Reading the Angles

Ken Griffey will probably DH in Seattle, but he’ll no doubt see some time in left field too. As this wire report notes, that will be a novel thing for him, inasmuch as he has played almost exclusively in center and right over the course of his career. I found Griffey’s comments on that interesting:

“It’s about figuring out the angles,” Griffey said. “Centre field is the easiest position to play, because there are no angles. You just go to where you think the ball’s going to come down.”

No, I don’t think Griffey has the legs to play center anymore, but it’s easy to forget that playing a good centerfield isn’t just about being fast enough to cover all of that ground. Indeed, I’d argue that Andurw Jones’ stellar play in centerfield had way more to do with him simply being able to figure out where the ball was going quicker than anyone else than it did sheer athleticism. Griffey did that pretty well himself before his body started betraying him. I haven’t watched enough Reds’ games in recent years to know for sure, but one wonders if Griffey’s defensive problems had more to do with his inability to read the angles in the corners than his bad wheels.

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  1. Doug said...

    As a reds fan, I can assure you that far too many balls dropped in front of him.  I don’t think the angles had anything to do with it.  I will say that despite his awful range, he does still have a pretty good arm and can throw out some people from the outfield.

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