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  • #76
    Originally posted by Mohoney View Post

    I wouldn’t say “far” more boring. Ground balls suck.
    That's subjective because you understand a ground ball is far less likely than an elevated ball to have positive outcome, but a ground ball is far MORE likely to have a positive outcome than a strikeout.

    At least with a ground ball some players are moving and there's a chance for a player to reach base even if it's far less likely than a line drive.
    Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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    • #77
      Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post

      To a child of an age to which the MLB should be marketing, any kind of routine out is boring. Scoring is fun, and web gems are fun.
      If you're not into anticipation, most of baseball could be seen by outsiders as boring. Luckily, we who are fans are into it. It's what makes the game great.
      Best reason Rick Hahn should be out of work? Statistics.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Mohoney View Post

        I wouldn’t say “far” more boring. Ground balls suck.
        There can be some fantastic plays made on ground balls, look at Ozzie Smith's highlight reel.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post

          There can be some fantastic plays made on ground balls, look at Ozzie Smith's highlight reel.
          I have no use for great plays that take hits away from White Sox players, and the occasional defensive error that allows a White Sox runner to reach base just feels cheap.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post

            There can be some fantastic plays made on ground balls, look at Ozzie Smith's highlight reel.
            I was thinking Aparicio, but Smith was flashier. And at third there was Brooks Robinson, a better hitter than Aparicio, but as with the two shortstops, Robinson is in the Hall of Fame because of his defense.

            Of course, Jose Uribe took over Game 4 in the 2005 World Series with his highlight-reel defense in the eighth and ninth with two ground balls and a foul pop up. Sucked for the Astros, I suppose. But part of the fun of baseball is the defense (or lack thereof if its Ryne Sandburg losing a ground ball in the sun in the Cubs' last game of 1984). The 2014 World Series also turned on ground ball fielded by Joe Panick. This MLB clip takes awhile to confirm the double play, but fielding that ground ball made the difference between two out and no one on and runners at first and third with nobody out in a tied Game 7. Going over the plays in the White Sox season-ending series in Oakland, it looks like the difference in the pivotal second game was a ground ball not fielded in the first inning, which sucked for the White Sox, but not so much for the A's offense. I haven't looked at the clip, because I'm sure I would find it too painful.

            This isn't just about isolated plays. This is baseball. In fact, as spectacular as Panik's referenced play was in October 2014, I saw virtually the same double play (the difference being the call at first not having to be reviewed) a couple of months earlier on a cool August night on the banks of McCovey Cove in San Francisco. Chris Sale had thrown eight shutout innings, but as a favor to the Giants, Robin Ventura put in Jake Petricka for the ninth (such was the state of the White Sox bullpen and the religious fervor for pitch counts). The Giants had cut the score to 2-1, had the bases loaded with nobody out and rookie Joe Panik coming to the plate. The crowd roared with his smash up the middle, but Gordon Beckham snared the hot grounder, and, with a flip of his glove, he directed the ball to Alexei Ramirez at second who fired to Jose Abreu to complete the double play. Panik apparently was paying attention and pulled the same trick two months later. The game was tied, but the White Sox pushed across a run in the 10th and set down the Giants in the ninth. A fan in front of me to said I shouldn't have been so excited about the play. The Giants were fighting for the postseason. The White Sox were going nowhere -- not in a nasty way. We had talked earlier, and he knew my White Sox cap didn't shut out Giant sympathies. But if it were just about winning the World Series, there would be no point. If's about the love of the game. It's about players having the professional pride to compete to win and sometimes overcoming being overmatched. It's about the anticipation of Panik coming up with nobody out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth down by a run, the rush of adrenaline a caring fan feels in being on the edge, where winning feels imminent and a clock is irrelevant. It's about the agony and ecstasy in the stands moments later when you can't believe what you just saw, even if your team isn't going to the World Series.

            If you don't get it, baseball is boring. I find an elite fencing mach more watchable than football because, while I played football (during the Texas chunk of my childhood, there apparently was a law), I get fencing. I covered basketball and I understand it, but I find it tedious. Getting it is not understanding it. If it's only about the percentages of positive outcomes from a batted ground ball or about the time it takes to finish the game, you don't get it. It's about the offense and the defense. If it's about the home runs, the inflated points on the board more than the conflict, you may never really get it.

            Ground balls aren't what makes baseball suck.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Mohoney View Post

              I have no use for great plays that take hits away from White Sox players, and the occasional defensive error that allows a White Sox runner to reach base just feels cheap.
              Honestly? This is your reply? What about when a Sox player makes a great defensive play that takes away a hit or starts a DP? Do you like that?

