Watch the nine-minute Venditte fiasco

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For those of you who get to the bottom of the DotF comments, there’s some video on the Pat Venditte incident from last night. It’s a bit long, but if you want to make him play the hitter for a fool, fast forward to the last few seconds.

I solemnly swear not to gloat about the misfortune of others
Checking in on Kei Igawa
  • Ralph

    That was fantastic, thanks for posting. I doubt he ever makes it above High-A or AA, but it sure was entertaining.

    • Ben K.

      Who knows about that? This is the second time the Yanks have drafted Venditte. So there’s something there he likes.

      I like this kid’s attitude though. He was aggressive and not at all pleased with the Cyclones’ batter for that crap at the end of the game.

      • Ralph

        Oh, absolutely. His attitude was great. I can’t believe how long it took the Umps to make a ruling on the batter switching sides of the plate. Venditte has been pitching like this for years, you’d figure that he, of all people, knows the rules.

      • doty

        ben- he is a great guy- I met him after the game real class act. He was signing auto’s for 1/2 hr. I was right behind home plate, waiting to see the whole thing unfold, very cool,

        • Yankee Hater

          He used to hock Cotton Candy before you saw him signing his Minor League John Hancock for some 3 grader.

          • Double-J

            Considering you were probably the one dealing peanuts with your southpaw, you would know.

  • Casper

    Ugh. This thing isn’t loading on my computer at work and it’s driving me insane. I might have to make up an excuse to go home just so I can watch this. Ugh again.

  • Rob

    Can someone clarify the MLB rule for me?

    • Ben K.

      See…the thing is…there isn’t one.

      Rule 6.06 (b) notes that a batter cannot switch batters boxes when a pitcher is ready to pitch (that is, on the mound), but nothing prevents a batter from switching sides in between pitches. I believe the same holds true for a pitcher, but as this has never come up before, there is no explicit rule.

      My understanding is that as long as the pitcher steps off the rubber and does not commit a balk, he can do whatever he wants in terms of throwing arms.

  • Axl

    I mean this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen…but if you’re not that great from either side…what’s the point?

    Which side is he better from anyway?

    • rbizzler

      My understanding is that he profiles better from the right side, but I may be mistaken. Check Mike’s profile of him that he posted before the draft as I think that he makes mention of his strengths and weaknesses from each side.

  • Alan

    Venditte looked like he wanted to rush the batter’s box towards the end of that ordeal, haha.

  • Matt

    I wonder how this would have played out in a big league game where the batter isn’t wearing a double ear-flapped helmet. It was funny enough to see the guy switch his shin guard back and forth; wonder if he would have gone back to the dugout three times to change his helmet.

    We’ve all heard about Venditte’s special glove – but I wonder about his cleats. Does he wear toe savers on both? Just one? Neither?

    Frankly, I’m surprised the NY-Penn League didn’t brief the umps on the proper rule. It was apparent he was going to get assigned to SI, this was going to happen sooner or later. I suppose it’s best that it happened with one out to go in a blow-out rather than in a critical spot.

    Two other humorous bits of the video that have nothing to do with being a switch pitcher: 1). Thanks to Adam Sandlet’s “Talking Goat” bit, I got a chuckle out the first batter being named “Giarraputo”. 2). Venditte sure did go to his junk an awful lot during that delay. You’re in the pros now kid; show a little class.

    • Chip

      There’s no rule though, that league could have warned the umpires that this could happen but there’s really nothing they could have done about it. Also, I assume they pretty much have to follow the same rules as the MLB (since you’re grooming guys for the MLB) so maybe they have to wait until MLB rules on it. Either way, this is fun to watch

    • bill

      Matt – to your double flap question, I do believe switch hitters utilize double flap helmets just in case.

  • J.R.

    Next time Venditte sees this guy, I wouldnt be suprised to see him plunk him. Left or right handed.

  • NC Saint

    Too bad he’s sporting 13. I hope A-Rod doesn’t get too upset when he has to give his number in a few years.

    • Yankee Hater

      Those numders are given out like candy.

  • Matt

    In 1994, the Yankees briefly had Greg Harris, who was also able to throw with both arms – though not quite as proficiently as Venditte. He also had a special glove.

    Harris never threw with both arms in a game until the second to last game of his career with Montreal in 1995.

    This page has a list of ambidexterous pitchers, but it appears that all save for Harris were 19th Century guys.

    Mattingly also used to carry a glove for a right handed thrower, but never used it in a game. He made three career appearance at 3B and one at 2B, but did so as a lefty.

  • mehmattski

    They’re going to have to come up with a rule where either the batter or the pitcher has to choose their side first. Otherwise this sort of thing is going to happen with every switch hitter that ever faces Venditte.

