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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

King Felix breaks A-Rod’s hand

“It’s difficult. Tough break,” Rodriguez said in almost a hushed tone after New York lost to the Seattle Mariners 4-2 Tuesday night.

Rodriguez broke his hand when he was hit by an 88 mph changeup from Felix Hernandez in the eighth inning. He went down in considerable pain. The Yankees said he has a non-displaced fracture of the hand, and there is no timetable for his return. He will be placed on the disabled list and will remain in Seattle with the team for the series finale Wednesday.

Eric Chavez, Rodriguez’s replacement at third base, had a similar injury in 2004. He was out for about five weeks.

“You hate to see a guy go down on something freak like that,” Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira said. “I had a weird feeling it wasn’t good.”

Rodriguez was the last of three Yankees to get plunked in a five-batter stretch and that ended Hernandez’s night. He also hit Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter with pitches.

Thanks to CH.

Repoz Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:30 AM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, yankees

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   1. Bug Selig Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:02 AM (#4191611)
I wish I had an 88-mph changeup that I could throw at d-bags.
   2. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:13 AM (#4191612)
Yeah, I don't think my fastball even made it within 10 mph of that.
   3. formerly dp Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:20 AM (#4191615)
Wow, so this makes up for the Yankees stealing future WS MVP Ichiro!, eh?
   4. haggard Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:23 AM (#4191617)
At least it wasn't his slapping hand.
   5. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:24 AM (#4191618)
This sucks. At least his legs will be fresh for the playoffs.
   6. TerpNats Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4191619)
And this happens just after a potential replacement, Hanley Ramirez, is sent to Los Angeles. (I didn't say he'd necessarily be a good replacement, merely a potential one.) The Yankees have enough of a cushion to survive a few weeks without ARod, but if he's not 100 percent for the postseason...
   7. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:33 AM (#4191621)
If you believe BBRef's WAR, he's been less valuable this season than Ichiro has.
   8. TomH Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:33 AM (#4191622)
Baseballs break hands.
People do not break hands.

- brought to you by the NBRA, the National Baseball-as-a-rifle Association.
   9. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:36 AM (#4191623)
If you believe BBRef's WAR,

You can stop right there.
   10. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:36 AM (#4191624)
The Yankees can survive with Chavez for a month, though a platoon partner would be nice.
   11. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 25, 2012 at 07:51 AM (#4191630)
Good thing he didn't break a hoof, or we'd have to shoot him.

The Yankees can survive with Chavez for a month

But can Chavez!
   12. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4191638)
hope it's not the hand he puts his lipstick on with
   13. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4191642)
Good thing he didn't break a hoof, or we'd have to shoot him.

Heh.

We sent our regards.
   14. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4191656)
The Yankees can survive with Chavez for a month, though a platoon partner would be nice.


Chavez for a month. You're funny.
   15. Deacon Blues Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4191670)
at this point, Yanks could probably win the division with a Primate at third. No one in the division is really close from a talent perspective they've got a healthy lead to boot.
   16. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4191676)
at this point, Yanks could probably win the division with a Primate at third. No one in the division is really close from a talent perspective they've got a healthy lead to boot.

Right. The Yanks aren't losing this division. They're a bit lucky the competition is a bit down this year in the AL East. There are no bad teams, but no other really good teams, either so New York should be fine. And losing A-Rod is just losing a good player for a while, not a transcendent player like he used to be.
   17. Lassus Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4191679)
at this point, Yanks could probably win the division with a Primate at third.

Something tells me you haven't seen Shooty play 3B.
   18. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4191681)
Something tells me you haven't seen Shooty play 3B.

STOP MAKING FUN OF ME! I HAVE A GLANDULAR PROBLEM!
   19. Lassus Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4191684)
Ichiro could play third, if he wanted to.
   20. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4191692)
My guess is that Chavez suffers a season-ending injury in the next week.
   21. Squash Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4191694)
Is Felix still throwing 88 mph changeups? I was under the impression he had lost a little. Was this more likely a two-seamer?
   22. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4191697)
at this point, Yanks could probably win the division with a Primate at third.


