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Say hello to your newest New York Yankee, Jeff Francoeur!
I never understood the scorn or derision
. I never understood the scorn or derision; it was not as if he forced teams to play him at gun-point, or he got the job because his mom or dad was the boss.
A guy who went out and tried his hardest and was positive in his outlook and demeanor, stayed in shape and respectful to the fans and team sponsors. I never understood the scorn or derision;...
After three years, after playing hurt, playing every day, going in every day whether I got a hit and never complaining, I just played because Bobby [Cox] kept putting me in the lineup. But I just felt like a little three-minute thing -- 'Hey, you're going down' -- I feel like after three years, I was owed a little more of an explanation. But that's Frank's deal and that's what I guess they decided to do.
My question is, what if I had hit a home run or had two hits [Thursday night]? Does it delay it one day, until I was 0-for-4? I was left standing outside in the dark on that. You almost felt like they had made [their minds] up before the game. That's where I felt frustrated, where I felt a little betrayed.
Francoeur's infamous reaction to his demotion didn't come until after he'd been called back up, and it wasn't really a "hissyfit":
It's not that difficult. Btw, I don't think Francouer got all that much scorn here, and the derision was reserved at least as much for the idiot teams that kept signing and playing him as it was for Francouer's apparent ignorance.
Most of the scorn and derision has been pointed at the media's weird obsession with him, all the way back to the days when the Atlanta Journal Constitution would publish a Francoeur story about him every week. Of the remainder, almost all the derision has been pointed at the teams that keep picking him up.
Are there any great examples of poor hitters turning into great ones through discipline? Batters with high walk rates and great pitch selection are the stars of the game.
There is a tendency to view batters who don't walk or who strike out excessively as dumb; there is a similar thing with pitchers who have trouble throwing strikes - like they could do it if they only smartened up.
he killed a man in Jackson [just to watch him die}
I know there are people who think that high intelligence is a deteriment in baseball (or other sports) because it correlates to an inability to stop overthinking everything and just play.
I mostly agree with you, but it is true that people of higher intelligence are more teachable in pretty much every area. There's almost no task where intelligence doesn't help to some degree.
To the extent baseball skills can be taught, whether it's how you recognize pitch location out of a pitcher's hand, or how you change your swing to generate more power, smarter players will be more likely to absorb the learning.
Sure, presumably there are limits to how good a given individual's pitch recognition/plate discipline can be but I've never believed this wasn't teachable or at least learnable (not quite the same thing).
Strike zone judgment is like speed, it's innate and only very marginal changes can be made to whatever skill level you're born with.
which his not why you sign a guy to a contract like the Royals did.
He eventually walked, just by staying alive long enough to accumulate four balls.
I happen to think people react to Francouer because of the press - and they even think they're responding to the press - but it comes off aimed at him.
I think it's pretty obvious that pitch recognition and selectiveness is mostly a talent like speed or power. And like speed and power, it can be improved incrementally through practice and experience (hence the phrase "old player skills"), but it's extremely rare for players to improve significantly. I don't think intelligence has much to do with it.
When they learned not to swing at lousy pitches, they became monsters.
McGwire always had a pretty good batting eye. Sammy indeed learned to do a better job of laying off pitches out of the zone, as I noted above.
But the guys who were Godawful at drawing walks--walking in less than 4% of their PAs....these guys were almost all hopeless.
It's one thing to have the smarts/awareness telling you to lay off that damn slider on the outside corner, but actually doing it is another kettle of fish entirely.
i would agree that batting eye, even if not 100% innate,...
...is pretty ingrained by the time players are drafted.
...almost every player in history who was playing regularly past age 35 was drawing a lot more walks than he did at age 30...
And there are plenty of them. But the guys who were Godawful at drawing walks--walking in less than 4% of their PAs....these guys were almost all hopeless.
beyond a coach hollering across the diamond, "wait for your pitch! Wait for your pitch!"
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