    I love that he struck the guy out with a filthy curveball, too.

  • Curramba

    That was funny as all heck.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    So why doesn’t anyone think he’s going to make it to the majors?

    • Steve

      Because this strikes some of us as some 2 bit sideshow?

      Really, why on earth did we waste a draft pick on this nonsense?

      • r.w.g.

        Really? Guy showed a pretty damn decent curve and the hitter was clearly rattled. I’m not really sure how the pick was wasted.. wasn’t he like 600th something player taken? If you aren’t going to use a pick that low on a guy like this.. what are you going to use it on?

        I dunno.. I watched the game, I’ve read some interviews with the kid cause I really thought this whole thing was weird. But I don’t think it’s a side show at all — Pat Venditte is just an ambidextrous guy who is all about playing ball.

      • The non-idiot Steve

        You’re an idiot and obviously a Met troll. The only sideshow is in your pants.

    • Yankee Hater

      His daddy wont hold his hand.

  • Scott

    Bring him up to the Yankees today….i’m so excited about this, leave it to the yankees to have the first switch pitcher…go yanks

    • Yankee Hater

      He is not a Yankee yet.

      Also there have been several Switch Pitcher, just none that made an aSS of themselves, and the Batter called him out.

  • Brendan

    He can’t be any worse than Billy Traber, can he?

  • ej877

    Maybe the hitter should try to focus a little more on trying to hit the ball.

  • Owen

    Don’t overlook Rule 6.02 (a): “The batter shall take his position in the batter’s box promptly when it is his time at bat.”

    The batter should have been thrown out. The pitcher can do whatever he wants since there is no rule.

    • Yankee Hater

      The guy on the hill is a lil B***h!!

      I say make a rule.

  • Joey

    Bring him up now before they make a rule against switching hands or whatever! But seriously, that was awesome

  • Hey

    This is funny… Give that guy some GOLD BOND

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  • Yankee Hater

    Yankees Suck!!

    • Double-J

      Troll. Kthxbye.

  • CJ

    I’m left-handed, but have some ability to throw with my right hand. Like Don Mattingly, but with much less talent, I played first base and right field as a left-hander and tried to learn to play right-handedly so that I could play other infield positions. I also threw some left-handed batting practice, something which is always in demand. I’d love to see this guy make it in the majors. Although I’m not him, I believe that he will always be significantly better on one side, but who knows? If he developed major-league stuff on both sides, could he pitch twice as often? e looks like he’s better from the right side right now, but good left-handed pitching is always in demand. Old left-handers hang on in the majors for years doing spot relief duty, and middle-aged insurance agents and the like throw left-handed BP. One more thing nobody mentioned … although those umps were sadly unprepared, I believe that they didn’t like that batter’s antics, and maybe the strike zone got a little larger just for him on strike two.

  • CF

    The umps screwed the call. It is in the interpretation book for umpires (I am a professional umpire). The pitcher must decide first and then the batter may choose. End of story.

    • CF

      N.A.P.B.L. Manual pg. 66 6.14 Amidextrous Pitcher. In the rare occasion of an ambidextrous pitcher, the pitcher and batter may each change positions ONE TIME per at-bat. For example, if the pitcher changes from right-handed to left-handed and the batter then changes batter’s boxes, each player must remain that way for the duration of that at bat (unless the offensive team substitutes a pinch hitter, and then each player may again “switch” one time).

    • Mr. Incredible

      ==The pitcher must decide first and then the batter may choose.==

      So, during the at-bat, is the pitcher allowed to use only one pitch, say a slider, cuz he can’t change the position of his fingers around the ball once he has started the pitching series?

      If he is allowed to use his entire repertoire of pitches, why doesn’t that include changing his delivery side? Isn’t changing his delivery side the same as changing his grip on the ball?

  • Me

    The only thing that would have made this better is if after all that, the pitcher would have plunked with a fastball on the first pitch.

  • Mr. Incredible

    So, how long before somebody rules that the pitcher can change his pitches during an at-bat only once?

    It seems to me that changing the pitching hand is the same as changing the position of the ball in the hand, or the fingers around the ball, or throwing side-arm, or overhand.

    And, another thing…

    The “balk” rule could come into play here. That is, once he’s on the rubber, motion has to be forward to the throw to somebody, unless he steps off, and, when he’s off, he can do what he pleases. However, on the rubber, he must throw the ball either to the plate, or to a fielder.

    So, until he steps on that rubber, he can change pitching hands just as he changes pitches.

    One way to fix this would be for the batter to declare his approach to the ump before stepping into the box. Once that is set, the pitcher declares his approach, and that’s that. Of course, you run into the pitcher’s Right to change his pitches, and that may include his throwing arm just as he changes his fingers around the ball.

