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RedsManRick
05-23-2006, 02:45 PM
This terms gets bandied about by players, manager, and on this board quite frequently. However, I'd love to see a discussion about what "the right way" is. Furthmore, discussion about the validity of having a "right way".

Some quick thoughts:

- When was the game ever played "the right way"?
- Is "the right way" a set of skills/actions, or a general philosophy?
- Can that list of skills be enumerated, or the philosophy described?
- What is wrong with the "wrong way"?
- Does "the right way" really lead to more wins?

I think this topic is raised by the ongoing and increasing debate between "old school" beliefs and assumptions vs. sabermetric/analysis driven strategies.

There is a second, quite related conversation here too which was raised in an email exchange posted by Yahoo. That is, is there inherent value in certain skills or abilities, aside from solely their contribution towards winning a game -- be it aesthic, sentimental, etc.? Is there some hidden value in an Ichiro or Wade Boggs who played the game the "right way" versus an Adam Dunn who arguably does not; even if Dunn has more Win Shares, should we deride him for not playing "the right way".

Thus, rather than a scout/stats argument, it becomes experience vs. analysis argument. In my opinion, "the right way" is an attempt to mystify the value of experience and protect it (if you will) from the rigor of analysis. There is a skepticism of analysis (some healthy, some born purely of ignorance) which says "we cannot quantify the game 100%" and further that "my experience tells me winning teams bunt guys over"

For psychological reasons (I've made this case before), people place value in their knowledge, and expertise, which is frequently born out of experience. If a person's knowledge/expertise is questioned, or worse yet devalued (particularly by some other paradigm they don't understand), it threatens their security -- their ego, their job, their ability to support their family, their ego, and most importantly, their ego. So, rather than question events on their merit and explain why or why not a certain action is good/bad, they use the phase "the right way" to pump up their own supposed value while questioning the wrong action. We don't get to know whether "the wrong way" is wrong because it leads to losses, because it hurts feelings, or because the person saying it is full of BS....

Thoughts?

smith288
05-23-2006, 03:10 PM
The best way to not go about "the right way" is Vlad Guerro... He may have mastered his swing but dont ever use him as a model to the "right way"

redsmetz
05-23-2006, 03:33 PM
I've just got a couple of minutes, but I find this thread intriguing. I think the beauty of baseball (and I'm probably going to get all zen on you now) is its simple complexity - ok, I pulled that out of my rear, but here is what I mean:

There are so many different things that factor into how to play the game "right" that it makes it the exciting game it is. Conventional wisdom may say bunt the guy over and play for the run, but then you've got Whitey Herzog having a batter slug bunt and wham, you've got two runners on. Or you have a line out and yikes! Or the manager puts the shift on, as we are discussing elsewhere today, and the batter bloops it into short leftfield (or like Ted Williams, had his only inside the park homerun!).

I love watching a game on TV when they have the camera view from the blimp. The movement, as if one entity, of the team when the ball is put in play. It's watching a shortstop on the balls of his feet anticipating the pitch and the hit and sometimes they know, and other times, the pitch isn't where it should be and boom, it all blows up in your face.

It's the strengths and weaknesses of your various players. The all glove, no stick guy, the stud hitter who is a bit clunky in the field. The pitcher who can drop a ball right in, it takes your breath way.

You know the drill.

redsfanmia
05-23-2006, 04:05 PM
Which stat is used to measure whether or not you play the game the right way?

RANDY IN INDY
05-23-2006, 04:22 PM
Which stat is used to measure whether or not you play the game the right way?

Wins and Losses

ochre
05-23-2006, 05:17 PM
and RS v. RA is one of the best available indicators of a cumulative W-L record. Along with that, OPS is one of the best indicators of the accumulation of runs scored. I think OPSa is generally equally reliable in determining, generally how many runs will be allowed.

So, by extrapolation from Randy's post there, OPS and OPSa are pretty darn good measures of 'playing the game the right way'.

