Ok, it's true: the old "Moneyball" trick of keeping a high on-base percentage has been hemmed and hawed over. And while just trying to get runners on base (without being obsessed with batting average or the "physicality" of a player) is still debated in major league organizations, it is probably a great strategy for the average Joe or Jane looking to improve their intramural parks and recreation game.
The theory is simply this: Instead of getting the biggest hit you can, just try to get on base. Period. A slap shot single, a walk, even being hit by a pitch? All fair game to getting runners in scoring position. While it might not do awesome things for your batting average, it just might add a few numbers to the scoreboard.
Now, this strategy is especially controversial because it rewards quick base runners above, say, sluggers who might hit 28 home runs a year but strike out 1 out of 3 times. But the theory is that a person who can get on first base, steal second and then be brought home by another player's fielder's choice single will make just as much of an impact. (The added bonus in major league games is that the guy who hits 28 home runs a year is going to be a lot more expensive.)
So now that you've got some strategies set, let's go to the next page where we can play ball with lots more information.
- Cole, Bill. "The Mental Game of Baseball." Sports Psychology Coaching. 2010. (June 20, 2012) http://www.sportspsychologycoaching.com/articles/TheMentalGameOfBaseball.html
- Curry, Jack. "A Left-Handed Complement; Teams Save Spot for Rare Pitchers, Turning Old Discards Into Keepers." The New York Times. May 10, 1999. (June 20, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/10/sports/baseball-left-handed-complement-teams-save-spot-for-rare-pitchers-turning-old.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
- Frisaro, Joe. "Super utility players becoming prized assets." MLB.com. May 17, 2009. (June 20, 2012) http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090516&content_id=4768298&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
- Miller, Stuart. "Debating the wisdom and foolhardiness of the hit-and-run." The New York Times. June 2, 2012. (June 20, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/sports/baseball/the-pros-and-cons-of-the-hit-and-run.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
- New York Knights. "Baseball Strategies." (June 20, 2012) http://www.newyorkknights.org/strat.asp
- Newsweek Magazine. "Southpaw's Revenge." July 17, 2008. (June 20, 2012) http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/07/18/southpaw-s-revenge.html
- Quality Coaching Baseball. "Baseball hitting tips and mechanics." 2011. (June 20, 2012) http://www.qcbaseball.com/skills/hitting1.aspx
- Sexton, Joe. "The Utility Player: A Specialist Who Needs No Special Spot; Pecota of Mets Has Been Used At All Nine Positions in Majors." The New York Times. March 11, 1992. (June 20, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/11/sports/baseball-utility-player-specialist-who-needs-no-special-spot-pecota-mets-has.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
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