It's not really about one person. But, one person can make a difference. One person can set the tone for everyone else. Either by leadership, performance or determination, a single person can show the rest how to get things done.
You can't really blame a single batter for going 0 for 4. It happens. The Law of Averages sleeps on your couch some days. Of course, when you go 0 for 4 a lot you tend to be the one on the couch and the law of averages has taken over your bedroom.
Terrence Long went 8 for 15 over the last five games against the Texas Rangers and Anaheim Angels pitching staff. Over the past seven days he is 9 for 22.
Some thought he might be out of his slump until he laid an 0 for 4 at the plate last night and grounded out to end the ball game.
You can't really blame a fielder for a lot of errors. A lot of playing the field is based on placement. That is the scouting department and coaching staff to position fielders correctly. Again, the Law of Averages sometimes is in the only bathroom in the house 30 minutes at a time every time you need to go. But, with fielding, the Law of Averages actually takes a leak in the backyard. The Law of Averages works in the fielder's favor. If said fielder is positioned properly and learns his craft well there really shouldn't be a problem. 98% of the time the fielder should be able to make the play, any play.
Terrence Long is the worst centerfielder in all of baseball and might be one of the worst fielders that isn't a regular DH.
Terrence Long is ahead of one person in Zone rating among regular centerfielders, Bernie Williams. Williams' shoulders were so bad that he went on a DL stint earlier this year and can barely get the ball into the infield with a throw from the outfield.
What are we saying?
TERRENCE LONG IS ONLY SLIGHTLY BETTER THAN AN INVALID
And that goes if he were playing rightfield, leftfield, running the bases, stepping into the batter's box, changing after the game, driving down the freeway...
Okay, maybe we're getting too personal.
Terrence blamed his low batting average on bad luck last week. So, he deserves some mistreatment.
"Right now, it doesn't matter who I get a hit off of, because there haven't been many, and that was a big situation. I haven't been aggressive, I've been taking a lot of first-pitch strikes, and those have been the only good pitches I've been getting to hit, so I wanted to be aggressive right there." - Terrence Long 19 September 2002
"I haven't had much luck lately,I was rushing the ball and swinging at a lot of pitches out of the zone. That has cost me a lot this year. But that's done and I'm trying to build for the playoffs."- Terrence Long 20 September 2002
.249 Equivalent Average
66.8 Equivalent Runs
12.0 Runs Above a Replacement
-15.2 Runs Above Position
6.6 Runs Above Replacement Position
In other words, Terrence Long is less than 7 runs better over 162 games than any marginal replacement player at his position. Putting John Mabry, Adam Piatt, or the logical replacement, Eric Byrnes in center would be a hell of a lot more productive at the plate than what T Long has been serving up.
The defense is bound to be better as well, because it just can't get any worse.