You are out with your boyfriend at some nice place such as the Olive Garden enjoying a Tour of Italy with some of that bread (I personally hate the Olive Garden but I like the bread. I think any restaurant that feels it is necessary to include “the” in the name is trying way too hard. “The” Benihana? “The” Pizza Hut? “The” Hooters? C’mon, but I digress). Anyway, you notice a slightly skanky, somewhat slutty, kind of trampy girl making eyes at your boyfriend.
She knows you exist, but she doesn’t care. She keeps looking over provocatively, bordering on the blatantly obvious. She wants your man.
It’s now up to you to mark your territory. You hold his hands, touch him a little more. Perhaps even give him a kiss before you go to the bathroom. And as you walk by the aforementioned woman of the night, you stare two, piercing daggers through her soul that say, “Stay the f*#@ away if you know what’s good for you!”
Pitchers in baseball are the same way. Home plate is 17 inches wide and pitchers believe that not only do those 17 inches belong to them, but also six inches on either side. You don’t just want your boyfriend’s arm or leg, right? You want the whole thing, most of the time…
You see, hitters like to crowd the plate. This is a feeble attempt at intimidation because pitchers are armed with the baseball.
And they aren’t afraid to use it.
If the batter is standing too close to the plate, the catcher can put down the middle-finger (the universal sign for what comes next). The pitcher will then throw the baseball as hard as he can dangerously close to the hitter, forcing him to duck out of the way. You don’t want to hit the batter because that gives him first base much like you don’t want to hit the tramp at the bar because that gives you jail time.
Instead, this well-placed fastball, usually under the chin, is intended to frighten the hitter into knowing who’s the boss. This concept is known as chin music, the brushback, or buzzing a hitter.
No one wants to get hit by a baseball traveling more than 90mph. It hurts. Imagine trying to get your work done with the threat of receiving a large, circular bruise on your back from a baseball shot out of a cannon. You would be nervous, right?
Hitters get nervous too at this thought and nervous hitters are bad hitters, begging to be sent back to the shelter of the dugout.
Chin music is an effective weapon pitchers use to send a message saying, “Stay the f*#@ away if you know what’s good for you!” It’s a great deterrent that keeps hitters away from the plate much like you keeping that mischievous minx away from your man.