Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nolan Ryan: Josh Hamilton ‘just gives away’ at bats; I can’t ever say I ever saw Hank Aaron do that

And get off my expanded Texas grazing land!

Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan joined Galloway and Co. on 103.3 KESN-FM this week to talk about the state of the team. Here are some highlights:

On Josh Hamilton’s struggles:

I think we’re all seeing the same thing. You’re right that some of his at bats aren’t very impressive from the standpoint that he doesn’t work deep into the count, he’s swinging at a lot of bad pitches, he just doesn’t seem to be locked in at all. So what you’re hoping is that his approach will change and he’ll start giving quality at bats because there’s a lot of those at bats that he just gives away. One of the things I’ve always commented on is I can’t ever say that I ever saw Henry [Hank] Aaron give an at bat away. I think as a hitter, you have to go up there and you have to focus on the guy that you’re facing and what he’s been doing as far as the game’s concerned and try to engage what your attempt to do as far as getting a hit off him.

Repoz Posted: July 23, 2012 at 11:49 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Xander Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4190524)
So Mike Trout isn't Willie Mays and Josh Hamilton isn't Hank Aaron. Got it.
   2. Rob_Wood Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4190528)
Oh jeez, I've heard that Hank Aaron was no Ted Williams who was no Ty Cobb.
   3. Chip Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4190533)
Just talkin' down the contract offer, and floating the built-in excuse when he doesn't take it and walks away.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4190536)
But, the Yankees have already retired Hamilton's #32, and Ichiro just took #31.
   5. The District Attorney Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4190539)
Just talkin' down the contract offer, and floating the built-in excuse when he doesn't take it and walks away.
Yeah, I dunno if we linked it but Ron Washington recently said something about Hamilton not "making adjustments."

I assume it's mostly a case of simply noting that the guy hasn't been hitting lately, combined with not being able to provide a meaningful reason why not. But it's probably fair to say that the GM and manager might be taking a different tone towards that if they weren't anticipating losing the player.
   6. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4190550)
Perhaps Hamilton should start popping greenies like Aaron did to help him keep his focus.
   7. Dale Sams Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4190551)
My Sox will be more than happy to take a disgruntled MVP, fueled to new heights by a seething rage to prove an old employer wrong....as opposed to providing them, for a change.
   8. a bebop a rebop Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4190552)
Yeah, I dunno if we linked it but Ron Washington recently said something about Hamilton not "making adjustments."

I assume it's mostly a case of simply noting that the guy hasn't been hitting lately, combined with not being able to provide a meaningful reason why not. But it's probably fair to say that the GM and manager might be taking a different tone towards that if they weren't anticipating losing the player.


It's a fair point, and I can't say I know what's going on. But even when Hamilton's hitting the cover off the ball, he has an abominably stupid approach at the plate -- swing at everything, all the time, no matter what pitch it is or in what location. And when he's hot, somehow he can hit terrible pitches a long way. But when he's cold, the pitcher can beat him by just throwing offspeed stuff in the dirt on every pitch.
   9. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4190554)
Well considering that Josh is white, bats and throws lefty and Hank is well, you know, black and batted and threw righty, I could see how you can make the distinction that Josh is no Hank.
   10. boteman Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:31 AM (#4190556)
The solution is incredibly simple: Nolan Ryan himself can throw batting practice at him all day long until Hamilton comes around as a more focused, refined hitter.

If he doesn't, Nolan can plunk him right in the kidneys!
   11. Walt Davis Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:26 AM (#4190575)
I'm sure that if he just gritted his teeth a bit more, he could put up an 1180 OPS all the time. Don't know why the young man hasn't considered that.
   12.     Hey Gurl Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4190578)
On June 1st, Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols switched bodies.
   13. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4190579)
Nolan Ryan? Good pitcher, but walks too many guys. He's no Walter Johnson.
   14. Srul Itza At Home Posted: July 24, 2012 at 03:06 AM (#4190584)
-- swing at everything, all the time, no matter what pitch it is or in what location.


Sounds like Vladdy Guerrerro - and what a bum he was. You sure wouldn't want anyone who hit like that on your team.

   15. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 24, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4190589)
Aaron vs. the Express (including postseason): .308 / .372 / .462, 2 homers, 4 walks and 4 Ks in 43 PA.
Hank was no Yaz in this department, but he hit Ryan pretty good anyway.
   16. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 24, 2012 at 04:22 AM (#4190592)
Oh jeez, I've heard that Hank Aaron was no Ted Williams who was no Ty Cobb.

Here something that I think is interesting: In 1909, Ty Cobb won the traditonal Triple Crown, the slash line Triple Crown, while also leading the league in runs, hits, and stolen bases. I don't think that anyone else ever did that.
   17. shoewizard Posted: July 24, 2012 at 06:36 AM (#4190603)
Was looking at Hamilton's splits today coincidentally. Interesting to note he actually has a little better road OPS than home OPS.

Split    G  PA  AB  H 2B 3B HR BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS BAbip tOPSsOPS+
Home    41 172 152 43  4  0 14 16 39 .283 .355 .586 .940  .287    96   149
Away    46 204 179 54 11  1 14 20 51 .302 .368 .609 .977  .339   103   171 

   18. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 24, 2012 at 06:42 AM (#4190604)
Wow, that's a freakishly low doubles-to-homers ratio for someone who hits the ball that hard and runs pretty well.

