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 Post subject: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:32 pm 
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A pitcher leading off an inning with a basehit, a double no less? I don't believe it. That's a disgrace! I hate to see that. I want to see real baseball. I want to see some fifty year old designated hitter out there. Chilli Davis still needs to be playing ball. What a disgrace!

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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:03 pm 
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You like that slow pitch softball rule Corsair? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:08 pm 
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I live in an American League city and I despise the DH with all my being. My co-workers tell me that pitchers should never bat. Worse yet, Cleveland radio sports talk hosts AND Indians announcers are all in agreement on this as well. They say the National League should have the DH by now.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:12 pm 
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If you don't play the field you don't get to bat.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:48 pm 
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I like that logic Ralphie.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Ollie wrote:
I live in an American League city and I despise the DH with all my being. My co-workers tell me that pitchers should never bat. Worse yet, Cleveland radio sports talk hosts AND Indians announcers are all in agreement on this as well. They say the National League should have the DH by now.


It should be the other way round - AL should have dropped the DH by now. I guess it was only invented when that league first started, just to make it different - a marketing ploy. Now it is an anachronism.

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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:49 pm 
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Bertie wrote:
Ollie wrote:
I live in an American League city and I despise the DH with all my being. My co-workers tell me that pitchers should never bat. Worse yet, Cleveland radio sports talk hosts AND Indians announcers are all in agreement on this as well. They say the National League should have the DH by now.


It should be the other way round - AL should have dropped the DH by now. I guess it was only invented when that league first started, just to make it different - a marketing ploy. Now it is an anachronism.


I'd hardly call it an anachronism, seeing as there are serious MVP candidates every year that are DHs.

I'm morally opposed to the DH (I also think you should have to play the field in order to bat) but prefer it from an entertainment standpoint. Watching pitchers half-heartedly wave and miss at three straight fastballs to end a rally is just not fun. That said, AL managers get off easy.

For what it's worth, the players union will never, ever allow the DH to go away. Too many vets extend their careers with the DH for the "position" to be eliminated. It might mean fewer jobs for young kids who can actually play the field, but those players aren't the ones calling the shots for the union.

Also, who went back in time to 2005 and brought back Zach Duke? And what did they do with his 2009 version? Is he tied up somewhere?


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:55 pm 
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I hate the DH. As Az and I can attest, coming up through youth baseball, pitchers were always the best hitters. Working on the two very different skills is so difficult that hitting suffers as the pitchers work their way up the ranks.

However, it is so important for pitchers to have hit, and hit against good pitching, since the lessons learned translate on the mound very well. Son knows how hitters think, since he has always been a very good hitter, against even tough pitching.

Son would watch pitchers to see if they tipped their pitches. Plenty of pitchers re-grip the ball on breaking balls, for example. Good hitters notice this.

Son would get a guy 0-2, then "fake" re-grip the ball. He would then throw a high fastball. Many were expecting a breaking ball and would swing at the last second to protect the plate, having been completely duped. Lots of weak pop-ups and K's resulted.

Son knew to do the "fake re-grip" because of his experience as a hitter. He is a better pitcher because he was a hitter.

So, I agree completely, the DH sucks big time. I must note, however, that son does not protest being DH'ed for when he pitches. He says it allows him to focus on his pitching and not worry about hitting and base running. I offer this in the spirit of full disclosure.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:14 am 
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If you want to make it fair, have the pitcher hit and also use the dh.
Still need 27 outs to win the game.

Alot of these dh's would be glorified pinch hitters, or platoon players if they didn't have the comfort not to need a glove.

How effective would Griffey, Ortiz, Thome, and Vladamir Guererro (he runs like he has a full load in his pants), if they were expected to take the field for 9 innings in exchange for 4 ab's.

Shouldn't have 2 sets of rules for the leagues.

Either both leagues use it, or neither does.

Still think a starting lineup of 10 batters(the nine fielders, and a Dh,) is the fairest way to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:53 am 
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jaybee24 wrote:
Also, who went back in time to 2005 and brought back Zach Duke? And what did they do with his 2009 version? Is he tied up somewhere?


I'm not sure of his name but he was driving a Delorean...


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Son would watch pitchers to see if they tipped their pitches. Plenty of pitchers re-grip the ball on breaking balls, for example. Good hitters notice this.


That's just good heads-up baseball and an example of what everyone in the dugout should be doing when they are not hitting. Back in my playing days, we took advantage of this quite often. When I caught, in addition to having signals for fastball, curve, etc. I had a signal for what you call the "fake" re-grip along with the call for the pitcher to shake me off even though I had not called for a pitch. It can be very confusing to a hitter who is expecting a 2-2 fastball to have a pitcher appear to shake off the catcher 2-3 times. Just part of the game; getting in the hitter's head. Keep him off-balance; never let him feel comfortable.

However, I have to point out something here. I seem to recall you taking issue with the notion that it is part of the game to steal a catcher's signs. I also seem to recall you using some pretty strong language about those involved in stealing a catcher's signs. I'm having a hard time distinguishing between a team which notices that a pitcher is tipping his pitches to gain an advantage at the plate and a team that is stealing a catcher's signs to gain an advantage at the plate. In both instances, your opponent is not protecting itself. If a team should "look the other way" when a catcher is essentially advertising the pitch call, wouldn't it be consistent to "look the other way" if a pitcher is tipping his pitches? Ju

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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Duke's velocity is not quite what it was in 2005. That year, he was hitting 92-93 numerous times per game, and was sitting at 90 mph for the majority of his starts.

