Most of the time, this is what being a Philadelphia sports fan is about. Getting close.
Front office builds a team that *can* win a championship. In a certain set of circumstances. And they don’t. Because another team is more completely built.
There are three rough areas you can build a baseball team around, with a minor in one of the areas. Good pitching. Good defense. Good hitting. And some people think that Good hitting means Home Run Hitting. But it doesn’t. And that’s where problems occur.
The Phillies defense seems to be pretty good, but not spectacular. Certainly not Rollins/Utley good. Way below Schmidt/Bowa/Trillo levels. There seems to be an over reliance on “The Shift” that screws infielders, but good players don’t need a shift. I said it.
I don’t know where the change was, but Maddox and McBride and even Luszinzki seemed a lot more smooth in the outfield than current players. I had expected things to get smoother, but they didn’t. If it isn’t hit *to* the player, it looks like an adventure out there in the outfield.
Good hitting went out the window when we started accepting a lead off hitter with a below .300 average. I can’t fault teams loading for bear and Home Runs given that the best leadoff guys are giving us a .325 average? In 1993, multiple batters were flirting with .400. Don’t get me started on Tony Gwinn.
As part of hitting comes home runs. And sometimes, teams think home runs are the best way to win. But as good as Mike Schmidt was, his lifetime batting average was only .267.
If you want to know what is wrong with baseball right now, it’s the fact that Mike Schmidt’s lifetime batting average is now among the best lead off hitter averages.
I don’t know what the rule changes were that allowed this, but it’s not a great game at the moment. Separated from me wanting the Phillies to win the World Series.
Baseball is not what it was. I once believed Baseball was unchanging, but not so much, now.
What do you think? Am I just totally old fashioned? Where was the change?
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