July 4th game notes EXPANDED — now more noteworthy!

Orioles 4, @Mariners 2: In his season debut, Chris Tillman didn’t allow a man past 1st base until his last batter, with 1 out in the 9th.

  • Adam Jones is on pace for exactly 40 HRs, but he doesn’t need that many to make a bit of history. Only one Orioles/Browns CF has ever hit at least 27 HRs in a season (Brady Anderson, 50 in 1996). We’re talking about an original AL franchise, folks. There have been 136 seasons of 30+ HRs by CFs, including 3 (by 2 different players) for a team that was born in 1998.
  • First time in 37 career starts that Tillman has gone 8+ IP with no earned runs. Actually, it’s the first time he’s gone 8+ IP, period. He’s the 5th pitcher this year (and the first since April 9) to go at least 8.1 IP in his first outing.
  • 14th game this year that Seattle had 4 hits or less, 2 more than any other team.
  • There aren’t many negatives for Jim Johnson this year, but he has let in all 4 inherited runners. The known record for letting in all inherited runners is 9, last done by Mark Thompson in 1995. Johnson has yielded just 3 hits with RISP this year, and 2 of them came with inherited RISP.
  • At his present rate of losses (11 in 17 starts), Hector Noesi needs just 14 more starts to become the first 20-game loser in Mariners history.

@Nationals 9, Giants 4:

  • Madison Bumgarner fanned 7 in 5 IP, but a trio of 2-strike counts in the 4th and 5th led to HRs, and he failed to go 6+ IP for the first time since his season debut.
  • At this pace, Bumgarner will easily become the first pitcher with two seasons of 200+ IP by age 22 since (hide your eyes, SF fans) Steve Avery in 1991-92. He would also be the first age 22 or under to lead the league in IP since Dwight Gooden in 1985. One more: He would be the first ever with 2 qualifying seasons of 4+ SO/BB by age 22; only 4 pitchers have even 1 such year.
  • Not easy to build a hitting streak as a backup catcher, but Washington’s Jhonatan Solano has hit in 7 straight games out of 8 starts this year, never starting more than once in a 3-day span. He’s 11 for 28 thus far, 2 HRs, 3 doubles. There is nothing in his charts to suggest that he’s a good hitter.
  • Solano had the 7th catcher-game this year with both a HR and a SB, by 7 different guys. There were just 4 such games all last year, 6 in 2010.
  • There are 28 relievers with 25+ IP and a sub-2 ERA. The Nats have 4, the Orioles 3, five teams have 2, eleven have 1, and twelve have none.
  • Sure, I think David Wright should have been the starting All-Star 3B. But it’s no travesty to pick a guy who’s having a fine year and leads Wright in WAR since 2009.
  • Mark DeRosa has 5 hits in 44 ABs … and 10 walks, none intentional.

Padres 8, @Diamondbacks 6: That’s 5 straight wins for San Diego (and 13 of their last 22), who hadn’t won more than 3 in a row through June. Their last 6-game win streak was in April 2010.

  • Chris Denorfia (5-3-4-0) has two of the seven 4-hit games by a Padre this year, and he leads the team in BA (.306), OPS and OPS+ (128) while playing errorless defense — all for a salary of just over $1 million.
  • In 5 starts since Stephen Drew‘s return, displaced SS Willie Bloomquist is 9 for 23 with 6 Runs.
  • Huston Street has converted all 13 save chances, and has a 0.64 WHIP and 1.23 ERA in 22 IP. The Padres got him at a net salary cost of $7 million for 1 year, to replace Heath Bell, who signed with Miami for 3 years at $9 million. Street is 6 years younger, has better career rate stats than Bell across the board, and had a higher K rate last year. Guess who’s winning the swap so far?
  • In a very strong year for CFs, Chris Young stands out in a bad way. His 87 OPS+ ranks 23rd among the 34 CFs with at least 150 PAs.

@Blue Jays 4, Royals 1: Toronto advanced 6 bases on flyball outs, including 3 sac flies. Casey Janssen has converted all 11 of his 9th-inning save chances without allowing a run.

  • Could a team stay within a 6-game range of the .500 mark for a whole season? The Jays are halfway there; they haven’t been lower than 1 game under .500, nor higher than 5 games over (and the last time they got to +5, they lost 5 straight).
  • Last 40 games for Colby Rasmus: .302/.956, 35 RBI, 31 Runs.
  • 14th multi-hit game for Jose Bautista this year, just the 3rd without a HR.
  • Darren Oliver is one of the best old relievers in history. Out of 40 relievers with 250+ IP from age 37 onward, Oliver’s 177 OPS+ is 2nd only to The Great Mariano. And he’s on track to be just the 2nd with 5 seasons of 50+ IP and an ERA below 3 from age 37 onward; Hoyt Wilhelm had 9 such years, and Oliver, Mariano, and Trevor Hoffman 4 apiece.