I'm pretty confidant that if I were to play Yankee 3B every day for 5 weeks, at the end of the stretch the Yankees would be in last place in the AL East. Pretty tough for the team to win when all the opposition has to do, any time they want to get on base, is bunt one down the 3B line.

I'm athletic enough and have a decent enough arm that if I played in, I could field a bunt and throw guys out at least every now and then. But against MLB hitters? I would not play in. Ever. You could have someone like Brendan Ryan up at the plate and I'd be playing 10 feet into the LF grass.
   23. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4191698)
And if Mark Trumbo was at the plate? I'd be the first 3B ever to play deeper than the left fielder.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4191699)
Is Felix still throwing 88 mph changeups?
Fangraphs has his average changeup velocity at 88.2, so it appears, yes.
   25. BDC Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4191701)
I'd be a worse 3B than AROM or Shooty, and I'd bat .000, but I'd compensate with steady veteran clubhouse presence and wacky practical jokes.
   26. Boxkutter Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4191709)
He also hit Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter with pitches.

My God... of all the King Felix starts he's ever had and will ever have, this may go down as my favorite of all time. Break the hand of a roider and former Mariner who left for big bucks. Plunk a guy who was your teammate 36 hours prior, and also hit Derek Jeter? ####### awesome!
   27. shoelesjoe Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4191730)
Please tell me you guys realize that every player who's ever worn pinstripes was in fact a primate, right?
   28. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4191734)
Chavez can suffer a season ending injury getting out of bed in the morning.
   29. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4191742)
So the Yankees go from having:

3B A-Rod
DH Chavez
LF Jones/Ibanez

to
3B Chavez
DH Jones/Ibanez
LF Ichiro!

Fact: Every team that replaced A-Rod's bat with Ichiro's has won 116 games.
   30. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4191751)
Please tell me you guys realize that every player who's ever worn pinstripes was in fact a primate, right?

Not Irabu.
   31. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4191754)
Please tell me you guys realize that every player who's ever worn pinstripes was in fact a primate, right?

Ohhh...you'll never make a monkey out of me!
   32. TerpNats Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4191758)
I'm left-handed, so I couldn't play third base (unless Tony La Russa came out of retirement to succeed Joe Girardi). If only Don Mattingly were still a Yankee coach (remember, he played two games at 3B in Seattle back in '85)...
   33. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4191774)
I'd like to think the Yankees could survive with a lower primate at third.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4191784)
I know the Yankees couldn't survive with me at third for a month, primarily because I'd be actively trying to sink their efforts. I may not be able to screw up enough plays on my own to make a difference, but I believe I could do enough damage to the games of Messrs. Granderson, Cano and Teixeira (that last one would be satisfying) to allow the O's or Jays or Rays to pass them.

   35. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4191796)
I know the Yankees couldn't survive with me at third for a month, primarily because I'd be actively trying to sink their efforts. I may not be able to screw up enough plays on my own to make a difference,


I wouldn't have to actively try to sink them. It would just happen anyway. In the hypothetical world where someone who had no business being there was playing 3B, you aren't going to just screw up the 2-4 plays per game that typically are made by 3B. You're going to have MLB hitters targeting you.

but I believe I could do enough damage to the games of Messrs. Granderson, Cano and Teixeira (that last one would be satisfying) to allow the O's or Jays or Rays to pass them


All of the above, and the Red Sox too. And that's if I was trying my best to be a good Yankee.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4191800)


All of the above, and the Red Sox too. And that's if I was trying my best to be a good Yankee.


Nah, I don't think I could be wretched enough to let the Sox pass them.
   37. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4191803)
I think the best positions to hide an amateur in MLB are 2B or corner OF. Balls aren't hit as hard to second, you're farther away giving more reaction time, and the throw is easy. 3B is one of the tougher ones because there isn't really such thing as a routine play at third. The best just make them look routine. You're too close to the batter, the throw is across the diamond, and if that isn't enough the hitters can force you to field bunts.

Probably the only worse spot to put an amateur is catcher or pitcher.

   38. Sweet Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4191804)
cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4191774)
I'd like to think the Yankees could survive with a lower primate at third.


