Toronto Blue Jays: Do Home Runs Kill Rallies? No

The Toronto Blue Jays have been accused of killing rallies with the home run – this is complete nonsense

[Update: we might catch a break after all! It seems like Martinez and Tabler won’t be covering the Jays for the playoffs! That privilege may go to a national broadcast team from the States (good?). Thanks to @nelsoninTO for pointing this out! I still stand by everything said below!]

If there’s a downside to the Toronto Blue Jays‘ impending romp through the playoffs, it’s this: we’ll have to spend another month with Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler. God help us.

The Jays’ ever-repetitive TV broadcast team will be there to help guide us through the experience; I’d rather they be anywhere else. I can only bear so much of the obvious – I can only bear so much of the inane. For a colour commentator, Tabler registers as black and white; Martinez’s play-by-play commentary comes across as a grocery list of everything he hates about contemporary baseball. It’s awful.

I was reminded why the duo is so unpopular among regular fans of the Jays on Wednesday when they once again labelled the home run a “rally killer” – this simply makes no sense. If anything, the home run is a rally solidifier. It’s the “final nail in the coffin” if you want to venture into the realm of tired clichés. There’s no quicker, easier or safer way to tag an opposing pitcher for multiple runs than via the home run. It’s really a thing of beauty and simplicity that should be embraced, not discouraged.

Sep 12, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) watches his home run during the fourth inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, it’s nice to see the team put together a bunch of hits – it tells you they’re hot at the plate and the guy on the mound is starting to struggle – but each hit also puts the ball in play and becomes a potential rally killer for this reason. The only guaranteed way to cash runs – the only way to avoid the potential of hitting into a double play, misreading the outfield or falling victim to a spectacular defensive play – comes from launching the ball out of the park and into orbit. It’s really that simple.

Is it really that surprising to note the top two offensive teams in baseball – the Jays and the New York Yankees – rank one and three respectively when it comes to hitting home runs? No. There’s a reason for this; everything is connected.

I could possibly stand Martinez and Tabler if the nonsense stopped at their apparent mistrust and dislike of the home run, but it gets worse. In any given game, we’re invariably told that there’s no tougher run in baseball to surrender than the two-out run, the leadoff run and the ninth inning run, which begs the questions: what is a good run to allow and which of these runs is actually the worst?

This is nothing, however, compared to the greatest piece of “insight” offered by Martinez and Tabler: as a team, you want to chase the opposing starter from the game early. Here I thought the objective was to keep him in the game until the very end and rest the opposing team’s bullpen. Thanks, guys. You’re wonderful.

Shouldn’t you aim to work every pitch as a general approach at the plate? When are you not trying to knock the pitcher out?

I don’t get it, but I’ll now enjoy the pleasure of an extended season with Martinez and Tabler. It’s almost not worth the pain.

What are your thoughts on the Dynamic Duo? Are things really this bad or am I overstating them? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

(I really can’t be alone in feeling this way, can I?)


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