Toronto has a crew of powerful hitters who are not as adaptive as players like Hosmer, Perez, Gordon, Zobrist, Cain, and even Morales, none of whom take a plan to the plate of busting the fences. Instead, they are adjusting to pitchers and just trying to hit the ball and hit it hard and allowing the power to take care of itself.
One wonders if George Brett had any influence on these kids when he went down and spent time in the dugout as a coach for a few months. Brett despised striking out and is probably appalled by the number of players who don’t seem to mind striking out 100 times plus as long as they hit a few home runs. Kansas City now has the toughest team to strike out in baseball and they hit line drives that some times leave the park but concentrate on wearing down pitchers, just like they wore down David Price.
Kansas City’s one worry is the inconsistency and volatility of their starting staff, which could blow up at any time and stress the relief core. They have no true stopper.
Look back at the types of hitters who succeeded in the 1970s for two of the most dominant teams, the Yankees and Cincinnati. Both were offensively stocked with great situational hitters to set up power hitters like Reggie Jackson, Graig Nettles, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez. Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey, Dave Concepcion of the Reds, Chris Chambliss, Lou Piniella and Thurman Munson of the Yankees were all tough outs, tough to strike out, hit line drives and had just enough power to scare a pitcher. Thus, these teams were as balanced as any ever to play the game.
Chicago, a little like Houston, has too many young guys who swing too hard and are not experienced enough to develop a plan and strike out too much. You need a couple woodchoppers to slow down those big arms and up their pitch counts. They miss too many balls.
When Arrieta was interviewed after his brilliant but draining, emotional pitching performance in the wild card playoff, the first thing he said was, “I’m exhausted.” This was an omen. He wasn’t quite the same against St. Louis and proved more vulnerable against the Mets; his tremendous half season run of dominance has finally worn him down and made him not quite as sharp as he was.
I think Don Mattingly should be relieved if the Dodgers let him go. A man of his caliber as a former player, teacher and person should not have to follow the orders of these so-called boy geniuses in the front office handing down line-ups and shifts culled from their voluminous stat charts and saber-metrics. What do these dudes know about the smell of the game? It’s a simple game and these guys can’t out think it. Anybody who thought the team they put out this year had a chance with only two great starters and a bunch of riffraff have no clue as to the grueling nature of a seven game series. Writers bring back the days of Koufax and Drysdale, but they didn’t play in two extra playoff series and they had a great third starter in Claude Osteen, a money pitcher in his own right, a clever lefty with great stuff and acumen who finished games strong. Just ask Vin Scully.
The fact that almost every player on the Dodgers was hurt at one time or another is a disgrace. Ethier is once a baby always a baby. Carl Crawford is a left-handed hitting track star who without that speed would be a .250 hitter and is now the perennial walking wounded who should have learned the drag bunt years ago. The Dodgers are a 300 million dollar mess. I love it. Money don’t buy everything, big shots. Go buy another mansion or another plane and sit in your luxury boxes with your sycophants.
In the future you might see players forced to adjust their hitting styles to overcome the new plague of shifts. These players are zoned into hitting certain pitches in certain areas and probably need to cut down on their swings, play a lot of pepper, take a lot of BP, and learn to hit the ball hard where it’s pitched, and better yet, hit any ball where they want--if this occurs the hit-and-run, the most beautiful play in baseball, will make a comeback and ESPN can display this elegance instead of the constant onslaught of tape measure home runs that parallel basketball dunks and have pretty much ruined the play of American youth.
I am NOT interested in how many MPH's a ball comes off the bat of a hitter. I’m capable of hearing it and seeing it!
Schwarber of the Cubs handles that bat like he’s been watching Babe Ruth and eats a lot of hot dogs and drinks a lot of cokes like the Babe.
Shorten the season to 154 games and start a few days early so we don’t have to watch the most important games of the year with players wearing ski masks and resembling Eskimos emerging from igloos.
It’s wonderful to see the best player of his generation back at some small measure of baseball on Fox, but Pete Rose looks and sounds like a goof. So what. It’s great just to see him.
I saw A-Rod as being brought in by a major sports network. Have they no class or sense of shame?
I’m sick of watching big league infielders backhand balls right at them. You backhand the ball in the hole if you HAVE to, plant and throw. These infielders all have major league arms, but they don’t like getting in front of the ball.
IF ESPN gets the Series and I have to listen to that woman in the booth I’m putting on mute.
The hardest thing to do in all of sports is hitting a baseball, therefore it must be simplified. Watch Daniel Murphy hit and you’ll see what I mean—no moving parts, short compact swing with just enough power to get it a few rows up.
You realize how hard it is to hit a baseball when you watch Lucas Duda.
Look for styles of hitting and playing the game change over the next few years, especially if KC prevails. Maybe it will lead some of these players who seem helpless as bunters, drag bunters and place hitters to learn to do these small things that lead to big victories.
It’s a disgrace the Chicago Cubs paid a pitcher named Jon Lester around a hundred and fifty million dollars and he can’t hit a lick even for a pitcher and doesn’t seem to care, can’t bunt a player along, and can’t hold anybody on base.
If the game does change to what is termed “small ball” there’ll be more hamstring pulls from running all the time instead of swinging too hard and ripping obliques.
Every home plate umpire seems to have his own too tight or too loose agenda on calling balls and strikes.
Almost all these hitters taking close third strikes an inch off the outside corner and complaining better learn about :guarding the dish” and stop taking off for first before the umpire makes his call.
The Gashouse gang would jeer most of these guys, but not Josh Donaldson.
They all deserve to be cheered for coming this far at such a tough game.