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Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte shakes up majors

First Major League Baseball ‘switch-pitcher’ could alter the game; Pat Venditte of the Oakland A's may have awakened a new generation of pitchers Perspective — I have been waiting for a switch-pitcher to appear since my

First Major League Baseball ‘switch-pitcher’ could alter the game; Pat Venditte of the Oakland A’s may have awakened a new generation of pitchers

Perspective — I have been waiting for a switch-pitcher to appear since my days as a Little League baseball player in San Pedro, Calif. — an ambidextrous pitcher who could throw effectively with either arm. I knew this “special” athlete would make history and be very effective baffling hitters. In fact, I wanted to be a “switch-pitcher,” because like the “Designated Hitter,” or “Designated (pinch) Runner,” a switch-pitcher has the ability to alter the sport.

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte is the first in the Major Leagues. He made his debut for the Oakland A’s on a calm, Friday, Aug. 14th night against the Boston Red Sox.

Venditte, 29, performed admirably, allowing one hit with a strikeout in two shutout innings.

It also marked the debut of “The Pat Venditte Rule,” which was established by Major League Baseball in 2008 after he was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2008.

The Pat Venditte Rule from MLB.com: The pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter, and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter. Engaging the rubber with the glove on a particular hand is considered a definitive commitment to which arm he will throw with. The batter will then choose which side of the plate he will bat from.

It be interesting as time progresses with the possibility of amendments to The Pat Venditte Rule, whether or not a switch-pitcher will be allowed to “switch” on impulse, that is — a pitcher throwing left-handed facing a dangerous right-hand power hitter with bases loaded, top of the ninth, two outs with his team leading 3-2 and being allowed to baffle the hitter by switching throwing arms. This would definitely give the pitcher a great advantage as the majority of batters’ success depends on which arm the pitcher throws with; to put it another way — if the pitcher changes throwing arms, would the switch-hitter then have the option to switch from which side of the plate he bats?

I suspect there will be numerous challenges to The Venditte Rule before it is set in stone.

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

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