Ask Nick?

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about Will Middlebrooks and his attitude toward taking a walk, or rather his disinclination toward taking a walk.

In the ask Nick Cafardo section of the Boston Globe a question about Middlebrooks came up:

What’s up with Will Middlebrooks? He looks awful at bat — very uncomfortable. And his contact is very weak. I don’t know how to square what I’ve been seeing the past week with the multiple home run game earlier. What do you think?

Tom, Middlebury, Vt.

This question was asked prior to Middlebrooks’s three-run homer Monday, but he’s a guy in his second year and pitchers are definitely not giving him much to hit after a good rookie season. All players have to make major adjustments as they go along to remain good hitters, and Middlebrooks is going through his growing pains.

Really? This is the best Cafardo could do? Pitchers aren’t giving him anything to hit and he is going through growing pains? That is such a cop out. Cafardo, who is supposed to know a lot about baseball, couldn’t call a spade a spade? He couldn’t say “Middlebrooks’ needs to learn to develop a more discerning eye and stop swinging at pitches that aren’t strikes. Until he learns to take a walk, pitcher’s aren’t going to give him much good to hit. He might occasionally get a mistake pitch like his three run homer yesterday, but for the most part he will continue to struggle until he learns the strike zone. ”

Now, that might upset Middlebrooks and Cafardo might not get the juicy inside tidbits (sarcasm here) he’d like that make up some of the silly reporting we get about the team. It is this type of “reporting” that diminishes the Globe as a news outlet. Dumbing down your paper won’t lead to more advertising revenue, it just leads to a dumber paper, which is where the Globe finds itself these days. Shame on the Globe for publishing such stupidity. This is not to say the Globe doesn’t do any good reporting. I find its Spotlight series really good, but its sports reporting and some of the other drivel it puts on the front page are not really worthy of being published.

I hardly ever read this ask Nick drivel so after stumbling upon this, I had to see if there was anything worthwhile. My conclusion was “not much.”  Other ask Nick’s are nearly as stupid.

Can you tell us more about the strike zone that appears on the screen on NESN with each pitch? Is it customized for each batter or is it a one-size-fits-all template? That could explain some of the frequent differences between the display and the umpire’s call.

Larry, Wakefield

Umpires tell me that the “Amica strike zone” isn’t accurate. There are pitches that land outside the zone that look to be balls, but umpires call strikes on pitches that cross the plate as strikes. 

Nick asks some umpires and they say it isn’t accurate? That is reporting? How about actually finding out what the Amica strike zone is and how it compares to QuesTech, the technology used by MLB? A quick google search shows me there is not much on the QuesTech system or the Amica strike zone. Seems like this might actually be something worth reporting on rather then just saying “Umpires say Amica strike zone is not accurate.”

Why didn’t Carp start the game the other day? Why didn’t he hit for Gomes with the bases loaded? Farrell is a little better than Francona in putting his team in the best position to win at each crucial decision, and he certainly knows how to handle the pitching staff (exception: leaving Aceves in too long).

Larry, Encinitas, Calif.

Good question. I thought the same thing. I think Farrell wanted to avoid them bringing in the lefty if I can recall the situation correctly.

Come on. Cafardo is a beat reporter for the Red Sox, but didn’t bother to ask the manager about this even though he wondered about it? He just figured he’d make some guess about why Farrell didn’t bring in Carp to pinch hit? This is pathetic.

I could go on with other examples from this one ask Nick, but you get the point. The bar on baseball reporting has gotten pretty low. Shame on the Globe for filling space with such nonsense.


One thought on “Ask Nick?

  1. Marc Ducharme

    Though it pains me to say anything nice about the “Rem-dog” because he spends most telecasts being just plain silly and offering little if any insight, he did report Farrell’s assessment that Middlebrooks needs to start swinging at strikes.


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