Wheel Pitching Machines & WHY They Resemble Ladies-Of-The-Night
Pitching machines have been one of the best flesh & blood arm saving devices since the early 1950's. Which brings me to another point...
I was out golfing the other day for a friend's last week of bachelorhood, and was mortified as I watched this old man on a course behind us lose his golf bag as it went jetting away from him...the joke was on me when I found out he was holding a remote control in his hand!
Holy smokes! As if we didn't make golf lazy enough with golf carts and caddies, there's remote controlled golf bags now :P
Pitching machines haven't lazied up the game, but instead put us in a position where we could, and sometimes do, go on hitting benders hours into the day/night finishing with hands bleeding and muscles so sore we can't get out of bed the next day. I'm all about working out until exhaustion, I'm a fitness specialist for crying out loud...it's how our muscles grow...
However we have to work smarter AND with the right tools...
Before we get started I wanted to throw out a Disclaimer (with a real arm), please make sure to "ear muff" the kids because I'm very passionate about this subject and get pretty
explicit, but I promise to keep it colorful ;)
For the most part, there are two types of pitching machines available:
And it seems like every company AND their mother comes out with new handy-dandy wheel pitching machines with all these cool features, and let me shoot ya straight...
They're EXTREMELY unhealthy for a hitter's swing and timing.
I could never understand the benefit to a hitter as to WHY we needed to use a wheel pitching machine at a Division I baseball university. Aren't we suppose to use what the Pros do? I think it's pretty safe to assume you wouldn't find too many wheel pitching machines around in the Pros, and if they are around BIG League Hitting Barns, then why??
Before we start in on the hogwash of: they're more sensibly priced, they allow one to throw curve-balls, they scratch your balls for you, etc.
Sure, the wheel machines can throw curve-balls, would be one argument. But the problem lies in the timing, which depends on a "feeder," a human entity, behind the machine to deliver the ball at the same time, every time. Some machines may be rack fed, where a human doesn't have to perch themselves behind and deliver the money shot, but the fact remains...you see the ball shoot out of a hole...last time I checked, a game day baseball doesn't shoot out of a hole, unless the pitcher was real talented and shot it out of a corn-hole, sorry I apologize :P
And we wonder why it's so difficult to take our BP swing to the batter's box. What a joke wheel pitching machines are.
Point #2: I also understand the business and efficiency of a wheel machine, they're highly mobile, and are definitely lighter on the pocket book than most arm machines, but we have to think of it like an investment in building extra-ordinary hitters, NOT just decent ones.
On SwingSmarter.com, we always stress the use of arm pitching machines (if we don't have access to a real arm), because like a flesh and blood pitcher, you can time the arm
coming around and pick up the arm-slot...the bottom line is, it's what we're going to "see" come game time.
Back to the curve-ball argument,
Point #3: If we're so caught up on the curve-ball thing, and YOU don't want to throw them all day long, then I have an idea...have your pitchers work on their curve-balls in batting practice...you kill two birds with one stone! And if your kids are too young to be throwing curve-balls, then learn how to throw one yourself, which isn't hard on the net these days, or have someone volunteer who does. This isn't rocket science here.
The bottom line?
The better we can simulate a game-time dual between pitcher and hitter, the better we're going to be at taking our success in the batting cage to the batter's box when facing live competition.
Now, we don't have to pay upwards of about $4,000 for an arm pitching machine, my favorite company who makes the IronMike has a few models ranging in price and ability from $1,000 to
$3,500...we used the IronMike Cadillac model MP4 in college, and I see them all over the place at our local more distinguished high school baseball programs. Like I mentioned earlier, we also used a Jugs wheel model, which I wished I could do like the what the two famous Flintstone characters did to Dr. Sinister's minions...
The good news is...
The model we picked for an inexpensive ideal starter pitching machine is the MP5 model, because:
It's mobile with a wheeling system (although you may need a couple strong "dudes" to move it)
Holds 36 baseballs,
Has an 80 foot remote control to start and stop the machine,
Ease to set up, use, and maintain,
There's not much to replace and what parts you might need are readily available and
Can be utilized indoors or outdoors,
The manufacturer has over 50 years of experience in pitching machines,
Built in the good ol' USA, family owned, and built to last, AND
Unparalleled customer service.
If you're interested in the more sophisticated heavy duty Cadillac of all pitching machines, then we've also included an option to purchase the IronMike MP4, which has most of the features listed above, but with a couple higher value differences:
Has extra reinforcements on the frame of the machine to protect against batted balls,
Holds up to 600 baseballs in it's metal basket framed hopper,
Includes the Positive Feed Unit, which ensures the proper flow of seamed balls, and
Pitching speeds can be adjusted between 25 and 80 mph.
You won't be disappointed with either of these arm machines, spend the extra money, and invest in your kids' baseball hitting future...do the Swing Smarter community a favor and don't settle for a clunky lady-of-the-night wheel pitching machine. They're a waste of time, money, and in the end, they'll take your money, leaving you feeling dirty, drained of dignity, and most importantly they'll steal your self-esteem.
Let your young hitters' hands bleed from an all night batting bender with an IronMike MP5/MP4, those blood blisters will be more than worth it when your son/daughter has a scholarship
to a university or a professional contract.
We didn't include this in The Starting Lineup but absolutely love arm-action pitching machines like the IronMike brand, models MP-4 & 5. Be prepared to pay the same amount as your HD 3-D Wi-Fi Plasma screen television ($2,500-3,500 plus freight shipping).
If you want more information about this, then we can set it up for you, so please Contact Us HERE
P.S. Wondering which baseball hitting aids are worth their weight in gold? Frustrated scowering the internet for over-hyped highly endorsed swing gadgets NOT doing a darn thing for your swing?
Swing Smarter and FOWL Ball's The Starting Lineup store is just what the baseball world is looking for...it's where we can find the "9 best baseball hitting aids on the planet."
It takes a lot for a hitting gadget to crack The Starting Lineup, because there are only 9 spots available.
Unfortunately, they aren't cheap AND some require a hefty investment...however, everyone knows we get what we pay for. If we purchase cheap baseball hitting aids, then we'll get cheap results; and if we're a seeker of non-quality non-functional products, then we'd highly recommend NOT visiting The Best Starting 9 today. Junk in, means junk out.