Hall-of-fame baseball writer Hal McCoy knows a thing or two about America’s pastime. If you’d like to tap into that knowledge, send a question to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Why do most managers permit the No. 4 hitter to swing away with two men on and no outs instead of bunting the runners into scoring position? — JOE, BEAVERCREEK
A: The No. 4 hitter is your power guy, your homer guy, your RBI guy. With him, the runners already are in scoring position. One swing and it’s three runs. That’s why No. 4 hitters drive a Lamborghini and guys who bunt drive a Ford Focus.
Q: Do you believe that what the St. Louis Cardinals are doing is good for the Cincinnati Reds because it keeps their drive going? — BILL, DAYTON
A: Not really. If the Cardinals keep doing what they’ve done early this season it won’t be healthy for the Reds, who mostly keep winning and don’t gain ground. Ask that question to Reds manager Dusty Baker and he’ll tell you, “Give us a 10-game lead and we won’t care what the Cardinals do.” Players hardly pay attention to standings and focus on what they are doing on the field, trying to win every game. That’s their drive.
Q: The Reds' recent blown leads and blown saves should show how the team supports each other. What is your sense of the clubhouse? — COURT, ARLINGTON, VA.
A: It is a great clubhouse, not a bad guy in there. The camaraderie couldn’t be better. They support one another during the good times and the bad. Stuff happens in baseball and if one pitcher fails he gets positive input because it is a feeling that, “Hey, that could be me tomorrow.”