Becoming one with the bullpen requires an act of trust and respect.
You can’t just walk into the pit and expect to find a home—that sense of family is earned, and the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen has a specific test for incoming initiates.
Andrew Zuber of TheScore.com reports that Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller made the transition into the bullpen Sunday by way of trust fall.
Miller, placing the utmost faith in his colleagues, earned membership into the bullpen tribe by falling into his teammates’ arms from the concrete barrier along the right field bleachers at Busch Stadium. It was a childhood summer camp moment at the ballpark, except the Cardinals had the human decency to catch Miller.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports the Cardinals moved Miller to the bullpen to give him some rest after the All-Star break. Manager Mike Matheny explained that he’s not sure how long the team plans to keep Miller out of the starting rotation.
“How long that lasts, I’m not going to say it [it will be through the end of] the month,” Matheny told Langosch. “We’ll see how guys look and feel. He’s ready to go [in the bullpen]. As far as how we use him, it’s how we need him.”
Miller will be needed down the line, so all parties involved in this initiation ceremony had a vested interest in keeping his spinal column intact on this fall.
Now, if only the youth could learn from this lesson. Catching the trust-faller is the cool thing to do, kids.
Follow me on Twitter for more sports and pop culture news.