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Designated Hitters Need Not Apply

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2011 by bmikemurph Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Designated Hitters Need Not Apply

Everybody knows it is easier to pitch in the National League where feeble-hitting pitchers
bat instead of designated hitters. NL pitchers can often work around eighth hitters,
knowing an automatic out waits in the on-deck circle. Don’t tell that to the Milwaukee
Brewers. The Brewers have featured one of the league’s better offenses in recent years
and have taken significant steps to bolster their below-average pitching. Ironically, they
may have further strengthened their offense in the process.

Yovani Gallardo is not only the best hitting pitcher on the Brewers, but maybe in the
entire league. Last season, he hit .254 with four homers and 10 RBIs, but he’s not the
only Brewers pitcher who can rake.

Randy Wolf has posted a .189 average over his 12 year career with five home runs and 54
RBI. Even Milwaukee’s fifth starter, Chris Narveson, who pitched his first full-season in
2010, hit an astounding .327 with 7 RBIs.

As career American Leaguers, newcomers Zack Grienke and Shawn Marcum, have
limited hitting experience at the major league level, but both were position players in
high school and probably still remember how to swing a bat.

Good hitting pitchers start and extend rallies, drive in unexpected runs and keep the
bullpen rested in the process.

No question opposing pitchers would rather face the Brewers’ pitcher than Rickie Weeks,
Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun. But you just might want to think twice about walking the
eighth hitter to face the “automatic out” on deck.



How Much is Too Much?

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2011 by bmikemurph Tagged: , , , , , ,

How Much is Too Much?

The St. Louis Cardinals and one of the all-time greats are rapidly nearing a self- imposed deadline to reach a contract extension.  No one can argue that  the Cardinals shouldn’t pay handsomely to retain a superb talent like Albert Pujols.   But how much is too much?   Pujols, who recently turned 31, is rumored to want a ten year contract valued near $300 million., making him a $30 million dollar player at age 41.  That seems astronomical, but can the Cardinals really let the face of their franchise test free agency?

Pujols, a life-time Cardinal, is widely considered the most feared hitter in the game.  In addition to  his Rookie of the Year award, three MVPs, and 9 all-star appearances, he may even compete with Barry Bonds’ controversial career home run record.  It’s not exactly easy for the Cardinals to tell him he’s not worth the asking price.

Manager Tony Larussa accuses the Players Association of pressuring Pujols to pursue the highest possible contact.  “I’m not saying that if I was a union representative I would do it differently,” he said. “I’m just saying I think it diminishes the other factors that a player looks at. … I think each negotiation should be based on what’s the best decision — taking everything into account, not taking one thing into account.”

While it’s easy to point fingers in this dispute, one fact remains clear.  If the Cardinals are unwilling to give Pujols the enormous contract he desires….another team probably will!

Brendan Murphy