Today the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland DH Jack Cust has made history. With six games to go this year, Cust has played in 118 games and struck out 154 times, most in the American League. Though Cust didn’t join the A’s until May 4, he has the sixth-highest strikeout total in Oakland history.
The major-league mark for most strikeouts with fewer than 125 games played is 158, held by Bo Jackson (1987) and Melvin Nieves (1996).
Cust has a pretty relaxed attitude about his new record.
From the SF Chronicle:
“I’m just going to strike out a lot,” he said. “I always lead every league I’m in in strikeouts, so I figure if it’s the major leagues, at least that’s the best league. It’s better than leading the Pacific Coast League.”
Hard to argue with that.
The Chronicle points out that next year, Cust will be a favorite to break the single-season strikeout record:
Next year, Cust might have a shot at the single season record of 195, set by Cincinnati’s Adam Dunn in 2004.
Umm…earth to the Chronicle. Dunn’s record is yesterday’s news.
I can’t keep track. Do we still care if a player strikes out a lot? It seems to me that we used to blast guys like Dunn for striking out as much as he does. But I don’t hear those same complaints as much anymore. And I certainly don’t hear anybody complaining about Ryan Howard, the new strikeout king.
Have we changed our tune? Is it now okay to strikeout a lot, as long as you put up gaudy power numbers?