Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tricky Ricky


By

Image courtesy of Daylife
The day after one of the most prolific Blue Jays in team history threw a perfect game for his new team, maybe some of Roy Halladay's magic rubbed off on another Blue Jays starter.

Ricky Romero tossed a six-hit gem going the distance for the complete game victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Romero now joins Shaun Marcum and Brett Cecil as the third five-game winner on the pitching staff.

Me Love You Long Ball

Romero's teammates gave him six runs in support, three coming via the long ball. That now ups the Blue Jays total to 53 home runs in the month of June. One of them was off the bat of Jose Bautista, which now ties him for the club lead for home runs in a month with 12.

Personally, I'm hoping that Bautista hits another home run to break the record and the Bautista Appreciation Society will collectively be on pins and needles tomorrow night in anticipation.

Dwayne Murphy opens mouth ... and inserts foot

There was a bit of troubling news concerning hitting coach Dwayne Murphy from earlier today. I didn't see the clip myself, but apparently in his pre-game interview with Sam Cossentino, Murphy said something along the lines of "OBP is overrated" and "AVG doesn't matter".

That's just paraphrasing what I heard, so forgive me if I butchered the quote ... but isn't that kind of thing to be extremely concerned about coming out of the mouth from a hitting coach?

That would be like pitching coach Bruce Walton saying "ERA is overrated" or "Walks Smalks".

It's kind of a convenient quote coming from the pitching coach of the team with the third worst team batting average and the second worse on base percentage in the league.

There's no denying the Toronto Blue Jays have a ton of power and the long ball is going a long way to helping them win games - but how long can this power surge possibly last?

Eventually, they are going to have to start drawing more walks and driving in runs in other ways than just clearing the fence.

7 comments:

  1. Well, while him saying OBP is overrated is concerning, at least he did include that average means nothing. You're probably going to score more runs by focusing on power as opposed to batting average.

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  2. Very true, but imagine how many more runs the Jays could be scoring if they had even just one guy on the bases when they hit all of these home runs. I'm tempted to look into what percentage of their home runs have been solo shots.

    I just thought Murphy's comments were very strange coming from a hitting coach. Shouldn't they be preaching the importance of on base percentage and batting average, not swinging for the fences every at bat?

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  3. I haven't seen the exact quote, but if you have phrased it accurately I don't think it is that alarming.

    He said OBP is overrated, he didn't say that it isn't important. Maybe he is alluding to the fact that some people have begun to live and die by this stat (cough cough JB on DJF).

    If he was saying that both AVG and OBP are trivial, he wouldn't have made a distinction between them (OBP = overrated while AVG = doesn't matter).

    Of course this is just my idle speculation on the wording. I'm not going to get my undies in a twist over it. What is the single season home run record for a team? Are we on track to challenge it?

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  4. To answer my own question, the record is 264 by the 1997 Mariners. At our current pace we are set to hit 274.

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  5. Matt_CC, it's hard to say - I didn't see the clip itself, so maybe I was taking the quote of of context.

    But if it's true, I just find it a little concerning that a hitting coach would say that. I don't believe statheads should live and die by one stat in particular (like OBP), but some are more useful than others when trying to determine a hitter's strengths and weaknesses.

    And thanks for looking up that HR in a season stat. I'm not sure if the Blue Jays can keep up the current pace, but they're sure making things entertaining!

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  6. Agreed Ian, OBP is definitely an important and useful stat. I am merely observing that saying a stat is overrated does not necessarily equate to saying it is not significant.

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  7. Good point, Matt. But I'm sure if Bill James got wind of what Dwayne Murphy said, it would make his head spin.

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