The game begins with the pitcher standing in his private spotlight on the mound. Veteran or rookie, skilled or unskilled, he is the dominant character in the drama. His supporting cast cannot move until he has acted. Perhaps the ball displeases him. He is given a new one, and everyone must wait while he massages it. Perhaps he would like to rearrange the dirt on the mound, juggle the rosin bag, gaze at the center-field fence or tug at his cap, his shirt, his pants.
At last he bends forward and gets the sign. Now he starts his motion, arms back, arms forward, arms back again. His body turns, his forward leg kicks high, but his eyes never leave the target. Around comes his throwing arm, and as he releases the ball the game begins.