:)

Johnny Footstool
05-23-2006, 05:18 PM
Most people consider "the right way" to be the way they were taught in little league. Don't strike out, don't make errors, swing the bat, and put the ball in play. Personally, I think that works great for little leaguers, but as players mature and develop, their skill sets need to develop as well.

The only "right way" to play the game is to score more runs than your opponent.

The means by which you do that should fit your player's skill sets.

Home runs, walks, and working the count are a big part of playing "the right way." Always have been.

guttle11
05-23-2006, 05:20 PM
There is no "right way to play the game", because no stat can back it up. It's been proven.

BRM
05-23-2006, 05:51 PM
Can a team win lots of games while playing the game the wrong way?

ochre
05-23-2006, 05:54 PM
Can a team win lots of games while playing the game the wrong way?
If they are supremely talented I would think so.

KronoRed
05-23-2006, 05:54 PM
Can a team win lots of games while playing the game the wrong way?
Yes.

But..because they won they were playing the right way..but it was the wrong way..but..but... http://lastperson.suncircle.org/Smileys/default/explode.gif

BRM
05-23-2006, 05:55 PM
What exactly is the wrong way? Is it anything Adam Dunn does well?

guttle11
05-23-2006, 05:57 PM
The "wrong" way to play the game is to score less runs than the other team.

BRM
05-23-2006, 05:58 PM
Isn't scoring runs captured in a stat somewhere?

guttle11
05-23-2006, 05:59 PM
Isn't scoring runs captured in a stat somewhere?

Only for individuals. Team runs don't matter.

westofyou
05-23-2006, 06:01 PM
Some thought Hal Chase was playing the game the "Right Way"

Playing the right way is not making mental mistakes, backing up players, hitting cutoff men, knowing the count, the field, the batter, the ump and where the wind is coming in from. It's not taking an extra base whne an out can kill you, it's not turning your back on the manager when he comes to take you out of the game. It's taking the second baseman out to break up the throw and it's Pudge backing up first the other night when Phillips fell on his bum.

It's this that and paddywack and harder to pin down than Rowdy Roddy in the mid 80's.

guttle11
05-23-2006, 06:05 PM
Some thought Hal Chase was playing the game the "Right Way"

Playing the right way is not making mental mistakes, backing up players, hitting cutoff men, knowing the count, the field, the batter, the ump and where the wind is coming in from. It's not taking an extra base whne an out can kill you, it's not turning your back on the manager when he comes to take you out of the game. It's taking the second baseman out to break up the throw and it's Pudge backing up first the other night when Phillips fell on his bum.

It's this that and paddywack and harder to pin down than Rowdy Roddy in the mid 80's.

Hulk Hogan played the game the right way. He piledrove Andre the Giant from the rafters in front of 123,987, 234 Hulkamaniacs at WM3, brother.

westofyou
05-23-2006, 06:07 PM
Hulk Hogan played the game the right way. He piledrove Andre the Giant from the rafters in front of 123,987, 234 Hulkamaniacs at WM3, brother.
I seen it on the large screen at the Oakland Colisieum... it was epic.

Yachtzee
05-23-2006, 08:37 PM
Yachtzee: "Everyone knows that you can learn to play the game 'the right way' by ordering 'Tom Emanski's Baseball Skills' video series for only 6 payments of $19.99. Right Fred McGriff?"

Fred McGriff: "That's right, Yachtzee. I personally recommend Tom Emanski's 'Defensive Drills' video to teach you how to play the game 'the right way'."

Raisor
05-23-2006, 08:40 PM
Team runs don't matter.



:eek:

Matt700wlw
05-23-2006, 08:44 PM
Griffey's double dose of 3 run HRs in the past 2 nights is playing the game the right way.

guttle11
05-23-2006, 08:54 PM
:eek:

Relax, it was a joke.

