After firing his final warm-up pitch, Juan Padilla catches the return throw with a cocky snap of his glove. It’s a warm, humid night in Norfolk, so Padilla pinches his white jersey between his thumb and index finger and pulls it off his chest to fan himself. The 28-year old native of Levittown, Puerto Rico is fun to watch.
Between every pitch Padilla circles the mound like a shark, ceremoniously mocking his prey. He removes his orange-framed Oakley glasses, wipes the perspiration from his face, takes a deep breath, exhales and digs his reflective, high-top spikes into the pitching rubber and glares in at the opponent.