Kauffman Stadium Newsbeat
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Or as southerners call it, “The War of Hitter Aggression.”
Since 1989, the Royals have finished last in the league in walks five times, most recently in 2012, and they also have finished second to last in the league another five times.
This year? They are in familiar territory, second to last, 109 walks behind league-leading Oakland.
There is no one-size-fits-all explanation, since the Royals’ “War on Walks” spans four decades and four general managers.
But as Royals general manager Dayton Moore points out, there is at least one common denominator—Kauffman Stadium.
“We have the largest ballpark in terms of square footage of any ballpark in baseball,” Moore says. “When pitchers come here, they have the mindset to use that park—put the ball in play, throw strikes, attack the zone. There isn’t the same fear factor of getting beat deep that you might have elsewhere.
“I think that plays a huge factor in that walk statistic.”
Former Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer agrees with Moore, noting a correlation between the Royals’ low home run totals with the low walk totals. In Seitzer’s four years as hitting coach, the Royals consistently finished near the bottom of the league in homers and walks.
“Pitchers mainly fear the long ball,” he says. “If your lineup isn’t hitting home runs, pitchers aren’t pitching around you. They’re going after you. There’s no need not to.”
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