Every day, on every platform, some pearl clutching hand wringer proclaims something innocuous as a harbinger of our country’s demise. I never take it seriously. My life has been nothing but American global dominance. I worry though, society may be letting its guard too far down. I think we’re now four generations removed from WWII, and two generations removed from the Cold War. There’s a lot of peacetime bias lulling us into a state of unaware. If we’re not careful, subversive forces can slip in and destroy our way of life. Just a couple days ago I think I might’ve found one of these agents of destruction. It seems innocent enough, but I think there are quite a few scriptures about Satan concealing himself behind beauty or something like that. I don’t know, I can’t decide if this baseball gun means we’re doomed or we’ve never been better.
I might be being too biased. I’m wary of technology. I think home assistants are largely unnecessary and centuries from now will be looked upon as one of the first steps toward the robots’ eventual subjugation of mankind. I don’t like the idea of self driving cars, my refrigerator having internet connectivity, and those robots that are running stairs and jumping logs? Nightmare fuel. So maybe when I see this friggin thing I’m overreacting. But am I? I mean, we’ve been throwing shit, pretty efficiently I might add, our entire existence. It’s not like mankind’s struggling to find the strike zone. This isn’t a case of someone recognizing a human deficiency and providing a solution. This is laziness. This is mankind rebuking our possession of a superior skill. Lions aren’t out there throwing heaters. For all the poop they sling you’re not going to get a chimpanzee to strike out the side. That’s our turf, and people are willing to give up that strength for a little convenience.
Now I know what you’re going to say, “BuT iT mAkEs FoR mORe CoNsIsTeNt PrAcTiCe.” First of all, if you’re tossing BP, or pointing this thing at the sky and using it to simulate pop ups, as the video shows, and you can’t consistently find a strike zone, tap out, let someone else try. It’s little league BP, it’s 45ft to the mound, you got this. Second, the top speed is 55mph. There’s not a pitcher in the LLWS that’s starting on the mound if they’re topping out at 55mph. This is for little guys, you can throw consistent BP to little guys, and even if you get a little wild, that’s okay. Lord knows the pitchers your kid’s gonna face are about as accurate as a musket from 1,000 yards, they need to know how to handle with one ball being right down the middle and the next ball taking two hops in the dirt before it reaches the plate.
The only scenario I see a use for this in is if you’re in my mom and I’s situation. A single mom, who probably doesn’t want to rag her arm out throwing endless BP to a kid who’s so baseball obsessed he could hit till his arms fell off, might find use in this abomination. HOWEVER, if you watch the video, it’s not used behind a net. The operator is out in the open and way too close to the batter, fully exposed and vulnerable to a liner to the face, because they’re not wearing a glove to protect themselves.
Call me old fashioned, but I just feel like some things should involve human exertion. If I asked my mom to play catch or throw BP and she had pulled this out I would have felt like shit, like a dog getting one of those tennis ball throwers used on him, like my own mother doesn’t love me enough to put a little work in. But you have to respect the brazenness, the pure capitalist risk behind an invention like this. One pictures someone in their garage with a tennis ball throwing dog toy and a baseball on their workbench, the dim lighting of the overhead bulb illuminating their furrowed brow as they plumb the depths of their brain for an answer. It might be a shameful manifestation of humankind’s eternal quest for comfort, to shed our savage nature and abandon all physical pursuits, but it’s also a beautiful representation of the limitless potential of innovation and one’s ability in a market that rewards risk and uniqueness. It’s complicated, I don’t know if I’ll ever decide if this baseball gun means we’re doomed or we’ve never been better.
If you share my worries on this pitching machine’s correlation to our eventual destruction get the word out by reposting this link. If you think it’s harmless and want to buy me one to prove it click the link below