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Friday, July 22, 2022

‘Everybody Needs Some Oxygen’: What It’s Like to Be a Reliever on the Run

There are two parts to every baseball altercation. One is everything that happens on the infield—where the scuffle begins and the dugouts quickly empty out. And the other is the journey through the outfield, long and traditionally futile, in which relievers dutifully cover hundreds of feet from the bullpens just to get a glimpse of the action.

Or put more simply:

“By the time we get down there, it’s all broken up,” says Pirates reliever David Bednar. “And you’ve just gotta walk back. Everybody’s out of breath, and everybody needs some oxygen.”

They realize from the start that all their effort is probably for naught: They often run all the way out there only to turn around for the walk back. While all their other teammates are either fighting or trying to stop each other from fighting, the relievers are stuck crossing the entire field. (On the rare occasion they find the brawl still going once they get there—they have bigger problems to worry about.) They realize their run is likely pointless. They know it’s a lot of ground to cover and, frankly, they would sometimes rather just not do it. But it’s an important piece of the process—complete with its own politics and plenty of space for idiosyncrasy—and relievers agree: It’s a trip they have to make.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 10:39 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brawls

 

 

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