Cubs 5, @Braves 1Bryan LaHair broke a tie in the 4th with his first HR in 12 gamesAlfonso Soriano preserved the lead with a great throw, and Jeff “Home Run” Baker hit his 2nd pinch-HR in 10 ABs this year, as Chicago claimed their 7th win in 9 games, allowing 8 runs total in the 7 wins (and 27 in the 2 losses).

  • Hot & cold running starter: In his first 2 starts this year, Paul Maholm allowed 6 runs in 4 IP each time. Then came a 4-game win streak with a 1.07 ERA, an 8-start winless stretch with a 6.43 ERA, and now 2 straight wins allowing 1 total run. The totals: In his 6 wins, 4 runs in 39.2 IP (0.91 ERA). In his 6 losses, 32 runs in 27 IP (10.33 ERA).
  • Anthony Rizzo (10 for 31, 3 HRs) already has more hits in 8 games this year than he did in his last 31 games (20 starts) of 2011, and more HRs in 32 PAs than he hit in 153 PAs last year.
  • LaHair is hitting .341/1.018 with the bases clear, but .167/.573 with RISP.
  • Andrelton Simmons (.311 BA, 121 OPS+) has reached safely in 19 of his 22 games with 4+ PA, and (please hold your fire!) his dWAR rating is off the charts — 1.7 dWAR, 4th among all shortstops in less than half the games of the other contenders. His range factor and DP rate are oustanding.

____________________

@White Sox 5, Rangers 4 (10): One day after swatting his first HR in his new stockings, Kevin Youkilis got his first game-winning hit in almost 2 years. Mike Adams had 6 chances to get strike 3 on Alejandro De Aza leading off, but walked him, and 7 tries for strike 3 on Youk, whose single was decisive after De Aza stole second.

  • In his 2nd and 3rd career games, A.J. Griffin has held the AL’s top 2 offenses to totals of 2 runs (1 ER) on 5 hits over 12 innings. Griffin and teammate Jarrod Parker are the only pitchers in 2011-12 to start their careers with 3 straight games of 6+ IP and 2 runs or less. But Griffin has yet to get a decision.
  • I’s a good year so far for the A.J. battery. There are 5 active players known by those initials; besides Griffin, A.J. Burnett is 9-2, C A.J. Ellis has a .400 OBP and 125 OPS+, and C A.J. Pierzynski is having his best offensive year ever, slugging .524. Only A.J. Pollock has yet to make an impact.
  • Alex Rios has raised his BA to .317 by going 22 for 46 in his last 11 games (3 HRs, 5 doubles), with 13 runs, 10 RBI — and no walks.

Yankees 4, @Rays 3: New York snapped their 9-game Tropicana skid with a big assist from Kyle Farnsworth, who set fire to a 3-1 lead by walking 4 out of 5 man to start the 8th, and from Robinson Cano, who greeted the next reliever with a 2-run single. That bailed out Boone Logan, who had surrendered a lead for the first time this year on Carlos Pena‘s 2-run HR in the 7th, and foiled David Price‘s bid to become the AL’s first 12-game winner (7 IP, nicked only by Mark Teixeira‘s solo HR).

@Pirates 6, Astros 4: Pittsburgh has won 7 of their last 8 games and 10 of their last 12 series. They’ve averaged 5.65 runs since June began. And now they’re alone in first place for the first time this year.

@Cardinals 4, Rockies 1: Who’s hotter than Matt Holliday? In his last 17 games, he’s 33 for 64 with 19 RBI, 16 Runs and a 1.423 OPS.

  • 31-50 is Colorado’s 3rd-worst first half in club history; they’ve been 28-53 twice.
  • 11th Rockies road game this year with no HRs by either side. There’s been just 1 such game in Coors Field.

Phillies 9, @Mets 2: Our long national nightmare is over: Cliff Lee is winless no more.

  • This game captures the dilemma for Terry Collins when Chris Young pitches well through 6 IP (today, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB) — He must know that Young is a 6-inning pitcher; the 3 instant runs in today’s 7th brought his season marks for that frame to 23.16 ERA, .533 BA and 1.200 SLG, and his career 7th-inning ERA to 5.82. On the other hand, the Mets bullpen remains hideous; today’s 6 runs in 2 IP pushed their season ERA to 5.11.
  • Ty Wigginton has 14 RBI against the Mets (11 for 25, 3 HRs), and 21 RBI vs. everyone else.
  • Juan Pierre is hitting .500 against the Mets (14 for 28), and .296 vs. everyone else.
  • How are the new home field dimensions working for the Mets? In 42 home games, they’ve been out-homered by 41-32. Last year they were out-homered 58-50 in 81 home games.

