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Friday, August 6, 2010
How about some integrity for stats?

By Adam Rubin

You hear all the chatter about how many homers Alex Rodriguez rightfully should be recognized for hitting among his 600, considering his admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Can we get some integrity for batting averages, too?

Here's the situation: No. 8 batter Luis Castillo comes to the plate with Jeff Francoeur on first base and none out. Castillo bunts, and is thrown out at first base.

Official scoring: sacrifice.

Whaaaaat?

Either Castillo is a clueless ballplayer, or the official scorer is the one who is clueless. I have a feeling the latter.

How can the intent of Castillo not to be to bunt for a hit if pitcher Jon Niese is on deck?

Scoring decisions like these are the reason Castillo had an inflated .302 batting average last season. If you're getting free at-bats when you're out and bunt base hits when it's successful, that'll happen.

The rule, by the way, is that the batter should be given the benefit of the doubt. But how can there be any doubt about a team trying to get a runner into scoring position for its pitcher in the third inning?