Strikeout or Home Run by Bob Ryan

Currently… seems in most baseball games…. that batters hit a home run or a strikeout…..well…..we’ll look @ some stats to verify that notion and expand the HR v K in other areas…..

In MLB stats…..take a look at HR/plate app    and K/plate appearance over  a span of time

HR/Plate app                      K/plate appearance         HR+K/plate appearance     Year

.030                                                        .221                        .251                              2018

.024                                                        .185                        .209                              2010

.030                                                        .164                        .194                              2000

.021                                        `              .149                        .169                              1990

.019                                                        .082                        .101                              1980

What this means is that in 2018 ….25.1% of the AB or either a strikeout or a HR…..that’s way too high for my taste….1/4 of the time a dinger or a whiff…..the HR have become so common…how exciting are they? Back in 1980, it was 10.1% that a HR or K was the result…..the ball was being put into the playing field….quicker outs….or more runners…..more excitement from my ol’ perspective. As a youth, I recall games beginning at 8:00pm and hitting the exits around 10:15pm!!

Some other strikeouts or home runs across the sports world…

….back in the 1960’s …ABC network wasn’t competing well with NBC or CBC…Roone Arledge created the idea of Monday night football…he decided to bring a “big” college game on the air as the blockbuster introduction or the idea… The big splash was to be in Birmingham’s Legion Field in a game between two established coaching rivals.  Even back in 1960…Bama…then under legendary coach Paul Bryant… was already a powerhouse. When Rooney sent a team of lighting experts to see if the lights in Birmingham were adequate for televising football… was not…but Bryant wanted to do the game… so when Arledge notified Bryant of the decision….the Bear assured Arledge that it would be “taken care of”…that he’d make a call to Birmingham’s mayor…if he won’t do it….”he’ll never be re-elected” Bryant said! Game was ON!  What a matchup—Bear Bryant vs legendary U of Mississippi coach, Johnny Vaught.  Both coaches were at the top of their “game” and highly respected….in fact, the 2nd most successful program in the SEC in the 60’s was Ol’ Miss. Both coaches hated losing …especially to each other!  Arledge got lucky…real lucky…it was a 33-32 Alabama win…still considered one of the most exciting games in college history…btw…Ol’ Miss QB is guy that you’ve heard of…Archie Manning…he passed for 436 yards and ran for 104 more yards….that night was a HUGE HOME RUN for football

….staying on the football field…the “mercy” rule in Missouri high school football(running clock in 2nd half when a team is 35 points or more ahead)…just isn’t working….it’s striking OUT …this weekend… I recorded the margin of the winning HS teams in StL and Illinois teams in the area….. remember…the numbers listed is the size of the lead when the game ended..if Margin was Between 0-10 points—there were only 10 games; winning margin 11 to 19 points–14  games…if the winners won a game by 21 &29 points—16 games; if the winning margin was 30 to 39 points—12 games; winning margin 40-49 points-13 games;  one team won by 50 points…2 teams won by 56 points and 3 teams won by 62 points!! So more teams won by 40 to 49 points than those winning by 10 points are less….one team that won 62-0 actually had their 2nd last touchdown of the game scored by a player who already had scored 3 touchdowns….how sad is that?….my suggestion..same as last year…if any team gets ahead by 40 points at ANY time…game is over…1st half…2nd half…it doesn’t matter….similar to the 10 run rule in baseball. I’ve heard some coaches say that when the losing team subs their weaker players…they’ll do the same….shouldn’t it be the OTHER WAY around?…or say….that it’s not fair to THEIR starters….really? or some say, “ well…you just have to get better”… about trading athletes and see then how you’d coach those players who “have to get better”.

…Mizzou struck out with their all white uniforms…aren’t their colors black & gold? What’s next week….green ? purple? Blue uniforms ?

….Hitting a HOME RUN with their small payroll AND good win total is the Tamp Bay Rays…..their record of 81-66 which is slightly better than the Cardinals mark of 81-68. Tampa has a gross salary in 2018 for active players, players on DL, retained salaries, deferred salaries, signing bonus money, MLB salaries for some players in minors….total salary… $79m!  WOW!!!

….Striking out in Champaign Ill…the U of Illinois continues to ride the Lovie Smith train…he’s 7-20  right now after his team lost to the Juggernaut known as S.Florida…that game typified  Smith’s tenure @ Illinois…  110 penalty yards in 12 penalties…there were multiple turnovers, blocked kicks….sure Lovie has the name ….but his “day” is long past….he was instrumental in the development of the cover 2 defense of the early 2000’s…that day is LONG past….offenses have caught up to the cover 2….and Lovie.

….maybe hitting another HOME RUN under a new Coach….UCF…U Central Florida is 2-0 to start the football season and …might… run the table again after going 13-0 last season…. The previous Coach Scott Frost….left for his alma-mater—Nebraska(now 0-2 after losing to Colorado and Troy)

….the Cleveland Browns just don’t seem capable of hitting a Home Run of any sort…it always seems to turn into a strikeout…in week 1, the Browns have a game winning OT FG attempt blocked…so they tie the Steelers…in week 2…the same kicker misses a game-tying FG from 44 yards and the Browns fall to New Orleans 21-18….ouch…. super ouch….

