As baseball players are stuck inside their homes, like everyone else, during the coronavirus pandemic, Ross Stripling explains why it is uniquely challenging for baseball players.
It was comedy in action to watch.
Fans who logged into Instagram got to see the 30-year-old right-hander struggle with social media technology like someone from the Boomer generation.
As ballparks and training facilities have closed their doors in response to the novel coronavirus, baseball players are doing their best to stay busy while being stuck inside their homes. Beyond keeping from being bored, they are also trying to stay in shape. Something that isn’t so easy for a pitcher.
“A basketball player could have a gym to stay in shape and get shots up, so when they call, they’re ready to go in a matter of days,” Stripling recently told the Wall Street Journal. “For a pitcher that’s, quite frankly, impossible.”
Pitchers are unique specimens who require strict routines to maintain the proper balance between keeping their arms strong, while also not overexerting themselves and peaking at the wrong time. There is a process for a pitcher to “stretch out” their arm to reach the point of when they can appear in Major League baseball games and throw 90 MPH fastballs, mixed with 80 MPH curveballs.
Normally, there are set dates on the calendar for pitchers to target. The first day of Spring Training, the first start in Cactus League, the first start of the regular season. With the coronavirus continuing its spread across the country, those important milestone dates no longer exist.
This is why whenever Major League Baseball is given the green light to play again, it will likely take several weeks for pitchers to be ready to start the season. A reality that Stripling makes clear in his quote to the Wall Street Journal.
Hopefully, “Chicken Strip,” as his teammates like to call him, finds a routine that he can keep from his house. And in the meantime, he will be talking to fans on Instagram, now that he knows how to get it to work.