Oh, you would say that.
   39. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4191811)
This is on MLBTradeRumors right now:

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he’ll engage the market for a third baseman, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Yankees will consider all third base options, including Chase Headley of the Padres, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). It seems unlikely that the Yankees would meet the Padres' asking price for Headley, Heyman writes


What would they do with Headley, or any other 3B that they trade for, when Rodriguez is back?
   40. BDC Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4191814)
What would they do with Headley, or any other 3B that they trade for, when Rodriguez is back?

Bat to the back of the head, sack with bricks, Jersey Meadowlands.
   41. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4191816)
I think the best positions to hide an amateur in MLB are 2B or corner OF.

Double plays?
   42. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4191821)
What would they do with Headley, or any other 3B that they trade for, when Rodriguez is back?

Move Rodriguez to DH.
   43. TerpNats Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4191823)
What would they do with Headley, or any other 3B that they trade for, when Rodriguez is back?
In 2013...hello, Philadelphia!
   44. PepTech Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4191856)
Scott Brosius is available.
   45. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4191860)
What would they do with Headley, or any other 3B that they trade for, when Rodriguez is back?

Move Rodriguez to DH.

What about all their other DHs?
   46. Swedish Chef Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4191863)
What would they do with Headley, or any other 3B that they trade for, when Rodriguez is back?

Throw them in the trash or give them to Goodwill.
   47. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4191867)
What about all their other DHs?

Well, they're mostly mediocre, so who cares? If the 3rd baseman they get is any good, bumping Ibanez/Jones out of the everyday lineup shouldn't be a big deal.
   48. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4191875)
I'm athletic enough and have a decent enough arm that if I played in, I could field a bunt and throw guys out at least every now and then. But against MLB hitters? I would not play in. Ever. You could have someone like Brendan Ryan up at the plate and I'd be playing 10 feet into the LF grass.


PLay deep and throw the runner out at second (you know, the one that reached already by beating out your throw). This worked perfectly for me when I played softball. I don't have a weak arm, and I would throw out a few people at first, but typically the ball was a dribbler and required me to charge hard and throw or a screamer that I was real happy to play back on. It wasn't worth the screamer to the face to play in enough to make the plays on the dribblers.
   49. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4191879)
I think the best positions to hide an amateur in MLB are 2B or corner OF.


I'd rather an amateur at 3rd than 2nd. So far in the AL this year there have been 6,306 chances for 2nd basemen and just 3,621 for 3rd baseman, that's a difference of about 2 per game per team. Bunts would increase but I'd still want to stash my amateur at the position getting the fewest chances. The corner outfields have fewer "chances" but the damage done by misplayed fly balls and line drives would be greater than they would on misplayed grounders at third.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4191890)
It depends on the level (and abilities) of the amateur. I would do far less damage at second, because I can actually field most ground balls* and I'd be able to throw out most guys from second. But there's no way in hell I'm throwing out anyone but the Molinaest of runners at third.

* Or, at least at my athletic peak, not the 45-year-old fatass I am now.

   51. jacjacatk Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4191896)
Clearly you stash the amateur in LF/RF (switch as necessary in game). I mean where do they put pitchers when they have to put one in the field. I have Luzinski-level range, and a sub-Damon arm, but I wouldn't misplay a substantial number of the balls I got to in LF, and I know where the cutoff throws are going. I'm not sure I would actually get to anything in the IF not hit right at me, and a lot of those are as likely to kill me as get turned into an out.
   52. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4191924)
Why not hide the amateur at DH, like the Rays do with Matsui?
   53. Basil Ganglia Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4191931)
If it had happened 24 hours earlier the Mariners could have just have added Chone Figgins to the Ichiro deal. But then they might have to throw in Jesus Montero as well to make it a fair trade.
   54. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4191932)
I think the best positions to hide an amateur in MLB are 2B or corner OF.

Double plays?


I think you'd just have to accept that DPs are not going to happen. Tell your SS/3B/P to just take the out at first. It's bad for a team to have an incompetant player anywhere, the question is just how bad.

I'd rather an amateur at 3rd than 2nd. So far in the AL this year there have been 6,306 chances for 2nd basemen and just 3,621 for 3rd baseman, that's a difference of about 2 per game per team. Bunts would increase but I'd still want to stash my amateur at the position getting the fewest chances. The corner outfields have fewer "chances" but the damage done by misplayed fly balls and line drives would be greater than they would on misplayed grounders at third.


