FIRE JOE MORGAN: J.D. Drew Attacked For Getting On Base


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Wednesday, April 04, 2007


J.D. Drew Attacked For Getting On Base

Of course, this makes sense because it happened on sports radio, a place where no one is supposed to make sense -- you're just supposed to shout at increasing volumes and play funny car horn sound effects. Specifically, it was on WEEI, and even more specifically, it was from the mouth of Gerry Callahan, who, like 97% of the world, hates Mr. J.D. Drew because he's not a "gamer." He doesn't "game," he doesn't have any "fire," and he certainly doesn't bring any "lunch pails" to "work" at his "blue-collar" "job" of being a "baseball" player.

Seriously. In a game where a million people did a million shitty things for the Red Sox, Callahan sticks it to Drew for taking a walk in the first inning. It's right here, at about the 2:20 mark.

One point in this game I took note of J.D. Drew -- and I know everyone's going to jump on me and say all I do is knock the guy, which is probably true, but -- he comes up in the first inning, Ortiz on second, two outs, you need a hit from him. You need to drive the ball. You can't afford a walk. The bottom of the order is weak. Mike Lowell's coming up next. They're going to walk him all game, all day, if he doesn't kind of take a more aggressive approach at the plate.

That's right, Nancy Drew. Why don't you swing, you girl named Nancy? Afraid of swinging at balls outside of the strike zone? Don't want to swing at bad pitches because that's a bad idea when you're playing baseball? Afraid to be a man and strike out instead of walk like some kind of sissy girl?

You're such a girl.

At this point Callahan asks Jerry Remy if he agrees. Rem-Dawg?

Uh, uh, yes and no. First of all, that's been his reputation his whole career. You know, I mean, that's one of the things that's made him appealing to the Red Sox is the fact that he'll take a walk. You know, he has that high on-base percentage, but I agree -- you know, guys in that situation have to expand the strike zone a little bit. And I don't mean by swinging at bad pitches, but you know, if you get a bad pitch on 3-1, you gotta wiggle at it instead of taking it and letting the count go to 3-2. You know, Frank Thomas was also criticized for doing the same thing when he was with Chicago, you know, trying to take the walk instead of trying to drive in the run. Um, I think it's too early, I still think as the season develops and depending on how the guys behind him hit, you know, I think he'll make the adjustment. Watching him in spring training, this guy is loaded with talent, he really is. I really feel he's going to have a pretty good year with the Red Sox.

Much more reasonable. Yes, walks lead to a high on-base percentage, which is good, and yes, it is still early. It's the first inning of the first game of the season. Thank you for your sanity, Rem-Dawg. Frank Thomas, by the way, is one of the most remarkable hitters of recent times, and the fact that he got criticized for the same exact thing puts Drew in excellent company.

Imagine what will happen to Callahan's brain when Drew actually does something bad. My prediction: it will sublimate directly from a solid to a gas and flow out his ears into the WEEI studios and everyone will be happy unless they accidentally breathe in the Callahan brain-gas.

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posted by Junior  # 3:33 PM
A good breakdown from Josh:

MLB Gameday allows you to look at the pitch by pitch at bats from previous games. Go load up the Red Sox and Royals from Monday April 2nd and look at the J.D. Drew at bat in question.

Pitch 1: Waist high, off the side of the plate. Ball.
Pitch 2: Same location, farther outside. Ball. 2-0.
Pitch 3: Just off the middle of the plate, slight lower than first two
pitches. Called strike. This is obviously the pitch Drew was supposed to hit, However, Gameday doesn't tell us what type of pitch this was. It could have been a well placed ball that fooled Drew.
Pitch 4: Well low, another Ball.
Pitch 5: Outside, just below the location of Pitches 1 and 2.

So which one of these pitches was J.D. Drew suppose to swing at? And how does having a 2-2 or 3-2 count improve a batter's chances more than actually being on first base? Obviously Drew should have foreseen that Lowell would strike out on the next at bat and that attempting to get one run from Ortiz on base would be better than letting Lowell attempting to get two with multiple runners on base (since this was the 9th inning of a tie game, after all.... what? It was the first? Oh, never mind).

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