After a pretty nondescript career spent mostly in the minor leagues, San Francisco outfielder Andres Torres became a key player in the Giants’ championship run last season.
Torres put up a .268/.343/.479 line, stole 26 bases and played fine defense at all three outfield positions. In August, it was revealed that Torres suffered from attention deficit disorder (ADD), a condition he was diagnosed with in 2002 but ignored until 2007. When he started taking medication, he started to focus better and improve.
In December, Torres revealed that he would be the subject of a documentary focused on his life, including both his condition and his rise from poverty in Puerto Rico.
“It’s about giving kids hope and never giving up,” Torres said of the film project. “You have to keep working hard. I want to be something positive, especially for kids with ADD. It’s a message for the kids.”
The film, called “Gigante,” is scheduled to be released in July, but there is a trailer out now, and it looks pretty interesting. Check it out below.
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“Work fast and throw strikes” has long been the top conventional wisdom for those preaching pitching success. The “work fast” part of that has increasingly gone by the wayside, however, as pitchers take more and more time to throw pitches in an effort to max out their effort and, thus, their velocity with each pitch.
Now, as Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer reports, the “throw strikes” part of it is going out of style too:
Pitchers are throwing fewer pitches inside the strike zone than ever previously recorded . . . A decade ago, more than half of all pitches ended up in the strike zone. Today, that rate has fallen below 47 percent.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Most notable among them, Lindbergh says, being pitchers’ increasing reliance on curves, sliders and splitters as primary pitches, with said pitches not being in the zone by design. Lindbergh doesn’t mention it, but I’d guess that an increased emphasis on catchers’ framing plays a role too, with teams increasingly selecting for catchers who can turn balls that are actually out of the zone into strikes. If you have one of those beasts, why bother throwing something directly over the plate?
There is an unintended downside to all of this: a lack of action. As Lindbergh notes — and as you’ve not doubt noticed while watching games — there are more walks and strikeouts, there is more weak contact from guys chasing bad pitches and, as a result, games and at bats are going longer.
As always, such insights are interesting. As is so often the case these days, however, such insights serve as an unpleasant reminder of why the on-field product is so unsatisfying in so many ways in recent years.