If the other team didn't notice that I have no business being on the field, doesn't know the difference between me and average-glove-from-AA, and doesn't change their approach, this makes sense. But if they know how bad I am, third base is one of the easier places to target your hits - mostly because of the bunting option. Also, while a 2B handles more chances, a much higher percentage of those chances are easy places, where an amateur can pick the ball up and make a short throw to first.
   55. Swedish Chef Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4191935)
I'm not sure I would actually get to anything in the IF not hit right at me, and a lot of those are as likely to kill me as get turned into an out.

Surely an infielder leaving the field in a body bag would be grounds for suspending the game to another day and thus a useful contribution.
   56. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4191938)
i think folks are underestimating how 'fast' the ball is moving. those four hoppers look easy because the guys doing the work are pros.
   57. Greg Franklin Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4191957)
If it had happened 24 hours earlier the Mariners could have just have added Chone Figgins to the Ichiro deal. But then they might have to throw in Jesus Montero as well to make it a fair trade.

Well, Ichiro has not looked like "Ichiro!" in the Yankee uniform so far, so Chone probably wouldn't be rejuvenated either.

Yanks won't get Montero now, so Cashman's best option in dealing with GMZ is to trade non-prospects for Justin Smoak, shifting Teixeira to 3B until A-Rod recovers. Smoak will be a switch-hitting Richie Sexson, guaranteed.
   58. PreservedFish Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4191969)
I'd rather an amateur at 3rd than 2nd. So far in the AL this year there have been 6,306 chances for 2nd basemen and just 3,621 for 3rd baseman, that's a difference of about 2 per game per team.


I don't know if it's quite that simple. At second base an amateur might be able to make 20% of the plays that a pro would. At third base it might be 5%.
   59. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4191977)
Even with very limited range there is a pretty decent chance that most amateurs would be able to make the simple plays at 2B and get a man out at 1B. At 3B, even with a strong arm, amateurs aren't going to be making accurate throw to first, even with their feet set, forget it if you have a mediocre arm. Plus as AROM mentioned - the bunting thing.
   60. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4191981)
agreed, harveys. honestly, there's a decent chance i'd get killed out there.
   61. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4191983)
Well, Ichiro has not looked like "Ichiro!" in the Yankee uniform so far, so Chone probably wouldn't be rejuvenated either.


After hitting the single in his first Yankee AB and stealing a base, he should have just walked off the field and retired. He could give a speech (translated of course) about fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing in pinstripes and then fly off into the sunset. He'd go straight into the HOF, and the writers would never cease using that small sample size performance to write about how Ichiro would have hit .400 for the Yankees, if he wanted to.
   62. GuyM Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4191993)
In the hypothetical world where someone who had no business being there was playing....You're going to have MLB hitters targeting you.

Then why is it that, year after year, Derek Jeter apparently has fewer balls hit in his general vicinity than any other SS in baseball?
   63. Srul Itza Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4191999)
Teh Fear, of course.
   64. PepTech Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4192034)
fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing in pinstripes


Nope. Hasn't played a home game yet.
   65. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4192037)
Ichiro could play third, if he wanted to.


He did play third base in junior high school, before being moved to the outfield.
   66. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4192059)
Then why is it that, year after year, Derek Jeter apparently has fewer balls hit in his general vicinity than any other SS in baseball?


He doesn't play 3B. If he was a 3B as bad at fielding bunts as he is ranging from short, I'm sure he'd be targeted as well. I'm skeptical about the ability of hitters, while hitting against major league pitchers, to target specific fielders outside of the elective play such as a bunt.
   67. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4192096)
My big question, regarding all this bunting is easy and everyone can do it, is, what about the shifts that get put into place completely removing the 3rdbaseman from the position? Why don't David Ortiz and Carlos Pena just bunt their way on every time until the shift stops? Oooorrrrr is bunting harder than we think and everyone is forgetting about the catcher and pitcher fielding the ball?

edited for grammar
   68. smileyy Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4192102)
The bar in Seattle that I was in last night had some people cheering at the replay of ARod getting hit on the wrist.