              Sorry the occasional error that gives the Sox a baserunner doesn't meet your standards.
              Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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              • #82
                Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                Honestly? This is your reply? What about when a Sox player makes a great defensive play that takes away a hit or starts a DP? Do you like that?

                Sorry the occasional error that gives the Sox a baserunner doesn't meet your standards.
                I would be just as happy to see a White Sox pitcher get a strikeout as I would be to see a great play by Anderson or Madrigal up the middle. I just want the White Sox to win. Style points mean nothing to me.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Mohoney View Post

                  I would be just as happy to see a White Sox pitcher get a strikeout as I would be to see a great play by Anderson or Madrigal up the middle. I just want the White Sox to win. Style points mean nothing to me.
                  You just want the Sox to win but you feel guilty and ashamed when we reach base by error? How does that jibe?
                  Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                    You just want the Sox to win but you feel guilty and ashamed when we reach base by error? How does that jibe?
                    I want them to win, but I want them to earn the win. That being said, I sure as hell don’t feel any guilt about it when another team gives the Sox a win, but I do consider ROEs to be failures on the part of the hitter.

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Mohoney View Post

                      I want them to win, but I want them to earn the win. That being said, I sure as hell don’t feel any guilt about it when another team gives the Sox a win, but I do consider ROEs to be failures on the part of the hitter.
                      You don't believe that teams force errors from the opposition? A misplayed ground ball may well be a gift to the offense, but there are errors that come from teams putting pressure on the defense. There is a lot of big data our there, and something I heard discussed only briefly some years ago was a measure of hitters reaching base on errors. I saw it projected as a positive thing, and maybe it's still out there as a negative thing. (There are so many more important things to pay attention to that I don't consider ROEs at all.) What I saw being discussed was a couple of hitters with speed, maybe both of them were Royals, who reached base on errors significantly more frequently than other hitters.

                      Anyone who has played enough baseball knows there are opportunities to force errors from opponents. That also applies to aggression on the bases. It's more common in high school than it is in the major leagues because there are more defensive holes on a typical high school team. But major league teams have always had players in the field with defensive shortcomings playing the field to get their bat in the lineup. It's one of the checks and balances of baseball. You might be benefit from a player's bat in the lineup, but the opposition can take advantage of him on defense. Type "Dr. Strangeglove" into Baseball Reference and it sends you to Dick Stuart's page and my favorite baseball nickname.

                      The play that ended the 2000 White Sox season was drawn up by Lou Piniella to exploit the White Sox defense, and the Mariners scored the winning run in the 2-1 clincher without hitting the ball out of the infield. It was set up when pitcher Kelly Wunsch threw wildly to first, putting the leadoff batter on second with nobody out. After Stan Javier bunted to Tony Graffanino to put pinch runner Rickey Henderson on third with one out, pitcher Keith Foulke (who came in after the Wunsch error -- he wouldn't have been in the game under the current rules), Foulke walked David Bell. Carlos Guillen was credited with a bunt single to end the game. The bunt went to Frank Thomas at first and Thomas threw that ball away. Piniella later explained that he knew all Guilen had to do to win the game was get the bunt down to Thomas in fair territory because Thomas wouldn't have been been able to throw out Henderson at the plate. Thomas was in the field so that Harold Baines could DH. Paul Konerko, of course, was the better first baseman, but neither Thomas nor Konerko had any hits in that series, that postseason. He had actually pinch-hit for Chris Singleton and was out of the game.. Baines in his only start, got a hit and scored the only Sox run.

                      Typically, the exploitation of defensive weaknesses is not as obvious. There are outfielders you run on and those you don't. In 2019, Domingo Santana threw out two runners from left in 59 games (he hit the cut-off man, at least), but he also had nine errors. Were the runners called out on his two assists playing percentages when they ran into outs? There are catchers you run on and those you don't. In fact, there are aggressive approaches that put ground balls ahead of fly balls as well as strikeouts in calculating percentages of success. A runner on first becomes runners on first and third with a well-executed ground ball hit-and-run. Things can happen when you put runners in motion, but they can be bad things if the ball is hit in the error or doesn't make contact. Of course, if you have a hitter who doesn't strike out much, you can send the runner on a full count to stay out of the double play. Hitters who strike out a lot are more vulnerable to grounding into double plays on 3-2 pitches with less than two outs because you can't send the runner. Contact hitters give managers more options to an attack aimed at a specific defense.

                      Baseball is a situational game. It's at its best when it's played that way and diminished when it isn't (or can't be) appreciated in that way. I could probably count on one hand the number of ground-ball home runs I've seen (and at least half were by Willie Wilson in Kansas City), but baseball is more than the long ball.

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