@Dodgers 4, Reds 1: Aaron Harang and 2 relievers combined on a 3-hitter, as LA won consecutive games for the first time since June 9-10 against Seattle.

  • Cincinnati’s 6-week run atop the division came to an end.

@Tigers 5, Twins 1: Adding to his MLB lead in IP and CG, Justin Verlander went the distance on 4 hits, beating Minnesota for the 6th straight time, and took over the lead in strikeouts.

  • Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera reached safely in all 8 trips. They would be the first Tigers teammates since 1961 with OPS at least .940.
  • Cabrera (2 HRs, double) scored 3 runs for just the 2nd time this year; he has a .578 OBP in his last 10 games. Of his 18 HRs, 16 have come against righties, and 13 at home.
  • Jackson’s .957 OPS would be the highest for a Bengal CF since Heinie Manush in 1926.
  • Since 2009, Verlander leads the majors in IP, SO and Wins. He’s the only Tigers SP with an ERA below 4.35 this year.

Marlins 7, @Brewers 6: One strike away from defeat, Gaby Sanchez tied the game with an opposite-field HR off John Axford. Miami went ahead in the 10th with two more 2-out hits. Milwaukee failed in 3 chances with RISP to win or tie in their last 2 innings,

  • Just the 3rd HR in 196 PAs this year for Sanchez, who also raised his BA over .200 for the first time since June 11. He was 2 for 42 in high-leverage situations, and 1 for 15 in the 9th or later.
  • That’s a lotta leverage: 11 of 23 save chances for Heath Bell have started with a 1-run lead (7 saves, 4 blown).

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124 Comments on "July 4th game notes EXPANDED — now more noteworthy!"

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Angus
Guest

GREAT QUESTION: Is Alex Gordon going to set an all-time record for doubles to rbi ratio??? 25 doubles and 26 rbi’s? Sounds like you should investigate Mr. Autin. Love the site, can’t read enough, Angus

Doug
Editor

Actually, Willie Bloomquist has a higher ratio than Gordon this year, with 16 doubles to 12 RBI. His is one of 7 (so far) qualifying seasons with doubles 20% or more above RBI.

The largest percentage difference was 47% (25 2B to 17 RBI) by Johnny Cooney in 1938. Largest absolute difference was 11 (36 2B to 25 RBI) by Frank Baumholtz in 1953. Most RBI with more doubles was 51 RBI and 54 2B by Mark Grudzielanek in 1997.

mosc
Guest

Grudzielanek had 54 doubles !?!

Ed
Guest

Something else about that Grudzielanek season. It’s by far the lowest Rbat (i.e., batting runs) for a season of 50+ doubles. Grudzielanek had a -17 Rbat that year. The only other two negative seasons were Brian Roberts in 2004 (50 doubles, -3 Rbat) and Luis Gonzalez in 2004(52 doubles, -2 Rbat).

Doug
Editor

Should add that Eric Young is the only player with two qualifying seasons with more doubles than RBI (min. 10 RBI), 43/42 in 2001 and 29/28 in 2002.

PP
Guest

speaking of doubles, Votto hit #34 yesterday, he’s at 34-47

PP
Guest

actually, I just saw the 43-42 comment above, that’s a crazy stat

PP
Guest

another thing on Eric Young, he had a fairly productive career for someone who “only” made 29 mil

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

I know it’s only a partial season, but in 2002 Cliff Floyd had 21 doubles (and 7 HR) in 47 games for the Red Sox, but only 18 RBI. It seemed like his whole time w/the Red Sox, Floyd was cranking out XBH, but not knocking that many runs in.

