That's right. There are situations like, say, three and two on the hitter and the sign is for the fast ball and you shake. If I was the hitter, well, I'd almost have to think he's shaking away from the fast ball to the curve ball.
Because the fast ball's the natural pitch to throw on three and two?
Right. So I don't want to shake. Of course, there are other times when you shake for nothing, and times when you shake around the sign. You get the sign you want and then keep shaking till he comes back to it. You're trying to fool the hitter, so you've got to be a little bit of an actor. Maybe you're not going to specifically fool the hitter into thinking you're shaking off one certain pitch for another certain pitch. But if you can make him doubt.... Especially when he's got you in the hole, he might be looking for one particular pitch. If you can shake enough maybe you can make him say to himself, "Well, he's gonna throw the fast ball. But—maybe he's not! Maybe he wouldn't do it." You know, this little doubt.... If you can give the hitter this little doubt, it's helpful to you. So you turn to acting.
You haven't got enough going for you without having to be an actor, too?
Everybody does it. You watch catchers. They'll shake their heads no before they give you the sign. He's telling you to shake for awhile. Or he'll put down no sign and tell you to shake before he even starts giving you a sign.
It's like a game of chess.
Sure, the whole thing is you're trying to get the hitter out with a baseball, but if you can fool him before you even throw the ball you've got a better chance. Every pitcher does it.
Sandy, how do you feel when you're knocked out of the box. Are you humiliated?
It's not so much humiliation as the thought that you hadn't tried the right thing. You're in the clubhouse now and you're listening to the ball game and you can remember what you did. You think to yourself, maybe if I'd tried this, maybe if I'd gone to my curve ball more, or maybe if I'd pitched around somebody, walked somebody more or less on purpose.
Do you "pitch around" many hitters?