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This Graphic Showing All Of Javier Baez's Swings And Misses Throughout His Career Makes Me Once Again Wonder How He Was Ever Good At Baseball

I was thinking just the other day that it’s been a minute since Javier Báez did something that made me want to gouge my fucking eyes out. And then I remembered that he’s barely been in the lineup over the last several weeks. Is this one of the reasons why the Tigers have been playing pretty well? I’m in no place to answer that question, but the answer is unequivocally yes.

I've said this before, but I don't get that upset by players who strike out a lot. There is bizarrely a place for it in the game. Somebody like Kyle Schwarber will lead the league in walks and strikeouts this year. If you're mashing, I'm okay with it. Players are going to chase outside of the strike zone. Not everybody can be Joey Votto at his peak. But there's a difference between occasionally chasing a pitch that's off the plate and deciding to swing that before the pitch is even thrown.

You will have some ugly swings if you track any player's swings and misses throughout their career. But this Javier Báez chart has pitches that are located in different area codes than the one Javy Baez was standing in when he was at the plate. There are pitches at his feet, at his face, and pitches that essentially land in the on-deck circle. It's a mess. Everything about him is a mess. God, he makes me so upset.

I will never tire when it comes to writing about Javy Baez. I find him endlessly fascinating. In many ways, he completes my fandom. Every negative emotion I've ever felt about my baseball team is perfectly encapsulated in this one player. Don't get me wrong, I would cry tears of joy if he was no longer on this team, but he's not going anywhere. The Tigers have them locked up for four more years. The downside is they'll probably lose more games because of him, but the upside is that he'll provide me with plenty of material. 

I just can't wrap my head around the fact that there was a time when Javier Báez was one of the most electric players in baseball. I don't understand how pitchers were so stupid. You can throw the guy anything, literally ANYTHING, and he'll swing at it. He was never a high on-base guy but a dangerous hitter. I don't think he lost his ability. I just think the league wised up. Sadly, they woke up just around the time he signed a six-year contract with the Tigers.


One day, just to clear my conscience, I will write a blog about all the electric moments Javy provided Cubs fans with in the early part of his career. I've written enough blogs bashing him that I feel like I owe him a little bit of grace. But for the time being, the Tigers are stuck with Baez. I've reached a point with him where I don't need him to be what he was in Chicago. I need him to be slightly below average. Have an OPS in the high 600s, and I'll almost call it acceptable. We'll never get there. You can't claim to be a team that wants to dominate the strike zone and employ Javier Báez, and yet here we are.