Doug
Editor
In the Jays 4-1 win over the Royals, Toronto`s 4 runs came on 3 sac flies and a tally manufactured by a leadoff single by Colby Rasmus, advancement to 3rd on two deep flies, and an RBI single by Yunel Escobar. It was only the 5th time in Blue Jays history scoring 4 runs or less in a game with 3 or more sac flies, but the 2nd time in as many years. Since sac flies started being recorded, teams have scored all their runs on 3 sac flies only 23 times, and on 4 sac flies just once (MON… Read more »
Daniel Longmire
Guest
Doug, it was an interesting game to listen to, then watch the highlights of after I got home. Tonight I discovered something I never knew before that made me curious: why is the batter not credited with a sacrifice fly when a runner or runners advance to another base, but IS given credit when the runner scores? A sacrifice bunt is granted by the scorer whenever the runner(s) move up a base. Now, people may argue that the bunt is an intentional play by the batter to “give himself up”, but I don’t see how hitting a deep fly ball… Read more »
Doug
Guest
That’s the way the rules are. The thinking is probably that advancement to home, because of the long throw from the outfield, is the only play where a batter can reasonably expect to advance most runners with a medium to deep fly ball. Hence, with a runner at third, it is more reasonable to assume intentionality (is that a word?) by the batter by swinging in a manner to promote “lifting” the ball into the outfield. Thus, sac flies are awarded only on advancements to home. As was seen in tonight’s game, both advancements by Rasmus in the 7th inning… Read more »
Daniel Longmire
Guest
Those are all valid reasons; I just find it to be an inconsistent application of the rules. Either mark both plays the same way you would for advancement on a fielder’s choice (0 for 1), or make each of them a sacrifice hit and consider it an unofficial at-bat. Sticking out a bat and nudging the ball 30 feet seems far less impressive to me than guiding the ball 300 feet to right-centre. Off-topic, as a Jays fan, I’m liking Rasmus more every day. His baseball IQ appears very high, and his skills are multi-dimensional and only improving. The front… Read more »
Ed
Guest

Daniel – I agree with your comments. It’s one of the things that bothers me about fans who espouse batting average as some sort of sacrosanct statistic while denouncing/ridiculing advanced stats. The truth is that there are a lot of decisions that go into deciding what’s an out and what isn’t and those decisions effect batting average. A ground ball the scores a run is on out but a fly ball isn’t. Why? They both accomplished the same thing. Or why isn’t a batter given two outs for grounding into a double play?

Richard Chester
Guest

From 1925 to 1930 the rule was that a batter is credited with a sacrifice for advancing a base runner on a fly ball regardless of to which base the runner advanced.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
This is a very useful data point when comparing batting averages of different eras. Six of the 11 highest BA’s for all of MLB in the 20th century were the six seasons from 1925 to 1930. Of course, almost all of that is the offensive context, but counting more base-advancing flies as not being official at bats helped a little, also. Did Hornsby in 1925 (.403) and Terry in 1930 (.401) hit .400 because of this rule? Would Carew in 1977 (.388) or Brett in 1980 (.390) have hit .400 with this scoring rule in effect? Inquiring minds want to… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

LA: It looks like 6 of the top 22 highest BA occurred from 1925 to 1930. From 1926 to 1930 4 of the top 22 BA occurred.

In 1930 Terry hit .401 with 254 hits in 633 AB. If you assume all of his 19 SH were fly balls his average would be .390.

From 1926 to 1930 Gehrig had 85 SH and for the rest of his career he had 8.

Richard Chester
Guest

I did some more research on that SF rule. It seems that the rule was in effect from 1926 to 1930.

Ed
Guest

This article gives the long, sodid history of the sacrifice fly. While the current rule has been in place starting with the 1954 season, prior to that, the rule was changed repeatedly. A quick recap of how the rules has changed, beginning with 1990:

1900-1907: No sac flies, not even for scoring plays
1908-1925: Scoring sac fly only
1926-1930: As noted by Richard, all fly balls that advance a runner counted as a sac fly
1931-1938: No sac flies, not even for scoring plays
1939: Scoring sac flies only
1940-1953: No sac flie, not even for scoring plays

http://research.sabr.org/journals/sacrifice-fly

Daniel Longmire
Guest

Thanks for the research, Richard and Ed. I had no idea the concept of a sac fly even existed before ’54; that is an INSANE number of changes to the rule. And John, I think any team would gladly exchange two outs for one run in any situation, except perhaps bases loaded with none out. Why not have a GIDP RBI? You can have a sac fly where a runner is also gunned down trying for second or third, and it still counts as a run batted in. It’s ludicrous.

Timmy Pea
Guest

I’m disappointed Juan Pierre did not make the all-star team. It would have been nice if he’d made the first of his career.

MikeD
Guest

Perhaps he should take up the knuckleball. It’s not too late.

Ed
Guest

And who would you have left off to make room for Pierre?

