Just a day before his scheduled spring training debut, sweat-covered Pirates rookie pitcher Brad Lincoln has announced that he forgets if he uses his right hand or left hand to pitch.
"Dammit, which one is it?" Lincoln said to the press, amidst moments of deep thinking and pretending to throw with both arms.
Lincoln began experiencing problems during a fielding drill where he could not find his glove, which, according to Lincoln, would have been a good indicator of which hand he uses to throw. The problem was only exacerbated by the lack of film room or Internet access in the Pirates' Bradenton training facility.
Despite concerns, Lincoln expressed confidence that he would remember his throwing arm within a timetable of four to six hours he had set for himself, claiming that if he thought about other things, it would probably come to him.
Three days later, Lincoln still finds himself unsure.
Since the initial incident, Lincoln has attempted several different methods of recollection. While in the bathroom this morning, Lincoln reportedly searched his arms for the scar left behind by his 2007 Tommy John surgery, but he claimed there were too many spots on his arm and his shoulder he "couldn't really see." Several teammates confirmed that Lincoln tried on their gloves but complained that a glove on either hand felt fine, and neither was as "uncomfortable" or "weird-feeling" as he hoped. Lincoln even toyed with the idea that he's been ambidextrous the whole time but quickly rejected that notion.
"It's not a good situation," said Pirates manager John Russell. "But it's the kind of thing a lot of young pitchers go through. He's just going to get through it on his own."
According to Lincoln, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance helped him to remember which is his right hand, but it did not help him as far as his pitching arm conundrum.
SportsPickle is previewing each MLB team in the lead up to Opening Day 2010.
Today:Pittsburgh Pirates (2009: 62-99, last in NL Central)
From the good folks at No Mas, using audio from an actual interview with Dock Ellis.
Baseball-on-acid > Baseball-on-steroids
ADD: Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, Pirates Since joining the Pirates on July 1st, Jones has hit .323 with 16 RBI, 5 SB and a major-league best 10 HR. He would be an especially good pickup in leagues that charge for free agent acquisitions, as cash transactions involving the Pittsburgh Pirates are valid as tax deductible charitable donations.
The benches cleared during last night's Pirates-Brewers game after several Pirates saw a tiny, white mouse scurry along the back wall of the dugout, sending the team screaming and yelping to the center of the field.
"Aaaaaah! Ohmigod! A mouse! A mouse! Eeek! A mouse!" yelled Pittsburgh first baseman Adam LaRoche, pushing several teammates out of the way as he ran out of the dugout. "I hate mice! They're so so little. And gross!"
LaRoche was the first to spot the critter, but when his other teammates saw it, they, too, fled for the safety of the field.
"Ohhhh I'm so freaked out right now," said catcher Ryan Doumit, hopping up and down and waving his arms. "I can't use any of my stuff anymore! What the mice has been all over my catcher's gear? Those things carry diseases, you know?"
After the Pirates fled onto the field, the visiting Brewers ran out of their dugout, too.
"Mouse! Mouse! Mouse!" shrieked Prince Fielder. "Get out of here! If they have mice, then they're definitely in our dugout! Mouse! Run!"
Fielder was soon joined out on the field with the rest of his teammates, were they clutched the Pirates players for comfort, waiting for the all-clear.
But it never came.
"Get back in the dugouts, you pansies," said umpire John Hirshbeck. "It's only a mouse. We're not delaying the game for a freaking mouse."
"Sure, easy for you to say," said LaRoche, beginning to weep. "You don't have to be in the dugout with those those terrors!"