Everybody loves a good story. And I'm no different. But I am a little surprised by the reaction to Dodgers outfielder Andre Eithier's hitting streak.
Eithier has reached safely in his last 29 games and the comparisons to Joe DiMaggio -- who hit in 56 straight games to set the major league record in 1941 -- have been pouring in. I'm surprised the sports show guys who wax on about how wonderful DiMaggio's record is haven't already thrown Eithier a parade.
First, I think it's a little early to get excited about the potential of Eithier breaking Joltin' Joe's mark since he's only a little bit more than half way there. But so what if he does? Why is holding the record for getting a base hit in a string of consecutive games such a big deal?
It's possible to get a hit in every game of a season and bat below .250. It's just ONE hit a game, after all. I'm much more impressed by the fact that Matt Holliday is hitting better than .400 as the calendar turns from April to May.
The pressure of a hitting streak is you have to get that one hit every day. But to hit .400, getting only one hit a day is failure. If you go 1-for-4 on Monday, you almost have to go 3-for-4 on Tuesday or you're going to be in trouble. Holliday earlier this week had a 2-for-5 game and saw his average go DOWN from .410 to .409.
Holliday has a long, long way to go before we can even start to get excited about carrying a .400 batting average for the season. But if he accomplished that feat it would be breathtaking. If Eithier broke the hit streak mark my reaction would be more along the lines of "well, what d'ya know...?"
I must be in the minority here. Ted Williams was the last hitter to crack the .400 mark. And he did it the same year that DiMaggio set the hitting streak record. Who won the American League MVP Award that year? Despite the fact that Williams' batting average for the season was better than DiMaggio's during his hitting streak, DiMaggio got the award.