It is only a matter of time before Major League baseball teams take the “assistant hitting coach” thing to its illogical conclusion. Hitting instructors everywhere! In the trees, on the team plane, everyone a hitting instructor!
While the every smart front office looks for an edge which keeps their players producing at maximum output all the time, there might just be a more efficient way to get hitting tips and tricks through to the players: let them teach each other.
That is exactly what happens every day in every big league clubhouse, if we’re being honest. Players get to together, talk shop, hang out, compare notes when they aren’t making plans to eat enormous steaks.
Inevitably, some players are physcially capable of feats which more other humans are not. It doesn’t serve much perhaps if you are an everyday regular Major Leaguer and you ask Albert Pujols or Mike Trout for hitting tips.
“How do you avoid getting burned by the slider, Mike?”
“You wait? What do you mean, you wait?”
“I wait until I’m sure it’s a slider, then I don’t swing.”
“But that guy throws 96! Doesn’t waiting that long leave you exposed to the fastball? Don’t you get beat inside etc?”
“Lolnope. I’m Mike Trout!”
Hardly a productive meeting and exchange of ideas. Torii Hunter, former member of the Angels, struggled to get his timing back after returning from a brief layoff this past June. He told reporters this week that when he needed help, he didn’t look within his own clubhouse, he looked to Miguel Cabrera.
“I’ve always been impressed with him at the plate, the way he swings,” Hunter said of Cabrera. “In June, I looked at his video and it helped me out. Don’t tell him that, he might get kind of pumped up. He’s one of my favorite hitters in the game.”
Don’t tell the guy who won the Triple Crown he’s good, we don’t want his head swelling.
Having Miguel Cabrera standing mere feet away from him at all times is SURE to protect the 37-year old outfielder for regressing to the mean like he was shot out of a cannon aimed directly at the mean.
Most 35 and older hitters post a BABIP higher than their on base percentage, right? That’s completely normal and in no way a flashing beacon of warning for Tigers fans. Nope, not at all.
And the rest
It’s Jackie Robinson‘s birthday today and the Google Doodle in his honor is amazing.
Mike Trout, single-handedly saving the baseball card industry. [OC Register]
Emma Span on the most frustrating part of the PED debate: it never changes. [Sports on Earth]
The Cardinals are adding a massive eyesore to the (ever so slightly) publicly funded ballpark, though it is nowhere near what was initially promised! Give the Best Fans in Baseball a proper sandbox, DeWitt. [St. Louis PD]
I don’t know what Jack Moore is on about here. Ballpark effects aren’t real. Pitchers only change their approach drastically when pitching at home or away because of coincidence. Now please examine the microsplits I compiled via arbitrary endpoints. [Fangraphs]
Five players who probably should be bought out immediately. [Baseball Prospectus ($)]