Morgan Ensberg is blogging....and it is amazing.
He goes into detail about situations and what big leaguers are thinking and doing.
I'm not kidding that it might just be the most interesting baseball blog I have ever read, and he just started it.
Morgan Ensberg's Baseball IQ
Here are two of his fascinating posts:
How to Hit a Batter: Zito vs Fielder
Did Barry Zito send a message to Prince Fielder or to his Giants teammates?
What’s My Point?
Barry Zito did hit Prince Fielder because of the walk–off home run. But I believe he is sending a message to the league that the Giants care about how the game is played. I also think that Zito is teaching his young pitching staff how to hit a batter.
Why does it matter?
- The Giants have a team that can win the NL West and Zito knows it. The pitching staff is young, but Zito knows that opposing players take notice if they know that a pitching staff is willing to protect their teammates or the game.
- There is no better way for a pitcher to get position players on your side then to hit an opposing player. Even though this was not retaliation because of a Giants batter being hit, it still proves that any perceived disrespectful action will be handled with a message pitch. This is HUGE.
- A player looks, yells, or points at an opposing player clearly showing that the game is secondary to making his point.
- A player slides hard into a base late or with their spikes high where the result is not to break up a play, but to hurt the opposing player.
- Any action that a player makes that causes fans to look at them instead of the play. This could include hitting a home run and standing there too long or throwing your bat high in the air while you are watching the ball go over the fence.
- If the opposing pitcher throws around a player’s head more than once. (Once can be assumed that the ball just got away)
- If opposing team hits your 3rd, 4th, 5th hitter, or best player with a fastball in the middle of the back with the 1st pitch.
Most important!!!!! 2 outs! Your team is winning by 4 runs or more. Why? After you hit this guy, the opposing team is going to be mad and you just gave them a motivator to fight back. Also, winning the game is the top priority. We will not give the opposing team a legitimate statistical chance of winning because of it. The reason it is 4 runs is because that is the most runs possible with one swing of the bat.
MATH:Try and hit him in the RIBS not the back, butt, legs…with a 4 seemed fastball. This is the only real way to send a message. I have been hit countless times in the back by a 2-seamed fastball and never once am I sure I was hit on purpose. Of course, I must have been, but since the ball was sinking into me I assumed he just missed.
In 2009 the MLB On Base Percentage Avg was .333.
In 2009 the chance of hitting a Home run was 0.03
So the probability of 3 men getting on base in a row are 1/3 x 1/3 x 1/3 = 1/27 or 0.037
We multiply 0.037 (chance of loading the bases) x 0.03 (chance a person hits a hr) = 0.001 or 0.1% (one tenth of a percent)
Now you have to understand that I am using overall 2009 Stats and this is not taking into consideration anything but the “absolute” numbers.
Obviously a power hitter has a better chance of hitting a home run vs. a power hitter who is playing hurt. You get my drift.
This math problem is to give you a general understanding of probability.
All you SABR guys can cool off now.
Once you hit him, you don’t look at him, you don’t talk to him, you don’t walk towards the batter, you don’t look at the umpire and throw your hands up as if it got away, you don’t argue with the umpire. If you get thrown out you walk off the field…message sent. If you do any of the actions mentioned you have switched the focus from sending a message to saying you “didn’t mean it” which is opposite of your point. You want the opposing team to know you did it on purpose.
You do not hit a batter because he “owns” you. You don’t hit a batter because you don’t like him.
I Believe Milton Bradley
I believe the fans at Wrigley gave Milton a hard time and maybe it was deserved, but at least 3 of those fans crossed the line.
Why Does it Matter?
I don’t hear one person coming to his defense and that tells me something isn’t right. I believe the Cubs tried as hard as they could to make him feel welcome. But I haven’t heard one quote saying it was possible that a fan crossed the line.
It has been well documented that Milton received treatment for anger management. But fans don’t care. They think, “Hey, he is a millionaire and a jerk. Watch this, I am going to yell at him until he snaps. It’ll be funny!” A fan at Wrigley tried to be funny with me also and he crossed the line.
I was in right field shagging balls during BP in 2007. I loved talking to the fans in the bleachers. In fact, I felt so comfortable with them that a guy asked to see my glove so I tossed it to him. He looked at it and threw it back down, no problem. Back to the story…
I was talking to a group of 7 and they started ragging me, but I got them to laugh and the conversation quickly turned into a Q & A session. After 15 min I told them I had to hit. When I turned my back I heard a guy spit and felt phlegm hit my left temple.
As I jogged into the dugout my eyes were watering up. I took 3 or 4 deep breaths and regained my composure. It took me over an hour to stop feeling humiliated. Someone just spit on me because he thought it would be funny and instead it burned a memory into my heart that I will never forget.
Spitting, literally, dribbles contempt, and it is the noxious, viscous disdain of the act that makes it such a powerful and intimate insult. The appeal of spitting is the effortless momentary disrespect it conveys, while the person on the receiving end must experience the full humiliation of the splash, the dribble and the ungainly wipe. Esther Addley The Guardian, Thursday 6 November 2003So when Milton says that he was called a “derogatory comment”. I believe him. When he says his family was threatened, I believe him. Every fan isn’t a racist, just like every fan doesn’t spit on players. But based on my experience at Wrigley, I believe him.
Milton and I were teammates for 2 months with the Padres. He has a HUGE heart and was a great teammate. He just wants to have someone in his corner. I’ll be that guy Milton