Monday, June 7, 2010

Baseball Stuff

In the April 26th issue of Sporting News magazine there was the question What's the biggest hindrance to 100 stolen bases? Jimmy Rollins, Phillie shortstop said: "Most guys are coming up out of high school and college already having a slide-step, so it's not like they have to learn it or they're giving up anything.

When you're picked off, how often is it your mistake? Said Rollins: Most of the time, it's you. Sometimes anticipation takes over for your reads. You're thinking the first thing you see, you're going. You jump, and by the time you recognize what's happening, you're a half-step late. There are pitchers with great balk moves, and the umpire doesn't call it.

What do MLB hitter's bat on average after facing each of the 12 possible pitch counts? The chart, based on the 2009 season reveals all. For example, hitters are a collective .293 after reaching on a 2-0 count, just .203 after a 2-2 count.

Count: 0-0 Average: .262
Count: 0-1 Average: .232
Count: 1-0 Average: .278
Count: 3-0 Average: .288
Count: 3-1 Average: .286
Count: 1-1 Average: .246
Count: 1-2 Average: .186
Count: 3-2 Average: .233

Listening to Dave "Soup" Campbell on the ESPN Sunday night broadcast recalled a story told to him... Back in the day, Pedro Guerrero, Dodger third-baseman, said, "I hope they don't hit it to me." Tommy Lasorda replied, "Hey Pedro, what else are you thinking?" To which Pedro says, "Don't hit it to Sax either."

Giant fans should keep both eyes on their own Panda because it may not be coincidental how Pedro's career took a sharp decline after having some solid seasons. Guerrero did play 15 seasons but when he first broke into the majors he was the one all eyes were on. Me being a Giants' fan surely remember #28 in Dodger blue. And since those late 70s and early 80s teams the Dodgers had were almost unbeatable a lot was expected of Pedro Guerrero. Perhaps it's my memory of Guerrero that faded but it seems like he disappeared from the spotlight at a time when he should have been a stone cold lock for the Hall of Fame. (In 7 of his 15 seasons, he played in less than 100 games. Longevity, a key factor in Hall of Fame voting, was a non-factor.)

In 1982 and 1983 Pedro belted 32 homers. In 1985 he hit 33 and in 1987 he hit 27 more. In '87 he batted .338. In 1982 he batted .304 and in 1985 he hit .320. A career .300 hitter with 215 homers, Guerrero rarely struck out. For a slugger he struck out over 100 in 1983 and 1984 but his career walks vs. strikeouts was 609/862. That's what he had in common with Pablo "Panda" Sandoval, his lack of discipline or the discipline to swing at something in the strike zone. But as I say, per season, Pedro Guerrero usually hit the ball. He was not a batter that struck out very often.

Kevin Marquez