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  #1  
Old 05-22-2013, 10:45 AM
SCCWS SCCWS is offline
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Default Jim Rice On Adam Dunn

Jim Rice does pre/post game commentary on the Red Sox network. Studio guy asked his opinion last night on Adam Dunn's homerun or strikeout mentality. Rice said in his day, a player would be embarrassed striking out the way Dunn does. He said he would shorten his stroke, go the opposite way, etc w 2 strikes to try and limit strikeouts. But he said modern players, like Dunn, are so driven by Home Runs that they do nor care if they strike out as much as they do. He said some organizations love the homerun and do not get on players who refuse to change their approach w 2 strikes.
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2013, 10:48 AM
Bobby Thigpen Bobby Thigpen is offline
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Ya. No one would have ever struck out as many times as Dunn in Rice's era-

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...deerro01.shtml
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2013, 10:59 AM
havelj havelj is offline
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Default Or this guy

Another one:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...ncavpe01.shtml

Heck - how about this guy?
http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...acksre01.shtml
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2013, 11:23 AM
russ99 russ99 is offline
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He has a point.

As much as we like to blame the past and present Sox GMs, managers and hitting coaches for our group of homer-happy, low RISP, high K, free swingers - a lot of this is on the players.

More HRs = higher salaries and players have a financial interest to swing away. With PEDs on the decline and pitchers increasingly having the upper hand over hitters, there's even more of an incentive.

When the Greg Walker witch hunt was in full swing (admittedly I was a participant) he'd frequently say how the players were prepared for better ABs, but when they step up to the plate it all goes out the window.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:50 PM
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asindc asindc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Thigpen View Post
Ya. No one would have ever struck out as many times as Dunn in Rice's era-

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...deerro01.shtml
And Rob Deer, along with Inky and a few others, was considered a punchline back then for striking out so much. He and a few others really stood out. It is the primary reason he wasn’t highly sought after.
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2013, 01:23 PM
SCCWS SCCWS is offline
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Originally Posted by Bobby Thigpen View Post
Ya. No one would have ever struck out as many times as Dunn in Rice's era-

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...deerro01.shtml
He did not say no one. He said they do not make good teammates because they are more concerned w homeruns than helping the team by not striking
You picked a great example in Rob Deer. Very similar to Dunn in that he also walked a lot but his career average was 220 ish. Good outfielder though w a great arm. Just don't look up his post season stats. Pretty sure his teams never made the playoffs despite his home run numbers.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2013, 01:57 PM
Bobby Thigpen Bobby Thigpen is offline
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Originally Posted by SCCWS View Post
He did not say no one. He said they do not make good teammates because they are more concerned w homeruns than helping the team by not striking
You picked a great example in Rob Deer. Very similar to Dunn in that he also walked a lot but his career average was 220 ish. Good outfielder though w a great arm. Just don't look up his post season stats. Pretty sure his teams never made the playoffs despite his home run numbers.
I don't disagree with you, but that wasn't what your original post said. Your post seemed to say that Rice was saying no one of his era would've struck out that much because they were way less selfish than today's players.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:45 PM
LITTLE NELL LITTLE NELL is offline
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Originally Posted by russ99 View Post
He has a point.

As much as we like to blame the past and present Sox GMs, managers and hitting coaches for our group of homer-happy, low RISP, high K, free swingers - a lot of this is on the players.

More HRs = higher salaries and players have a financial interest to swing away. With PEDs on the decline and pitchers increasingly having the upper hand over hitters, there's even more of an incentive.

When the Greg Walker witch hunt was in full swing (admittedly I was a participant) he'd frequently say how the players were prepared for better ABs, but when they step up to the plate it all goes out the window.
The jacked up ball is to blame for this. HRs are a fan draw but every Tom, Dick and Harry is swinging for the fences. Look at a guy like Alexei and some others, with 2 strikes on them, instead of cutting down on their swing and trying to put the ball in play they are still swinging as hard as they can.
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2013, 03:23 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Bobby Thigpen View Post
I don't disagree with you, but that wasn't what your original post said. Your post seemed to say that Rice was saying no one of his era would've struck out that much because they were way less selfish than today's players.
No one who got any respect, anyway. Yes, Rob Deer struck out a lot. They also weren't respected hitters after they continued striking out. By the time they reached 32, they weren't getting serious playing time and their careers were over.

Reggie Jackson struck out a lot, when he came up for a last place team, but he cut down considerably on his strikeouts after he turned 25 and started playing for World Series Champions. He also hit for a pretty good average in many years. Harmon Killebrew struck out a lot, but between the ages of 27 and 39, he only had one season where he struck out more than 100 times.

Jim Rice played at a time when strikeouts were counted against you as offensive futility. If you struck out too much, you could lose playing time. Contenders had to find better options. Second-tier teams probably had someone else who could take your place. The Chicago media, and the national media when they bothered to pay attention to the White Sox, used to write that Bill Melton struck out too much, and he did strike out in 10 straight at bats in 1970 (it's referenced below the NFL labor story), but he only had one more season where he struck out more than 100 times and then only 106, one below his highest season total.

Of course, it isn't just Dunn. Hitters are striking out more than they ever have, not because pitchers are getting so much better and stronger. Maybe that plays a small factor, but the selfishness Rice referenced is a bigger factor. As analysts look at more abstract stats to determine a hitter's value to a lineup, they ignore strikeouts and bury the value of batting averages while overvaluing walks and home runs. If you essentially ignore the essence of hitting, you might hit over 50 home runs as Johnny Mize did in 1947. Walk enough, and you might have a better OPS, too, because Mize's that year was under 1.000. But what made Mize's season so awesome that older fans have talked with me about it over the years, was that he hit over .300 while striking out less than 50 times while hitting more than 50 home runs.