It made me want to take a hammer to their money-making body parts.
   69. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4192106)
My big question, regarding all this bunting is easy and everyone can do it, is, what about the shifts that get put into place completely removing the 3rdbaseman from the position? Why don't David Ortiz and Carlos Pena just bunt their way on every time until the shift stops? Oooorrrrr is bunting harder than we think and everyone is forgetting about the catcher and pitcher fielding the ball?

I like that the increasing use of extreme shifts could lead to a big comeback for bunting as a skill.
Hell, Josh Reddick bunted for a hit last night - on turf!
   70. bunyon Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4192108)
I'd think first base might be the best position. Of course, I also assume that this amateur we're putting out there isn't a complete zero and can catch a thrown ball from a MLBer. Honestly, if you can't catch a throw from a MLBer, you will simply get hurt on the field. But, if you can, the main job of the first baseman is to catch throws from the infield. You can instruct the pitcher to come off hard on bunts.

Actually, that may be the play: put the dork at third, tell the pitcher he'll have to be ready to field bunts.

It's a lousy situation all 'round, of course and Harveys is absolutely right that, for non-professionals or high college players, what looks like an easy play is not and what looks like a hard play is likely to end in injury.
   71. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4192113)
The bar in Seattle that I was in last night had some people cheering at the replay of ARod getting hit on the wrist.

It made me want to take a hammer to their money-making body parts.


I was at the game last night. Many of the people around me were booing Rodriguez when he was rolling around on the ground in pain. Frankly, I was disgusted. When the trainer led him off the field, I clapped for him, just to try to balance the other fans' reactions.

I've never seen Felix as wild as he was last night. He not only hit Ichiro, Jeter, and Rodriguez, he hit all of them in the space of five batters. But he was wild all night. Throwing pitches in the dirt, then high pitches that Jaso had to climb a ladder to reach. He clearly didn't have his command last night; I don't think the HBPs were intentional at all.
   72. PreservedFish Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4192116)
I think we're thinking about this all wrong. The team isn't going to just put the average guy at a traditional position and say, "go get 'em."

How would teams align their defense if they only had 6 fielders? Would it obviously be 3 infielders, 3 outfielders? Maybe you'd shift the one-man infield side depending on the handedness of the batter. First base would no longer be a position for slow men.

Answer that question first. And then you wonder how they would adjust things if they could add a single man with terrible range, instincts and hands. I think the position might be highly fluid. Maybe you have the terrible athlete field second base with nobody on, but play first base to hold on a runner. Maybe he goes to RF when a hard throwing lefty is on the mound.
   73. GuyM Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4192125)
He doesn't play 3B. If he was a 3B as bad at fielding bunts as he is ranging from short, I'm sure he'd be targeted as well. I'm skeptical about the ability of hitters, while hitting against major league pitchers, to target specific fielders outside of the elective play such as a bunt.

I was joking. Agreed that it's not plausible that MLB hitters can target fielders (or, for that matter, that they are failing to hit balls in Jeter's direction for the 17th consecutive season).
   74. Sunday silence Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4192130)
I'm skeptical about the ability of hitters, while hitting against major league pitchers, to target specific fielders


Wee Willie Keeler says; "Hello."
   75. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4192138)
Wee Willie Keeler says; "Hello."

Zombies are even more cliche than vampires!

When I was in little league my coach asserted that Rod Carew could do this, but I have no idea if it's true. I'm skeptical. I sure as hell know I couldn't do it, no matter what my coach thought was possible. I think he was setting an awfully high bar.
   76. Rob_Wood Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4192153)
The worst cheering of an injury I can personally attest to was when Dan Pastorini got his leg broken at home in Oakland. Fans wanted Jim Plunkett to be QB. (Of course, Plunkett led Raiders to Super Bowl victory later that season.)
   77. BDC Posted: July 25, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4192169)
it's not plausible that MLB hitters can target fielders

It's not plausible that they can do it and still hit the ball with any authority. It's entirely possible to shorten up and direct the ball, but (a) an amateur might well handle the ensuing groundball; and (b) you can't do it on every kind of pitch; if you start always punching it to third base, the pitcher will start throwing 90+ MPH high and inside.

