TSJ, you're arguing a relatively unpopular argument, but you've come as close to articulating the merits of this particular argument as I've seen. A few points you make raised my eyebrows a little bit.
Originally Posted by TSJ55
Whatever you gotta do to get the run in. That's all I ask. Check your ego and don't be selfish.
First off, how can one be selfish or not selfish in regards to trying to get a run home from 3rd(or advance a runner?)
From your other points, it seems taking a pitch that you could actually drive to the outfield would qualify as "selfish" but what batter takes pitches that he believes he'll be able to drive the ball to the outfield with? While it's important to not misstate a player's intentions when he says he's trying to drive in runs, you shouldn't misstate a player's intentions when he takes a pitch.
From Votto to Izturis, if a player thinks he has a pitch he can drive, he's swinging. All day every day. I really think the hitters mindset going to the plate actually is not concerned with the strike zone. It's "can I drive this pitch or not." The more disciplined hitters just happen to "think" they can drive more pitches in the zone than out.
If it's a pitch he thinks he can drive, he'll likely swing, even if the pitch will be a ball. If it's a pitch he doesn't think he can drive, he'll likely take, even if it's a strike. (Admittedly the algebra probably changes a bit on a 3-0 count or with 2 strikes.)
The days of "pitching, a little defense, and the 3 run homer" are a lot fewer and far between than they once were[/B].
When did these days exist? Generally eras with a lot of homers involve almost no pitching, and eras with great pitching have much fewer home runs.