PITCHf/x, Beaver’s culture, and only 2 days  left

RajkowskiKnow this guy?

Here’s a hint – he’s Don Beaver’s right-hand man in Charlotte.

If you said Dan Rajkowski, you’re right. If you didn’t have a clue, don’t feel bad – few do.

Dan’s currently the GM of the Charlotte Knights but that’s a silly title for this man because of his extensive minor league baseball credentials – well over 20 years.

You see, he was cherry-picked by Beaver to help bring to Charlotte what Beaver failed at over the last decade – a new downtown baseball stadium.

And Rajkowski’s won the war for Beaver, despite the taxpayer’s voting for a new park instead of a stadium.

Sound familiar?

Now, none of this means a thing to Pittsburgh Pirates fans other than the few of us who know multi-multi-millionaires Don Beaver and Frank Brenner, both from North Carolina, remained on the Pirates Board all these years. You see, long forgotten rumors had it that in the ’90’s Beaver wanted to relocate the Pirates to Charlotte.

Throw that out the door with this stadium at least – it will only seat 10,000.

If you plan to attend a game in 2010, be sure to be packing because the crime in Charlotte is unrelenting. But you’ll be safe if you hang close to Rajkowski – he’s an ex-jailbird who was arrested for DUI and two counts of domestic abuse battery after he was alleged to have beaten his wife and 15 year-old step-son in 2004.

I guess what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.

The Astros continue to build by signing Oscar Villarreal to a 2/$2.85M deal yesterday. He would have been in a contract year in 2008. Don’t look now but the Astros are much stronger than in 2007.

Take a wild guess..

.. using PITCHf/x data from 2007 (which we already know was limited for the Pirates), which event do you think occurred most often when Zack Duke heaved his average 88 mph fastball:

1 — looked at by the batter for a strike;
2 — hammered for hit;
3 — swung at and missed;
4 — fouled off.

If you said strike looking you’re right. Imagine that.

Total Total % of InPlay % of InPlay % of
FB inPlay FB Outs FB Hits FB
Maholm 228 65 28.5% 41 18.0% 24 10.5%
Snell 455 92 20.2% 56 12.3% 36 7.9%
Gorzy 586 101 17.2% 72 12.3% 29 4.9%
Morris 532 128 24.1% 77 14.5% 51 9.6%
Duke 159 31 19.5% 14 8.8% 17 10.7%

Total Strike % of Strike % of Strike % of
FB Called FB Swinging   FB Foul FB
Maholm 228 38 16.7% 5 2.2% 37 16.2%
Snell 455 89 19.6% 19 4.2% 72 15.8%
Gorzy 586 100 17.1% 43 7.3% 131 22.4%
Morris 532 128 24.1% 13 2.4% 70 13.2%
Duke 159 36 22.6% 2 1.3% 33 20.8%

Total % of
FB Ball FB
Maholm 228 83 36.4%
Snell 455 183 40.2%
Gorzy 586 211 36.0%
Morris 532 193 36.3%
Duke 159 57 35.8%

Notice three of the Pirates starter’s see one out of every ten fastballs thrown hammered for a hit (Morris, Duke, and Maholm). That’s very high and only 4% less than outs generated by the same number thrown. Even worse, nearly one-in-four fastballs that went for a hit went for extra bases.

Ouch.

Now look at Duke’s foul percentage – 21%. Wow.. you have to wonder how many of those were straight back or inches off the line?

Someone tell Maholm to lay off throwing fastballs.

Tis’ the season to be whacked.. Alcoa won’t lower their parking fees, the Pirates didn’t lower their ticket prices, and now you’ll get hit with a 10% tax on that bourbon at the park.

Life’s good for everyone but Pirates fans and local business owners. You might as well go visit the Thrift Shop Romantic and try and save a buc or two.

No pun intended.

Just two more days left for you to register at Bucco Blog’s Pittsburgh Pirates discussion forum for your chance to win a 2007 Neil Walker bobblehead.

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