Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as
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years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach.
This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John
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contributions Wooden ignored and tried to bury.
more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man
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Click the book to read the first chapter and for
ordering information. Also available on Kindle.
Strikeout Kings 5 Jun 17
by Tony Medley
I donít know where the Dodgers get all these guys who canít hit the
ball. Worse, I canít understand why they all get awarded starting jobs.
Yasiel Puig couldnít hit a low breaking curve when he first came up. Now
he fans on belt high fastballs down the middle. Joc Pederson is almost
hopeless. Every once in a while he gets a hit and sometimes itís a long
home run. But mostly he strikes out. Presently on the Disabled List,
this year to date his batting average is .200 and his strike out average
is .333. Thatís right, he gets a hit one at bat out of five but strikes
out once for every three at bats. Then thereís the new phenom, Cody
Bellinger. Heís only batting .252, but he strikes out an enormous 36% of
the time. Between Cody and Joc, they swing and miss so much that one
wouldnít need a fan to keep cool if sitting near the batterís box. It
remains to be seen whether or not Joc will still be starting when he
returns. Is manager Dave Roberts really going to bench Chris Taylor, his
best hitter the past month, to reinsert weak hitting Joc into the
When starting out,
Bellinger at least got enough hits to justify his status, but his
batting average has dropped precipitously since his debut. He needs a
batting coach who could teach him to cut down his Ruthian swing and bat
more like Stan Musial. Heís got enough power that if he just swung to
hit the ball he would raise his average and still get the same number of
Even the other phenom,
Taylor, strikes out far too much, 31% of the time, but at least his
batting average, .318, is higher than his strike out average.
Finally, how can a
player like Logan Forsythe be playing ahead of Taylor? A lifetime .265
hitter, he strikes out a whopping 36% of the time! Since returning from
the Disabled List his batting average has plummeted to .219 but he
continues to start ahead of better players.
The one exception to
this rage of strikeouts is Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley who ďonlyĒ
strikes out 17% of the time throughout his career.
But that is admirable
only in todayís era. Babe Ruth (lifetime batting average .342) led the
league in strikeouts four times, but only struck out 15% of the time. In
those days a strikeout was ignominious and that explains why batting
averages were much higher. Lou Gehrig (.340) and Ted Williams (.344)
struck out 9.8% and 9.2% of the time respectively, Stan Musial (.331)
6.3%, and Joe DiMaggio (.325) 5.4%.
Todayís hitters canít
compare with these guys, and itís not because of the pitching or the
poor umpiring. Itís the way they swing at the ball. Bellinger is out of
control every time he takes a swing, many times missing the ball by
several inches by swinging from his heels. If they would just
concentrate on making contact batting averages would rise and, in my
opinion, the number of home runs would remain relatively constant.
When you swing and
miss you donít have a chance. But when you hit the ball, you have many
chances. Even if you donít hit it hard, it might be a Texas League
Single or a ground ball with eyes or the fielder might make an error.
None of those things are possible when you swing and miss.
The agony of watching
What in the world is ABC thinking, putting Mark Jackson on their premier
NBA telecast? Jacksonís comments are insultingly banal, like, ďThe best
player on the floor is LeBron James. It really does not get any better.Ē
And describing Steph Curry, ďYou gotta get up closer, and how about that
reaction? Show off young man, Mother, there goes that man, but not to
New York City with the Rockettes, thatís not good enough, Steph.Ē
Meanwhile as Jackson is mouthing this nonsense, the brilliant,
articulate Hubie Brown is sitting a few seats away describing whatís
actually going on to a radio audience. Jackson was fired as coach by
Golden State in 2014, replaced by Steve Kerr who took the team to an NBA
championship his very first year. How Jackson keeps his high profile job
as a commentator when he has nothing to say is a mystery.