KronoRed
05-23-2006, 09:23 PM
Griffey's double dose of 3 run HRs in the past 2 nights is playing the game the right way.
Nope, HR's kill rallys :D

BoydsOfSummer
05-23-2006, 09:50 PM
Joe Morgan's book 'Baseball for Dummies' explains this in full detail. :D

westofyou
05-23-2006, 09:52 PM
Joe Morgan's book 'Baseball for Dummies' explains this in full detail. :D
I have Joes book, "What Baseball must do to keep the good times rolling." (I admit I've yet to read it) Just in case Joe ever comes over I keep it right next to my copy of Moneyball.

It will make a great conversation starter.

pedro
05-23-2006, 10:31 PM
I believe it involves wearing pants and the possible use of something called a "glove".

Johnny Footstool
05-24-2006, 12:21 AM
I believe it involves wearing pants and the possible use of something called a "glove".

Pants? No. Knickers? Yes.

Gloves are for nancy boys.

RedsManRick
05-24-2006, 12:36 AM
And any attempts at a legitimate conversation are apparently dashed.... to think that's what the live board was for...

ochre
05-24-2006, 12:45 AM
And any attempts at a legitimate conversation are apparently dashed.... to think that's what the live board was for...
It's just a question that borders on something religious. It's tough for people to talk about it without getting emotional.

I'd say, playing it the right way was (how not to anyway) shown tonight by the Brewers thirdbaseman when he rounded third too hard on the dribbler EE fielded and faked the throw. Of course it was also shown (again how not to) by EE himself when he broke toward third on a soft liner to the SS. He might have still not made it back to 2b due to how the SS was playing, but it would have been close. He broke toward third, though, so it wasn't even close.

Two similar examples. One from the losing team, one from the winning team. Three run homers can make up for playing it the wrong way I suppose :).

pedro
05-24-2006, 01:09 AM
To get back to your original question there are some players who do not have the talent to coast and must be fundamentally sound to make it and some who are talented enough for it to not to matter. Either way, I think there is a lot of value in the concept of fundamentally sound baseball, if for no other reason that it is more enjoyable to watch IMO. Further, I think it's ok to chastise players in some situations if they make mental errors continually. Regardless, it must be recognized that in most cases an exceptionally talented player can outpace the production of his fundamentally sound bretheren, even allowing for the negative value of occasional non fundamental play.

Ron Madden
05-24-2006, 04:18 AM
While on offense (hitting) score as many runs as possible before makeing 27 outs.

While on defense record 27 outs while allowing as few runs as possible.

Outs are very valuable.

Never just give'em away on offense or defense. ;)

redsfanmia
05-24-2006, 11:28 AM
Most who have played the game understand the term playing the right way. Wow I just sounded like the Tracer.

RedsManRick
05-24-2006, 11:32 AM
Most who have played the game understand the term playing the right way. Wow I just sounded like the Tracer.

So perhaps you could explain it to those of us who apparently never played? If it's as simple as always giving 100% effort both physically and mentally, then the phrase is so trivial as to be meaningless. If it's more than that, then I beg for some clarification.

TeamBoone
05-24-2006, 11:56 AM
I don't know if this article really fits this thread, but I didn't know where to put it. It's not great, but prompts a posting I guess... I have mixed feelings about the reporter's thoughts.

I hate that the Dayton Daily News never includes a date in any of its articles.


THE AUDIBLE | COMMENTARY

Too many of the Reds still don't understand the game
By Bucky Albers / Staff Writer

Baseball may have lost its status as our national pastime, but it hasn't lost me. While some think the game is boring and moves too slowly, I find the strategies and nuances of baseball very interesting. I watch the Cincinnati Reds on television at every opportunity.

In spite of that, I chose not to watch the late innings of Sunday's game in Detroit. I had some yard work to do, and I had a feeling that the Reds would find a way to lose the game of goose eggs with the Tigers. And, of course, they did.

