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Thursday, May 31, 2001 Not even the Bambino could have hit Pedro last night

I get concerned from time-to-time that readers might get the wrong idea about me from reading my Clutch Hit entries. You see, it’s usually pretty easy to come up with a smart a** (See even I can’t avoid the censor) comment. At times I simply can’t help from dashing off a critical comment. There are a lot of silly things which get said and done in the world, so it’s often easier to say something negative—particularly in a funny way—than it is to say something nice. Now, in my defense I don’t take the things I say seriously. I suggest you do the same. What does this have to do with this note? Well, I can only say nice things about Pedro. I also can’t come up with anything that makes me smile to myself as a comment to this article. So, just let’s just enjoy Pedro while we can.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 31, 2001 at 01:48 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark

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   1. Alan Shank Posted: May 31, 2001 at 04:18 PM (#69056)
"As a group, the Yankees are not easy to pitch to. To a man, they're patient, they force the pitcher to make quality pitches. They foul off a lot of pitches, they are disciplined and they make a pitcher work for every out he gets."

Well, not exactly. They do have Alfonso Soriano, who hardly fits the above description. In fact, this year the Yankees' walk rate is below the league average. It's sort of like Gold Glove and All-Star voitng; there's a lot of inertia. Once a team gets a certain reputation, media people and many fans do not notice when a player or team no longer fits a description. The Yankees led the AL in walks, with 653, in 1998, the year they won 114 games. The next year, they increased to 718, but were third behind Oakland (770) and Cleveland (743). Last year they went back to 631, which was just slightly above the AL average, while Seattle and Oakland had 775 and 750, respectively.

ESPN commentator Bob Carpenter, who was doing the Boston/New York game last night, was another example of this syndrome: he said that Sammy Sosa "never saw a pitch he didn't like," but that Mark McGwire was a "little more selective." Apparently he is unaware of the fact that Sosa has increasd his walk rate dramatically since '97 and is now just two walks behind Bonds and Helton for NL leadership in that category. And McGwire - "a little more selective??" Good grief! McGwire topped 100 walks for the first time more than a decade ago, leading the AL in 1990 with 110, only 9 of which were intentional. He walked 162 times (28 IBB) during his 70-homer season!

These guys have access to the same information I do, and then some. Look it up!!!!!

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