Kids, do you want to be a Most Valuable Player? If so, there are two important rules to follow. The first is, swing at the ball. Walks won't win you awards. The second rule is don't play unless it's really, really important. The rest will help you be strong so when you do swing, you will hit home runs.
Look at San Francisco Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria. He just won the World Series MVP. And from August 4th until the end of the World Series last night, Renteria drew exactly one walk. That's right. From the time you were at the beach enjoying summer vacation and 100 degree weather until early November, when the first marking period is about to end, he took four balls just once. Very important lesson.
Nopw let's look at rest. During that time span in which Renteria drew one walk, he played in just 15 regular season games followed by 11 postseason games. That's 26 games. His team played 70 games. Renteria started the season playing a bunch of games. He played in 72 games during the regular season and hit three home runs. That's a home run every 24 games. In 2009 he hit five home runs in 124 games for one home run every 25 games.
But in five World Series games, coming off a bunch of rest, Renteria hit two home runs.
So remember, kids, if your coach wants you to play, tell him you'll be ready when the games are important and when you do play, make sure the only walking you do is during your home run trots.