The losses of the last two weeks have delivered a strong message that the Reds still are a poorly constructed team. They do not have enough hitters who can consistently put the ball in play, they are poor in the field, and it doesn't appear that many of them really understand the game.

Speaking on the pregame radio show Sunday, manager Jerry Narron lamented the poor execution that allowed Saturday's game to slip away and said the team was going to concentrate on making the routine plays and win Sunday. Instead, pitcher Aaron Harang lost for second straight time because of his own fielding blunder.

It's time to get rid of some of these guys who have poor baseball IQs or cannot concentrate well enough to execute. This team will never be really competitive until it has enough players who can bunt, hit to the opposite field, throw and catch the ball.
http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/reds/daily/0523audible.html

westofyou
05-24-2006, 11:58 AM
It's time to get rid of some of these guys who have poor baseball IQs or cannot concentrate well enough to execute. This team will never be really competitive until it has enough players who can bunt, hit to the opposite field, throw and catch the ball.Yes the key is getting more players who can bunt and go the other way.

Maybe they can exhume The Deacon to manage that crew?

IslandRed
05-24-2006, 12:34 PM
Believe me, I understand the frustration with bad defense or the inability to get a bunt down when we really need it. What I've never liked is the oversimplistic attitude of some that it must be because the players don't care or they're not smart. Because if they'd just try, gosh darn it, they'd do everything right every time.

Major league baseball is a highly competitive game played by imperfect people. Ascribing every mistake to some sort of character flaw might make a guy feel better but it's not very accurate, or useful.

gonelong
05-24-2006, 02:06 PM
Playing the game "the right way" is as simple as following the unwritten rules.

Run hard, don't show anyone up, don't bunt to break up a no-hitter, etc.

No more, no less.

GL

KronoRed
05-24-2006, 03:41 PM
You can lose "playing the right way" just as much as you can win "playing the wrong way"

So..their really is no "right way" just different ways.

Ron Madden
05-25-2006, 04:32 AM
[QUOTE=KronoRed]You can lose "playing the right way" just as much as you can win "playing the wrong way"

So..their really is no "right way" just different ways.[/QUOTE

The right way is to understand the value of outs. ;)

redsfan4445
05-27-2006, 10:00 AM
here are things i feel are the "right way" but todays players dont do this..
1) with two strikes. PROTECT the plate... which drives me crazy any MLB player doesnt know the strike zone and takes a 3rd strike...
2) run out EVERY ground ball.. i see most MLB players slow up to 1st base.. instead of running thru the base..when i was a kid, if any player did this he was taken out of the game for lack of hustle.
3) in the outfield.. i was always taught have your hands and glove hand on your knees and dont stand flat footed being ready for a flyball hit your way... heck Dunn NEVER has done this..its like not a kewl thing these days.. just stand there and then when its hit your way..then react
4) hitting to the right side to advance a runner from 2nd to third. and when players dont do this.. nothing is said to them..
5) With a shift on, hit the other way, bunt, to get them to not use the shift... Dunn hardly does this, i can fault Jr soemtimes. but he is starting too. Thome does it too. as does Bonds etc.. to do what it takes to get on base..
6) Pitching to a batter that you KNOW has a history against your team with the game on the line.... aka Albert Pujols, Polanco, D. Lee etc. and acting suprised when they beat you again and again.. argggg

westofyou
05-27-2006, 10:32 AM
here are things i feel are the "right way" but todays players dont do this..
1) with two strikes. PROTECT the plate... which drives me crazy any MLB player doesnt know the strike zone and takes a 3rd strike...
2) run out EVERY ground ball.. i see most MLB players slow up to 1st base.. instead of running thru the base..when i was a kid, if any player did this he was taken out of the game for lack of hustle.
3) in the outfield.. i was always taught have your hands and glove hand on your knees and dont stand flat footed being ready for a flyball hit your way... heck Dunn NEVER has done this..its like not a kewl thing these days.. just stand there and then when its hit your way..then react
4) hitting to the right side to advance a runner from 2nd to third. and when players dont do this.. nothing is said to them..
5) With a shift on, hit the other way, bunt, to get them to not use the shift... Dunn hardly does this, i can fault Jr soemtimes. but he is starting too. Thome does it too. as does Bonds etc.. to do what it takes to get on base..
6) Pitching to a batter that you KNOW has a history against your team with the game on the line.... aka Albert Pujols, Polanco, D. Lee etc. and acting suprised when they beat you again and again.. argggg

Every year for over a 100 years.....


