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Fake News on Jimmy Rollins

From The Onion today:

Jimmy Rollins Extends Non-Sequential-Game Hit Streak
April 13, 2006 | Onion Sports
ATLANTA—With his 3-for-4 performance in Monday night’s game against the Braves, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins extended his non-sequential-game hit streak to 748 non-consecutive games, the only recorded, and therefore longest, streak of its kind in major-league history. "The key reason my streak has gone on as long as it has is that I’m not just trying to go out there and get a hit in every at bat, or even in every game," Rollins said. "And oftentimes I don’t. But you’ve just got to move on, count the hits you do get, and have confidence that, be it the next game or the next series, eventually another hit will drop in to keep the streak alive." Rollins also pointed out that his consecutive-game hit streak actually stands at 801 if you take the extra ones he got in multi-hit games and distribute them among the games in which he was hitless.

I have a wise uncle who often tells me, "Many a truth is said in jest," and I believe that phrase relevant here.  While we all lament the fact that JRoll’s hitting streak ended at 38 games, we must be simultaneously encouraged by his overall offensive performance this year.  So far he is batting .394/.417/.515 with 13 hits and 7 runs in 33 ABs.  Most impressive however, is his relatively low strikeout count – just two.  On his career he averages a strikeout in 14% of ABs, whereas early in this season the rate is just 6% (note: some salt must be taken with analysis based on such a small sample size). 

I’m starting to believe all the hype about the positive effects of Jimmy’s new swing approach and training regiment.  He praised the merits of Bobby Abreu’s tip to get comfortable by hitting 100 balls tossed by a teammate into a net.  I only wonder why in the six years of playing alongside each other, they hadn’t already exchanged this advice – not to mention the fact that the drill is pretty routine even at the high school level.  Nonetheless, between the end of last year and the beginning of this one, it appears Jimmy is starting to turn a corner offensively.  He still will probably never be the prototypical leadoff hitter; but at his current production, for the Phillies, he’ll certainly do.

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