Doug
Guest
There was an unusual sequence of plays in the Yankees/Rays game today. In the Yankee 7th, with A-Rod on 2nd and Swisher on 1st, during a timeout on the field, A-Rod walked over to first and engaged Swisher in conversation. Ken Singleton on YES speculated that A-Rod may have been alerting Swisher of his intention to steal 3rd, and urging Swisher to take advantage and also move up a base. Sure enough, a pitch or two later, Alex did steal 3rd and, looking back to find Swisher, made quite an animated display of frustration in seeing Nick still at first.… Read more »
Ed
Guest

The Indians pounded Ervin Santana for 8 runs in 1.1 innings yesterday, dropping his career totals against the Tribe to a 1-8 record with a 5.03 ERA. His one victory….the no-hitter he threw against them last year!

Evan
Guest

The Cardinals turned the uncommon 3-6-5 double play without an overrun of third or a shift yesterday:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22847039&c_id=mlv

It actually would have been easier to turn the unusual 3-5-6 double play instead.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

#27/ Ed –
Supposedly,the sacrifice rule was created after the 1907 season, when the Phillies manager (Billy Murray) noted that his star right fielder Sherry Magee had the facility of often producing a long run-producing fly ball whenever there was runner on third and less than two out.

Looking at his yearly SH totals, there does seem to be quite a jump from his first four seasons of 1904-07, and the rest of Magee’s career.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

#29/ Richard –

Should’ve made this clearer: I meant the BA FOR ALL OF MLB for the years 1925-1930, not the BA for individual players.

As for Terry – I’m guessing that a hitter of Terry’s stature wasn’t called upon to lay one down for the good of the team very often. But with McGraw as manager and in-game strategies being quite different from today, who knows. If even two of those SHs in 1930 were non run-scoring fly balls that merely advanced runners, then he would not have batted .400 by today’s scoring rules.

Doug
Guest
You would probably be surprised then to know that Terry had 85 sacrifices for 1925-30, with a minimum of 17 each year for 1927-30. Ironically, those last four seasons with all the sacrifices, Terry slugged over .500 every year, but was under .500 in 1925-26 when he had “just” 12 sacrifices total. The notion of sacrificing being a “noble act” for every player to aspire to was evidently still prevalent even as late as the late 20s. The pattern made more sense after that, with just 12 sacrifices total in 1931-33, then quickly surged up to 35 for 1934-35 when… Read more »
RJ
Guest

Even as a Giants fan who is happy to see Panda starting the ASG, I think fan voting is stupid.

Timmy Pea
Guest

Good on Reggie Jackson! Too bad he hedged on Andy Pettitte though.

Jason Z
Guest

I just read the article in SI. Jackson beyond the steroid comments, said that Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Jim Rice and Bert “be home” Blyleven should not be in the HOF. He added that Jack Morris deserves
it over Bert as he was the dominant pitcher of the era.

BTW, that was a nice bunt by Juan Pierre. It always amazes me how few
players really know how to bunt.

Ed
Guest

Jackson didn’t actually say Morris should be in the Hall. Just that he was the dominant pitcher of his era. One could read between the lines, but I’d hate for someone to do that to me.

BTW, he also listed Phil Niekro and Don Sutton as guys that shouldn’t be in the Hall.

Timmy Pea
Guest

There is a lot that Reggie said I don’t agree with, like Puckett not being in the HoF. But you can have discussions and disagreements about Puckett, Morris, and be confident that their stats speak for themselves. Can’t say that about ARod, Sosa, and Palmiero because you just don’t know.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

I thought that there was some sort of informal agreement amongst the “Fraternity Of MLB HOF Players” not to publicly question if any of them are actually worthy of being in the HOF. Reggie’s statements seem to be a fairly serious breach of that philosophy.

Can anyone remember another HOF player making sinilar statements? I can’t.

Than again, mebbe it’s just “Reggie! being Reggie!”, still being the straw that stirs the drink, not giving a $h!% what anyone else thinks of his opinions…

bstar
Guest

The comments by Jackson show to me why letting ex-players decide who gets in the HOF is, and always has been, a bad idea. I think a good portion of the really questionable HOF selections have been by the Veterans Committee. For Jackson to not have an understanding that Blyleven and Jack Morris didn’t really pitch in the same era is scary to me(Blyleven had over 100 wins before Morris debuted in 1977). His perspective on Sutton and especially Niekro is scary bad as well. I agree with him about Puckett and Rice but that’s it.

Timmy Pea
Guest

Reggie’s a Jack Morris fan! (Sound of me giggling) hehe

Jason Z
Guest

I think if Reggie is a Jack Morris fan, and his comments support that, it probably came to
fruition toward the end of Jack’s career when
he won those two more rings and pitched that epic game seven against Smoltz.

Reggie aka Mr. October probably became a Morris
fan at the end of his career and specifically after game seven in 91. Of course if he likes postseason heroics, has he forgotten Puckett’s homer in game six?

