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Tracy on Walks

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Via Primer, here's an AP article about Jim Tracy and drawing walks to complement the one Dejan Kovacevic wrote a few days ago.

Through eight exhibitions, Pittsburgh has drawn 33 walks, tied for fourth-most of any team in baseball this spring. That's an average of more than four per game and a big increase from last season, when they averaged fewer than three.

"I'm not advocating we take the first pitch every time we walk up there," Tracy said. "But, if you're going to take a swing at a first pitch, have it be a really good swing. If we keep preaching that, there won't have to be a whole lot said if you make a weak out on a marginally bad first pitch. It's not the way you play winning baseball."

Obviously, 33 walks in eight games is a tiny sample size that very likely means nothing. But it's great that Jim Tracy identifies this as a problem. Anyone remember if Lloyd McClendon ever said anything about this while Randall Simon was racking up first pitch groundouts by what seemed like the hundreds?