Baseball today isn't what it should be.The players do not try and learn the fine points of the game like they used to, instead they are content to just get by.

In my day players went into the clubhouse after a loss with murder in their hearts. they would have thrown any guy out on his neck if they had even suspected him of having the intentions of singing.


Bill Joyce 1916



Roger Maris didn't run out grounders, he was the one who started it.

Robin Roberts


There are a "few" good players today-you can count em on the fingers of one hand. But generally they're just out there going through the motions, just playing for the money."

Joe Sewell - 1980

GAC
05-27-2006, 11:27 AM
I believe it involves wearing pants and the possible use of something called a "glove".

So they weren't playing it right pre-1900? They wore pants, but alot didn't use gloves.... or was it the other way around? - they didn't wear pants and used gloves? :dunno:

Yachtzee
05-27-2006, 01:51 PM
So they weren't playing it right pre-1900? They wore pants, but alot didn't use gloves.... or was it the other way around? - they didn't wear pants and used gloves? :dunno:

Either way, pants are a must. I think we can all agree that this would not be playing the game "the right way."

http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/al/chisox/Soxshorts.JPG

KronoRed
05-27-2006, 03:32 PM
Short shorts.

Classy

IslandRed
05-28-2006, 01:44 PM
3) in the outfield.. i was always taught have your hands and glove hand on your knees and dont stand flat footed being ready for a flyball hit your way... heck Dunn NEVER has done this..its like not a kewl thing these days.. just stand there and then when its hit your way..then react
4) hitting to the right side to advance a runner from 2nd to third. and when players dont do this.. nothing is said to them..


On #3, the whole "baseball ready" thing is great for kids, at least you can tell who's paying attention and who isn't. But that hunched-over, hands-on-knees position isn't optimal for getting a good break on the ball. Watch a tennis player returning serve sometime... they'll be bent over in that ready position, but when the server tosses the ball in the air and the racquet comes forward, the returner straightens up before contact.

I think if you watched the outfielders you think get the best jumps, they don't have hands on knees when the bat is swung.

On #4, gosh knows we've debated the whole "productive out" philosophy, but generally speaking, I think a team is better off if its good hitters focus on crushing the baseball in an era where a typical game is 6-5 rather than 2-1. If a guy has that skill set to be able to hit the ball in any direction without sacrificing the ability to hit it hard, great. Most guys don't and probably never did; in the old days, they just chose "hit to the right side" over "hit it hard."

OldRightHander
05-28-2006, 09:07 PM
This is an interesting topic. I guess it would be overly simplistic to say that the right way is whatever way produces wins. There is really one right way to play the game, and that is to score more runs than your opponent, but there are so many different ways to do that.

Grande was talking during the broadcast today how the Snakes generated more of their runs without homers than the Reds did and how that made them a better offensive team. Is it really that they have a better offense, or that the Reds have more power in the lineup and play in a homer happy park? Did the Reds play the wrong way today by scoring all five runs via the homer? The point is that they won the game.

There were some things I learned about baseball as a kid and most of it still holds true. If I was standing in the batters box, my entire goal was getting on base. I really enjoyed crossing home plate and I wasn't going to do that unless I managed to get on base. If the pitcher wasn't going to throw it over the plate, I wasn't going to swing. (Of course, what I did when I did swing the bat is one of the main reasons my playing days were somewhat short lived, but that's for a different discussion.) My whole strategy of hitting was pretty simple. Don't swing at bad pitches and when it's over the plate, hit it hard somewhere and get on base. If ther is someone on base, it is your job to do what needs to be done to drive that runner in. On defense it was equally simple. If it is hit to you, catch it, and be aware enough of the situation to know where to throw it after you catch it.

