Baseball Sayings That I Don't Understand

Michael McKenry is “scrappy”. What does that mean? If we’re going by Webster’s definition it means determined, argumentative, and pugnacious. Nobody would ever describe McKenry as argumentive or pugnacious, so I’m guessing we’re going for determined here. A Major League Baseball player is determined? I’d sure hope so. I think it would be extremely hard to find a professional athlete that isn’t determined, it kind of seems to be a prerequisite to making it in professional sports. The only guys that aren’t determined are the ones with an inhumanly amount of skill that have never had to try very hard. McKenry certainly doesn’t have that.

I think when people call players “scrappy” or other things like that, it’s just a nice way to say that they aren’t very good. McKenry is not a good hitter, never has been never will be. From what we’ve seen he’s capable defensively, but he is a fringe major leaguer at best. Oh, and he’s short. That probably has more to do with him being called scrappy than anything. The fact is, McKenry isn’t a player that’s going to help you much at the Major League level, but the fans still like him for whatever reason – so they come up with some obscure word with a positive connotation to describe him with.

Along those same lines, I’m always confused when people describe a catcher as “knowing how to handle a pitching staff”. While there are certainly good and bad game calling catchers, I don’t think that is a very important thing. If you’re dealing with an amateur pitcher it would be huge, but these are the best pitchers in the world that we’re seeing. They all know how to pitch; if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be where they are. Catchers know what they’re doing as well, and they are the ones making the pitch call most of the time – however they are often shook off and influenced by the pitcher. I’m sure that these guys would be picking the same pitches most of the time anyways, just because they both know the best way to attack certain hitters, and hitters in general. The ability to catch the ball and throw out base runners is far more important than knowing to “handle a pitching staff” – they can handle themselves (the mental side of the game is different for a lot of guys, but we won’t get into that).

Team chemistry is another thing that I don’t really believe in. I’m talking strictly baseball here. This game is the most individual major sport there is. At every point in the game it’s a one player vs. one player matchup. Pitcher vs. hitter, pitcher vs. base runner, etc. It doesn’t matter how player A feels about his teammates, when he goes to the plate he’s going to try his hardest – because he has something else to play for – and that’s money. I’m not going to get into my thoughts on players and their motivation involving money right now, but I might in the future. I’ll just say that the biggest thing motivating professional athletes is their paychecks. If they play well, they get paid. If they don’t, they still get paid – but not as much. That’s good enough. That thought throws a lot of commonly held beliefs into question, but like I said I’m going to stay away from those for now.

There are a lot arguing points in baseball, and there are lot of misconceptions. Those are just a few of the ones that I’m not fully on board with. Let’s Go Bucs.

Tags: Michael McKenry

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