Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: John Smoltz

Thoughts about John Smoltz, in five parts

I’ve had a lot to say on Twitter about John Smoltz over the past 12 months, to the extent that columnist Tom Hoffarth sought my two cents for his recent column in the Times on the Fox Sports baseball commentator. I wanted to collect my thoughts in one place, so here they are.

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Why MLB players don’t bunt against the shift

The field view when Max Muncy came to bat Monday in the fifth inning of NLDS Game 4 at Atlanta.

You’re a person looking at an empty field, or to be more specific, an empty left side of a major-league baseball field.

You could be a major-league hitter in a major-league baseball game, or you could be a fan looking at a major-league hitter at a major-league baseball game, or you could be a member of the media, perhaps a former major-league baseball player, perhaps named John Smoltz, looking at a major-league baseball game.

As you gaze at the pitcher, the area to the right side of second base is filled with defenders. The area to the left side of second base is bare, or nearly so.

Why, you might ask, shouldn’t one bunt to that left side?

Or why, you might instead ask, for the love of all that is holy, don’t you bunt to that expletive deleted left side?

Here’s why.

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How the Dodgers did against the new Hall of Famers

By Jon Weisman

Mike Piazza nearly became a Hall of Famer today, falling 28 ballots short with 69.9 percent of the vote. Other former Dodgers include Jeff Kent at 14 percent, Fred McGriff at 12.9 percent, Gary Sheffield at 11.7 percent and Nomar Garciaparra at 5.5 percent.

Dodger manager Don Mattingly, in his final year on the ballot, had 9.1 percent of the vote.

Here’s how the four electees performed against the Dodgers in their careers:

  • Craig Biggio: 812 plate appearances, .354 on-base percentage, .438 slugging percentage, 20 homers, 25 steals
  • Randy Johnson: 166 innings, 3.09 ERA, 200 baserunners, 188 strikeouts
  • Pedro Martinez: 62 2/3 innings, 4.02 ERA, 71 baserunners, 64 strikeouts
  • John Smoltz: 249 innings, 2.86 ERA, 313 baserunners, 218 strikeouts

Next year’s Hall of Fame ballot could include such former Dodgers as Garret Anderson, Mark Grudzielanek, Chan Ho Park, Jeff Weaver, Brad Ausmus and Russ Ortiz.

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