Last year Ruben Amaro said he didn’t care about walks, he cared about production. Maybe his apparent indifference to them is based on his failure to understand how they work.
That’s the takeaway from an appearance he made on the air during yesterday’s Phillies game. He was talking about how Jimmy Rollins is about to pass Mike Schmidt as the all-time Phillies hit leader. Amaro noted that Schmidt had nearly 900 more plate appearances than Rollins yet, magically, their batting averages aren’t very different despite the identical hit totals. The transcript of his comments via Crossing Broad:
“Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”
One would think that how walks, plate appearances and at bats interact would some something within the comprehension of a major league general manager, but maybe Amaro is more of a big picture guy and he leaves that complex stuff to subordinates.
In reality: I fail to believe that a major league GM doesn’t understand how walks affect at bat totals. I TOTALLY believe that Amaro would say such a thing to drive Phillies fans crazy, though. He’s the GM most likely to troll people, and it’s not even close.
Anyway, here’s the audio. Listen to the commentary added by Kyle from Crossing Broad at the end:
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.
I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.
Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.
They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.
As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.
Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.