Only in that special, warped

Only in that special, warped universe that is the Sox fan’s brain does the league’s leading hitter have “pretty pitiful numbers.” Let’s not do so much digging. He’s hitting .322. That means he’s hitting (for average) better than EVERYONE ELSE in the American League. As for those other numbers, well, okay, let’s dig: Steals 1: he was out for a long time. 2: he was out with a bad shoulder, so the last thing he wants to do now that he’s back is reinjure himself sliding into a base. 3: he hits in the 2 slot directly in front of the AL’s leading home run hitter, so most of the time stealing would be poor strategy. 4: along the same lines, Torre prefers the hit and run to the straight steal. 5: as you note, he’s scored a lot of runs, so obviously he’s getting around the bases just fine (if there’s a better base runner–better, not faster–in the AL, I don’t know who it is). home runs: 1: he was out for a long time. 2: he was out for a long time with a shoulder injury, which you would obviously expect to hurt his power. 3: he’s not a power guy anyway. though if he played at Fenway like Nomar, whose home numbers are WILDLY inflated over his road numbers…. rbi: 1: he was out for a long time. 2: you can only knock in guys who are on base. That means Soriano, predominantly, who has a low obp and when he does get on often homers, leaving no easy rbi sitting out there to collect. SS/BB ratio 1: No question, it would be great if he could walk a little bit more often. Defense We’ve been through this enough. Horrible it’s not. So, to recap, Derek is most highly appreciated, and rightfully so. And if you’re looking for an argument about Torre and what a fine job he does as the Yankee skipper, you won’t find it here. He is, as you say, the right man for the job.

Posted by YF on 9/4/2003 05:29:05 PM

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