By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer) Follow @Nick_Delahanty
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It’s been a while since the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals have found themselves in the American League Championship Series, but the wait for these two fan bases is finally over.
These two teams will open up a best-of-seven series at Camden Yards on Friday night.
Although it isn’t the usual suspects we see in the series (such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox of the world), baseball fans should definitely keep an eye on this series, as two of the hottest teams in baseball will face off to determine who represents the American League in the World Series.
MLB Reports: twitter-follow screen_name=’MLBreports’ show_screen_name=’yes’] We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports. Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.
An American Hobby
His nickname was ‘Steady Eddie’ and it was the perfect moniker for Eddie Murray, who would go on to play more games at first base than anyone in baseball history.
As a rookie, Murray played in 160 games, hit .283, swatted 27 homers, and drove in 88 runs. His debut performance earned him the Rookie of the Year Award for 1977.
No sophomore jinx for Murray who, over the next ten years, would average 28 home runs and 99 RBI per year.
Eddie Murray – Baseball Hall Of Fame Biographies
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Friday April 19, 2013
The late, great Harmon Killebrew, author of 573 Home Runs during his Hall of Fame career, was also exceptionally talented in another skill when he stepped to the plate: drawing Walks.
Charlie Manuel knows this better than most because he played alongside “Killer” for four years as a member of the Minnesota Twins in the late 1960’s. Over dinner, in the clubhouse and on the bench they’d talk baseball quite a bit, mostly about the art of hitting. Manuel said of Killebrew:
HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 1:
HR Derby Between Killerbrew vs Mantle Part 2:
“Killer used to preach to me that the most important thing was getting strikes [to swing at]. He said he didn’t like to walk, but that he had to take pitches to get good strikes.”
Amen to that. Killebrew didn’t need to say much at all on the matter as his patience did all his preaching for him. He led MLB in free passes four times in his career – with a high mark of 145 drawn in the 1969 season. It’s not a coincidence that he went on to hit 49 Home Runs and drive in 140 RBI that Summer.
And in his best seasons, Killebrew would crack the 100-Walk plateau seven times while reaching 90+ Bases on Balls in three other campaigns.
Killebrew’s 1969 MVP season totals:
Returning to present day, the Phillies are mired in a severe slump where they’re finding runs are about as hard to produce as water from a dry sponge.
Our boys of Summer have been as impatient as children at church with little to no plan or approach at the plate, swinging their bats like orchestra conductors at a dubstep concerto.
Show a pitcher you’ll offer at a ball outside the zone and they’ll pitch it outside the zone.
Of those three, only Utley is producing with two doubles, two triples, three home runs and 13 RBI, but with a very un-Utley-esque .339 OBP (career .379). Impatience has begotten impatience among the Phillies’ brass:
|“Who wants to go for a walk?”
Courtesy of DelawareOnline.com
Please take note of that quote having been tweeted about two hours before game-time last night vs. St. Louis, a one-run loss which would also see the Phillies earn a big, fat zero in the walk column.
For those keeping score, that’s zero walks in four straight games. Clearly with no change in plans at the plate, our boys have forgotten that sometimes the best things in life are free.
The translation is quite simple, really, even in today’s game. So far in 2013, three of the top four National League teams in drawing walks (Reds, Rockies and Mets) are also the top three teams in runs scored.
And while the Phillies are ranked sixth in hits as a team, they are 14th (of 15 teams) in seeing ball four which again translates to scoring runs, where they rank 11th in the National League. Combine all of this with a third place ranking in Strikeouts (126), they currently sit 13th in the NL with an OBP of just .291.
To drive the point home, this is only slightly better than the cellar-dwelling Chicago Cubs and the lowly Miami Marlins. Yuck.
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A big thank – you goes out to our Philadelphia Phillies Correspondent Chris Creighton for preparing today’s featured post.. Chris is a Phillies Phan, Baseball fan & player. He thinks that there is no better place for food and is a proponent of the city of Philadelphia. Huge U2 fan. Phillies writer at http://www.warroomphilly.com .
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