*checking his career stats*

Yep, sure enough, he's generally hit at least as many doubles as home runs. Probably just a fluke, I imagine.
   19. Eddo Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4190645)
I love to criticize Nolan Ryan as much as anyone, but this thread seems way overboard. Ryan was pointing out what could be a very legitimate issue with Hamilton at the moment(*). Sure, he went a little overboard with the "Hank Aaron never did this" comment, but that isn't so crazy, considering:

1) people speak in hyperbole all the time; Ryan saying, "I'm sure Hank Aaron occasionally gave away at bats, but probably less than Hamilton is doing now, even though I don't know the exact number", is ridiculous in a verbal interview;

2) he was trying to make a point; sure, comparing Josh Hamilton to Hank Aaron is an overreach no matter what, but it's also flattering to a player than Ryan wants to do well; saying "Hamilton's not as good as Mo Vaughn right now" sounds silly, doesn't it?
   20. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4190661)
And none of Hamilton's siblings have even come close to Tommie Aaron's career.
   21. Matt Welch Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4190670)
It really is stunning how lost Hamilton looks up there right now. The pre-May 15 Pujols comp is pretty good -- it's as if neither could see the ball.
   22. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4190673)
Nolan Ryan gave away more plate appearances than anyone who ever played the game.
   23. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4190676)
Yep, sure enough, he's generally hit at least as many doubles as home runs. Probably just a fluke, I imagine.

Hamilton has turned 28.3% of his flyballs into HR, compared to a career average of 19.2%.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1875&position=OF

How the frig do you make a link nowadays?
   24. Dale Sams Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4190677)
this thread seems way overboard


My snark is because Ryan is publicly criticizing his player AND comparing him to a Baseball God.
   25. Shredder Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4190682)
And none of Hamilton's siblings have even come close to Tommie Aaron's career.
Yeah, but none of his issue have ever been as bad as Hank Aaron the 24th.
   26. AROM Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4190686)
It really is stunning how lost Hamilton looks up there right now.


But only after the AB is safely over. I fully expected Hamilton to hit a 3 run homer in the 9th off Frieri the other day. He'll have to keep swinging and missing a bit longer to convince me it's anything but a temporary slump.
   27. BDC Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4190698)
He'll have to keep swinging and missing a bit longer to convince me it's anything but a temporary slump

Exactly. Hamilton has always, even in his best years, tended to alternate months where he hits .400 with months where he hits .250. This year may be a bit more pronounced, but it's typical for him.

I must respectfully disagree with #8. Hamilton, in good or bad stretches, tends to go with the ball where it's pitched. Not quite as extreme as Vlad, but Srul's point is a great one: in many ways Hamilton's hitting style is the mirror image of Guerrero's. Both can look bad when they top a low-outside pitch on the ground or pop up on a ball out of the zone, but that's the price they pay for hitting .300 with opposite-field power, just as the strikeout is the TTO hitter's price.

I watched both of them a lot, and Hamilton has nothing in common with Juan Gonzalez, who truly was a sucker for the same bad pitch all the time: breaking ball low and away, Gonzalez would try to pull it, usually fanning. Hamilton does not do that. He lines that pitch to the opposite field when he's on his game, and he hits it weakly to shortstop when he's not. And I think when he's off his game, minor (or not-so) injuries always have a lot to do with it. His timing and range of motion are missing, and he can't make his usual splendid adjustments.

To pile on Mr Ryan, one thing Hank Aaron had going for him was infinitely better health than Josh Hamilton. And he deserves credit for that. But I doubt that Hamilton's problems have to do with his approach; much more likely they're 90% physical. (Of course the other half may be mental, to quote Yogi Berra.)
   28. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4190729)
Josh might not be Hank Aaron but he has Jesus on his side which I think will help in the contract negotiations.
   29. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4191279)
people speak in hyperbole all the time

Only an absolute, complete moron would do this!
   30. Moeball Posted: July 24, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4191346)
My Sox will be more than happy to take a disgruntled MVP, fueled to new heights by a seething rage to prove an old employer wrong....as opposed to providing them, for a change.


Dale - I realize this probably isn't who you are talking about, but the Frank Robinson comparison is one I hadn't thought of before!

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
tshipman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3737 - 7:40am, Oct 25)
Last: Merton Muffley

NewsblogCurt Schilling not hiding his scars - ESPN Boston
(23 - 7:32am, Oct 25)
Last: Merton Muffley

NewsblogJohn McGrath: The Giants have become the Yankees — obnoxious | The News Tribune
(13 - 7:15am, Oct 25)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogBuster Olney on Twitter: "Sources: Manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the Tampa Bay Rays immediately."
(81 - 2:03am, Oct 25)
Last: Dan

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(16 - 1:35am, Oct 25)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(916 - 1:29am, Oct 25)
Last: J. Sosa

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 3 OMNICHATTER
(515 - 1:26am, Oct 25)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(385 - 1:05am, Oct 25)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogHow top World Series players ranked as prospects. | SportsonEarth.com : Jim Callis Article
(21 - 12:04am, Oct 25)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogRoyals get four AL Gold Glove finalists, but not Lorenzo Cain | The Kansas City Star
(14 - 11:59pm, Oct 24)
Last: Zach

NewsblogDid Adam Dunn Ruin Baseball? – The Hardball Times
(73 - 11:22pm, Oct 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogBeaneball | Gold Gloves and Coco Crisp's Terrible 2014 Defense
(2 - 7:47pm, Oct 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(871 - 7:22pm, Oct 24)
Last: Jim Wisinski

NewsblogDealing or dueling – what’s a manager to do? | MGL on Baseball
(67 - 6:38pm, Oct 24)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogThe ‘Little Things’ – The Hardball Times
(2 - 6:34pm, Oct 24)
Last: RMc is a fine piece of cheese

Page rendered in 0.2436 seconds
52 querie(s) executed