Monday, June 16, 2014

Excerpt: "Tony Gwynn"

"Gwynn didn't hit for power and he didn't walk much, and to a young man who had recently discovered Bill James and sabermetrics and secondary skills, Gwynn represented an approach that was more style than substance, slapping singles rather than displaying the more sophisticated traits of taking pitches and launching dingers. The arrogance of youth, you see. In rejecting Gwynn I was rejecting my own childhood, which was spent hitting the exact same way that Gwynn hit, using an inside-out swing to line singles to left field and doubles down the third-base line, rarely striking out, but just as rarely -- never, in fact -- launching a ball over the fence and trotting around the bases to the cheers of my teammates. Jeez, even I could do what Gwynn was doing, but look at Phil Plantier!"