Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of today’s AJC, which features a long Q & A with Chipper (you can read it online if you have a digital subscription).
I don’t mind strikeouts either. I mind situational strikeouts. If you strike out 100 times, but your strikeouts are with two outs and nobody on base, those don’t bother me. Striking out bothers me when you’ve got guys on base and you’re making unproductive outs. When you’re leading off innings, that’s when it bothers me. There are times when you’re playing this game that you cannot strikeout, can’t. And those unproductive outs have hurt this team.
They’ve got a six-game lead (through Tuesday). They’re doing plenty of things right. They have a very subpar first-half start by the Washington Nationals to thank for that. But I still I worry about this team come crunch time late September, October when we’re talking playoff baseball. While I like the makeup of the club and I think it’s an exciting club, are they going to be able to make contact when they absolutely have to have it, against a premier pitcher. Matt Cain. (Stephen) Strasburg. Clayton Kershaw. …
We also learn that Greg Walker turned to Chipper for advice in getting B.J. on track.
I think sometimes we get caught up in the physical and we forget the mental. You can change someone’s mechanics by getting them to think more mental about each and every at-bat. If a guy is doing something mechanically wrong that he can’t feel, maybe you say, “Well, think about driving the ball through the wall as opposed to hitting the ball over the wall.” … Now B.J.’s a little more down and through and you’re starting to see his contact point pick up. You’re starting to see him center more balls and starting to see the average come up.