JAY BRUCE ALWAYS talks about wanting to be the best hitter in baseball (the talent and ability is there), but continues to be perplexed by his long periods of streakiness — periods where he hits well enough to win Player of the Month and long periods where he struggles to put solid wood on the baseball.
Asked if there is any way to help him, manager Dusty Baker said, “First you have to help yourself because there isn’t anybody up there swinging but him. He has a chance. He is still trying to figure some things out or not to figure things out. That’s the dilemma as a young player — when do you be natural and when do you be smart? Sometimes you try to figure things out that don’t need to be figured.
“It is not easy being a young player and I can see the frustration on his face and I feel his frustration and pain,” Baker added. “What gets him in trouble is he fouls off too many pitches. If he didn’t foul them off he wouldn’t get into so many strikeout situations. He has to learn to center the ball more.”
A couple of years ago, I asked Brandon Phillips how he felt about being called a hot dog because of the extra flair he likes to flash on the field and he smiled and said, “Tell them to pass the mustard.”
After winning the Gold Glove two years ago and winning it three times, Phillips didn’t win it last year and he believes it was because some managers don’t like the Oscar Mayer in him.
“It shouldn’t have anything to do with personal likes or dislikes when it comes to personality,” said Baker. “It should come down to who is the best at that position. But it is a natural thing that people vote for who they like.
“I’ve talked to him about it (toning it down) and Joe Morgan has talked to him about it, but after a while you quit talking about it and realize that’s him and hope he just tones it down some.”
Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:01 AM | 3 comment(s)
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