Does the Pirates' Josh Harrison have a historically troubled relationship to the strike zone?
Start with the best part, from Josh Harrison’s perspective. On Friday, Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Pirates. It felt, at that moment, like one of the most inevitable no-hitters ever, because it had felt, in the first inning, like one of the most inevitable no-hitters ever. But, with one out, Josh Harrison got a base hit. That at-bat:
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A look at AL keepers that leans heavily towards the left side of the diamond.
Third base options abound among undervalued AL keepers, and (like last week), all these players have ESPN ownership levels under 1%, with one exception: regular-season VPDanny Valencia. His 5% ownership is bafflingly low, considering how he’s done since taking over third base for the Twins. In 163 PAs, he’s hit .340/.368/.477, making contact 86% of the time, though his 5% walk rate is a tad low.
The Boss could be many things, both good and bad, but no owner ever cared more about winning.
In last night’s chat, I wrote that George Steinbrenner was a tyrant who could be arbitrarily generous or a generous man who could be arbitrarily tyrannical. Google up all of the thousands of words that have been written about the man since Tuesday morning and you will see variations of that thought, his dual nature referenced again and again. As Charles Dickens might have written, he was the best of guys, he was the worst of guys. When a man’s life is measured, which should count for more, his best moments or his worst? There is no easy way to answer this question, lest we go down some Citizen Kane-like road of exploration of the many facets of the man, and even that, as Orson Welles skillfully showed, is a journey that is inevitably inconclusive. My own personal view of morality is that cruelty is cheap, especially when those who suffer the blows cannot strike back because they are in some way our subordinates. Anonymous charity does not excuse, erase, or offset capricious cruelty. It merely sits alongside it, a parallel column of good behavior that cannot bleach sin. Redemption, reschemnshion—this ain’t football, and the penalties don’t offset.
Given the advent of the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks, and their run-generating home parks, it's easy to forget that Wrigley Field used to be the National League's premier batter-friendly park. It hasn't really changed as a hitter-friendly environment; though the old ballpark cannot compete with the high elevation of Colorado or the warm, dry air of Arizona, in most seasons it still gives batters more of a lift than the other sea-level, mild-climate ballparks.