The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Today's Sign of the Apocalypse: I agreed with Ken Harrelson on Something

During Saturday’s broadcast of the White Sox – Indians game, Sox announcer Ken Harrelson commented, after Carlos Lee fouled a ball off of his left knee, about how ballplayers today are fouling balls off of unusual parts of their bodies. While at first I thought this was just a typical comment from an ex-ballplayer about how the game has changed (for the worse) today, after thinking about it for a moment, I started to agree with Harrelson. Ten or fifteen years ago, hardly anyone wore shin guards; today lots of players do – and it’s good that they do, otherwise we’d see lots of players with leg injuries (or so it seems). I’m not quite sure what the cause of this might be though.

The only things I can think of is that players are using lighter bats with thinner handles (generally) than were used in the past. Maybe this allows them to get the bats around slightly quicker – and thus make it more likely to pull the ball into your own body. And maybe the angles produced by the thinner bat handles also increase the chances for fouling a ball off of yourself.

I’m really not sure though. Does anyone have any thoughts?


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