  • Mr. Incredible

    ==I’m left-handed, but have some ability to throw with my right hand. ==

    You have that ability and I don’t.

    However, I may have the ability to balance that out with pitches you’ve never seen.

    Everybody comes with different talents, and, if you show up with your talent, it behooves me, as coach, to find somebody with that talent, too, and so on, until somebody makes a rule and discusses this; but, then, you get into this thing about the Right of the pitcher to throw pitches and change his grip on the ball, and how you gonna tell him he can’t grip the ball with either hand?

  • Mr. Incredible

    I would say that they must make a rule if only to keep this kinda thing from delaying the game.

    However, as I say, it would have to be fair to the pitcher who gets to choose his pitches.

  • Mr. Incredible

    ==The pitcher must decide first and then the batter may choose. ==

    Except that, in every game I’ve seen, the batter steps into the box first, then the pitcher steps onto the rubber.

    So, as I say, until the pitcher steps onto the rubber, he is not committed. If he’s not committed, he can do what he wants. If he commits, he can uncommit by stepping off the rubber. Of course, the batter can also uncommit by vacating the box.

    I gotta hunch that, in time, teams will have to get League approval of pitches for a particular game in advance.

  • CF

    Again, by rule, a pitcher must pitch in a certain time frame – so he is required to toe the rubber, then the batter decides. Additionally, this was set up this way because the pitcher already has the advantage (batters are successful only 3 out of 10 times – a .300 batting average) . So the pitcher must decide first and then the batter. And no, a pitcher can throw whatever pitch he wants and there is no restriction on it and never has been since the inception of baseball.

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  • Tom

    At least the NCAA has already implemented a rule for an ambidextrous pitcher (Rule 9, Section 2k):

    “k. Pitch both right-handed and left-handed to the same batter during a plate
    appearance (ambidextrous-pitcher rule).
    PENALTY—If a pitcher changes pitching hands during a batter’s time
    at bat, the umpire shall:
    (1) Call a balk if a runner(s) is on base;
    (2) Call a ball for an illegal pitch if no runner(s) is on base;
    (3) Warn the pitcher; or
    (4) Eject the pitcher if the offense is repeated.
    A.R. 1—When facing a switch hitter, an ambidextrous pitcher shall declare the hand with
    which to pitch to the hitter.
    A.R. 2—If a pinch hitter replaces a batter during a turn at bat, the pitcher may change
    pitching hands.”

  • Tom

    Under MLB rule 6.06b the batter could have been called out for stepping from one batter’s box to the other when the pitcher had already come set to pitch.

  • Mr. Incredible

    But why is changing pitching arms any different from changing pitching fingers???? Should the batter be told, in advance, of the pitcher’s next pitch so the batter can change his stance just cuz the pitcher has an advantage??? If the batter is told of a change of fingers, we’d have the same thing happen as with this game. So, what’s the difference???? Just that the batter doesn’t know what the next pitch is??? Ridiculous.

    I dunno what the answer is, and that has to be worked out, but I know that the ability to change arms is not different from the ability to change the position of the ball in the fingers, nor change the movement of the arm/wrist, nor change finger pressures on the ball, nor the ability to change finger position on the ball. ALL those give the pitcher an advantage, and each pitcher has different ability to do those things. Still, the pitcher gets to choose. You can’t punish a pitcher for his legit abilities.

  • Mr. Incredibly Dumb

    Mr. Incredible, you’re a fool. Switching arms is not like switching fingering. I can see which arm you’re about to throw with, ergo I should be able to decide how I’m going to hit that by choosing which side of the plate to hit from. I cannot see your fingering so that part is the secretive part of your pitch, not which hand you intend to be throwing from. But the really INCREDIBLE thing here is that two separate people (and now a third) have explained the rule and cited it for you and you still intend to act like a fool. And by the way nimrod, the answer, as has previously been discussed, has been worked out.
    Do you understand this concept yet, or is it still puzzling you?

  • Mr. Incredible

    ==Mr. Incredible, you’re a fool. ==

    How very evil of you to start the meanspiritedness.

    ==Switching arms is not like switching fingering.==

    There is no difference.

    ==I cannot see your fingering so that part is the secretive part of your pitch, not which hand you intend to be throwing from.==


    ==… two separate people (and now a third) have explained the rule and cited it for you and you still intend to act like a fool.==

    Keep on believing that you are being effective.

    ==And by the way nimrod, the answer, as has previously been discussed, has been worked out.==

    No, it hasn’t.

    ==Do you understand this concept yet, or is it still puzzling you?==

    I understood it before and what I asked and said stands.

