Mike Schmidt tends to keep to himself for the most part, but yesterday at a breakfast in Dayton, Ohio, Schmidt spoke up about one Phillie in particular. Michael Jack attacks Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn for being so darn strikeout prone.
"Now I know that if I had choked up on the bat with two strikes and
hadn't been so aggressive and gave in to the pitcher, I wouldn't have
struck out so much. And that's what guys like Dunn and Burrell have to
realize," Schmidt added.
Schmidt said that with a game on the line, pitchers don't mind
facing guys like the Reds' Dunn and the Phillies' Burrell because they
know they can strike them out.
"How do I know this? Because when I played, pitchers wanted me up
there with the game on the line," he said. "They'd rather face me than
a guy behind me like Greg Luzinski, who would put the ball in play.
Now in one sense Schmidt is certainly criticizing the two wiffers for walking back to the dugout with their wood in their hands., but also pointing out they have potential to improve -- much like Schmidt had.
"I look at Dunn and Burrell and I go, 'My God, if these guys cut their
strikeouts down to 75 or 80, they put the ball in play 85 or 90 more
times a year.' That's at least 15 more home runs a year and at least 35
more RBIs a year."
A Philly fan can dream. Now if Pat the Bat worked on making his strikeout rate at the plate closer to his strikeout rate at the bar, the Phillies would be all set.
>>Schmidt criticized Burell for strikeouts [Inquirer]