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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/ltthe-presence-of-the-designated-hitter-is-what-25973955.aspx

Subject:  Re: Isn't that illegal? It should be . . . Date:  10/8/2007  12:30 PM
Author:  gurdison Number:  34047 of 51238

<The presence of the designated hitter is what trumps that argument. The rest of the batters are too busy to study video during a game.>


I don't see this as an issue. There are lots of position players who will come in and look at some video when they come in from the field too. Others don't want to be bothered as they feel it can distract them from their normal routines. The video may help a player, but it is can also give them information overload. Anyone who has ever played golf can attest to the many difficulties associated with thinking too much about all the elements of your swing while you are on the course.

A ballplayer can get just as good a sense of the umps strike zone from talking with each teammate as he comes back to the dugout. They still have to know what is important to process and what is not. Knowing that the ump is giving the pitcher the outside strike is not relevant if you know he is not going to be pitching you outside. There is something to be said for taking in the game in real time with your eyeballs rather than spending too much time on the video machine.

I read a good article yesterday about a liflong Phillies fan. He had his heart broken in 1964. Through someone at his paper he reconnected with a former rookie member of that team Johnny Briggs. It was a great read as Briggs related how different the game is today as far as salaries and year round conditioning. He was paid $6500 for that season. Many players today collect more than that per at bat. It was a lot tougher life for a player back then. You had to find real jobs in the off season, and few players made enough to carry them into their post basball lives. Briggs, now 63 is due to reire soon from the Passaic County Sherrif's department.

What struck me is the difference in perspective a fan has in watching a game compared to a former player. Being an avid fan for decades I feel I have a certain knowledge of the game. That pales in comparison to what a player sees when looking at the same thing. The author went to the Phils playoff game with Briggs and sat in some of the cheaper seats. Briggs was stunned by the size of the field. He said it looked like an American Legion field. He said the center field fence was 50 feet closer than it was at Connie Mack stadium. He thought back to how many additional HRs he could have hit playing there.

Even from 400 feet away, Briggs could tell the batter was sitting on a curveball. I compare it to listening to a piece of music I like. How I hear it and appreciate it is totally different than how a musician will listen to it and analyze it. He said ahead of the event that it was a big mistake to bring in a relief pitcher to face Kaz Matsui. that turned out to be the game (and the series) breaker.

I will try to see if I can find a link to the story as I am sure it would interest people here even if they are not Phillies fans. The article even had a photo of the 1964 World Series progam with a Phillies pennant flag flying on the flagpole.

Anyway, technology and money have changed the game significantly. However, it is still played on the field. It still comes down to the individual battle between the pitcher and the hitter. I suspect that there are a number of pitchers and pitching coaches who also look at some video between innings too. Everybody is looking to pick up something that may help them. How much it actually helps them is debatable.


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