You may have already heard about Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous pitcher. If you haven’t, meet Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous pitcher.
Venditte was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in 2007 out of Creighton in the 45th round of the Amateur Draft but opted to return to school for his senior year. But the Yankees drafted him again this year – this time in the 20th round – and made sure this unique talent was in their system. This time, Venditte was quickly signed and made his debut for the Staten Island Yankees last night in the ninth inning and it resulted in some pretty amusing results.
As this video on Hot Foot shows, Venditte, who uses a special glove that allows him to switch from lefty to righty pitcher at will, faced off against Ralph Henriquez of the Brooklyn Cyclones with two outs in the final inning. Problem is, Henriquez is a switch-hitter. And he kept moving back and forth between the righty and lefty batter’s boxes before one single pitch was thrown, and Venditte was forced to keep switching his glove hand in response.
But from what i understand (I could be wrong) this is actually illegal in professional baseball. Rule 6.02 of the official MLB rulebook states:
The batter leaves the batter’s box at the risk of having a strike delivered and called, unless he requests the umpire to call “Time.” The batter is not at liberty to step in and out of the batter’s box at will.
So this means that unless the batter is granted a timeout, once he steps into the box, the pitcher has the right to throw one pitch. However, last night, after a few switches in the batter’s boxes, Venditte became annoyed. A delay ensued as a result while all parties involved attempted to sort through the impasse. I don’t know what the umpires told Henriquez to do, but ultimately, he batted righty, Venditte pitched righty, and it all ended with a strikeout to finish the game.
You have to figure that this is not the first time that Venditte has faced a switch-hitter, which begs the question as to how this was handled then. What do you think, UmpBumpers? How should this rule be interpreted?