  • SoCalPal

    That was great! I smiled the entire time that I watch the Clip. Baseball needs a little more fun like this. Bring them both over to San Diego!

  • Mr. Incredible

    ==by rule, a pitcher must pitch in a certain time frame – so he is required to toe the rubber, then the batter decides.==

    The batter does not tell the pitcher what to do, what pitches to throw.

    The batter may stand in the box and the pitcher may still be off the rubber, then toe the rubber; or the pitcher may toe the rubber, then the batter goes to the box. The pitcher is not required to toe the rubber first. If the batter is not ready, the pitcher is not required to be ready. The pitcher is not required to signal his readiness first. If the batter is in the box twiddling his thumbs, he is presumed to be ready, and the pitcher may throw. The batter doesn’t enter the box only after the pitcher toes the rubber. The batter goes into the box before the pitcher toes the rubber.

    Whether the pitcher changes the position of the ball in the hand, or changes the position of his fingers on the ball, or pitches overhand, or sidearm, or “submarines” it, or twists his wrist one way, or the other, or throws righty, or lefty, they are all part of the arsenal. He can’t change arms while on the rubber cuz he has declared himself. However, the batter HAS declared himself, for the record, at the beginning of the at-bat and should bat the way he started the at-bat.

  • Mr. Incredible

    ==Under MLB rule 6.06b the batter could have been called out for stepping from one batter’s box to the other when the pitcher had already come set to pitch.…..batter.pdf==

    And you’ll notice in the clip that the batter crossed over the plate from one box to the other. You might say that he was “in bounds” all that time. There has to be something in that, an interpretation that addresses this.

    Maybe, he could have stepped out and gone behind the ump, in outta bounds real estate, then entered the other box. However, stepping WWAAAYYYY outta the box like that is not the sme as stepping out a couple of feet, and the batter could be called for delay of game. In fact, that he stepped outta the box, then over the plate to the other side, and only then, into the other box could be delay of game.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Further, the batter set. The pitcher, not having set yet, didn’t like the setup and changed. It was the batter who began the delay of game. The pitcher was merely preparing for the pitch, preparing his pitch for the batter. Nothing wrong wit dat. Could the ump have called him out for delay of game?

    And even further, nothing stops a pitcher from using an arm to pitch. Nothing in the rules tells the pitcher which arm to use.

  • Mr. Incredible

    Now, let’s say that the shortstop, a lefty, is a switch thrower, and the scouting report says that the batter is known and has been observed to hit grounders to the left of the shortstop.

    Is the shortstop allowed to change his glove over to his left hand so he can have a better chance to field a probable ground ball to his left???

    How ’bout the catcher? Is he allowed to switch around in order to favor his catching and throwing odds, based on the stance of the batter???

    The first baseman knows that the runner is peculiar, and he wants to change his glove to increase his chances of nailin’ the runner. May he do this??

    The left fielder notices that the batter is signalling, by his stance, that he, the batter, will pull the ball, if he hits it, to center left center field. The left fielder is a lefty but can switch to righty, and, so, he switches his glove to increase his chances of catching the ball. May he do this?

  • Mr. Incredible

    A lefty pitcher thinks he is better at throwing righty to pick of a runner at second, and he bases his thinking on the leadoff that runner is taking.

    Then, the runner decides not to take such a leadoff cuz he notices that the second baseman covering the threat, and the pitcher decides to change back to lefty cuz he believes the threat is gone, for whatever reason.

    Then, the second baseman backs off, and the runner thinks that he can take longer leadoffs, and the pitcher is spooked again and changes his glove so he can throw righty. This goes on for several minutes. Is he allowed??

  • Mr. Incredible

    The batter signals that he will pull the ball to the right. The outfield moves that way, responding to the batter.

    Then, the batter, noticing that the outfield is wise to his tricks, changes his stance to a regular one. The outfield goes to general coverage.

    Then, the batter, wishing to outwit the outfield, signals a pull to the right again. The outfield switches.

    Should the ump allow the outfield to switch, or are they supposed to nail themselves to the ground once the batter is set?


      Uhhhh….the outfield can move whenever they want.

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  • Mr. Incredible

    ==Uhhhh….the outfield can move whenever they want.==

    Gee, y’think?

    That’s not my point.

  • Mr. Incredible


    My point is that the outfield can change and the catcher can change and the infield can change after the batter is set. No reason that the pitcher can’t change to meet the threat. Nothing restricts the pitcher from switching arms.

  • Jim

    Is there a rule that requires the pitcher to wear a glove? Suppose he steps on the rubber (with whichever foot & w/o a glove); the batter steps into the box; pitcher steps back off the rubber & QUICKLY steps back on with the other foot. He’s ready to pitch . . . is the batter required to stay in the box?

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