Thursday, March 4, 2004
Living It Up: Pitching With Dontrelle Willis
Tonight, Jackie Johnson is riding solo again. In honor of spring training, she's headed out to the ballpark to take a swing at pitching. Her instructor - Dontrelle Willis of the world champion Marlins.
(WSVN) -- Jackie: "I am Living It Up today with last year's rookie of the year, Marlin's Dontrelle Willis, if you want to pitch like a World Series champ, well check this out."
Jackie: "So what is it like to win the World Series?"
Dontrelle: "Breathtaking to say the least. It was a very exciting time."
Jackie: "So you are going to teach me to pitch today, or try to."
Dontrelle: "It's hard, I might be a horrible teacher but just bear with me."
Jackie: "But you have your own pitching style. You kick your leg up real high. How come?"
Dontrelle: "It feels comfortable."
Dontrelle: "So the first thing about pitching is when you get on the mound, you have to be relaxed. You have to be like, this is my domain."
Jackie: "I own this mound."
Dontrelle: "So you go like this. So I'm like this, and you kick your leg up."
Jackie: "What's that thing that you guys do...?"
Jackie tries to do a big wind up to demonstrate what she is asking about.
Dontrelle: "When you put your leg right there, you have to have your hand up. Then bring your leg up. Yeah, perfect, and then throw."
Dontrelle: "Oh that's perfect, that's it that's it, we need a uniform."
Jackie: "I need a Johnson jersey ASAP."
Jackie: "Do you come up with different pitches all the time, or how does that work?"
Dontrelle: "It'd be tough, but, like, you could learn how to throw a changeup."
Dontrelle: "Can you hold the ball like, see how I'm doing it?"
Jackie: "Like that?"
Dontrelle: "Yeah, throw the ball like that."
Dontrelle: "That, with your other fingers takes velocity off the ball, with the same arm speed.That's why they call it a change up, because you have the same arm speed but it changes up the speed."
Jackie throws couple times.
Jackie: "Can you teach me one more?"
Dontrelle: "Yeah, yeah, I throw a slider, and I hold the ball like this, and the ball comes off your finger like this, and it has this rotation."
Dontrelle: "That's it right there."
Dontrelle: "Basically, those 3 pitches are pitches that I throw."
Jackie: "What do you think the hardest pitch is?"
Dontrelle: "To throw a strike (laughs)."
Dontrelle: "To throw a strike, to be able to throw a strike at that velocity on a consistent basis for how many innings, that's the hardest thing."
Jackie: "OK, Dontrelle, you gave me the lessons. Let's see who has more speed."
Both throw pitches.
Jackie: "Oh, I think I win."
Jackie: "Well, thanks a lot, Dontrelle. It's been great Living It Up with you."
Next Thursday, Jackie's learning some new moves. She's getting together with the same dance instructor who taught N'Ssync AndBritney Spears.
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