There are so many hours of television featuring former players as talking heads that end up more about killing airtime than providing insight.
Considering that, it’s always nice when former legends are able to bring their talent and experience to the table (or desk, as it were) and educate viewers with the kind of knowledge that only they possess. Last night, Pedro Martinez did just that on MLB Network Showcase.
With the crew focused on Yu Darvish and the Padres, Pedro talked about one of his main methods of deception to avoid tipping pitches with a runner on second base: changing grips mid-delivery. That drew plenty of skepticism from the rest of the panel, and understandably so; the idea that a pitcher could shift from a fastball grip to a changeup grip between pulling the ball out of the glove and the release point sounds almost impossible to believe.
That led Martinez to demonstrate it, and, yeah, he made us believers, at least:
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) August 27, 2021
“Pitchers don’t do that. Pedro may do it.”
“Fastball. Fastball. Boom. Changeup. You dead meat.”
That’s excellent. Pedro is obviously one of the best to ever do it, and it’s refreshing to see baseball commentators who actually seem to, you know, love baseball, and want to bring that to the audience. If only every baseball broadcast had that kind of feel and tone.