Strikeouts, particularly the assessment of pitchers ability to strike out batters has garnered much attention in the last couple years. So much so that some baseball pundits consider it the best indicator of a pitcher's effectiveness or potential. While I think the strikeout is currently being overemphasized, I definitely agree with the premise that a ball not put in play for an out is far superior to one that is put in play, even if it should result in an out.
So, to my first apparent contradiction: if striking people out is so important as a pitcher, why shouldn't hitters be equally as concerned with preventing strikeouts? Many observers say things like, strikeouts don't matter because an out is the same whether it is a strikeout or a flyball, etc. Batters are striking out in record numbers with no apparent reservation or change in approach to prevent it. This flies directly in the face of the modern pitching credo.
The same contradiction appears to be at play in reverse with walks. We have people say they don't care if a pitcher walks too many batters if they have high strikeout rates, even to say that a walk is preferable to a hit because, after all, a walk is just one base and a hit can be more.
Contradiction number 2: why is the modern hitting philosophy to work counts with the hope of getting a walk, while driving up pitch counts. If obtaining walks is such a crucial offensive strategy shouldn't there be equal emphasis on the pitching side dedicated to preventing walks?
I will await the wisdom of the Twins Daily posting community.......