Ruben Amaro apparently doesn't understand PAs vs. ABs

Does Ruben Amaro really not get the difference between plate appearances and at-bats?
Does Ruben Amaro really not get the difference between plate appearances and at-bats? (USATSI)

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During the Phillies' broadcast Thursday, general manager Ruben Amaro made an appearance in the booth and, as it turns out, it wasn't a very good idea. When the topic of Jimmy Rollins approaching Mike Schmidt's club record for hits came up, this what Amaro had to say (via, which also has audio proof):

“Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”


The Hall of Famer Schmidt had 2,234 hits in 8,352 at bats, good for a .267 batting average. Rollins is currently at 2,233 hits in 8,323 at-bats, good for a .268 average. So far, so good.

Enter, plate appearances ... which include things that at-bats don't, such as walks and hit-by-pitches.

Schmidt had an excellent .380 on-base percentage in his career, thanks in part to 1,507 walks. Rollins has only taken 724 walks. So, yeah, that's a huge difference in plate appearances.

I understand if the average, casual fan gets confused by the difference, but this is a man in charge of running one of 30 Major League Baseball clubs on this planet. I further understand that sometimes a man has what we might call "brain farts," can misspeak or just can't quite get something off the tip of his tongue. This -- ABs vs. PAs -- is a pretty fundamental subject in baseball, though, it's something most of us learned in Little League. I don't know how someone in Amaro's position can just forget the difference. And if he didn't forget it, that means he never knew it, right? I'm lost.

Or, in Ruben's parlance, I don't quite understand it.

In possibly-related news, the Phillies enter Friday's action ranking 24th in baseball in on-base percentage.

Hat-tip: Dan Szymborski

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