Bill Hall brings an edge to the Astros
Bill Hall is hitting .188 with no homers and 12 strikeouts in 32 at-bats so far this season for the Astros, but you should feel fortunate to have him around. Sure, Hall is going to have his share of swings and misses at the plate and is going to be streaky on offense, but his presence is about more than stats.
What Hall has brought to the Astros is an edge. We saw Friday night when he slid aggressively – and maybe a little late – into Florida Marlins All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez that he plays the game hard, and he makes no apologies for that. He took offense to being hit by a pitch in Spring Training by Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels and said afterwards that Hamels “was a marked man,” and he didn’t mince words following Sunday’s game either.
Hall was hit by a pitch by Marlins reliever Edward Mujica in the seventh inning in apparent retaliation for the slide into Ramirez. Personally, I couldn’t wait to get to the clubhouse to hear what Hall had to say. He didn’t go as far as saying Mujica was a marked man, but he didn’t back down.
“I’m going to continue to play the game hard,” he said. “If I have to go in and break up another double play, no matter what team you’re playing or if you’re playing them again, I’m going to go in the same way. You’ve got to play the game hard. That’s what it’s all about.
“I’m not upset I went in there hard. I’m going to do it again. If they felt the need to retaliate or get even, that’s on them. At the same time I’m going to play the game hard and I feel like there’s 24 other guys in this room and a manager and coaches that have my back. We’re going to play the game and hard and not be pushed over by anybody.”
Every team needs a little attitude, a little edginess. Brett Myers brought that last year when he signed with the Astros, and Hall is cut from the same cloth. With so many young players on the team, having Myers and Hall setting examples isn’t a bad thing for the future. And they add a little spice for those that are covering the club, which makes them favorites in my book.