Friday, July 22, 2011

Blue Eyes Squinting in the Sun?

Are these eyes too blue to see in daylight?
Maybe John Fogerty had a point when he sang about a "brown-eyed handsome man" playing "Centerfield." Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers obviously thinks so. Ever since he told the world that his daytime hitting woes are all because he has blue eyes, the debate has raged.

Optometrists have weighed in on both sides. Many say there's something to Hamilton's complaint, while others says people with light eyes naturally compensate to the difference.  I admit I am skeptical that having blue eyes is a huge obstacle for hitters.

A number bloggers have looked at the stats of Hamilton and other blue-eyed players. One tracked Hamilton's year-by-year splits and Jason Bay's, another player with blue eyes. Bay has said he agrees that hitting during the day was tougher because of his blue eyes. (Although how any blue-eyed player knows what it's like for a brown-eyed player is a mystery.) Bay's day night-splits are pretty close.

I'm not surprised. It seems to me that Hamilton's problems are in his head, and I don't mean his eyes. This week he tried some fancy, custom sunglasses, but gave up on them after one hitless day. Last year, Hamilton hit 170 points higher during the day than he has this year. That says to me it has become a confidence issue.

Or maybe he just needs to squint a little more.

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