I was watching the United States Olympic baseball team's game against South Korea today, when I saw something that I had never seen on an American baseball field before.
As you know, this fetish that has gained hold in games of pitchers talking through their gloves to catchers and other fielders during breaks. (Do they honestly believe there are lip readers in the opposing dugouts?) I've always asked why haven't pitching coaches and managers done the same things with their hands when they come out to talk with their pitchers. In the ninth inning I finally saw it happen.
The South Korean pitching coach came out to speak with his pitcher as the United States was rallying in the ninth. He was actually covering his mouth with his hand as he was talking to him. That got me to thinking: he was obviously speaking Korean to his pitcher. Does he really think that someone in the American dugout could understand what he was saying to him and could read his lips? The lineup of the USA doesn't contain any players of Korean descent, so why cover up your mouth?
The mound/lip-reading paranoia has spread all the way to Asia.
I've always hated seeing that trend start many years ago. (I believe a player admitted he once read the lips of a pitcher in a conference and knew what was coming when he faced him. Something like that.) Anyway, the United States rallied for three runs in the ninth to grab a 7-6 lead at Beijing, but the bullpen blew it in the bottom of the inning to give South Korea a 8-7 win in the USA's first Olympic baseball game today.