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  #6681  
Old 30.03.2014, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SteButt View Post
There are only so many good batters though. I think it tends to be at the positions that require quickness and agility such as SS. If you put a big heavy batter there you'd get crucified in the field. Also, your quick athletic types will steal you some bases which your first basemen won't do, and if they have good plate discipline their OBP (on base percentage) may not be that far behind. Plus, catcher is a very specialised and demanding position, a lot of players couldn't play there.
Makes sense, cricket affords the fielding team to "hide" the more cumbersome fielders into positions where the ball is hit to with less frequency on the field. I guess with less fielders there is no such hiding place on a baseball field.
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  #6682  
Old 30.03.2014, 08:52 PM
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Makes sense, cricket affords the fielding team to "hide" the more cumbersome fielders into positions where the ball is hit to with less frequency on the field. I guess with less fielders there is no such hiding place on a baseball field.
1st base is one, your worst fielder will tend to play 1B or, in the AL, at Designated Hitter!
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  #6683  
Old 30.03.2014, 09:00 PM
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1st base is one, your worst fielder will tend to play 1B or, in the AL, at Designated Hitter!
I didn't like the DH rule when I first got into baseball but these days I can see the point of it.
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  #6684  
Old 30.03.2014, 09:17 PM
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I didn't like the DH rule when I first got into baseball but these days I can see the point of it.
If I were to redesign baseball I think I'd just have it that you only had an 8 man lineup, thus removing the DH spot and meaning that pitchers don't have to bat. For me the choice is a battle of two evils, really. Going down to an 8 man lineup gets rid of both, but that will never happen - I think we'll see DH's in the NL at some point.
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  #6685  
Old 30.03.2014, 09:53 PM
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My predictions:

AL East: New York Yankees
AL Central: Cleveland Indians
AL West: Oakland Athletics
AL Wildcards: Red Sox and Tigers
NL East: Washington Nationals
NL Central: St Louis Cardinals
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
NL Wildcards: Giants and Reds
AL Pennant: New York Yankees
NL Pennant: St Louis Cardinals
World Series: Cardinals over Yankees
Worst team: Houston Astros

AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
NL Cy Young: Adam Wainwright
AL Rookie Of The Year: Masahiro Tanaka
NL Rookie Of The Year: Archie Bradley
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  #6686  
Old 30.03.2014, 11:22 PM
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If anyone says Pitchers can't hit a Home Run ignore their opinion right away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM9HBJ8TiTY

Last edited by RedsnBengals; 30.03.2014 at 11:26 PM.
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  #6687  
Old 30.03.2014, 11:24 PM
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AL East - Rays
AL Central - Royals
AL West - Angels
NL East - Braves
NL Central - Cardinals
NL West - Dodgers
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  #6688  
Old 30.03.2014, 11:59 PM
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For those picking the Braves what do you see the Braves have that the Nationals don't?
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  #6689  
Old 31.03.2014, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddenAboutTheDolphins View Post
"Ideally, the batting team hope to get a contribution from the no.6 to no.9 hitters, but this is variable. Often the no.9 hitter is the pitcher (who isn't there for his hitting, and often will bunt) and there may be other hitters who are there more for their fielding than their hitting (traditionally any hitting ability for catchers and shortstops is considered a bonus, rather than a pre-requisite)."

I'm probably going to peeve a lot of baseball fans by comparing it to cricket but as I stated a few pages ago, I'm a "rookie" baseball fan and I find this fascinating with regards to the batting.

Having fielding specialists in baseball is wildly at odds with how cricket works. With cricket, you first have are batting or bowling specialists and then add the fielding string to their bow gradually over time. It seems like such a waste to have only 5 "top order batsmen" and 3 specialist fielders who are not overly proficient at batting in baseball. How come they don't take some good batters and train them into becoming specialist fielders?
The pitchers are always always, by far, the worst hitters on the team. They almost always bat ninth. Very very rarely do they hit a home run and their batting averages are almost always way way worse than all of the positional players. Pitching is a highly specialized skill, totally different than anything else. They're really the stars of the team while they're on the field (they have the ball most of the time and control the game). They don't even work on hitting very much. They basically just focus on pitching. They worry about their defense more than they do hitting.

If they're batting with a man on first or second base and less than 2 outs, they always just try to sacrifice bunt (move up the runners and sacrifice themselves for an out). If there's 2 outs or no one on base, then they have to swing away. Sometimes teams pinch hit for the pitcher (have a backup positional player bat for the pitcher), but then the pitcher has to come out of the game (once a player is subbed out he's totally out of that game for good). So, starting pitchers generally have to bat a few times as they usually are in the game for awhile. If they come out early, then you have to really dig into to your bullpen (relief pitchers), and you can't do that every game when you play everyday; you don't want to wear down your bullpen too much. Relief pitchers rarely bat since they usually only pitch an inning or two, or even less. They're usually pinch hit for.

Catcher and shortstop are the next hardest positions to play so those players tend to be a bit worse hitters than the rest of the starting positional players (but not way worse). And there are exceptions (for example, the St. Louis Cardinals have an excellent hitting shortstop and catcher; their catcher, Molina, hit .319 last year and was third in the entire national league in batting average--Tulowitski for the Colorado Rockies is an excellent power hitting SS). There just aren't that many great fielding shortstops or catchers that are also great hitters. And the few that are are very difficult to get.

