Watson: Mike Norris and the moral winter

From SABR member Owen Watson at The Hardball Times on March 5, 2015:

The first inning was always the hardest. This one was off to a particularly wild start, with leadoff hitter Willie Randolph having to duck under a high fastball before Ken Griffey skipped away from a ball thrown at his feet. The only thing that mattered to the guy on the mound, however, was that Randolph had finally struck out looking and Griffey had flown out to right field. When Dave Winfield stepped into the box for the Yankees on that cool day in late May, 1983, the Oakland Athletics were already up 2-0 and the Bombers had two outs.

To say the first pitch to Winfield got away would be an understatement; much fairer to say it was one of those pitches that seems to go intentionally awry. In this case, the lanky right-hander on the mound seemed like he had taken dead aim at Winfield’s head with a small cannon firing projectiles about the mass of an apple. Fortunately for Winfield, he saw the pitch just in time. Because he reacted late, the ball barely missed hitting him flush in the face, and he collapsed in the dirt of the batter’s box.

He wasn’t down for long.

After he sprang to his feet, he threw his bat straight up into the air, stomping toward the mound with eyes as big as coffee cups.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/mike-norris-and-the-moral-winter/

Originally published: March 9, 2015. Last Updated: March 9, 2015.