Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 9.20.56 AM

Here’s an idea: “Total Baseball”

23 Comments

No, not the old, now-defunct baseball stats and records book I used to so dearly love. But a proposed new scoring system for baseball created by Pat Cunningham of the Rockford Register-Star in Rockford, IL:

There’s nothing complicated about it: Every time a runner reaches a base — be it first, second, third or home — he scores a run. A single or walk with no one aboard counts for one run. A leadoff double counts for two runs. A single that moves a runner from first to third would count for three runs. And a grand-slam homer would count for 10 runs, not just four — and that doesn’t include the scores tallied by the players who were on base before the home run was hit.

Cunningham lays out a scenario where the home team is down four runs entering the botton of the ninth. Instead of a nearly certain loss, a single, a muffed double play and a hit-by-pitch brings them to within a single run! Anticipation! Drama! Excitement!

Silliness of course, and neither I nor Cunningham actually think anyone would adopt it.  But it would be great fun for beer league softball, pickup baseball games, assuming anyone still plays those, or college kids just messing around.

And heck, even if the majors did it, it’s not like the guys we think are the best now would suddenly be at a disadvantage. Just look at the all-time total base leaders. Awesome dudes, all.

Josh Hamilton has knee surgery, out 2-3 months

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Getty Images
3 Comments

Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.

As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:

That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
7 Comments

Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.