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Posnanski on Manny

September 22, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Joe Posnanski is a sports columnist for The Kansas City Star and a superb writer on various issues in sports, with an emphasis on baseball. His blog is essential reading for any student of baseball, and I am indebted to my son for bringing it to my attention about half a year ago. Late last month, he joined Sports Illustrated online as a weekly columnist. And just a few days ago, he had an excellent column there on the genius of Manny Ramirez. Two examples of Manny’s genius have been much on my mind in recent days. Here is their description in the column:

Bill James, a baseball writer (and Boston Red Sox advisor) who has spent much of his life knocking down baseball myths, believes that Manny Ramirez is such a good hitter, he will purposely get into full-counts when there is a runner on first base. The reason? With a full-count, that runner will be running on the pitch and, as such, will become an RBI when Ramirez hits a double into the gap.
“I’ve seen it too many times to doubt it,” Bill says.

Allard Baird, a longtime baseball scout and executive (and Boston Red Sox advisor) believes Manny Ramirez is such a good hitter, he will sometimes swing and miss at a pitch in April so that the pitcher will throw him that same pitch in September. The idea being: He won’t miss that pitch in September.
“When it comes to hitting, the guy’s mind works on a whole other level,” Allard says.

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