Timmy Pea
Guest

Reggie’s all over the place with his HoF thoughts.

Ed
Guest

I was thinking the same thing re: Blyleven vs. Morris. Another thing…Gary Carter played his entire career in the NL, Reggie in the AL. So how does Reggie know that Gary wasn’t a HOFer???

bstar
Guest

And if Reggie is using “best pitcher of his era” to praise Jack Morris, how in the world is Gary Carter not the best catcher of his era? I don’t really consider he and Johnny Bench contemporaries. Bench’s heyday was the early 70s and Carter didn’t debut til ’74.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Bstar –

Agreed; although there’s been a few questionable BBWAA (writers) choices (Dean, Hunter, Perez, Sutter, Rice), all of the worst HOF selections were by the Old-timers Veterans Committees.

In particular, there’s the cluster of six to ten players known as the Friends of Frankie Frisch, the ones chosen in the 1970s when Frisch was highly influencial with the Veterans Committee:
-Dave Bancroft
-Travis Jackson
-Jesse Haines
-Ross Youngs

and four of the very very worst HOF selections:
-George “High Pockets” Kelly
-Freddie Lindstrom
-Chick Hafey
-Rube Marquard

None of the writers choices have come close to being as bad as the last four players here.

Timmy Pea
Guest

Wow! I looked some of the guys up and you’re right. Travis Jackson might be best of the lot, and maybe you can try to put in context the era and all, but still. Bancroft played for the great Giants teams of ’21, ’22, and ’23. Maybe taking the era into consideration for him helps too, but more than likely it’s thanks to Frisch as you say.

Jimbo
Guest

Oliver’s ERA has gone down each year from age 37-41! Going from good to better to great.

MikeD
Guest
I wonder what got into Reggie when he gave this interview? I guess he hasn’t mellowed that much even in his mid-60s and can still tap into the spirit of “I’m the straw that stirs the drink” when talking to the press. When I read this I didn’t know where to begin. So many statements, so many things I disagreed with, yet even some I didn’t disagree with. No consistency in his thoughts. I can’t wait for the annual HOF dinner when he’s sitting there with Blyleven, Sutton, Rice, Neikro and others who he doesn’t think belongs. “So Reggie, you… Read more »
Jim Bouldin
Guest

For the record I think the very idea of a Hall of Fame is a fairly backward idea to begin with.

tag
Guest
Jim, this is the sanest comment I’ve read. I’ve never understood the obsession with halls of fame. I’m all for a baseball museum, one that traces the history of the game, mentions the great players and singles out the memorable events, but this notion of enshrinement… Yes, the Hall of Fame exists, fine, but I’ve always thought it was best treated like, say, the Belgian monarchy. New princes and princesses are born every so often, adding to and extending it, and maybe every now and then someone writes a feature story about them / it, but that’s the extent of… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

I strongly object to this line of thinking. It implies a type of maturity in baseball fans that would exclude me.

Thomas Court
Guest
I am with BStar on this one. Former players should not have a say on what players are voted in. Their perspectives are too skewed and more importantly too limited. It’s the same reason why college football coaches should not have a vote on weekly team rankings. Are they really supposed to prepare their teams to play each week AND evaluate every other team in the country? NO. Sportswriters are not perfect either, since many of them will hold personal grudges against Hall of Fame candidates when voting time comes around. But at least writers have a better perspective on… Read more »
Tubbs
Guest
I agree it would have been interesting to see how a healthy Chavez’s career would have played out. He was still pretty young when he got hurt and was racking up Gold Gloves even after A-rod moved to 3rd. However, at his peak he had a reputation of being “un-clutch”, I seem to remember his baseball reference page around that time was always sponsored by someone pointing that out. He was overshadowed by Giambi , The Big Three, & Tejeda but Oakland chose to sign him for the long term based on his age & what they felt he could… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

TC @ 58 & Tubbs – 59:
Just wondering if you fellows believe Chavez was the superior of Rolen – talent wise. Just curious….I just believe Rolen would have put up 400+ hr’S/2,500 hits, etc… without back problems (early Phillies years) and twice getting run over in the baseline (Cardinals0 necessitating surgeries

