There was great glee and mirth this spring when Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk took an oft-heard phrase heard every spring ("In the best shape of his life") and made it legendary. The reason his series was so hysterical is because it played off of one of those cliches that are so common in baseball. After watching a couple of dozen spring baseball games, another cliche kept popping up. It was the old, "Pitcher X is working on a change-up." The interesting thing about all of this is that most pitchers go through several years in the minor leagues before making it to the big leagues. Either the pitchers didn't learn much in the minors or baseball writers really need something to write about every day. The latter is probably the closest to the truth.
To test this theory, a Google search was performed and sure enough, there are quite a few stories about pitchers working on their change-ups this spring. The search also pointed out that people have no idea of how to type the pitch. There are, "change ups," and "changeups," and "change-ups." The correct spelling is one of those mysteries in life like, "e-mail/email," and "interleague/inter-league/Interleague/Inter-league. But anyway, back to the search. These were just the ones that the search found. For every city paper, there must be dozens more. Here they are:
- Josh Becket is working on a change-up.
- Phil Hughes is working on a change-up. And we apparently needed a reminder based on the title.
- Michael Pineda is working on a change-up. It's a new change-up.
- Vance Worley is working on a change-up.
- Bud Black thinks Cory Luebke has to throw more change-ups.
- Sergio Santos had to miss quite a few spring games to work on his change-up.
- Jonathan Niese has added a change-up.
- Ervin Santana is working on a change-up.
- Clay Buchholz worked on his change-up.
- Daniel Schlereth is working on a change-up. Only one sentence in this post. Cheap. A similar one sentence post is found here.
- Jordan Walden is working on a change-up.
- Aroldis Chapman is working on a change-up.
- Mike Leake is working on his change-up.
- Ivan Nova is trying to perfect his change-up. That's a new wrinkle.
- Dustin Moseley is working on his change-up.
- James Paxton is working on a change-up.
- James McDonald is trying to get a feel for a change-up. Another new wrinkle.
- Craig Kimbrel is working on a change-up. Apparently, these stories are fantasy sports fillers.
- Luke Hochevar has a new change-up.
- Antonio Bastardo is trying to improve his change-up.
- Yovani Gallardo likes his new change-up.
By now you've gotten the idea. And if you haven't had enough, there's always the movie, The Change-Up that was just released for home viewing. So you can work on your change-up too.