Nothing good offenseively comes from a strike out. That is why high-strikeout pitchers are celebrated. But one of the reasons pitchers are striking out more hitters than they ever have is that hitters don't seem to care if they strike out anymore. Players who don't shorten their swings or protect against borderline strikes with two strikes are going too deep in counts trying to walk when they should be focused on hitting. Players ignoring some of the basic principles of hitting (and maybe they are playing to specific stats to earn get bigger contracts), is making pitchers more dominant than they have been in years.

The fact is, though, that Dunn, relative to the rest of the league, at least, doesn't seem to be striking out as much as he has in the past. There are series this year where he has looked like a hitter with a completely different philosophy than he ever had. Maybe it's the pitchers that give him more trouble that make him look like the Dunn of recent years. But occasionally this year I have been impressed and I hope he impresses me some more.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2013, 03:35 PM
Red Barchetta Red Barchetta is offline
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I used to hate how Jim Thome tried to pull everything when the SS was basically giving him a free single if he simply slapped the ball to the left side of the field, however Jim Thome played pro ball and I didn't so what do I know.

I hate the big whiff strike out as much as the next guy and Dunn's been doing it a lot lately. However, I hate the double play more and it was especially frustrating since the SOX have had a series of slow players in the middle of their lineup the past 10 seasons.

I don't think any of us can expect Dunn to change his batting approach anytime soon. Kenny rolled the dice on Dunn and we lost the same way we lost on Navarro. Time to simply gut it out and hope we stay competitive until his contract expires. If he can knock in 100 RBIs, I can live with all the strikeouts.
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2013, 04:42 PM
MISoxfan MISoxfan is offline
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It's easy enough to look at the number of runs the hitters of today are scoring compared to those in his day.

http://michaelbein.com/baseball.html
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2013, 04:43 PM
russ99 russ99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Barchetta View Post
I used to hate how Jim Thome tried to pull everything when the SS was basically giving him a free single if he simply slapped the ball to the left side of the field, however Jim Thome played pro ball and I didn't so what do I know.

I hate the big whiff strike out as much as the next guy and Dunn's been doing it a lot lately. However, I hate the double play more and it was especially frustrating since the SOX have had a series of slow players in the middle of their lineup the past 10 seasons.

I don't think any of us can expect Dunn to change his batting approach anytime soon. Kenny rolled the dice on Dunn and we lost the same way we lost on Navarro. Time to simply gut it out and hope we stay competitive until his contract expires. If he can knock in 100 RBIs, I can live with all the strikeouts.
I'm sure we'd be OK with a Dunn or Thome in the lineup if he gets it done when it comes to run production, but we have a lineup chock full of these guys.

Sox hitters over 20% strikeout rate:

Dunn - 33%
Flowers - 29.9%
De Aza - 26.5%
Gillaspie - 23%
Viciedo - (down to) 22.7%

Plus Rios and Paul are over 15%.
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2013, 04:57 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Barchetta View Post
I used to hate how Jim Thome tried to pull everything when the SS was basically giving him a free single if he simply slapped the ball to the left side of the field, however Jim Thome played pro ball and I didn't so what do I know.

I hate the big whiff strike out as much as the next guy and Dunn's been doing it a lot lately. However, I hate the double play more and it was especially frustrating since the SOX have had a series of slow players in the middle of their lineup the past 10 seasons.

I don't think any of us can expect Dunn to change his batting approach anytime soon. Kenny rolled the dice on Dunn and we lost the same way we lost on Navarro. Time to simply gut it out and hope we stay competitive until his contract expires. If he can knock in 100 RBIs, I can live with all the strikeouts.
Believing that striking out isn't so bad because at least you're not hitting into a double play isn't so different from disdaining walks because the next hitter might hit into a double play. Hitting into a double play is a worse result than striking out, but a double play is something the defense has to execute. If there's a runner on first and less than two outs, a catcher doesn't even need to catch strike three cleanly to put the hitter out. And with a full count and one out in a close game, the manager should be starting the runner to stay out of the double play if a hitter vulnerable to being doubled up is hitting. If you have a high-strikeout hitter, starting the runner to stay out of the double play doesn't improve your chances of staying out of the double play.

And when you consider Jim Thome, remember that he also hit .300 a few times with the Indians and hit .288 in his first season with the White Sox. when he wasn't striking out, walking or hitting home runs, he was still hitting. He played into his 40s, long past his prime, and he still ended up with a .276 career batting average.
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2013, 05:01 PM
TheVulture TheVulture is offline
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The first guy debuted twelveyears after Rice and was only averaging less than 200 AB a year by age 30, since he sucked so bad and all, and the second guy was batting in the .270-.300 range yearly in the same age range that Dunn has hit lower than .180.

Rice is right, I can't believe anyone is still arguing Dunn should be in the lineup.
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2013, 05:03 PM
TheVulture TheVulture is offline
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Originally Posted by Bobby Thigpen View Post
Ya. No one would have ever struck out as many times as Dunn in Rice's era-

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...deerro01.shtml
This guy debuted ten years after Rice, was out of the majors by age 32, since he struck out so much and hit for a terrible average that still wasn't as terrible as Dunn
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