But how many licks of his right hand and fingers does it take Pelfrey to get through six innings? Reporter Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal counted 89 licks at his most recent start Tuesday.
For many pitchers, it would have been a remarkable total. But it was just a routine night for Pelfrey, whose propensity for licking his hand is unrivaled in baseball.
This tongue-drooping, slobbering habit has been Pelfrey's most noticeable idiosyncrasy over the years. And it has made him an ongoing subject of ridicule from teammates, opponents, fans, bloggers and radio hosts alike.
It's not so much ridicule, in my case, but amazement. As the photo collage shows, Pelfrey's got something of a Michael Jordan thing going on with his tongue. And before anyone in the comments says "all pitchers probably do this" — like one of you hipsters did with the awesome R.A. Dickey(notes) face "Cry Havoc" collage — yes, they do lick their hands and fingers. Just not to this degree. Pelfrey has an extra-frisky gecko tongue that won't stay in his mouth.