While driving tonight, I was listening to Jon Miller and Joe Morgan call Rays-Red Sox Game 7 on ESPN Radio when Miller brought up former Met Ron Hunt during a long at-bat by Dustin Pedroia. Miller compared Hunt to Pedroia, for his ability to work counts and the fact that he's a fine 2B. Hunt was renowned for his all around peskiness and was particularly adept at getting hit by pitches (he once tallied 50 HBP in a season and averaged 27 per year - for comparison David Wright has been hit by 25 pitches in 4.5 seasons). Anyway, Miller then relayed a story, which I'll paraphrase here:
"Hall of Famer Steve Carlton was so frustrated by the 9 or 10 pitch AB's Hunt always seemed to work against him that he'd frequently just drill Hunt in the back with the first pitch if no one was on base. That way he could keep his pitch count low."
The magic of the Internet let me look up Hunt's career vs. Carlton. In 100 PA's, Hunt tallied - get this - exactly ONE hit by pitch. 1 out of 100. Any other tall tales you'd like to relay to the listeners Jon? Keep in mind it took under 30 seconds for me to find this info. Google search Ron Hunt, click on his Baseball Reference page, and go to his career vs. any pitcher he faced. Amazing right?
I think I've been influenced by websites/blogs like Baseball Prospectus and FJM to keep an eye out for stuff like this. It just boggles my mind that announcers continue to spout this nonsense, and I bet any broadcast with bad announcers features atleast 2 or 3 of these easily correctable falsehoods. Go Rays.