This is really starting to baffle me.
As much as people talk about Abreu and Giambi being one-dimensional players, or men deteriorating in skills, they sure do want to replicate players like them in the batting order
I know baseball is becoming a Saber metrics world, where OPS+ explains all!!11!! and OPS is amazing, and batting average is overrated, and intangibles mean nothing, and on base percentage means everything…. but sometimes people have to take a step backwards and look at the game of baseball for what it is: A game of baseball; not a science experiment.
We’re not studying the theory of relativity here for chrissakes.
I know on base percentage plus slugging is important, as is how many pitches a player sees per plate appearance. But are some of you really convinced this is more important than players who make hard contact with the baseball consistently? Whatever happened to the Paul O’neill type of player, who smashes doubles into the gaps and bats .330 any give season?
Do people really want to put Ryan Dunn in our lineup, because he gets his lumbering ass on base often and because he runs into 35 home runs per season? And Nick Swisher? And Jack Cust? Really?
Do you not see rallies snuffed out by these types of players?
Slow-footed, high OBP players who strike out a ton and do not bat for average can be a nightmare: They’re prone to striking out; prone to banging into double plays, because they try to pull the ball; not fast enough to break up a double play; never beat out singles; never score from 1st; never move from 1st to 3rd; don’t make hard contact with the baseball when men are on; and to top it all off, they’re usually hideous defensively.
But somehow, that skill set, in today’s game, means more than a Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, Paul O’neill or Mike Lowell type of player.Oh, please.
Give me the gap-hitting player who doesn’t strike out often over these Dunn type’s of players any day. Give me the guy who slams doubles, and who’s OBP is tied directly to his batting average, any day. Give me the guy who pops 15-25 home runs and knows how to play the defensive side of the ball. Give me the guy who has some inkling on how to run the bases. Give me the guy who puts the ball in play with RISP, instead of watching strike three sail past them when they’re trying to work a walk.
Some folks really need to reevaluate the manner in which they view this game.