The Mockingbird

Tell Us How You Really Feel, Matt

with 13 comments

So Matt Stairs really didn’t like Gary Denbo’s style of hitting instruction, and thinks he might be to blame for his struggles this season:

“I’m a pull hitter,” said Stairs, who leads the club with a mere eight homers. “I always will be. But right now, I don’t know how to pull the ball.”

Alex Rios’ struggles this season:

“As soon as Alex learns how to pull the ball again properly, he’ll be on fire,” Stairs said. “He’s got that swing now to hit the ball to right field and that’s not him. He should be a pull hitter. What was wrong with the year he had last year? Not a thing. So why change and make him go to right-centre? That’s just the way I see it.”

Heck, the whole damn team just plain sucking at the plate this season:

“I honestly think that this team has forgotten how to pull baseballs,” Stairs said Sunday. “That’s why our home runs are down. You get into batting practice and you’re hitting balls to right-centre, left-centre, instead of working on the proper way of pulling baseballs, and elevating baseballs.”

Head on over to BDD to see that the stats that say yeah, Matt’s probably got a point.


Written by halejon

June 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Seriousness

13 Responses

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  1. This is pretty revealing. I was under the impression that Rios just stopped caring once he got paid, but no, he was doing exactly what his hitting instructor asked him to do. In fact, this means he is bizarrely coachable. I know it didn’t work out for Denbo in Toronto, but he has a bright future ahead of him should he come out here to Denver and coach men’s softball.

    It’s also a slightly interesting to see that the younger guys (Rios, Hill and Lind) who were maybe more likely to take their coach’s advice have terrible OPS+s, and the older guys who weren’t washed up to start the season (Barajas, Stairs, Rolen, Zaun) are above 100.

    Ice Cream Jonsey

    June 23, 2008 at 3:22 pm

  2. this makes me optimistic for the rest of the season…stairsy is right, why would you want to tinker with rios after he finally “arrived” last season?


    June 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm

  3. just took a look at BDD…those are some rather large discrepancies…wow…

    pull away, boys, pull away to your heart’s content…


    June 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm

  4. Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!

    lloyd the ghostrunner

    June 23, 2008 at 4:23 pm

  5. If this is the case, and they start to hit alot better and end up missing the postseason by a few games, it’s really gonna be a pisser that they didn’t get rid of Denbo earlier, or not even hire him at all


    June 23, 2008 at 7:42 pm

  6. The radio guys (maybe just Howarth) have said many times that what Rios (and maybe Wells–but, you know, basically anybody who isn’t hitting) needs to do is hit the ball the other way *more*.

    Stuff White People Like, baseball edition:

    1. Sacrifice bunts.
    2. Going the other way.
    3. Pitchers who field their position well.
    4. Catchers who block the plate.
    5. John McDonald.

    Cincinnatus C.

    June 24, 2008 at 2:16 am

  7. Isn’t OPS by field a little silly? It’s not like you can draw a walk to center field, so you’re basically adding slugging to batting average, minus sac flies. Why not just slugging?


    June 24, 2008 at 2:47 am

  8. Well, it’s really average + slugging (APS?) because yah, OBP is almost exactly the same as AVG split by field. You could look at just slugging as well but it doesn’t make a big difference – I decided to include AVG as well because it’s normally higher when you pull as well.


    June 24, 2008 at 2:59 am

  9. Cincinnatus: That was pretty awesome. I would add:

    6) Running out routine groundouts like mad.
    7) Fouling off a couple of pitches before tapping it weakly back to the mound.
    8. Pitchers who are passable despite having lousy stuff.
    9) Players who swing at every pitch in the strike zone.
    10) John McDonald.

    Although that’s just announcers in general, regardless of skin tone….


    June 24, 2008 at 3:07 am

  10. Do you know how to submit a tip to FJM? Because Griffin just said Cito should be the Jays’ GM.


    June 24, 2008 at 11:42 am

  11. Oh. My. God. I think you just mail them directly, their emails are at the top of the site now (done).


    June 24, 2008 at 12:53 pm

  12. I assure you you didn’t need to. The FJM team probably has a direct link to Griffin’s anus so they can instantly rip apart his shit. I didn’t realize it was Griffey’s first time coming to Toronto, did you guys? 🙂


    June 24, 2008 at 2:47 pm

  13. *This* is truly excellent. Point #1 in Griffin’s argument as to why Gaston should be GM: “Baseball’s best GMs are not necessarily the smartest.”

    Cincinnatus C.

    June 24, 2008 at 8:23 pm

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