This year, he is at 86-90 mph and occasionally reaches 91 mph. His average velocity is down just a tick, but his control thus far has been so good that he is very tough to hit. He is throwing the 2-seam down around the knees. The pitch is in the strike zone, so hitters have to swing at some point, particularly when they fall behind in the count. The result is ground balls.

Also, Duke was pounding the inside corner. Maholm does the same thing. Watching the game, Duke went to the inside corner about 25 times and was not hurt by such pitch at any point during the game. He froze Berkman for a K on the inside corner, and was living on the inside corner in the 9th inning. He sawed off two guys, resulting in a dribbler to second and a grounder to short.

By pounding the inside corner, he is able to keep the batters from leaning over the plate and smoking the outside corner. It is a big, big deal. We so often hear about the importance of throwing inside, and the Pirates starting staff - the same one basically that was dreadful last year - is showing just how important it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:14 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
However, I have to point out something here. I seem to recall you taking issue with the notion that it is part of the game to steal a catcher's signs. I also seem to recall you using some pretty strong language about those involved in stealing a catcher's signs.

For 10-12 year old kids? Not okay. For professional ball players? No problem.

I made that pretty clear in the discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Duke's velocity is not quite what it was in 2005. That year, he was hitting 92-93 numerous times per game, and was sitting at 90 mph for the majority of his starts.

This year, he is at 86-90 mph and occasionally reaches 91 mph...


Yes, but is that simply a function of early season? And, can we expect 92-93 come June?

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:31 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Yes, but is that simply a function of early season? And, can we expect 92-93 come June?

ZM


I don't have a definitive answer for either question, but I will say this, inside heat is always perceived by the hitter to be faster than it really is. I have to think that is a big part of Duke's early success, despite the lower velocities.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:43 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Yes, but is that simply a function of early season? And, can we expect 92-93 come June?

ZM

Could be. When weather warms up, pitcher's velocity goes up a bit. Duke can and will win when dealing at 86-90 mph, however, so it does not really matter. That is because he has a good change at 81 mph (8 mph difference), a good curve, and he can locate the fastball inside and outside this year.

By throwing 3 pitches for strikes, and putting the fastball in different locations, he makes the hitters uncomfortable. The reason that scouts love velocity is that it makes hitters uncomfortable, but there is more than 1 way to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:45 pm 
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Argentum wrote:
I don't have a definitive answer for either question, but I will say this, inside heat is always perceived by the hitter to be faster than it really is. I have to think that is a big part of Duke's early success, despite the lower velocities.

Absolutely. That is especially true when a hitter is looking for a pitch away. When the fastball comes buzzing in at the knuckles, the hitter struggles to do anything with it other than break his bat on a roller to SS or 2B.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:04 pm 
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No. 9:

Back to your question. I also pointed out that mature players protect against sign stealing any number of ways, including calling for a curve (per the signs up to that point) and instead throwing a fastball up and in. That teaches the base runner and hitter to be damn careful.

I cannot accept the thought that a 12-year old would employ that tactic. Therefore, the sign stealing does not have a "prevent" mechanism for young players.

And the instance of sign stealing involving son was because the catcher was not coverning up the sign properly, so the opponent's coach in the third base box was stealing the signs and relaying them to the batter. Catcher then had to employ an indicator to hide the signs.

Even after he did that, the coach was still calling out what he thought the pitch was. He was literally saying, "curve ball" when son was not throwing a curve. He was throwing 2-seam, 4-seam and change. So, he calls "curve" and I know that this could be ugly. Sure enough, it was a fastball inside corner and the hitter is sprawled out after the pitch.

It turns out that this coach, by the way, told his pitchers in the next game that they had a sign for throwing at batters. That game, the other pitcher hit two kids in the head, and tried to hit son but could not. Son dodged 3 such pitches but it was clear to all what was going on.

After the second kid was hit in the helmet, the base umpire ran in, called time, and said he had seen the sign for hitting the batter. (The sign was "the bird.") The home plate umpire talked to the pitcher and catcher, and they confirmed that the sign-stealer was calling for the pitcher to throw at 13-year old hitters. 'The sign-stealer was booted from the game.

So, that guy was stealing signs. Forgive me if I do not find that part of the sport at that age. But hey, you and the guy calling for young pitchers to throw at the batter are on the same page.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:36 pm 
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I have never been a proponent of stealing signs. All it takes is one mistake and the hitter loses the trust that the coach will relay the right sign.


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 Post subject: Re: Zach Duke in the fifth (AKA a rite of Spring)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:49 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
I have never been a proponent of stealing signs. All it takes is one mistake and the hitter loses the trust that the coach will relay the right sign.

And it creates the danger of a hitter leaning over the plate for a breaking ball when the pitch is a fastball on the inner half. Or the pitcher just misses location, where the hitter is looking outside corner and the pitch runs inside.

The better way to teach players is to have them learn to read the spin on the ball. Hundreds of fastballs and breaking balls thrown in practice, including whiffle balls with seams painted on them. Hitters learn to read pitches, and learn where a breaking pitch will wind up.

The hitter is prepared for any pitcher. He is not dependent on somebody stealing signs for him.


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