The shortstop must be very nimble and spry. He must be able to go right or left very quickly to catch the ball and throw to first base (or second or third or home, but usually first) very well. He does this many times in a game. If you have some big power hitter there, he will have limited range and won't be able to throw it as quickly. So, the other team will get on base way way more often when the ball is hit to the shortstop (and the ball gets hit to the shortstop a lot, usually more than anyone else; he's in the middle of the infield!). He would definitely hurt his team more than he helps, even if he hits amazingly. The other team might even sometimes intentionally hit the ball over there because they see the weakness. It would totally destroy your team. Hitting is important, but stopping hits is even more important. Hitters usually get hot or go on slumps, defense is the backbone, slumps don't usually happen there (or at least they're not near as severe as hitting slumps). So, the shortstop is usually a littler guy that's just pretty good at getting on base, maybe he can steal a bit too. There's very few power hitting shortstops in baseball.

The catcher calls the game. He calls most of the pitches. He constantly is working with the pitcher. He holds runners that are on base. If he's not very good, the base runners are going to steal all the time and your pitching will also suffer. He also has to be good at stopping most wild pitches from getting past him. Otherwise base runners will move up on that all the time too. And he has to do all of this while squatting the entire time. Again, if you just stick some power hitter there, that would totally destroy your pitching and your team. And remember, a player only bats once every 9 times (usually 4 or 5 times a game). A catcher handles every single pitch in the entire game for his team.

Your second baseman is also usually slightly less of a hitter than the rest of the starting positional players. He's usually small and agile too, similar to the shortstop.

Usually power hitters are the corner outfielders and corner infielders: 1B, 3B, LF, and RF, because those positions are easier to play (especially 1B, LF, and RF). CF is the hardest outfield position to play because he has to cover way more territory than the corner outfielders. He has to be fast and quick off his feet, getting good jumps on balls. So, he's usually not a power hitter either (but generally not quite as severe as SS and 2B).

First base is easiest to play because he rarely has to throw the ball. He covers a smaller area that's protected by the foul line on one side; usually he just goes to first base and catches the ball when it comes to him. The third baseman has less ground to cover too because he is also protected by the foul line on one side but he has to field it and then throw it all the way to first base most of the time, so that makes that position much harder than first base; the third baseman must have an excellent arm.

2B and SS often have to run to the ball, then field it, then exchange the ball to their throwing hand, and then throw it accurately on time, all while running (a ripped out guy would obviously not be able to do this very well on a consistent basis). 3B and 1B are generally more reactionary positions. Just reach for the ball, field it, and throw it accurately on time, no running needed (or for the 1B, just walk over to first base and touch it or underhand toss it to the pitcher who should be covering first base in that case). That's the main reason why 2B and SS are so much harder than 3B or 1B. And because they have to cover way more territory (because they're in the middle with no aid of foul lines) so they must have great range, and they usually have to play a bit deeper because of that too. And the SS has a longer throw to first than than the 2B, so he must also have an excellent arm. Also, SSs have to deal with funny angles and bad bounces more often.

And also, SS and C are incredibly difficult positions to play. These positions require years and years of experience. For SSs footwork, positioning, fielding from different angles, throwing accurately on the run, etc. For Cs, knowing how to work with pitchers, calling a game, how to hold base runners on, handling bad pitches, etc. No players ever get transferred there, at least not at the big league level. You have to have been awesome at it from the get-go. Players in the minors often get transferred from there because they're not good enough for those positions, it almost never happens the other way around.

The littler guys (SS, 2B, and CF) usually bat early in the batting order or near the end. Early because, if they're good at getting on base and pretty fast, then hopefully the power hitters in the middle of the batting order will drive them in. Otherwise they bat near the bottom of the order. Catchers usually bat near the bottom of the order. They're usually pretty slow and not as good as hitters as the power hitters. But, again, there are exceptions to this. That's just generally the case.

But on pitchers, they are always bad hitters. Always. They're on a whole other level than the rest of the team, hitting-wise. Hitting-wise they're maybe as good as hitters in the low low minors, if they're lucky. They're basically only used as pinch hitters if the team is totally out of backup positional players.

That's why the American league uses a DH, or designated hitter, (a guy that just hits for the pitcher; he plays no defense at all, just sits there when his team takes the field). That way you don't have a huge hole at the 9th spot in the batting order. It's more offense; it gives you another power hitter (and people love offense, right?). Another supposed good thing about the DH (and I'm not sure this is good), is that it lets old washed up stars from yesteryear that can still hit extend their careers by just DHing and not having to field anymore.

But the down side of the DH is that you now have 10 starting players instead of 9. You don't need to pinch hit very much anymore. You never have to double switch in the American league. You don't use your bench as much. You don't have to worry about what to do about that hole in your batting order anymore. The manager (coach) just makes out the batting order and pulls out the pitchers when he feels like it, since they have nothing to do with the batting order. It's way easier to manage in the American league than the National league.

It's a dumbed down version of baseball. I don't like it. I hope to god they don't put it in the National league. And I don't think they ever will. National league fans don't want the DH. I would recommend watching both styles though. It changes the game a lot.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by 1evan1; 31.03.2014 at 09:24 AM.
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  #6690  
Old 31.03.2014, 09:55 AM
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Thank heavens spring training is over, now to watch some real games. With any luck settle down to some Cubs @ Pirates in the early game.

Maybe this year I could even settle on a team.......
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