None of that has changed as long as the game has been around. Where we fall into disagreements about how to play the game is when we look at a lot of the micro events that take place during a game. If Dunn strikes out with no runners on base in a scoreless game, we take little note of it, but if he strikes out with a runner on third and one out, we somehow find that inexcusable. The end result is essentially the same. He got out and didn't produce anything at all by getting out. Why don't we criticize a player who hits a grounder at the third baseman in that situation? If the third baseman freezes the runner and throws out the hitter, isn't the end result that same as a strikeout? Player A strikes out with runners at the corners and Player B hits into a double play. Player A is berated for striking out while Player B is praised for putting the ball in play.

Yes, there are situations where a certain result is preferable. With that runner at third and one out, you would prefer the hitter to put the ball in play somewhere and at least give the runner a chance of scoring, but in reality, you would want the hitter to get a good pitch to hit and drive it somewhere. Hitting it into outfield, whether a base hit or a fairly well hit fly ball, gives the runner a better chance of scoring than a grounder right at a drawn in infield. What we have to consider is whether or not a player has the ability to change his skill set to suit a given situation. People will say that people like Boggs and Gwynn would choke up and make sure they made contact in those situations, but those guys were always contact hitters, not just during those situations. It wasn't like they were performing outside of their skill set. If a player strikes out at a certain rate, it stands to reason that he is going to strike out at the same rate in that situation as he is in any other. It's just that in the eyes of the fan, the micro situations are magnified because close games hinge on the outcomes of those events. Is Dunn terrible in the clutch because he strikes out a lot with runners in scoring position? He strikes out a lot period, not just when there are runners at third. Was Tony Gwynn a great clutch hitter because he made a lot of contact in those situations? The guy was always making contact, not just during those magnified situations that get noticed more. Can players really change their skills to suit certain situations, or are their results in those situations just more magnified? I think it's the latter.

In short, I think playing the game the right way, at least from the offensive side of the game, has more to do with how the manager constructs the lineup to make the best use of the skill sets of his players. If your team has a good balance of skill sets and you know where to put them in the order, that's playing the game the right way.

As a little side note here, Joe Morgan just said that if a team doesn't hit into double plays and doesn't strike out a lot, they're going to score a lot of runs. Hey Joe, what about the 2004 Red Sox? Nuff said.

Chip R
05-28-2006, 10:07 PM
I don't think there is a fan of the game that doesn't appreciate a team executing well. I'm not a big fan of the sacrifice bunt but I can appreciate the skill it takes to do it successfully. I don't like to see a team give up outs but I can admire a guy for hitting the ball to the right side of the infield to advance a runner to 3rd or to score him.

But I think a lot of baseball people and fans rely on these cliches like "knows how to win" or "plays the game the right way" to justify their questionable decisions and to play it safe. Dave Williams was Exhibit 1 in a guy who Knows How To Win since he won 12 or so games with the lowly Pirates last year. Plus they traded Casey for him so the Reds had to defend the signing by spouting these cliches even though his stuff belied the fact that he was awful. Managers and their media cronies will often say a veteran player plays the game the right way in order to not start a young player who has loads more talent but is inconsistant. They fear the unknown of a young, untested player and will go with the vet who may not perform as well but won't make the mistakes of youth. The vet is a security blanket, if you will, to a manager whose job may rest on the decision on those players. That is why a lot of us make fun of guys like Narron who will say someone plays the game the right way. He's not always wrong either but when you start applying that term to the lowliest scrub, it loses much of its meaning. And that isn't to say that there are players who fit that description that aren't great players but when people start handing out those kind of compliments like candy, you wonder who is really good and who isn't.

