Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Fab Five, Bellhorn, no time to panic, and my new found "fame"

The Fab Five takes on the Red Sox. The results can be seen on June 7th. As this story has developed I've become more and more interested in it. That's definately the one time I'll make sure to catch that show.

There's the typical springtime article about Mark Bellhorn in today's Herald. It doesn't say much of anything, but it does talk about how Bellhorn would like to slightly change his approach at the plate. Obviously the guy wants to cut down on strikeouts. He doesn't plan on changing his style too much, but he'll probably make more of an effort to put the bat on the ball. All year I was defending Bellhorn saying that a strikeout is the same as a groundout. That is true, an out is an out. But if he put the ball in play more, he'll make fewer outs. During this offseason I came across the stat BABIP (batting average for balls in play). I never thought that a strikeout affected a player's batting any more than a ground out would, but according to principles behind BABIP, the more balls hit into play the more balls will fall in for hits. It'd be nice if Bellhorn cut down on his k's a bit. If he struck out 20 fewer times last year he likely would've raised his batting average more than 10 points. I'm a big fan of Bellhorn. I think he did great things for the team last year and I can't think of very many second basemen that I'd take over him. Hell, if you factor in price, he's the #1 guy in baseball. But if he can improve his game by putting the ball in play more, I'm all for it. Bellhorn did strike out a little more than usual last year. As the article points out the three times before 2004 that Bellhorn had more than 200 plate appearences, he typically struck out 27% of the time. Last year he struck out 29%. Had he struck out only 25% of the time last year? He would've struck out 24 fewer times. Maybe I'm just picking at the wrong numbers, but I think Bellhorn could manage to cut back on his k's this year and have an even better year in 2005.

In other news, the Sox dropped their fifth straight yesterday. Luckily no one is ready to panic.

I received a couple mentions yesterday in other Sox blogs. Over at Joy of Sox one of my earlier quotes was brought up. I almost forgot about how I offered to push my mom down a flight of stairs if the Sox could get a win from it. Bloody Sox linked to me and actually called my blog solid. Looks like I'm moving up in the world. I've gone from "complete crap" to "solid". I'm sure with a little bit more work here I can confidently call my blog "ok". Thanks for the mentions, guys.

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