The Mike Schmidt Bristol handy-jammy continued today. Michael Jackass stopped by Eric Karabell's Baseball Today podcast. The topic quickly turned to power hitters in today's game. First in Schmitty's sights? The Big Piece:
"I don’t see Mark Reynolds hating every strikeout. I don’t see Ryan Howard hating every strikeout. I see them accepting every strike, as 'oh he made a good pitch' or 'it’s just another strikeout.' Wouldn’t you be embarrassed if you were a Major League hitter and struck out 200 times?
In today’s game, my sense is it would be easy to hit 45 home runs, if you’re going to accept 200 strikeouts, if you’re not going to boo me, if you’re not going to make it an issue, if you’re not going to demand that I change my style. How much fun would I have had if striking out was no big deal?
It would be like Ryan Howard… shouldn’t he want to learn to knock the opposition out of that shift? Shouldn't he want to learn that? I mean wouldn’t it be more productive to learn to take your weaknesses and 'I’m going to minimize my weaknesses' and say 'I’m going to change them.'"
And boom hath gone the dynamite.
Just so we're clear here, Schmidt is seventh all-time in strikeouts. Also, Howard has tied or eclipsed Schmidt's career-high in home runs (twice) and RBIs (4 times) in less than half the number of seasons.
Once again, Schmitty isn't entirely wrong in his comments. As someone who has tried (sometimes failed) to put folks in their place – ya know, that whole irreverent sports blog thing – I certainly can't throw the largest of stones at Schmidt for pointing out RyHow’s weaknesses. But for a guy who serves as a team ambassador (his word, not mine), he takes an awful lot of pot shots at your Fightin Phils.
The audio, as always, if after the jump.
H/T to reader Hunter for the heads up