Commentary

Cust stands out as the ultimate '3-TOG'

Originally Published: April 21, 2008
By Rob Neyer | ESPN.com
Baseball's different these days, and some people don't like all the changes. When the Yankees play the Red Sox, for example, you might as well assume they'll need at least four hours and a dozen or so pitchers. Some people might blame "Moneyball," but they might as well blame Maury Wills on Ty Cobb, or Roger Clemens on Tom Seaver. Today's hitters take pitches -- and thus draw walks, and strike out -- because the game's current conditions encourage them to take pitches. Today's hitters are also stronger than ever, and so when they do swing at pitches, they often hit them a long way.

[+] EnlargeRob Deer
Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty ImagesRob Deer's season highs in homers, walks and strikeouts were 33, 89 and 186 respectively.