Welcome to thinking inside the box! Every Friday this column will discuss a timely aspect of the Reds offensive (hopefully not truly offensive) attempts at the plate. Seeing how hitting is one of the most visible aspects of baseball (so much so it overshadowed other measures of offensive value for almost 100 years), we talk a lot about hitting here at Redleg Nation. A few days ago, Steve posted Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oh, BPÃ¢â‚¬Â and the day before Jason posted Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can We Stop Already?Ã¢â‚¬Â We like to talk about Joey VottoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s long walk to first almost as much as we like to talk about moving Chapman to the rotation (which I absolutely agree with, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not what this column is about).
BothÃ‚Â people who read my columns last year already know this, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a bit of a fan of all things statistics. I spend more time than my adviser would like perusing Fangraphs and trying to pull together insights into the Reds hitting strategies and performance. If you are looking to engage in the three letter acronym debate of RBIs and OBP, Friday mornings, this column probably isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the best place. This debate is best performed here.
So you might be wondering how this column will approach hitting stats. At the end of the day, I think value measurements can come down to two criteria: reliability and consistency. The first measure asks if we are actually measuring what we are looking for. In the case of hitting metrics, we are looking for the relationship between the hitter and scoring runs.
The second aspect (consistency) is if we are able to measure that value accurately time and time again. Awhile back I was at a Reds game with a friend when Adam Dunn came to the plate. I leaned over to himÃ‚Â and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I bet he hits a home run hereÃ¢â‚¬Â. Three pitches later, Dunn blasts a homer. A few innings later, Dunn again walks to the plate. I lean over to the person again and say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to hit anotherÃ¢â‚¬Â. A few pitches later Dunn send the ball into the right field seats.
In the ten years since, I have yet to call another home run. Needless to say, that’s not very consistent.
Yet, we have all summer to discuss offensive stats from wRC+ to OPS+. It is going to be fun. But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not really what this column is about, either. This column is about threeÃ‚Â baseball pranks.
The first involves Jeff Francoeur. When Jeff joined the El Paso Chihuahas, the team decided to initiate their new member in rather creative fashion. For three months, Jorge Reyes and the El Paso Chihuahuas convinced Francoeur that Reyes was deaf. They also filmed it. And then they showed the film to Francoeur. If you have seven minutes to spare on this Friday, you should see the video.
Walkup music is ripe territory for a bit of malfeasance. Take Dan Lyons, member of the Long Island Ducks. Lyons signed off on having his walkup music changed one night, only to hear the Ã¢â‚¬Å“encouragementÃ¢â‚¬Â of his close family and friends as he walked to the batters box. In one of the more personal messages, his girlfriend saying it had been awhile since he hit a home run.
Finally, Redleg favorite, Chris Carpenter.Ã‚Â AfterÃ‚Â complaining the smoke from Ramon Hernandez’s home run lingered on the infield too long, he was greeted with the songÃ‚Â “Smoke in your eyes”Ã‚Â in his next at bat. I don’t know who runs the sounds at GABP, but that person deserves a raise.
This all brings us to the Reds. Here is a list of the walk up songs for the projected starting 8 (minus Byrd) for opening day (data from the Reds webpage). Without using your Google machines, can you name all 8?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“BugattiÃ¢â‚¬Â by Ace Hood
Ã¢â‚¬Å“How Country FeelsÃ¢â‚¬Â by Randy Houser
Ã¢â‚¬Å“No New FriendsÃ¢â‚¬Â by DJ Kahaled
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Paint it BlackÃ¢â‚¬Â by The Rolling Stones
Ã¢â‚¬Å“No WorriesÃ¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Lil Wayne
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fly me to the MoonÃ¢â‚¬Â by Frank Sinatra
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Only Way I knowÃ¢â‚¬Â by Jason Aldean
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hello City LimitsÃ¢â‚¬Â by BreakinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Strings
Second question: Nation, if you got one at bat in the major leagues, what would be your walkup music ?