Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Sunday, August 05, 2012
Channeling WHO?? Never heard of him…
Just a quickie. Saw the Mets in SF the other day and I guess I’d never seen Wright in person before, because I was immediately struck that he seemed to be channeling Jeff Bagwell. I couldn’t look at his at bats without seeing Bagwell. Same stance, same mannerisms, same too-muscled body. Is this something everyone knew but me? Have you had that experience of just seeing one guy as another?
I’ve never had that reaction to Wright, no. . .never thought over him as being as muscular as Bagwell. I do often see one players as a copy of another, and scouts very often do this as a way of helping the person reading the report to visualize the player. The first time I saw Felix Doubront on the mound, when he was like 19, I thought “He looks like Mike Cuellar”, and that’s still what I think every time I see him pitch.
Bill, I agree completely regarding [“A-Rod” style] nicknames. Gary “the Kid” Carter, Andre “The Hawk” Dawson and “Rock” Raines are way, way better… this gets me to thinking… Which team had the best player nicknames? I don´t mean for the team, but individual players. I´m biased, but my vote goes to the 1978 Red Sox: “Roosta”, “Steamer/Big Foot”, “El Tiante”, “Spaceman”, “Soup”, “Pudge”, and “Boomer”, are all top notch. They are backed by the less inspiring, but nonetheless endearing “Yaz”, “Dewey”, and “Eck”. And of course, managed by “Popeye” (I´ll stick with that over “Gerbil”...) Oh yes… the team color man was “Hawk” Harrelson.
Red Sox reliever the other day said that he got “Peskied”, meaning that he gave up a short home run to right on a ball that wouldn’t have gone out anywhere else. First time I had heard “Pesky” used as a verb. ... .
Hi Bill, saw a comment from you on the site along the lines of “most pitchers can hit 91 mph” not long ago… Have modern radar guns changed? When exactly and how much? For comparison purposes, what adjustment should one make looking at radar gun data from say, the 1980’s? Did Fernando really strike out 240 in 261 innings in 1984 without ever hitting 90 mph?...
I would guess that Fernando threw 92-94 on a modern gun; he got his strikeouts on a screwball, which almost nobody throws anymore.
There actually have been two generations of changes in the radar guns. The earliest radar guns, in the 1970s, were challenged in the late 1970s by newer radar guns that picked up the ball quicker out of the pitcher’s hand, so that for a time (roughly 1977-1983) there were two different radar guns in use, giving different readings. Then they all consolidated around the “faster” gun, then the same thing happened again; a new gun was introduced about 8-9 years ago that read faster than the old guns, and there was another period in which both guns were in use, and then again we seem to have consolidated around the faster gun.
The baseball decelerates after it leaves the pitcher’s hand, so that it crosses home plate moving significantly slower than it is when it is first thrown. The newer guns pick up the ball quicker, earlier, thus get faster readings. I’d say that we gained 2-3 miles with each switch, so that the guns in use now are at least 5 miles faster than the first generation of radar guns. Fernando certainly threw 90 on a modern gun, at least early in his career.
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