How to start… Pitching or Hitting
The longest standing and most discussed debate in Leroy Wiffleball has always been about the mound vs. the batters box. Which is better, what should you try to improve first, what wins you championships? I’m here to give you my pros and cons for both, and to show which I think is more important in Leroy wiffleball.
1. Slow Pitch Rule The 5 pitch rule is so unique, no other league has it. The best pitchers in our league are bound to have an off night, and when they do it is usually felt. After 5 balls in Leroy the pitcher must throw a lob pitch to hit. Against power hitting players this can change the tide of a game.
2. Mental Dynamic- There aren’t many lock down pitchers in Leroy. 6 maybe 7. You really have to rely on your 2-3 pitchers to hold down your team. If you are able to capitalize on your opponents 2-3 pitchers that creates a mental advantage that is hard to combat. You know that the 4th pitcher in every teams rotation will not be strong and you should score off him. But if you can get 2 or more runs off of the 2-3 pitchers, that devastates a team.
3. 48 Foot Rule- we have always played pitching from 45 feet. This year the mound will be moved back to 45, and it will definitely give hitters an advantage in the first few weeks of the season.
1. Consistency- Your opponent changes every game and so does your approach at the plate. No one team will pitch the same and you can’t count on weak 2-3 pitchers in a team’s rotation every game. You can’t take hot hitting to the bank. That isn’t controllable.
2. Speed- The ball is thrown really fast. If you face teams that won’t throw you pitch to hit counts good luck on putting runs on the board. And that can also have a negative approach to your team dynamic. In 2016 I would argue a lot of the success the Bombers had wasn’t all skill. Don’t get me wrong, they were stupidly talented on the mound and posed the best pitching team Leroy has seen. But the hype that surrounded them was what shocked me. People would instantly become downtrodden playing this team because of their pitching ability. They had a mental edge over whoever they played. They threw the ball hard and you knew it
1. Its Controllable- Despite the little bit of honesty I gave towards the bombers in my last point,their model wins the top advantage for the pro pitching argument. Brett gave the league a beautiful lesson in becoming unbeatable in the aspects of the game you could control. You can’t control if you’re in a hitting slump or if you play a good pitching team. But you can control if your team throws strikes, and that is why the bombers were dominant. They won 3 1-0 games in the playoffs which speaks volumes to his teams ability to buy into this notion that no team will score on us.
2. It Can Always Improve- You could argue that you can become a better hitter working on your swing, or being more patient but again in Leroy you are subject to who you are facing on the mound. If you don’t see many 5 ball counts its tough to do damage. The best thing about pitching is that you can always get better. You ask guys like Brett Detmar or Matt Dykstra about pitching, and I guarantee you they talk about how even though they had such dominant years on the mound there are still areas for growth. Its hard to teach new guys to hit well, but its way easier to help guys become more consistent pitchers.
1. If you can’t pitch in Leroy you are screwed- Because we don’t allow 5 ball walks, you compound issues if you can’t find the plate. And if you rely on your bats every game to win, you won’t be making a championship series in Leroy. Its just sheer facts, if you allow less then capable hitters to take more then a 10 ball walk that will not win you games.
2. Creates a Hitting Disadvantage in Close Games- This isn’t true for all, but the majority of the top pitchers in Leroy aren’t at the top of the leader boards in hitting. If you run into a team that can match up with you from the mound, you may struggle to beat that team. In those close games that will be 1 maybe 2 run games you need a hitter who can go get you a home run or big single. There are 2 maybe 3 guys in Leroy that have that ability both on the mound and from the plate.
In my humble opinion you have to build from the mound. As much as I personally love hitting, you have to have guys that can throw. You can’t win a championship from the plate if your arms can’t carry you there. I won’t dismiss the bats, as that is what brought The sultans to the championship last year, but pitching prevailed. At the end of the day if the other team doesn’t score you are looking pretty good.