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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Billy Hamilton's Speed A Disruptive Force

The drama created by Billy Hamilon's speed was on display in the Reds' 10-inning loss to the Milwuakee Brewers on Saturday.

Hamilton walked in the first inning, stole second and took off for third.  Brewer's catcher Jonathan Lucroy threw to third but Hernan Perez wasn't there. "We missed a sign," Brewer's manager Craig Counsell said.  As the ball rolled down the leftfield line Hamilton sprinted home.

Two innings later, Hamilton singled Zack Cozart to third.  Hamilton took off with Joey Votto batting and had reached second by the time the ball was hit.  Hamilton was able to score from firstbase on a single, causing Perez to throw the ball sideways as he rushed his relay throw.

"Hamilton brings the speed component being at the top of the lineup. He is hitting the ball harder and getting on base at a higher rate," Bryan Price said. "It's fun to watch Billy. We can talk about it because he's been on base at a higher rate. You see what the speed component does to pitchers. It seem like a time bomb that can go off when he's on the bases. It is a very important part of our offense. To see how much time the pitchers and infielders invest in trying to slow him down. I wasn't a Major League coach with Ricky Henderson was playing but I think he was a pure base stealer. Billy has that quick twitch ability on a direct throw to thirdbase he has the ability to break and break back. All the picks at second base, he might jab step toward third a being able to correct and get back easily. Some guys get picked off simply because they shift their weight. He might take a cross step and make it back easily. He's the best at what he does."

Counsell saw Hamilton's play affect the game from the other side.

"Last night was an example of what Hamilton's speed does and how it effects the game in non measurable ways," Counsell said.. "That's what he does, he makes you make mistakes. We made several mistakes because of his speed basically. The undocumented part of speed is how it makes the defense uncomfortable."

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