Originally Posted by SCCWS
I think you are confused. The point Rice was making was that guys like Dunn should change their approach when they have 2 strikes not their total batting approach.
Maybe we will see some hitters change their approach. I was watching Boston/Cleveland last night. Carlos Santana who hits 5th for the Indians and before Mark Reynolds bunted against the Boston shift w a man on first. Both runners eventually came around and scored. His next time up the Red Sox changed the shift somewhat and he fouled off a bunt attempt at which point Boston brought the only infielder on that side in quite a bit. He ultimately walked and scored again.
I didn't see the interview, so it's entirely possible that I am not accurately replying to Rice.
There seems to be a general opinion in this thread that strike outs are bad and that the hitters of yesteryear were better and less selfish. Sure you can make a case that increased run production is entirely due to the watering down of the league's pitching, elbow pads, and lowering of the mound, but you are ignoring other factors like the increased use of a bullpen when a starter is struggling, and that expansion teams bring in worse hitting as well as pitching. There are also a lot of years between 1968 and 2000 if you want to ignore the changing of the mound.
I think there are cases when a hitter should change his approach with 2 strikes. I just don't think there is a problem with the league's strikeout total as a whole. Teams strike out more and score more runs this century than the seventies and eighties. Teams also hit for a better average in this century than in the seventies and eighties. I don't think a hitter should have a fear of striking out 150-160 times per season. I think each hitter has a sweet spot where his production will improve by not fearing the strike out and then a point beyond that where he is striking out too much. For some players it might be 110 and others 175.
There seems to be a consensus in this thread that players as a whole strike out too much today and I just don't agree with it, and I don't think there is any evidence that t is true.