Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wily Less? (Sorry.)

Last night I was talking (in real life) about how worried I am about having Wily Mo in the lineup with a big Yankee series coming up. Please note (this is very important): I would feel this way even if I was totally pro-Wily Mo trade. I just see this the same way I saw Yankee fans get excited about Bubba Crosby and Melky Cabrera. They get a couple of big hits and everyone assumes they have arrived and they can suddenly be trusted as if they were an experienced major league player. (That's right, TPS: Timo Perez Syndrome.) I watch the guy at the plate, and it scares me. I feel like he's just going to swing and miss every time. Or hit into a double play in the middle of a rally. If he can get ahead in the count, he's fine. But I was checking the splits and he's hitting under .200 when behind in the count. I think the Yankee pitchers, the veterans anyway, won't be afraid of Wily. I've been having these fears of hearing "...and Wily Mo has set a record with 12 double plays in a five-game series, as well as striking out every other time he batted, except for one long, long home run."

And all this is in addition to his fielding, which is also shaky. Even when he catches a fly ball, he makes a Brewers catch* half the time.

I think this whole experience has helped me look at things more objectively. Had we acquired him in any other way, I'd probably be on the Wily Mo bandwagon. Awesome guy, hits mega-dongs. To me, that usually means: "This guy rules, I don't care what anybody says." But because I was so against giving up Bronson, I'm able to really try to see why they were so high on this guy, and while doing that, I get to look at him objectively. And I'm telling you, he scares me.

But wait! Look waht happened. We are (still not official) getting Eric Hinske!

My fears have been calmed, if only a little...

The guy has experience, and when I think of him, I think of him hitting homers against the Red Sox. He could really help us. (Then again, I thought Jose Cruz, Jr. was really gonna help us.)

My only wish is that Wily Mo was white, and that Hinske was black. I hate being on the white side of an argument. Because you automatically have all the racists on your side, which is never good.

*The old Brewers logo featured a ball in the middle of a glove, instead of the pocket. (It also used that glove to create an awesome "mb." I believe Pat coined the phrase "Brewers catch," whenever a ball was caught, usually painfully, in the palm as opposed to the pocket of the glove.

The WMP (Weapons of Mo Pena) bandwagon has started. There's no use in attacking the bandwagon, because this team is quickly turning from a Manny/Ortiz duo to a Manny/Ortiz/Pena threesome.

Also, since we're looking at things "objectively" :

- Hinske grounds into more double plays than Pena, so the whole "12 double play" thing is off
- Almost everyone hits for a low BA when behind the count, there's no shame in that
Oh I don't doubt that the WMP (will be weapon of mass production if he ever starts producing) posse thinks of it as Ortiz/Manny/Pena. But that's still a pipe dream. They only bat him fifth in you guys' mind. There was a smattering of boos on one of his later at bats last night. Half the people are completely sold on him, half are totally not sold. That's the weird thing about the Wily Mo debate.

About the behind in count thing: I was actually giving him credit saying the guy can hit, he just needs to get ahead in the count, moreso than most. It's a huge disparity with him: .173 behind, .395 ahead. I've looked up a bunch of other Sox, and besides (ironically) Ortiz, and Tek, none of the others are below .200 when behind in the count, with some in the high .200s, and Nixon at .309.

So, I agree there's no shame in not hitting well when behind in the count, but he's lower than any of the Sox regulars, and, again, HUGE difference between ahead and behind.

DPs in 2006: Wily Mo 5 in 185 ABs
Hinske: 6 in 197. So, like, that's only a tiny difference.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States