wild Things, a minor league team in the frontier league. Amy was looking for Christmas presents for me and came across Barnes’ baseball ad offering to give baseball lessons. Since Amy knows I love hitting, she hired Barnes to throw to me for an hour.
We started out in the cages to warm up our arms.
Then we took several rounds in the cage.
I was having difficulty with inside pitches, they kept eating me up. Unfortunately, the Iphone 4S kind of sucks in darkness, so most of the pictures didn’t turn out that well. A lot of them were quite blurry. Here’s a second picture of me taking a cut:
Also, I was having difficulty because the follow through in my swing kept clipping the netting, making it uncomfortable. We eventually moved the plate into the left hand batters box to give me some more room.
Barnes noticed that my swing had a little hitch in it – likely from all those rounds of homerun derby that I’ve played – and told me to try to smooth it out. A hitch is just a little movement in the hands before the ball is pitched. It may look like Barnes is screaming at me in this picture, but he was friendly and helpful:
After several rounds in the cages, we headed to the field.
The field was a bit soggy because it was December, but it wasn’t terrible.
Barnes toed the rubber, without the benefit of an L screen
and I stepped into the batter’s box.
We went through one bucket of balls, and my hitting was sub par. I didn’t even come close to hitting a homer, although I think it was because my bat was slowly dying. I had used that 34″ Louisville slugger bat since 1994 and it had lived a long happy life.
Near the end of the session, I hit a line drive and heard a loud BANG and a strong vibration in my hands. Confused, I had seen the ball leave my bat along with another object. Amy was videotaping. At the end of the video you’ll see and hear what I’m talking about.
The end of the bat, or cap, had become cracked and popped off of the bat.
I tried jamming the cap back in, but it made no difference. It kept flying off. The bat was dead.
Besides breaking my bat it was a fun experience. If you’d like to hit off of Matt Barnes, contact me and I will send you his info you that you can get into contact with him.
There’s only 62 more days until Opening Day, 15 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and 2 more days to win this Matt Wieters shirt.