There is a horrendous fog of ignorance over the Phillies’ organization.
Apr 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (26) heads to first base after drawing a walk during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
This goes beyond the cliche “I don’t need numbers to scout these guys, I just use my look-seein’ like my grand daddy did, thank you very much,” argument. This is about genuine stupidity when it comes to not just the definition of baseball, but the definition of words.
This past January, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro now infamously uttered on the radio, “I don’t care about walks, I care about production.”
Maybe walking isn’t viewed as the “manliest” way to get on base or something – these arguments are so nonsensical or stubborn, this could very well be a reason. But anything that gets a runner on base is production. If a guy is for some reason a magnet for getting beaned, he will help you, because he is able to make that critical transformation from a batter to a runner, and runners score you runs. Who cares how it happens? That it happens is the important aspect.
The Phillies recently obeyed their insane commander’s request and didn’t walk for four straight games. Weird coincidence, they also lost all four of those games and only scored seven runs total.
On this development, Amaro also had thoughts; thoughts that contradicted his previous ones.
"“I think it’s ridiculous to have no walks in three days. I can not believe it.”—Ruben Amaro"
He also brought up that word again, “production.”
"“More importantly, it’s about not just walks, but producing. We haven’t done that.”—Ruben Amaro"
That he’s still separating these two things into different camps is brazenly absurd. If Ruben thinks this team will thrive using the argument that they should just hit more, we are all screwed. This team is not an offensive juggernaut. This team has guys with certain facets of their game that work, and other facets that do not. Getting creative, using a different strategy; these are necessary for this model of an aging, inexperienced, inconsistent team to succeed.
If the plan is to watch Ryan Howard strike out with two men in scoring position all season long, then look at video from 2008 and say “I don’t understand! It worked before!” this team will definitely fail.
Before last night’s game, Comcast Sportsnet Philly’s Ben Davis submitted his thoughts on the manner, which were cheerfully delivered, but also, wrong.
Here is a video of all of the runs the Phillies scored last night after Chase Utley drew a walk with two outs. Yes, they scored them with hits, too – that’s the other thing. THERE IS NO GROUP OF PEOPLE ARGUING THAT A TEAM ONLY OPERATE ON WALKS. Hits are great, but walks are also great. In either case, your odds of good things are increased. A combination of both, rather than concentrating on one, balloons the chances of getting on base and becoming a run.
All of this **madness** led to the Phillies’ deep-thinking broadcasters to speculate, on the air, that huh, I guess “There’s something about walking that can help you score runs.”
Is there some mystery here that I’m missing? This allergy to walks seems both meaningless and bizarre. Ignoring a stat that does nothing but help score runs, and classifying it as different than “production” is not the mindset of a baseball team in 2013 that is going to win a significant amount of games.
Anyways, in the third inning last night, Kevin Frandsen drew a lead off walk, then – hold onto your hat – CAME AROUND TO SCORE ON A BASE HIT.
Walks = production.
Production = walks.
Seems productive to me.