MikeD
Guest
I’m not TC or Tubbs, nor do I play them on TV or the Internet, but prior to Chavez’s back injuries, I’d rate them as roughly equivalent type hitters, although Rolen slightly ahead. A slightly better hitter, slightly better fielder, slightly better foot speed, etc. Injuries have held back both players, with Chavez suffering the most. A case can be made that Rolen is a HOFer by past third basemen elected to the Hall. Yet he’s not going to get in. Another in the list of 3B’man who will sit on the wrong side of the borderline HOFer debate. Chavez… Read more »
MikeD
Guest
Can we keep this thread going all year? 200, 300, 400 posts?! I meant to post this article the other day when the mini-Eric Chavez discussion broke out, so I’ll drop it in here now. Since I’m in NY, I get to see Chavez play and I have to say every time I see him walk to the plate I legitimately worry about him. When he was having multiple back surgeries with the A’s, I was rooting he could make it back, but I mostly wished he just retired. I remember a quote from a doctor saying that Chavez’s injuries… Read more »
Tubbs
Guest
Through their age 29 season Chavez (98-07) had 32.9 WAR while Rolen (96-04) checked in at 44.1. Chavez wasn’t as good at drawing walks as Rolen so that hurt his OBP but was Improving as he had lead AL in walks in ’04. Chavez was a bit of supporting star to Giambi & Tejeda while Rolen was viewed in a little higher light. I’d give Rolen the edge talent wise. He’ll make a great HOF argument when he retires. Funny thing is him, Schilling, & Abreu all are borderline HOFers (although I don’t see how you can keep Schilling out)… Read more »
MikeD
Guest

Re: Schilling. Douchebaggery? I guess that hasn’t be a reason in the past, so probaby won’t be now! : -)

Mike L
Guest

Schilling has a small present issue with a large defaulted bond obligation for his now defunct business that the State of Rhode Island will be paying on his behalf. Doesn’t change his accomplishments on the field, but might take a little sheen off the gentleman’s halo.

Tubbs
Guest

I’ll be the first to admit that while I never cared for Schill–all the way back to the ’93 postseason–I think his excellent postseason record puts him over the top. Additionally, he passed 3,000 strike outs so while his current legal issues & being on a crowded will keep his vote totals low at first, I don’t see how you can keep him out of the HOF

Timmy Pea
Guest
In defense of Curt Schilling: He’s a loud mouth, and not a very good businessman. But, he lost his money as well as the RI taxpayers money. There are ways to operate a company without putting everything you’ve ever earned at risk, and Schilling should have done that. Schilling is now as poor as you and I, and his past political stances are coming back to haunt him in his quest for a financial comeback. The difference between being a really good athlete, and being a crack businessman has shown itself in the Schilling matter without a doubt. Having said… Read more »
Tubbs
Guest

Schilling will rebound. He’s a bigmouth but actually pretty well spoken, articulate, & not afraid to state his opinions. I don’t believe he’s written an autobiography but with his candidness he would have a lot to say in a book. Though I never liked him, I did respect how outspoken he was about steroids. He wasn’t the most popular with a lot of teammates, I remember one of his nicknames was “Red Light” since he loved the camera

Timmy Pea
Guest

I think Reggie reads HHS and understands the HoF battles being waged!

Nash Bruce
Guest

All of this talk of Reggie and deserving HOF candidates got me digging through some of B-Ref’s player pages. Yow! Dale Murphy had more gray and(!)black ink than an average HOF…..short period of dominance be damned.
And, in the spirit of All-Star balloting, he IS a personal favorite of mine 😀

Jason Z
Guest

I agree with Dale Murphy. He was arguably the best player
in his league (or second behind Mike Schmidt) from about
1982-87. I realize that is short, but when you are the
best player in your league for that length of time, you
should be in.

no statistician but
Guest
I don’t have feelings about Dale Murphy particularly, but the comments on Eric Chavez above stirred a thought I’ve often had about players whose careers are severely shortened or diminished by injury or illness. Beyond the tragedies of people like Addie Joss and Ross Youngs, you have those such as George Sisler, and to a lesser degree Chuck Klein, who never returned to their previous level of dominance, Sandy Koufax, who retired rather than suffer, and Kirby Puckett, who surely had several good years left in him when the eye ailment struck. All of these players have been voted into… Read more »
birtelcom
Guest

For what it’s worth, Murphy had the the fourth most Wins Above Replacement(b-ref version) in the NL over the period 1982-1987:
1. Mike Schmidt 36.8
2. Tim Raines 34.1
3. Gary Carter 33.0
4. Dale Murphy 32.3
5. Ozzie Smith 30.7

The Fangraphs version of WAR has the same top 4 in the same order:
1. Schmidt 39.0
2. Raines 36.5
3. Carter 34.8
4. Murphy 33.4
5. Keith Hernandez 30.9

MikeD
Guest
When it comes to the HOF, I value peak more than the very good player who is a career compiler, yet ideally the HOF candidate would have both. I’ll spend more time analyzing the cases of players like Murphy and Mattingly than I will the Lou Whitaker types. The HOF is about marketing the game and its history, and of course rewarding greatness. Yet any player who can claim he was the best overall, or in the top few for a four or five year period will get more serious consideration from me than they would have in the past.… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

I’ll side with John A. @80. Murphy’s stats oddly resemble Mattingly’s, with a highly valued short term peak that was certainly excellent, but not off the charts, and then a descent into just about league average. I really liked both players, but neither is Hall-worthy. If you look at other players who had shorter careers and five or six year peaks and made the Hall, their peaks were higher (like Koufax) or they sustained a high level of play (like Puckett.)

