Quiz – Who are we? (solved)

There are two players in this quiz with a lot of similarities in their careers. Your job is to figure out their identities based on these clues:

  1. We were both born in New York City.
  2. We both played over 200 games for teams in the same two cities.
  3. We both played over 200 games at each of the same two positions.
  4. We were both All-Stars playing a third position in a third city.
  5. We both have older brothers who played in the majors.

Congratulations to no statistician but and Voomo Zanzibar! They teamed up to make short work of this quiz, identifying the mystery players as Joe Torre and B.J. Surhoff. More after the jump.

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Marquee Matchup – Astros vs. Yankees

This four game set matched the AL West and AL East division leaders at Yankee Stadium. Both teams feature lineups with some promising young talent mixed in with a few veterans. Each also has a solid top of the rotation that turns a bit iffy at the bottom, so it’s good that both offenses are among the highest scoring in the league. More after the jump.

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Marquee Matchup – Nats vs. Orioles

This is my first post in what I hope will become a series as the season progresses (I’ll take my cue from our reader response, or lack thereof). I’ll be picking a series each week, or maybe two, involving the leading teams, and see what nuggets I can pull out of the games or, perhaps more likely, gems that you contribute through your comments.

So, to start, I’m looking at this inter-league rivalry matchup between the NL East leader and, as the series begins, the second place team in the AL East, just a half game in arrears of the leading Yankees. It’s a four game home-and-home set, starting in Baltimore and finishing in D.C. More after the jump.

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MVP Elections – 2006 AL

Dr. Doom here, with my final post about re-voting MVPs.  I want to begin by thanking you all for participating in these discussions.  It’s been a lot of fun to write the posts and to read what everyone’s opinions are on these issues.  If/when I have ideas about stuff in the future, I’ll write and see if I can convince Doug to post more stuff.  I’ve been on this discussion board since it was the baseball-reference blog (I’m thinking it was sophomore year of college when I started posting a lot – the 2006-07 school year).  I may be younger than a lot of the commenters here, but I stretch back as far as just about anyone in terms of being part of this community, and it’s meant a lot to me as it’s moved from bbref to blogspot and finally here.  In all that time, I’ve been part of a lot of great discussions in the comments, but it’s been really, really fun to actually contribute some posts.

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Rules Corner: Batter Interference

In Monday’s Angels-Blue Jays game, Toronto second baseman Devon Travis was called out for batter interference on this play. Travis swings and misses on what was apparently an intended hit-and-run, striking Angel catcher Martin Maldonado with his bat on his swing follow-though. Maldonado makes a throw that is high and too late to catch Jay third baseman Chris Coghlan advancing to second base. Home plate umpire Tony Basner applied rule 6.06 (c), calling Travis out for interference and sending Coghlan back to first base. The ruling was significant as, with nobody out, Toronto lost an out and a base in the 7th inning of a one-run game.

More on rule 6.06 (c) after the jump.

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MVP Elections – 2004 AL

Hey everyone! Dr. Doom here again, with my penultimate post on MVPs from the past.
By 2004, it had become rote; more often than not over the previous six seasons, the Yankees and the Red Sox were both in the playoffs. Unsurprisingly, yet again, the Yanks and BoSox finished with the top two records in the American League. Even thought the final margin was only 3 games, the Yankees led the division from June 1st on, which makes that race a lot less exciting. They won 100+ for the third straight season (exactly 101 for the second year in a row). Was there a little extra drama due to the way they’d beaten the Red Sox the year before? Sure. I mean, if you’re leading the ALCS by 3 in the eighth inning of Game Seven, it’s probably going to add a little fuel to the fire of next year if you lose, as the Red Sox did. But mostly, it was an uninteresting race.

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Best “Bad” Pitching Seasons

Not every player enjoys the good fortune of playing on good teams. Position players, even on bad teams, can attract attention with stellar counting or rate stats. But, it isn’t so easy for pitchers who, even today, can still be overlooked without an attention-grabbing W-L record.

This post is looking at pitchers who sported bad W-L records for bad teams, but who nonetheless turned in creditable if under-appreciated seasons.

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