Thursday, April 06, 2006

Rollins' Broken Arrow Hitting Streak Tougher Than DiMaggio's

The Phillies' Jimmy Rollins' latest assault on Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak -- he's at 38 and counting -- brings up an interesting, potential debate.

If Rollins, bless his heart, manages to hit safely in at least 18 more consecutive games, it will beg the question: Was Rollins' achievement any easier or more difficult than DiMaggio's?

Think about it a moment. Hitting safely in 56 straight games is tough, no matter how you slice it. But Rollins' way -- spread over two seasons (36 in 2005 and 20 in 2006) with six months between at-bats -- is a different kind of tough. Not necessarily tougher, but different. So when things are different, is it not natural to want to compare them?

It says here that should Rollins manage to at least tie DiMaggio, his way should be considered tougher than doing it all in the same season.

A long hitting streak in the middle of a season means, obviously, that you're on a roll, seeing the ball good, and all that rot. You've gotten into a rhythm. You're "locked in." You can't wait to get to the ballpark. No pitcher is remotely like Cy Young.

But to have to wait six months, including going through spring training with its meaningless games, only to suddenly "turn the switch" when the curtain rises for real in April, and pick up where you left off in order to keep the streak alive -- well, I just think that requires something extra that DiMaggio didn't have to deal with.

Some great hitters have been described as being able to jump out of bed on Christmas morning and slap a single to left. Jimmy Rollins essentially had to do that to lengthen his hitting streak, when you consider it.

Anyhow, it's a fun thing to discuss, as so many other baseball-related arguments tend to be. So in that spirit, take a gander at the latest WHYGJG poll to the right and chime in with your opinion.

Even if Rollins blows it the next game, he's gone long enough to trigger debate.

You got a problem with that?

2 Comments:

Blogger Ozz said...

The Cards held him hitless Thursday afternoon.

It would've been interesting to see how far he could've taken it.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Greg Eno said...

Must have been the WHYGJG jinx...

11:19 PM  

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