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View Full Version : Old-time baseball fan getting lost in todayís modern way of thinking



savafan
06-26-2006, 02:07 PM
Disclaimer: The following article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Savafan.

http://www.irontontribune.com/articles/2006/06/26/sports/sports996.3.txt

By Jim Walker

Monday, June 26, 2006 10:20 AM CDT

There was a call on the answering machine last week from Attorney Harold Spears.

The longtime Ironton lawyer was pleased with the Cincinnati Reds improvement this season, but being a baseball fan longer than a lawyer has allowed Spears to understand the game on a better-than-average level.

Mr. Spears had a couple of questions. 1. Why donít players choke up on the bat when they have two strikes? 2. Why donít Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn ever lay down a bunt against the defensive shifts of opposing teams that put three infielders to the right side and leave the third baseman standing around the shortstopís spot.

Those are two very good questions. Until I can get someone to give me a good answer on my next trip to Great American Ball Park, hereís what seems to be the thinking behind this change in proper baseball procedure.

For one thing, players are selfish. If I choke up, it makes it look like I canít handle this pitcher. They find it degrading to their talents. Theyíre a major league player, so they should be able to hit the way they want.

What they fail to understand is the guy on the mound is a major league player, too. If I was hitting against Roger Clemens, Iíd be choking up.

In baseball, the key is putting the ball into play. You might not get a base hit, but what about an error or getting out on a force play as another runner advances or even scores? You canít do any of that if you strike out.

The second thing about todayís players is they are selfish.

I know thatís the same reason, but theyíre selfish for a different reason.

Players like Griffey and Dunn are paid to hit home runs. Forget that pitchers like to throw them down and away and make them try to pull that pitch. It doesnít matter how good you are as a hitter, the toughest thing in the world for a hitter is to pull and outside pitch, especially one that is down in the strike zone.

Power hitters get their money from hitting home runs. Fans come to the ball park to see how far Dunn can hit the ball. They donít want to see him bunt, even if it would help start a rally or keep one going.

What they donít understand is that if they would bunt the ball a few times, teams might readjust their defense. Sure, theyíd be happy to give up a single instead of a home run, but no one likes to let the leadoff batter get on base. More times than not, the leadoff guy who gets on base comes around to score.

Baseball has become a game about numbers. The better the key numbers, the more money a player makes.

And baseball, along with other pro sports, are becoming more of another entertainment venue in the realm of movies or a television show. There are more casual fans than in the past and baseball wants to cater to their interest which is the home run.

Baseball purests such as Harold Spears are in a minority in todayís society. I know, Iím a purest fan, too.

But in todayís pro sports world there is just too much money to be made. And, letís face it, money never chokes up.

westofyou
06-26-2006, 02:25 PM
The second thing about todayís players is they are selfish.


Today's players are spoiled. They get big bonuses to sign, they draw big salaries, they have fancy pensions to look forward to, they wear big gloves on their hands to make sure they can catch the ball and they play on manicured fields.

Frankie Frisch 1964

That last part plays in to this complaint.


In baseball, the key is putting the ball into play. You might not get a base hit, but what about an error or getting out on a force play as another runner advances or even scores? You canít do any of that if you strike out.

It's harder and harder to depend on the above, for many the payoff of acquiring bases in bunches has a greater payday then trying to beat the house (increased talent on the field, better factors to perfect the fielding method)

It doesn't mean that they shouldn't know how to do it, but any "Old-time baseball fan" must have watched the Reds play in teh 70's, they bunted less and struck out more then just abpout every other team in the NL.

How soon we forget.

dabvu2498
06-26-2006, 02:27 PM
Sava: What in the heck are you doing on the Ironton Tribune website???

dsmith421
06-26-2006, 02:59 PM
Shorter version:

"Dag nab you kids! Get off my lawn!"

oneupper
06-26-2006, 03:10 PM
Shorter version:

"Dag nab you kids! Get off my lawn!"


:thumbup:

smith288
06-26-2006, 03:10 PM
"in may day we didnt use batting gloves or baseball mitts and we used oak tree trunks as bats and limestone rocks as baseball!"