Ed
Guest

Thanks John! You saved me about an hour’s worth of work, typing up an anti-Murphy HOF post. 🙂

bstar
Guest
@80 JA, Dale Murphy was my childhood baseball hero. He’s still probably #2 all-time on my list behind Greg Maddux(although Tim Hudson is seriously pushing Murphy for 2nd place). As much as I want to provide counterpoints to all your issues with Murphy’s career, JA, a lot of what you say is true. I do think pointing out his home/road splits and calling into question his black ink might be a bit much, partly because I’ve never heard anyone bring into question someone like sabermetric darling Dwight Evans and his obvious home-field advantage. I’ve only heard myself point out Wade… Read more »
bstar
Guest

Oh, and to help bring your comment total closer to the 100 threshold(do we all get free pizza if we get there?), JA what is a pp-Hall of Famer?

bstar
Guest

JA @89, fair enough. I think we share a pretty similar view of Murphy’s career, actually. I just couldn’t resist giving my two cents worth. And no, you weren’t tearing down an idol. Once I became aware of advanced stats, it became pretty obvious Murph wasn’t as good as I thought at the time, and even if he were his counting stats are just too far away from HOF norms for outfielders anyway. I think longevity has to play a part, too, unless you’re all-time dominant for a shorter career.

Tubbs
Guest
It’s unfortunate for Murphy that he wasn’t able to hang around in Colorado a little longer & hit a couple more home runs & pass 400. Saber stats don’t help Murphy too much but back when he debuted on the HOF ballot back in ’99, counting stats were pretty much all the voters looked at & 400 looks a lot better than 398. Back then only Darrell Evans & Dave Kingman had hit 400+ & not been elected–but they had sub .250BAs where Murphy’s was .265, yet somehow you think of him having a higher career BA. It also hurt… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

To add to the earlier conversation regarding sac flies, I don’t think that a batter should be (dis)credited with an 0-1 for a reached-on-error.

Seems more fair to have that also be an ‘unofficial” at-bat.

Jason Z
Guest
Getting back to Reggie, I would love to know his opinion about Don Mattingly. If he doesn’t support Kirby Puckett he can’t support Mattingly. According to B-ref similarity scores, Puckett is number four to Mattingly, and Mattingly is number one to Puckett. Both had their careers end prematurely. The difference is that Puckett played at a high level throughout, before his vision suffered and he had to retire. Mattingly was on a first ballot HOF pace through 1989, and then the back injury robbed him of his power. He lingered on through 1995 but was never the same. I know… Read more »
MikeD
Guest
Do you really want to know Reggie’s opinion on Mattingly? If you do, I’m guessing it’s more for humor. : -) I wouldn’t expect consistency of thought from Jackson, although my guess is he would vote no on Mattingly. In fact, I’d be shocked if he thought otherwise. The few comments I’ve seen from Reggie about Mattingly haven’t been overwhelmingly warm. He was upset one Old Timers’ Day when Mattingly was introduced after Reggie, and of course to great and welcoming applause that was dramatically greater than Reggie’s welcome. Reggie was not happy. He wanted to know why the Yankees… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest
Even though Mattingly and Puckett show up very high on each other’s Similar Batters list, this _does not_ make them directly comparable in their HOF qualifications. Puckett was mostly a CFer, with some RF (276 G), while Mattingly was a career first baseman (80 games elsewhere). The offensive HOF standards for a career first baseman, even a great-fielding one such as Mattingly, are considerably higher than for a career CFer. That’s why Puckett is over the HOF line, while Mattingly is under it. It’s not fair that Mattingly’s back woes derailed his HOF chances, but you could say that about… Read more »
Jason Z
Guest

I guess since the Yankees have banned Reggie, I won’t be getting that Mattingly opinion.

bstar
Guest

I’d like to think I never wish for bad things to happen to anyone, but I do feel the urge to chuckle a little at this. Apparently the Straw that Stirred the Drink stirred a little too viguorously this time.

wpDiscuz