A Truly Epic Matchup

I’ll start by just asking you to watch this video, of Staten Island Yankee pitcher Pat Venditte as he faces off against Astros prospect Ralph Henriquez. As a brief preface, I will leave you with this: Henriquez is a switch-hitter and Venditte is a switch-pitcher! Yes, you read that correctly. Take a look at this epic matchup:

The crowd absolutely ate this up, the announcers seemed utterly befuddled, and Henriquez/Venditte literally looked like they wanted to fight each other after a bit. Equally interesting is whether or not the umpire made the correct call or not. Initial discussions at Baseball Think Factory discussed how the NAPBL—National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues—rulebook calls for the pitcher to first make a decision as to his handedness; afterwards, the batter can switch sides until he has two strikes.

Another take on the situation, apparently from a different NAPBL rulebook, says that the batter and pitcher can each switch places one time during the plate appearance.

Pete Abraham, at the Lohud Yankees Blog, asked veteran umpire Charlie Reliford about the situation to which Reliford replied the only rule is that, once the pitcher is on the mound, the batter cannot switch sides.

So, in summation, assuming Charlie Reliford is not senile or incompetent, major league baseball will literally have to change its rulebook should Pat Venditte ever make it to the show.

Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

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charles sledge
14 years ago

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