baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Observations

I never thought I would say this, but I almost feel sorry for Alex Rodriguez. Here is an interesting set of statistics (RISP=running in scoring position):

RISP w/2 Outs: AB Hits RBI Ave.  bbOBA  SLG   OPS
Alex Rodriguez   53  13    18    .245    .452    .415   .867
David Wright b    66   15    26    .227    .363   .409   .772

In Flushing, David Wright is a MVP candidate, beloved by the fans, and a perennial All-Star third baseman. Over in the Bronx, Alex Rodriguez is also a perennial All-Star third baseman, but is constantly booed, and is the face of the "underachieving" Yankees. 

Rodriguez, like Wright, is struggling in clutch situations, but his extremely high on base average also indicates that pitchers aren't giving him anything to hit. If he ever becomes willing to take the walks in those situations, his numbers, and his teams', will improve.

Season: bb AB Hits  RBI  Ave. OBA SLG OPS
Alex Rodriguez 423 130   79 .307 .395 .579 .974
David Wright b 520 152 100 .292 .385 .515 .900

I have been watching David Wright the past few days in clutch situations, and he really seems to be pressing, just like ARod. Wright's excellent behavior and relatively low salary give him a pass from the criticism that ARod has to deal with all the time. Poor, poor, rich ARod. Maybe he can find solace in the Kabbalah.

Right now, David Wright is more clutch defensively than offensively. He is playing an exceptional third base these days, and deserves another Gold Glove (more than the one he got last year).

As for the Mets, the obvious team and maybe NL MVP is Carlos Delgado. Another sentence I can't believe I'm writing! I've never seen a turnaround like his, in all my baseball watching life. And it is another reminder that baseball is not about brute strength, because Delgado was hitting some monster homeruns even while he was struggling terribly. 

No, baseball is about timing, agility, balance, and confidence, as much as strength and speed. Delgado somehow found his happy zone, in spite of half of New York (including me, unfortunately) wanting him out of town on the next subway. Truly Amazin'!

As the season reaches its final month, the big questions are: 

Can the Red Sox catch some Rays with an injured Josh Beckett, J. D. Drew, Julio Lugo, and Sean Casey? I say yes, but just barely. 

Can the Mets stay gritty enough to hold off the Phillies? Can Jon Niese help?

Can the Rockies make another miracle run? They are only six games behind Arizona, with a whole month to play.

Who will end up on top in the crazy AL Central, White Sox or Twins? If it's the Twins, Ron Gardenhire should get the Manager of the Year award in addition to Joe Maddon.

Caroms off the wall

If the Cubs do end up meeting the Los Angeles de Anaheim in the World Series, it would be fitting. The Cubs will need to defeat the representatives of the heavens to end their curse! And it is odd that the Rays are doing so well now that they have lost the Devils from their name. As usual, the baseball gods are rolling down heavenly hills, laughing their heads off.

©  Judy Kamilhor  2008


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