[editor's note, by dajafi] Promoted from the diaries, because when beat writers get it right, it's impossible to give them too much credit.
We've been talking about this over on backshegoes.com, but I might as well post it here too.
Once again, Todd Zolecki shows his saber-stripes: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/20080306_Phillies_show_striking_out_not_all_that_bad.html.
He makes the obvious points: Phillies have led or been near the league lead in both strikeouts and runs scored for each of the last several years, double plays are one obvious downside of putting the ball in play vs. striking out, etc.
On BSG we've nit-picked about this: "Howard is a career .291 hitter. He has struck out 493 times in 1,461 career at-bats, which means he hits .439 when he puts the ball in play. If he could have cut his strikeouts from 199 to 175 last season, his average would have jumped from .268 to .289. He might have hit 50 homers instead of 47." It (possibly fallaciously) suggests that Howard can cut down strikeouts without affecting other aspects of his game.
All in all though, it's a nice piece, one that strikes a nice balance that shouldn't alienate old school readers but keeps us geeks happy too. Not to mention he's not a verbose old crank with a perverse love affair with strained metaphors.