The Sox lost 13-0 last night in a rain drenched shellacking. I didn’t go. I couldn’t bring myself, after sitting through the cold the night before, to sit through three hours of drenching rain. I’m glad I didn’t. Watching Alfredo Aceves on a warm day is torture enough. Watching him while wet and cold would have sent me over the edge, not to mention what his four walks and two balks would have done to my mental health. Last night’s game is past. I’ve forgotten it.
This morning, I stumbled on this piece by Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald about Will Middlebrooks. Will, it seems, has no love for taking a walk. That is a bit surprising given what I thought I knew about the Red Sox philosophy about getting on base. Here is Will talking about his plate approach:
“I’m not there to walk. I’m not there to take pitches. If it’s close, I’m going to try to hit into the lights. That’s my job. I’ve never been a guy to walk,’’ said Middlebrooks, who has 20 home runs, 94 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 93 career games. “I’ve always been a guy with strikeouts, and that comes along with hitting for power I think. It’s not for everyone, of course, but for the most part, guys who hit for power, they’re not trying to poke the ball through a hole.
“Obviously, certain situations will dictate when I should do that, but for the most part, I’m trying to hit doubles and homers. I’m not going to sugarcoat that for you. I’m trying to hit homers. I’m trying to hit the ball hard.’’
I wonder if Will expects to have a long career?
I did a little digging on third basemen with low on base percentages. There were 85 players since 1901 to play third base, have fewer then 1000 ABs, and have an on base percentage below .300. Here are just a few you might recognize:
- Aurelio Rodriguez
- Dean Palmer
- Mike Moustakas
- Charlie Hayes
- Butch Hobson
- Matt Williams
- Aramis Ramirez
- Scott Coolbaugh
- Phil Hiatt
Not a very comforting list for someone who hopes to have a long and distinguished career. If we expand the criteria to third basemen with a career on base percentage below .320, more then 100 HRs and more then 500 games played (players that most likely lasted at least four years in the majors) we get a list of 25 players:
|17||Jim Ray Hart||170||.345||1125|
Unfortunately, I don’t see him heading in this direction. I expect we’ll see a lot of hot and cold stretches from Middlebrooks, with more cold then hot. I didn’t expect to see Butch Hobson again, but I guess I was wrong.