Sunday, April 11, 2010

Can I Quote You on That?

Guys who can field you can shake out of any old tree. Find me guys who can hit. – Rogers Hornsby

Hmmm. Maybe Rogers Hornsby needs to have a short chat with Theo Epstein.

Although, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that Hornsby was one of the great hitter of his, or any, era. Of course he’d think that what he excelled in should be more important than other areas. But, the man has a point.

What he didn’t say was that guys who could field exceptionally you can shake out of any tree. Adequate fielders are all over the place. Most any guy playing Major League Baseball can get to most any ball hit towards his position. Even David Ortiz can snag most balls hit in the first base area. Think of your average infielder. How many times does he really need to run 10 steps to get to a ball? Not very often. How about the outfield? Think of Jacoby in left. Then think of Manny in left. Now, think of a Red Sox game. How many balls during a game does Jacoby’s defense make a difference? Is it even 1? Don’t get me wrong…every out counts. But, you can see Hornsby’s point. “Fielders” are everywhere. “Great fielders” might not be. Although, the same is probably true with hitters. “Hitters” abound, in the ranks of MLB at least. “Great hitters” are rare. I always thought, though, that I could be an adequate major league fielder. I can move well enough that I could get to most balls at, say, second base. I could probably cover enough ground to get to quite a few balls in left field. I have no hope, however, of making contact with a major league pitch. Maybe that’s what Rogers had in mind. Every neighborhood in America probably has people who could play defensively in the majors. It’s harder to find guys who can hit.

Which is why guys who can do both are so valuable.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What people are reading this week