….the Cincinnati Reds sure hit a HOME RUN when they acquired Scooter Gennett 2 years ago. He hit .295 with 27 home runs last year and this year he’s batting .318 with 22 dingers. Why did Milwaukee given up on him…he’s a 6 year career, .290 hitter

High School Teams of the Week…

Softball…Rosati-Kain Kougars have really turned it around in 2018 with their 9-1 record. Last year the Kougars were 9-15, in 2016, 7-13 and in 2015 Rosati was 3-17! Mya Bethany leads the club with a .618 average and a slugging mark of 1.029.  Bethany also paces the team from the pitching circle…she’s 6-1 with a 1.89 ERA. This robust hitting team has 7 players batting .475 or HIGHER! Mallory Coleman holds a .600 batting mark. Kasey Beck leads the club with 15 rbi’s while Kate Kleinegger has stolen the most bases with 21 thefts. Congrats on “turning it around”….it’s hard to do.

Volleyball…O’Fallon Christian won the Summit tournament as they defeated the host school 2-1 ( 25-15, 19-25 and 25-21)in the championship match. Alyse Cundiff led the way in the championship match with 18 kills while Belle Monaco added 12 more kills.  O’Fallon advanced through the pool play by beating  Rock Bridge(2-0), tying Summit (1-1) , tying Marquette(1-1) and beating Westminster(2-0). In the Semifinals, O’Fallon Christian beat Mehlville 2-0 and topped off the big day with the championship win over Summit. The Eagles are now 15-1-3 for the season and were ranked #2 in the small school poll last week by the StLToday staff.

…well…you’ve hit a HR….you made it all the way around the bases and to the bottom….



  1. Baseball is boring. Miss the days of Whitey ball.
    That’s awesome –Rays with the small payrolls making a surge to the playoffs
    O’Fallon Christian will win State in 3A volleyball. My daughter Katie a Junior DS
    for Viz played against Cundiff…Cundiff is a STUD.
    Man the Browns kicker was brutal–He also missed an extra point
    Going on a limb–You will get your FREE Bud Lights Thursday. Yes the Brownies will
    Beat the Jets! Have a great day!

  2. Arthur Hanff says:

    I like your stats on hr/k’s. Seems like the big change came in 2000. What happened to cause this big change in 2000?? I would identify 2 players who are very successful not following this trend, Altuve and Votto (I’m sure there are several more). It’s easy to blame TV and big money contracts, but there is no solid argument to change or ban either one. TV does what it does, owners do what they do, players do what they do, and we do what we do!

  3. Great perspective on baseball stats. High school football? It’s amazing how we’re so hypocritical about HS sports. The term “game” has many definitions, it’s a challenge, it’s a competition – all in an effort to get a result of winning. But we’re a kinder, gentler nation – even though we have a higher murder rate than ever before – but we want to make sure we’re not depressed about getting our butts kicked – but rather we’ll do a mercy rule to embarrass a school’s program and their players – that will make them feel better. Does that sound about right?? LOL In soccer it’s a 10 goal difference. I’ve been on the receiving end of that in my first year at Desoto where nobody ever played soccer, and the players that came out were disgruntled with the football mentality. It took about 2 years and we were competitive because we created a culture with the game, and within 6 years we could compete with the best. Could have fast tracked it by just playing more physical and playing long balls in an effort to create lucky goals, but the end result of the player would be no different than teaching a basketball player to throw a long ball down the court after regaining possession. Yes you can score if lucky, but the technical and tactical aspects are forsaken for trying to win – not to learn the game. Soooo… stick to your guns and try to develop players for the long run and grind through the tough times. As long as players are learning to deal with an aggressive environment and compete with improvement while becoming technically and tactically proficient in attempting to beat an opponent, I’m satisfied we’re on the right track. There has to be the realization though that you’re trying to beat an opponent, not out there just for the experience of belonging to a team. The game is the result – if you’re getting hammered, then you find a way to improve – you find ways to train that will stimulate improvement – and you have to keep focus on the long end of what a program is for. It’s for the kids – it’s an education in competing, learning how to compete, how to improve, and how to meet the demands of the game. Why make it easy by basically saying – you guys are so lousy, we’re going to invoke the mercy rule. I think the Romans followed the same protocol by executing their captors with a noble death via a sword stab to the heart from the top shoulder knowing they would die immediately with only temporary pain but with honor. How merciful! LOL If they really wanted to embarrass someone – there was always the crucifixion. Any program can become competitive – the more gifted athletes can make or break a program as well – so you have accept that you’re not going to have the best of talent every year – unless you’re recruiting – LOL. Not a fan shielding kids from the challenge and effects of competition. It’s a game – it’s a learning tool in many ways and levels. Why shame a team for playing hard to get a victory – why shame a team by giving them a handicap because they’re losing. Both sides can gain valuable life lessons from every game – provided the coach has the right mentality as well. Keep the pencil pushers that influence the rules out of the game – they’re trying to make a kinder, gentler world to appease who??? Certainly not the kids. Just my take on a disturbing tendency of games being ruled by off-field commissioners, officials, directors, people of importance that know more than the people that are in the ditches.


  4. Good stuff as always!

    I think many of today’s baseball players see Home Runs as their opportunity to get on Sportscenter or MLB highlights… plus, teams continue to pay top dollar for Long ball hitters.

    Limited time in the minors doesn’t give kids enough at bats to really fine tune their swing, approach to hitting. This also affects the increasing poor defense/ fundamentals in today’s game. (Watching many attempt a bunt is sad!)

    Mizzou Uniforms should be black & gold…. ignoring tradition catches up at some point. The huge merchandise market / team revenue drives the uniform variations.

    How many caps/ jerseys are MLB teams peddling? Fathers Day caps, Saturday jersey , Sunday caps??? I miss the Blue Caps!

    Roone Arledge! MNF was genius! Howard, Frank & Dandy Don was must see tv!

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