This past week, New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley was given the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Yankees game. His performance was lacking, leading to takeaways both positive and negative.
(Photo Credit: ftw.usatoday.com)
With New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez set up to receive, Saquon Barkley strolled to the mound to deliver his first pitch. He stopped a number of feet short of the rubber. From there, he took barely any step and tossed a one-hopper to home plate. What does this obligation and activity have to do with Saquon Barkley’s pending Giants career? I’m glad you asked!
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There were both pros and cons to take away from the young man’s performance. Let’s run through them to see if this experience bodes well for his football career or not.
- Being asked to throw out the first pitch at a Yankees game is a positive. Not all rookies, even highly drafted ones, are big enough to warrant the invitation.
…Check that. Even Ereck Flowers threw out a first pitch in 2015. I guess that makes sense. There are literally hundreds of baseball games for each franchise. And each one has someone throw out the first pitch. So being asked is no longer a pro, but it isn’t a con. It’s neutral and was probably expected.
- Barkley didn’t kid himself with trying to throw from the rubber. That type of confidence would border too far into cockiness territory. Someone like Baker Mayfield, that cocky bastard, would surely throw full from the mound on a first pitch attempt.
…Check that. Mayfield threw out a first pitch at an Indians game and didn’t even reach the dirt of the mound. So throwing from below the rubber isn’t a pro then. But it’s not a con either. Let’s mark this as neutral as well.
Totally Real Pros
- Barkley wore shorts during his first pitch, and it was a brilliant idea. His calves pop out like they were benign tumors. His quads are so big they can barely be categorized as human muscles. The Giants should have been forced to draft his quads separately back in April.
- Barkley displayed poor pitching form, which indicates one of two things. Either he didn’t prepare for this moment, or he didn’t care enough to prepare. If he didn’t prepare, that speaks against his decision-making. If he didn’t want to prepare, it brings up questions about his character and commitment.
…Check that. Barkley is not a baseball player. Maybe it speaks to his confidence and athleticism that he felt comfortable going out there blind. The worst I can mark this as is neutral.
- After bouncing his throw, Barkley seemed all too cavalier about his very public failure. If he is so quick to write off something like this, maybe he won’t take a big fumble or dropped pass seriously either. What will New York fans think if Barkley just shrugs after missing a blitz pickup?
…Check that. This probably serves as no correlation between his upcoming performance on Sundays in the NFL.
Totally Real Cons
- Organized team activities have already begun this offseason. What is Barkley doing wasting his time throwing out first pitches? This guy is the present and future of the Big Blue franchise. He needs to be 100 percent focused on football heading into his very first season in the league. This is just careless.
…Check that. This was a weekday evening during a random week in May. Not even NFL fans are that stupid.
In summary, Barkley threw out a first pitch at a Yankees game. On the plus side, he showed off his massive leg guns. That is all.
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Todd Salem is a Contributing Editor at BuzzChomp. He’s also the New York Giants Lead Writer at Pro Football Spot, a Staff Writer for NFL Spinzone, and a Featured Columnist at College Sports Madness, among others. Follow him on Twitter.
Saquon Barkley video courtesy of mlb.com
Additional Photo courtesy of Giants.com