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Friday, October 08, 2004

Dusty's Not Walkin'

Saw this quote from Dusty Baker on The Cub Reporter:

"Yeah, you need on-base percentage guys to put the pitcher in the stretch. I don't agree with going up there looking for a walk unless the game situation dictates it. This isn't Little League."
Dusty Baker (Chicago Sun-Times - 10/4/04)

Little League? So just to be complete Dusty started off the year with this gem on the base on balls:

"I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and can't run, most of the time he's clogging up the bases for somebody who can run."

So in Dusty's mind walks are primarily useful for...

1. Putting the pitcher in the stretch
2. Clogging the bases

How about getting runner on base so that they can eventually score on say...one of the 235 homeruns your team hit this year??? Geez. Slow learner. I say this as I watch Mark Bellhorn, a guy Dusty gave up on, and his 88 walks and .373 OBP help the Red Sox on their way to a series sweep of the Angels.

In Dusty's defense he did also say:

"The whole thing boils down to that half of on-base percentage is getting a good pitch to hit. Most of the times when guys are striking out, a bad pitch has been swung at during the course of that at-bat." Dusty Baker (Chicago Sun-Times - 10/4/04)

That sentiment I certainly agree with. But why not recognize that walks have value in and of themselves?

4 comments:

Ron Hostetter said...

Little League??? I've been watching/coaching little league for a long time now, and I don't know any kids who go up there LOOKING for a walk. Kids are kids. They want to pound the ball - see how far they can hit it. There are a lot of walks, but that's simply because pitchers don't have a lot of control at 8,9,10 years old.

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