The current slump of the Red Sox hitters inevitably gets me grumbling about what they won’t do– hit the other way. You know when they hit into the shift or bury a ground ball they are trying to yank pitches that could go the opposite way.
The worst offenders are Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli, all of whom can take pitch to the opposite field, when they decide to. Not that other hitters are doing a better job of it, but these guys are leaders and set the example for the rest of the line-up.
The amount of real estate left open to Papi is ludicrous. He could bunt for a double, even with his lumbering speed. When does your pride lock in and say, “You give me that much open space, and I’ll buy it”? When you decide to hit one for the team.
How can you not look at the virgin left field grass and think, ” I could really help the team if I tapped one over there”? Does your macho ego say, “No, my reputation is at stake. I don’t hit the other way.”
Pedroia is the best opposite field hitter on the team. Why does he keep yanking it and burying the pitch in the turf? That is not leadership. Leadership says, ” I know I can chip that ball into the right field corner. I’m going to do it.”
Napoli has awesome power to all fields. He is poised to have the best season of his career, with all his physical ailments neutralized. Stop flailing at that low outside pitch and lay off the high inside, while you’re at it, Mike. Make them put it where you can hit it. Some demon must have possessed you between Spring Training and Opening Day,because you look like the old Napoli, not the smart one.
Hit one for the team, fellas. Stop trying to square it up and pummel the pitch. This is baseball,not home run derby.