Thursday, October 8, 2009

Joe Mauer with Power

I got this video from Pauly last week. It shows Joe Mauer tipping pitches from 2nd base during a recent game against the Tigers. Pretty interesting if you're into the nuances of baseball:


Chairman said...

This is just a part of baseball. Particularly noticeable when other catchers get to 2nd, since they're looking in.

You saw a similar discussion in the Dodgers-Cards playoff game, when the catcher got to 2nd base. Only these announcers were keen enough to talk about it. And sure enough, you also saw the catcher just go to the mound to tell the pitcher what to throw.

This video is awfully cool, since it gives you the commentary, and lets you in on what to look for. It's sort of like a few years ago when one of the announcers (Sutcliffe, I think) called every pitch from the booth when he saw that a pitcher was tipping his pitches.

Usually, I think that ex-players/coaches don't belong in the booth (and I'm often justified). But a few of them offer great insights that lay people just wouldn't see on their own (Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, Orel Hershiser and Ruck Sutcliffe, and Jon Gruden are some examples that do well with educating the audience, in my opinion).

Greg said...

Yeah, I've been impressed with how quickly Gruden has adjusted to the booth.

In watching Cubs games this year, it's almost comical how often Bob Brenly complains about things the Cubs do that make them more vulnerable to having their signs stolen. However, I do like Brenly as an analyst as well.

Chairman said...

I'm not sure about the details, but I wonder if this isn't a little bit of the public's perception of the latest Great White Hope. Maybe people are excited about Mauer potentially becoming the best player in baseball, and taking that title away from folks like Pujols (brown), A-Rod (brown), Griffey (black), Bonds (black).

Here, we celebrate how smart Mauer is. But a while ago, people were ripping A-Rod for tipping pitches for his teammates. Maybe you can attribute part of it to the perception that A-Rod is a douche. But to have such polar thoughts for the same action? Something else is in play, I believe.

Greg said...

Hmm... just to be clear I only posted this video because of the way it explained what Mauer was doing--and it explained how other players were reacting. My title "Joe Mauer with Power" was more of a joke than anything else... I wasn't trying to put Mauer in any type of elite group based on what this video shows.

You mentioned Bonds. I've actually heard that he's done a little commentary as a guest (I forget for which team or under which circumstances). Apparently he has some amazing insights. Granted, based on his career, that shouldn't come as a surprise. But not only does he have the knowledge, he's able to communicate it well. If he wants a booth job, who knows, maybe it will happen at some point. I'd be all for it, so long as he does a good job.

As for what Mauer will become next? I'd guess Jorge Posada's replacement in New York. It's like they say, "If you can't beat them, join them."

Greg said...

Was just thinking about the A-Rod angle. I was reminded of the trick he pulled against Toronto a few years ago. While rounding 3rd on a pop fly, he yelled "Mine!" to the 3rd basemen who thought his own SS was calling him off the ball. It dropped and everyone was safe. The Blue Jays were mad, but the media ripped A-Rod. I think even a few people in his own clubhouse said they'd never do that. But I was always a little conflicted over it. Yeah, in a regular season game I suppose people could whine and say, "You broke an unwritten rule." But what if it's Game 7 of the World Series and that trick is the only chance your team has left to win?

Chairman said...

Well, baseball has it's own strange culture, which is evolving, it appears. So there's definitely something about the unwritten rules that is worth discussion.

My point was more about how the media picks up stories, and how people in general react to them. The follow-up articles that I've read have made out Mauer to be some sort of genius. On the other hand, the situation with A-Rod and Teixeira earlier this season was much more confrontational and accusatory.

As far as A-Rod vs. Reggie. Well, maybe it's because A-Rod was a douche :-) Although, Reggie was a punk during his playing days.