RedsBaron
06-26-2006, 03:12 PM
I vaguely know attorney Harold Spears, who seems to be a good guy, but the key to baseball is not "putting the ball in play." That assertion sounds like something that might have been said prior to 1920. The keys to an effective offense are not making outs, getting on base, and hitting with power.
If just "putting the ball in play" was the key to baseball, Bill Buckner should be in the Hall of Fame. As a random example, take 1986, the season that ended so badly for Buckner, who was a good player, though not a Hall of Famer. Buckner only struck out 25 times all season, with 168 hits in 629 at bats. He put the ball in play, making over 460 outs (he walked a mere 40 times and had a .267 average and a .311 OBP). Buckner scored a mere 73 runs (with 102 RBI) despite having Fenway Park as his home park and playing for a good Red Sox team----but he put the ball in play over 600 times.

vaticanplum
06-26-2006, 03:22 PM
Barring all the stupid stuff he says about baseball, let's just take a look at this sentence from a journalistic point of view:

They’re a major league player, so they should be able to hit the way they want.

This man gets paid?

edabbs44
06-26-2006, 03:31 PM
I vaguely know attorney Harold Spears, who seems to be a good guy, but the key to baseball is not "putting the ball in play." That assertion sounds like something that might have been said prior to 1920. The keys to an effective offense are not making outs, getting on base, and hitting with power.
If just "putting the ball in play" was the key to baseball, Bill Buckner should be in the Hall of Fame. As a random example, take 1986, the season that ended so badly for Buckner, who was a good player, though not a Hall of Famer. Buckner only struck out 25 times all season, with 168 hits in 629 at bats. He put the ball in play, making over 460 outs (he walked a mere 40 times and had a .267 average and a .311 OBP). Buckner scored a mere 73 runs (with 102 RBI) despite having Fenway Park as his home park and playing for a good Red Sox team----but he put the ball in play over 600 times.
Wouldn't that be just bad luck, since his BABIP was so low?:devil:

dabvu2498
06-26-2006, 03:32 PM
Barring all the stupid stuff he says about baseball, let's just take a look at this sentence from a journalistic point of view:

Theyíre a major league player, so they should be able to hit the way they want.

This man gets paid?
It's the Ironton, Ohio newspaper. Anyone who can do some readin and writins has a job there.

savafan
06-26-2006, 03:38 PM
Sava: What in the heck are you doing on the Ironton Tribune website???

I was searching the net for porn and got lost, same way I find most of the articles I post on here. ;)

Reds Nd2
06-26-2006, 03:45 PM
I was searching the net for porn and got lost, same way I find most of the articles I post on here. ;)

How do you think I found this website?

Handofdeath
06-26-2006, 04:20 PM
"The keys to an effective offense are not making outs, getting on base, and hitting with power."

I always thought that getting hits and scoring runs was what won ballgames.

Johnny Footstool
06-26-2006, 05:22 PM
"The keys to an effective offense are not making outs, getting on base, and hitting with power."

I always thought that getting hits and scoring runs was what won ballgames.

Well, now you know better. :beerme:

pedro
06-26-2006, 05:28 PM
"The keys to an effective offense are not making outs, getting on base, and hitting with power."

I always thought that getting hits and scoring runs was what won ballgames.


Actually it's scoring runs and not giving them up. How that happens seems to be the big bone of contention around here.

Benny-Distefano
06-26-2006, 06:57 PM
but the key to baseball is not "putting the ball in play."


Amen.

The key to CRICKET is putting the ball into play. The key to 2006 MLB is to hit the ball over the fence more times than the other team.

Baseball has become the homerun derby at the all-star game.

Try to play "scrappy, intelligent baseball", and you'll lose to the Yankees 15-3.

Redhook
06-26-2006, 07:19 PM
I do believe some of today's players are selfish, but I also think they're very intelligent. Let's take Adam Dunn for example. I don't think he has the highest of baseball IQ's, but he's a very smart man. He knows how to make lots and lots and lots of money: homeruns. He knows if he hits 40+ homeruns he's going to make 10's of millions of dollars. Yes, he has a high OPS, etc., but it's the number of home runs that pull in the big bucks.

I don't know what drives Dunn. Money. Fishing. Football. Baseball. Winning. All of the above. Who knows? All I know is he's making serious bank hitting bombs so I consider him a very fortunate, intelligent man. Selfish? Maybe, but definitely smart.

KronoRed
06-26-2006, 07:21 PM
Try to play "scrappy, intelligent baseball", and you'll lose to the Yankees 15-3.
But you lost playing the game the right way :evil:

Raisor
06-26-2006, 07:28 PM
"The keys to an effective offense are not making outs, getting on base, and hitting with power."

I always thought that getting hits and scoring runs was what won ballgames.


How do you score runs? By getting on base and hitting with power.

How do you not score runs? By making outs.

Simple as pie.

MMMMMMM pie.