Monday, May 21, 2007

Andruw Jones tells us about bad days

andruw jones Andruw Jones, as you are probably aware, is one of the better fielding center fielders of his day. As you may also be aware, he swings a pretty big stick. In fact, in 2005 he hit 51 HR, followed by 41 in 2006. He is also from the Netherlands. Doesn't that make him a Euro?

But Andruw is having a problem lately. He's beginning to enter the Adam Dunn K-Zone. On Sunday night, Andruw went 0-5 against the Red Sox. Generally what you might consider to be a "bad day" at the plate. What made it worse was that Andruw struck out all 5 times. By comparison, the entire Red Sox team struck out 3 times. Basically, his day was a disaster. Hindenburg-type disaster. Throughout his 5 K's, he took a grand total of 5 balls, and swung at at least one ball clearly out of the zone, (one in the dirt,) in three of those five at bats. Andruw has always had a propensity towards the windmill. But right now he has 51 K's in 156 AB's. Which is, really, not acceptable.

Tomorrow night, Jones will trot out his shiny .212 batting average. That means he's just a couple bad games away from the Mendoza Line. Is he upset about all this? Not in the slightest. "I swing the bat the way I want to swing, the way I swing it all the time. So some days you're going to have bad days, and some days you're going to have good days." That's denial. Andruw knows he needs to step it up a bit, and so do the reporters. There's no use acting like a defiant 2nd grader about it. You're not fooling anybody. And, quite frankly, five strikeouts isn't a 'bad day'. Especially when the last one comes as the last out of the game, when you represent the tying run for your team.

Continuing on that note of the Braves, Tim Hudson had an equally awful day at Fenway. Huddy went just 4.2 innings, giving up 8 hits, 2 walks, and 6 earned runs. Three of those runs were the result of a 2-out, 2-strikes, bases loaded triple by, who else, but Jason Varitek. It was Jason's 11th triple in 10 major league seasons. Varitek then scored for a 4-run 1st inning. In the 2nd, a runner reached base on a fielder's choice, better known as botched double play by Martin Prado, who had just come up from AAA. The 2nd would have ended there; unfortunately, it didn't, and 'unturned double plays' can't be counted as errors. That runner then scored. That's 5 runs through the first 2 innings. Finally, Hudson gave up a 'blast' to Kevin Youkilis - a 303ft blast, which wouldn't have been a HR had the game been played in my backyard. So, had Huddy's cutter actually cut on Varitek, Prado turned that double play, and if not for the World's Shortest Porch in Right Field, Huddy continues on without giving up a single run. Revisionist history, yes. But proof that Hudson didn't just turn bad suddenly. I'm pretty confident that he's still in for a good season.

Finally, an interesting story. One of my friends broke her foot jumping up in down in celebration after the end of the semester. Which reminded me of a good story from a few years back. You know how, when you're a little leaguer, you have that dream of hitting a game-winning grand slam? I mean, what could be better, right? Well, AAA 1B Tagg Bozied was living the dream. Game winning grand slam, and ferocious victory trot around the bases. Maybe a little too ferocious, in fact. As Tagg jumped up to stomp on home plate, "I saw my kneecap pushed up into my quads," and suddenly the dream became the nightmare. The pain was so tremendous that he blacked out in midair and woke up in a hospital bed, out for the season with a ruptured patellar tendon. This basically causes the patella to move up towards the thigh, as its lost its anchoring to the tibia. Yup. Pretty painful. The question is, how can you achieve one the most athletically difficult feats in all of baseball, but still be enough of a spaz to shred your knee in celebration?

Alright guys. Time to step it up in the comments. In the last 6 posts we have 2 comments. I know the writing hasn't been spectacular, but c'mon. All you need is a quick flip. "Hey man, you don't know what you're talking about." That works. See you guys soon.

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