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Old 03-16-2018, 11:15 AM
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Runscott Runscott is offline
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Default Marcel Ozuna - bat thief

If you can find it online, read the Wall Street Journal story about Ozuna's habit of trying out his teammates' bats. It's a great read.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:44 AM
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Jeff G@rf!nkel
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You need a subscription to the WSJ to read the story. Can someone please cut and paste it here?

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ibuysportsephemera View Post
You need a subscription to the WSJ to read the story. Can someone please cut and paste it here?
Yes, that's ethical.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:50 PM
packs packs is offline
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You don't need a subscription if you search it on Google and click the link from there.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:55 PM
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Jeff G@rf!nkel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcy View Post
Yes, that's ethical.
Please David...you know nothing about me. I am probably more ethical than 99% of the population. Why should I pay for a whole subscription to read 1 story? Most online newspapers or publications allow you to read 1-3 stories before they charge you anything. It is not like I am asking someone for a free subscription on a regular basis. Sorry...your comment was undeserved.

Jeff
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:56 PM
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ibuysportsephemera ibuysportsephemera is offline
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Originally Posted by packs View Post
You don't need a subscription if you search it on Google and click the link from there.
I tried but it kept asking for me to log in or subscribe.

Jeff
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2018, 04:12 PM
packs packs is offline
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Here you go, ethics be damned:

When Marcell Ozuna arrived here for his first spring training with the St. Louis Cardinals, he embarked on a secret mission to acquire critical information: What kind of bats do his new teammates use?

Ozuna, of course, owns his own collection of bats. He typically wields a 34-inch, 32-ounce maple model made by Chandler, a boutique manufacturer based in Pennsylvania.

But during five seasons with the Miami Marlins, a period in which he developed into one of baseball’s finest young outfielders, the 27-year-old Ozuna earned a reputation as a bat thief. He would frequently “borrow” somebody’s bat—and then hit so well with it that he wouldn’t want to give it back.

The habit started in 2016, when Ozuna went on a 16-game hitting streak using bats bestowed upon him by Barry Bonds, then the Marlins’ hitting coach. Last May, he homered in consecutive games with Ichiro Suzuki’s bat and followed that up in July with a 455-foot moonshot with a piece of lumber belonging to Giancarlo Stanton. Ozuna also copped to occasionally taking bats from Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich, and one former Marlin even says he heard that Ozuna had one of Bryce Harper’s sticks in his possession—a rumor Ozuna refuses to confirm or deny.

The Marlins traded Ozuna this winter to St. Louis, a perennial contender looking to return to the playoffs after falling short in two straight seasons. The Cardinals acquired him because he gives them a dangerous middle-of-the-order threat; Ozuna hit 37 homers and drove in 124 runs for Miami in 2017.

After getting to spring training, Ozuna quickly began snooping for fresh targets.

“I’m wondering whose bat he’s going to be able to use, because nobody else on that team is as big as Giancarlo,” Gordon said.

ordon, now the center fielder for the Seattle Mariners, predicted that Ozuna would gravitate toward Yadier Molina, the Cardinals’ veteran catcher. Ozuna, however, appears most intrigued by what Dexter Fowler has to offer, due to his bats’ measurements—even if Fowler remains blissfully unaware of Ozuna’s interest. Fowler sounded perplexed when asked about the possibility of Ozuna commandeering one of his bats.

“I haven’t heard that,” Fowler said. “That’s fine. He can have it.”

Ozuna doesn’t necessarily want Fowler or anybody else on the Cardinals to know his plans. He prefers the sneak attack, moving in on his mark in times of struggle. From a practical standpoint, Ozuna said he sometimes will switch things up during a slump, partially out of superstition, but partially for a legitimate baseball reason. In bad stretches, he will seek a lighter bat, finding that it helps him regain his mechanics.

“When I don’t feel comfortable, I’ll get the feeling with another bat,” Ozuna said. “So I say, ‘Let me get one of those bats,’ and I use it.”

Other times, Ozuna looks for a different bat purely out of necessity.

In a game against the Milwaukee Brewers last July, the umpires determined that the pine tar on Ozuna’s bat extended beyond the allowable 18 inches. Forced to switch bats, he grabbed one of Stanton’s from the Marlins dugout and promptly deposited a pitch deep into the left-field seats.

(The pine tar incident didn’t seem to faze him: On a recent morning in the Cardinals clubhouse at Roger Dean Stadium, Ozuna spent quite a while meticulously applying the sticky substance to his bats.)

“I think he’s just trying to test it out and see whose bat he wants to use when he gets his taken away,” Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto said with a laugh.

Ozuna made sure to ask for permission for taking a bat in one instance: when he started using the bats belonging to Suzuki, a man who treats his bats the way most people care for a baby. Suzuki famously stacks his equipment in a moisture-free case that he keeps by his locker at home and carries with him on the road.

That meticulousness didn’t stop Ozuna from asking Suzuki if he could try one out, first in batting practice, then in a game. Initially puzzled by the request, Suzuki ultimately consented, but on one nonnegotiable condition.

“He said, ‘Don’t throw it,’” Ozuna said. “‘If you’re going to strike out or something like that, don’t throw it. If you walk, just put the bat down.’”


Ozuna heeded Suzuki’s warning and enjoyed immediate success. The first time he used it, Ozuna went 3-for-5 with a home run. Flush with confidence, he decided he wanted to use it again the next day.

This sparked outcry in the Marlins’ locker room. His teammates couldn’t believe he would risk breaking the great Suzuki’s bat after he homered with it the night before. He had in his hands a keepsake from a future Hall-of-Famer, one of the best hitters in history, that he could show his grandchildren.

“I got pissed at him,” said Yelich, now with the Brewers. “I was like, ‘Dude, stop. You hit a homer with Ichiro’s bat. Make him sign the bat and put it away. It’s Ichiro, man.’”

Ozuna brought Suzuki’s bat with him to the plate for his first at-bat the next day and homered with it for the second time. He bowed to Suzuki when he returned to the bench and retired the bat forever, wanting it to go out on a high note. Afterward, Ozuna asked Suzuki to autograph the bat. He currently has it at his house.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:30 PM
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Thank you Packs...a good read. It is appreciated.

Jeff
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2018, 07:46 PM
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Weird. I googled 'Wall street journal' and 'ozuna' and it popped right up, even including a nice photograph. I don't have a subscription.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:41 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Was that the WSJ article, or the MLB one?

I get the MLB one, but WSJ wants $12 for 12 weeks. Not actually a bad deal, but for me it may as well be $12 for one article.
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