The Hellgate Lance (Missoula, Montana) 1964-current, October 23, 2017, Image 11

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SPORTS 11 Athlete of - the Issue: Issat Sthmidt Henry Charman Assistant Editor Isaac Schmidt, a senior at Hellgate , has been running for as long as he can remem - ber. From running in local races to t rav - eling with Hellgate to compete with other schools, \Schmidt dominate s the co u r s e with ease . From a young kid, all Schm idt wanted to do was run. In the four y ears that Schm i dt ha s run for the Hellgate cross countr y team , h e has run in one JV race, due to a s lower time the previous week. Training is a big part of his life. \I run anywhere f rom 30 to 85 miles a week; ' Schmidt said . \ Sometimes, I'll even run after I'm done with cross country practice : ' Issac Schmidt ak.a 'O h Schmidt, h e ' s fast ' Photo courtesey o f H enry Charman 'No days off' is the motto for the young Prefontaine, who hopes to continue racing at the college level next year. At the city meet to qualify for state on Oct. 11 , Schmidt, the fan favorite, took first place. As instruct- ed he hung back at a 'grueling ' 5:30 pace with the rest of the varsity run - ners for the first two miles . When he passed that second mile mark, he took off, passing a few Big - Sky · and Sentinel kids in front of him. Schmidt will be running in state in Helena on Oct. 21. Unoonrested. Schmidt glides through the finish in thedtymeet Photo courtesy of Zoe Peach-Riley What's the Deal With All The - se Dingers? Clayton Franke Guest Writer As the Yankees battled to keep their season alive against the Indians in game 4 of the ALDS on Oct. 9, Aaron Judge battled simply to put bat on ball. The 6 foot 7 inch, 282 pound Yankee slugger racked up his fourth strikeout of the night , his second golden sombrero of the series. Through game four, Judge is 1-15 at the plate with a whopping 12 strikeouts, his lone hit coming on a double in game four . During the regular season , Judge struck out about 30.6 percent of the time, and led the MLB with 208 strikeouts. Despite his recent postseason struggles, the Yankee right fielder broke the single season rookie home run record with 52 home runs and made a strong case for MVP in the American league. This leads one to question the true value of the home run: Are all these dingers worth the ridiculous amount of strikeouts that come with it? The home run in baseball is the most flashy, excit- · ing, and thrilling part of the game . This year in baseball, there was an all time season record of 6, i 05 big flies, surpassing the record of 5,693 set in the year 2000. This was in the heart of the steroid era, with sluggers such as Bonds and Mcgwire juicing their way to home run records. This simply isn't the case today. And yet the total the best in their respective leagues. Obviously , any season home run record was obliterated in 2017. So team would want a player who can slug 59 dingers in a what is the issue? What could possibly be so bad about season . What really should be examined are the average all of these home runs ? The answer is strikeouts. To players who are striking out more and giving up Batting go along with the total home run record being broken, Average to hit more home runs. the total strikeout record of 40,105 strikeouts was set Take Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals for by 2017 batters . This means that batters are beginning example. Carpenter had his best season in 2013, when to disregard the strikeout , as long as it means more he hit .318 with 11 homers, and struck out about 13 dingers. percent of the time. In 2017, he hit .241 with 23 homers Many batters have reformed their swings into a and struck out a career high 20 percent of the time. slight uppercut , in order to create more of a launch an- This means that Carpenter has sacrificed some of his gle. Judge is a good example of this, as well as Chicago average and contact for niore power . When it really gets Cubs third basemen Chris Bryant. But when swinging interesting is in examining his WAR from those two up on the ball, it makes it harder to make contact with seasons. In 2013, he had a WAR of6 . 9, while in 2017, the fastball up in the zone, a pitch that has also been he had a WAR of just 2.9. His overall value to the team used more frequently in recent years. This results in decreased with an increase in strikeouts while trying to more swings and misses, thus resulting in more strike- hit for more power . outs . But what really matters is applying these stats to In some circum~tances, with certain types of players, the game. more strikeouts is worth the extra pop, but generally, To answer this question, one must examine differ- with more average players, this is not the case, and more ences in overall player production . Generally, the most strikeouts and more power hurt their value to the team. appropriate stat for measuring value or worth of a player As with the case of Judge in this year's postseason, the is WAR (Wins Above Replacement). This is essentially strikeouts have gotten out of hand, yet he has nothing a measure of how many wins a certain player is worth to show for it. Whatever the case may be, if you find to a team. The top two home - run leaders, Aaron Judge yourself tuned in to a postseason game anytime you can and Giancarlo Stanton, are two and three in the majors expect a fair share of dingers, as well as a hefty load of for WAR. However, these two players are bad examples, whifs. due to the fact that they are superstars and arguably • • • • • •

The Hellgate Lance (Missoula, Montana), 23 Oct. 2017, located at <>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.