When troubled pitcher Carlos Zambrano re-joins the Cubs tomorrow it will be on the condition that he wear a straitjacket during play, forcing him to pitch with his mouth.
“While he’s obviously had some behavior problems, I’ve never doubted Carlos’ talent,” said manager Lou Piniella. “Judging from some of his success during his minor league stint, maybe pitching with his mouth is our long-term solution.”
Zambrano allowed only one run in six-and-a-half innings during a recent minor league victory, striking out eight. Zambrano dubbed the new technique his “Hell Pitch,” throwing the ball through a mixed effort of tongue action and a stream of curses and insults.
While players and management personnel league-wide have reportedly complained, off-record, about Zambrano’s mouth-pitching, nothing expressly forbids the technique in official MLB rules. It’s altogether possible that the “Hell Pitch” could revolutionize the game, as the Seattle Mariners have experimented with a straitjacketed Milton Bradley for batting practice and the Yankees have interviewed KISS bassist Gene Simmons for a possible bullpen role.
From the July 2010 issue by John Biederman. Click here to subscribe today!