For every kind of relief pitcher there is in the major leagues, there is a method by which relievers make there way to the mound when their number is called: some lackadaisically trot out to the mound from the bullpen, others storm out of the gate sprinting, like a bull being released into a ring for a bullfight, and anything and everything in between.
But now, there appears to be an item that may put an end to relief pitchers having to expend any energy whatsoever when they make there way to the mound to toe the rubber: the Solowheel. Yep. It’s a real thing.
Demonstrated at New York’s Citi Field by Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Darren O’Day — who apparently has mastered the use of the one-wheeled personal transport — for a video report from The Wall Street Journal, the Solowheel is sure to be a revolutionary tool, likely to be implemented by bullpens through Major League Baseball. Okay, probably not, but it’s still pretty cool.
Video follows, as well as a video documenting the genius prank pulled on O’Day by Orioles skipper Buck Showalter and the reporter.
First, the actual video demonstration of this newfangled contraption:
But perhaps the best part of the story is the prank pulled by Showalter that surely gave O’Day heart palpitations. While O’Day and the reporter were filming the video, a visibly irate Showalter storms out of the dugout and lays into his pitcher, as documented by Baltimore Sports Blitz:
Think that’s a really good idea?” Showalter says. “Can we do this someplace else? It’s embarrassing.”
”Isn’t this a contract year for you?” Showalter continues. “It wouldn’t be real good if you fell off it . . . what’s paying you more, this or pitching for us?
At this point, O’Day seems literally frozen in place, absolutely mortified. Like he’d like to find a hole to crawl into, except Showalter would probably crawl into the hole, too.
”I thought I knew you better,” says a steaming Showalter with a shake of his head. “You guys gotta get your priorities in order, riding a freakin’ bicycle!”
When the “reporter” attempts to mollify the situation, asking if it would be OK for O’Day to ride in the dugout, Showalter erupts with an Oscar-winning finish.
“”No!”" he bellows. . . .”What’s that thing called, Solowheel? You can can solo your way back to your city!”
And to O’Day, before storming back in the dugout: “We’ll find someone else to pitch.”
And the brilliant prank by Showalter: