Baseclogging: The Yin To My Yang

Oakland A's minor league spring training is underway with pitchers and catchers in camp. Jeremy Barfield is working out at Papago everyday and getting ready for the official start of camp for position players. He fills us in on why players and statistical analysis don't always mix and why the "Pickin' Machine" in "Moneyball" could have had a career on the mound...

It has begun.

Pitchers and catchers have officially begun Spring Training. There are a whole lot of non-athletes running around Papago Park throwing a ball around.

In case you weren't aware I have this ongoing joke about pitchers being non-athletes. Sean Doolittle is an obvious exception to this due to his success as a hitter/athlete. Lots of new faces everywhere and I'm making an effort to learn the names that match these new faces.

Recently I made a comment on Twitter about my distaste for of some of these advanced statistics and I was absolutely crucified for it. Apparently people take that stuff pretty seriously. I understand that everything has its place in this world but I can't for the life of me figure out the reason to break numbers down so much.

Perhaps as a player I'm not supposed to ever figure it out. Some called me arrogant and said I don't know what I'm talking about. That's actually a true statement considering I don't dissect other people's numbers, rather I work as hard as I can to put up my own numbers. I guess as long as there are players putting up numbers then there will be experts who dissect them.

Hitting on the fields here at Papago Park really gives hitters false confidence. The ball absolutely flies here and batting practice is more like Home Run Derby, Bash Brothers style.

Today [Thursday, March 8] was pretty sweet. I got to hit off of Scott Hatteberg. He claimed to have never thrown batting practice before. Sure enough, I found out why. He throws a nasty cutter. We're talking one that could give Mariano Rivera a run for his money.

It was hilarious. I'm just glad I didn't hit one off the end and shatter my bat. That's the equivalent of an NBA player airballing a free throw. It just can't happen, but once every blue moon it unfortunately does.

Position players officially report in a few days. The next time you hear from me I'll definitely be five shades darker and my outlook on life will be greatly influenced by my performance on the field. They don't keep track of stats in Spring Training but truth be told we definitely keep track of our on field performance.

If you ain't hitting it's going to be a long spring. Hopefully all this work pays off for me and these blisters plaguing my hands were worth it. I'm ready to go back to work. I'm ready to mash.

Follow Jeremy on Twitter (@Baseclogger) and tweet him questions and comments.

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