This principle also explains jacksone's "why don't they bunt against the shift" question. One factor is that the pitcher is throwing hard, with movement, in an attempt to get the hitter to pull into the shift. Another is that the shift to some extent incorporates a small degree of intentional-walk tactics. So Fatso bunts once in a while; well, he's on first base now, he has no RBI on the play, and he's no threat to score from first on a double. The tactic has minimized his value.

The last factor doesn't explain why shifts are being used more and more on guys with non-Ortiz body types, naturally, but there's still the pitching pattern to contend with.
   78. Rally Posted: July 25, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4192172)
When I was in little league my coach asserted that Rod Carew could do this, but I have no idea if it's true. I'm skeptical. I sure as hell know I couldn't do it, no matter what my coach thought was possible. I think he was setting an awfully high bar.


Carew might have. There are some stories about Wade Boggs doing this as well - guys who would position him one way, get burned, change positioning, then watch Boggs hit one into the spot they were playing before. Didn't they have some kind of skills challenge during an all-star game one year with targets on the field?

I could believe that guys like Gwynn, Carew, Boggs might have had some ability to target their hits, but not a lot. Otherwise they'd hit 1.000 instead of .350. But luckily for pitchers and fielders, these guys were the exception, not the norm.
   79. Basil Ganglia Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4192270)
I can believe that some players, on those occasions when have a pitch coming in that they have completely tracked in both movement and speed and the pitch is in that part of the plate where that is most comfortable for them to adjust their swing, while taking a full swing can direct the ball in general areas. That means to the right side (between first and second), up the middle (midway between first and second to midway between second and third), or to the left side (between second and third. I doubt they can be any more precise than that, at least while hitting the ball hard enough to have a chance at a hit. Ir there is a larger gap in one of those areas and the batter gets a pitch like that, it might make sense to try to put the ball in that direction. Beyond that, players may be able to pull the ball or hit to the opposite, again if the ball is in an area where they can do either one with authority.

But since the most important thing for a hitter is to hit the ball hard, directing the ball will generally not be effective if that means not hitting the ball as hard.
   80. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4192334)
Billy Herman. Isn't a "great hit and run man" doing exactly this?
   81. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4192346)

Fact: Every team that replaced A-Rod's bat with Ichiro's has won 116 games.


Brilliant!
   82. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4192362)
I could believe that guys like Gwynn, Carew, Boggs might have had some ability to target their hits, but not a lot.


I have no doubt Gwynn could do it, and I'm pretty sure I've heard him talk about it (was it discussed in Men at Work?). Gwynn's not a braggart so if he says he did it, then I believe him.
   83. Srul Itza Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4192413)
I could believe that guys like Gwynn, Carew, Boggs might have had some ability to target their hits, but not a lot. Otherwise they'd hit 1.000 instead of .350. But luckily for pitchers and fielders, these guys were the exception, not the norm.


...

But since the most important thing for a hitter is to hit the ball hard, directing the ball will generally not be effective if that means not hitting the ball as hard.


Then again, those guys were not know as power hitters. If you have their kind of reflexes and bat control, you may very well be able to guide the pitch, knowing that you are only going to get a base hit out of it.
   84. Srul Itza Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4192418)
Why don't David Ortiz and Carlos Pena just bunt their way on every time until the shift stops? Oooorrrrr is bunting harder than we think and everyone is forgetting about the catcher and pitcher fielding the ball?


They used to ask Ted Williams this. He would say that he was paid to hit the ball hard.
   85. Basil Ganglia Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4192448)
Then again, those guys were not know as power hitters. If you have their kind of reflexes and bat control, you may very well be able to guide the pitch, knowing that you are only going to get a base hit out of it.

Hitting the ball hard is not the same as being a power hitter. All of those guys hit the ball hard. They just hit more more line drives than high fly balls. That's why they had a high batting average - line drives are more more likely to go for hits than are fly balls.

