It’s been nearly three years since Bryan Stow was seriously injured in an attack outside of Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, but he remains a constant in the hearts and minds of the Giants organization.
According to the Associated Press, Giants third base coach Tim Flannery presented the Stow family with $96,000 over the weekend to help with his medical costs. Stow suffered traumatic injuries and brain damage as a result of the attack and is now being cared for by his parents.
Flannery and his band, the Lunatic Fringe, raised the money during four nights of sold-out concerts in Northern California. Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt donated $25,000 to match Flannery’s initial total while former Giants great Will Clark donated $10,000. All proceeds from Flannery’s latest album will also go to the Stow family.
“I don’t think we could even begin to explain how much the efforts of all the people involved mean to us,” Stow’s sister, Bonnie Stow, wrote in an email Monday. “They’re all busy people, with their own lives going on, yet they take the time to put on these shows to help Bryan. It’s like `thank you’ just isn’t enough. Even when he’s not playing these shows, Tim stays in touch with our family and sends his love to Bryan continuously. He’s amazing.”
Flannery, who has since received a thank you voicemail from Bryan, said he viewed this as “a great opportunity to let the family know that people still are thinking about them.”
Well done to all involved.
“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.