Josh Reddick has hit three home runs through six innings

4 Comments

Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick hitless in 22 plate appearances dating back to July 29. Blue Jays pitching must have been just what the doctor ordered because Reddick has exploded in a big way tonight.

In the top of the third, Reddick smoked a solo home run to left off of Jays starter Esmil Rogers. He hit another solo shot in the top of the fifth against reliever Neil Wagner. The third came in the top of the sixth, a three-run shot off of reliever Juan Perez. As of this writing, the A’s lead the Jays 12-3 entering the seventh.

After hitting 32 long balls last year, Reddick entered tonight with just five in 315 trips to the plate. He will have at least one more opportunity to go for his fourth homer of the night, a feat accomplished by just 16 players in baseball history. Josh Hamilton, now with the Angels, did it last year as a member of the Rangers on May 8 against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Update: Reddick grounded out to second in the eighth. Unless the Athletics put together a heck of an offensive rally in the ninth, he won’t get another shot to go for #4. Nevertheless, Reddick has had a great night.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

Getty Images
3 Comments

The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.

Hey kids: don’t swing a weighted bat in the on deck circle

3 Comments

Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s about some studies of hitters who use weighted bats or doughnuts on their bats in the on deck circle. Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, using a weighted bat for practice hacks does not speed up one’s swing when one uses a naked bat in the batter’s box. In fact, it slows it down.

There are lots of caveats here. The sample size in the studies are small and they all involve college and high school players, not big leaguers. The results, however, are consistent with previous studies and they do make some intuitive sense. This is particularly the case with batting doughnuts, which add weight to a very concentrated portion of the bat, thereby changing the center of gravity and thus the swing mechanics of the hitter.

Whether this is applicable at large or to higher level hitters or not, I still find it kind of neat. I always like it when people scrutinize ingrained habits and ask whether or not that thing we’ve always done is, in fact, worth doing.