I watched Carew when he came up as a rookie. He squared up a lot of pitches; but he didn't get elevation on them. That was the big difference Carew and Olivo, whose career was winding down. Olive got more loft; Carew hit more stingers.
   86. vivaelpujols Posted: July 26, 2012 at 02:40 AM (#4192453)
I'm guessing any reasonably athletic 20 year old could play the corners better than a good 10 of the guys currently starting in the majors.
   87. bunyon Posted: July 26, 2012 at 06:48 AM (#4192469)
I just saw the clip of A-Rod for the first time and, while I'm not cheering, he didn't exactly exert himself hard to get out of the way. I understand striding into the ball and keeping the hands up, etc. But getting hit on the shoulder is far better than the hands and he didn't even really move his hands or turn his body. Given that it will be 6-8 weeks, I'd think that worth turning just a hair.
   88. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:10 AM (#4192471)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the stories about Maddux making hitters put balls at certain fielders or intentionally foul are great. Especially the one where he was said on many occassion to toss up a meatball changeup inside to let the hitter demolish it 500 ft foul. Then go after that same low and away corner with the tailing fastball and all they could do was get it the the 2B on a 16 hopper. I don't know if there are or ever will be another pitcher like him.
   89. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 07:19 AM (#4192473)

I'm guessing any reasonably athletic 20 year old could play the corners better than a good 10 of the guys currently starting in the majors.


HAH! No ####### way.
   90. Lassus Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4192501)
I'm guessing any reasonably athletic 20 year old could play the corners better than a good 10 of the guys currently starting in the majors.

I believe this site has a common meme for this kind of statement.
   91. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4192505)
I believe this site has a common meme for this kind of statement.

BEHOLD!
   92. dlf Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4192519)
I'm guessing any reasonably athletic 20 year old could play the corners better than a good 10 of the guys currently starting in the majors.


I played HS ball with someone who was drafted by the Yankees after high school and, post college career, ended up with a little over 550 plate appearances spread over two years in the Orioles minor league system. http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=hildre001bra. When I knew him, he wasn't "reasonably athletic" but instead one of the small handfull of absolutely best athletes in a city of a quarter million people that had, in years past, been the home of, among others Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige and a long line of baseball stars, starring at both baseball and basketball while in HS. Strong, fast, incredible hand-eye coordination. But when asked to play 3B, he fielded under .900 at Single A. Put the next best player on our HS team out there and it probably would have been under .800. Move both up to the majors and the speed increases and the errors probably go up, conservatively, 10-50%. Put "any reasonably athletic" person on the field, and he'd be lucky to turn a single ball in play into an out.
   93. BDC Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4192560)
any reasonably athletic 20 year old could play the corners better than a good 10 of the guys currently starting in the majors

The corners of what? He could stand in the corner of the dugout looking sexier than Nick Punto, maybe.
   94. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4192565)
This is the same common misconception Canadians have about professional hockey players.
They see a "goon" on the ice and they assume they could play better than them.
In fact, the majority of the "goons" actually made their way through the junior hockey ranks, and we often quite talented at that level as well.
   95. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4192703)
I agree with Harveys.

I think you obviously stash the amateur in a corner outfield spot, or perhaps first base if the guy has really sure hands. Just look at where the worst fielders in MLB play now.

An athletic amateur might make a few plays in the infield but won't have the reflexes to make most plays without a lot of practice, and very well might get killed in the process. In the outfield, you have a bit more leeway in terms of reaction time, and if you play conservatively, your errors won't all turn into inside-the-park-home runs.
   96. Ron J2 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4192713)
#52 (and others) It seems they picked Matsui over other options specifically because he could still (sort of) play left. He seems to have been predictably awful out there.

When Scott was healthy and Jennings was out, Matsui played left.

Go figure, Matsui gets an extra ~100 major league PAs thanks to his glove.
   97. Ron J2 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4192731)
#77 Something that Bill James pointed out a few years back is that most hitters get almost all of their value on line drives and hard hit flyballs. And on those, the position of your infielders don't much matter.

Yeah, the shift might help turning line drives into outs, but I've seen no evidence that this happens.
   98. Ron J2 Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4192738)
#94 Most goons are actually pretty fair skaters. You have to have mastered some pretty specialized skills to be able to fight on ice.
   99. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4192746)
I don't know if there are or ever will be another pitcher like him.


Greg Maddux is my favorite pitcher of all time, easy. Just great to watch pitch.
   100. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4192774)
I know for a fact I could play the OF better than Lastings Milledge, although my arm is about like Johnny Damon's.
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