TeamBoone
05-28-2006, 10:20 PM
My whole strategy of hitting was pretty simple. Don't swing at bad pitches and when it's over the plate, hit it hard somewhere and get on base.

This is all well and good, and an approach I encourage, however, even this has mitgating factors... like umps calling balls strikes. When this happens a lot (and IMHO it has been happening at an alarming frequency throughout the first two months of this season, including today), a batter can not afford to let balls go by because they are being called strikes. They are basically being forced to swing at bad pitches because the ump is going to call them strikes anyway.

OldRightHander
05-29-2006, 09:03 AM
This is all well and good, and an approach I encourage, however, even this has mitgating factors... like umps calling balls strikes. When this happens a lot (and IMHO it has been happening at an alarming frequency throughout the first two months of this season, including today), a batter can not afford to let balls go by because they are being called strikes. They are basically being forced to swing at bad pitches because the ump is going to call them strikes anyway.

Vanover was absolutely terrible yesterday. That third strike to Dunn was in the same place as another pitch that he called a ball earlier in the at bat. At best, he might have been able to foul it off, but he most likely would have swung and missed on that one anyway. You have a very good point though. There are some players who have the ability to foul off the marginal pitches until they get a good one but I don't know if I would put Dunn in that category yet. Then there was the third strike to Aurilia with a runner at third. At the time, not knowing what would transpire in the next inning, I thought that call was going to cost the Reds the game, depending on what Aurilia would have done later in the at bat. He might have struck out anyway, but he also could have hit a sac fly or a base hit to tie the game. Maybe we should insist that the umpires call the game the right way as well.

RANDY IN INDY
05-29-2006, 10:27 AM
Inconsistency with umpires is nothing new. Every team plays under those conditions. You have to adjust, day to day, umpire to umpire. And yes, I know about "Questec" and I feel it makes the umpires worse and less consistent.

As far as execution goes, I really appreciate a major league team that can execute when a game is on the line. Call it small ball, call it what you want. It is just good baseball from where I'm sitting. As far as guys knowing how to play the game, it doesn't matter if you know how to play the game if the talent isn't there, or has passed you by. Youth is a wonderful thing as well, and it would be great if every player came to the big leagues and was full of composure and experience. Doesn't happen that often, and there is a process of getting comfortable and dealing with the pressures of major league baseball. Some can master it. Some never do. Sometimes a veteran player will win you some games with his experience and composure. Sometimes a youngster will win you some games with sheer talent. It's up to the talent evaluators to piece a team together with the best compliment of youth and experience, and then up to the manager to put his people in positions and situations in which they can best excel and help the team win.

Umpires, players, managers, GM's? There is a huge amount of pressure on all these guys to be at their very best, every day. If they aren't, there is someone at a lower level ready to take their place.

Ravenlord
05-29-2006, 12:08 PM
here's my philosphy on the subject.

Defense
only one way to play defense, and that is to know the situation (and what you should be doing), hit your cutoff man, be realistic about your throwing ability, never lollygag, and work a little extra on your defensive short comings. mental mistakes happen, it's part of the game because some people are simply just not as fast thinking as others, all i want though is for the fielder to be decisive.

Offense
depends on the individual. but in an overwhelming majority, don't swing at bad pitches, see as many pitches as possible, hit the ball where pitched. handling two strike counts depends on the individual, a Kearns, Dunn, Abreu, Giles type should still be swinging to kill and not swinging at that borderline pitch (unless there's two outs, though i realize none of them except Giles is probably that disciplined). but a guy with good contact ability like a Freel, Hatteberg, Castillo, or Reyes (man is he overhyped) type should swing at those borderline pitches with two strikes (depending on who hits behind them and the inning).

Pitching
not sucking. we can just look at your stats and determine that one without much other consideration.

redsfanmia
05-29-2006, 02:34 PM
After watching David Ross play yesterday I think he knows how to play the game the right way.