Author Archive

HOF position players and other standouts, by decade

This post looks at the distribution of standout position players across decades, both Hall of Famers and others. The seed was birtelcom’s recent “Hall of Famers by Final Year in the Majors,” and more precisely, from an exchange we had in those comments, which I’ll summarize (with apology for any loss of context to birtelcom’s quote):

  • John: The number of teams has grown from 16 to 30 since 1961, so you’d expect eventually to see more HOFers per decade in the post-expansion era.
  • Birtelcom: Just because you have more teams doesn’t necessarily mean you get more of the greatest players.

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Order of the Day: BOP Bests

For my first offseason time-killer, I assembled lists of the best seasons in certain stats by batting order position, retrieved with the Batting Split Finder. The idea was spawned by discovering that Jimmie Foxx mainly batted 5th for his first five full seasons, including a near-Triple Crown in 1932. (The Athletics’ 3rd and 4th men from 1928-32 were Mickey Cochrane and Al Simmons.)

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Baby-faced aces: A trend, or a trifle?

“Good young pitching” was a dominant theme of the 2013 MLB season, as discussed by fans and media. Ever skeptical of perceived trends, I had to ask: Were the numbers truly unusual, or was the discussion based on selective notice? And if the numbers do stand up to initial scrutiny, are they part of a trend, or just a random event? Here’s a quick study of pitchers and age since 1998, the last expansion year.

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To stay alive in Game 6 on the road, don’t fall behind

If Shane Victorino’s 3-run double in the 3rd made you think, Series over, the weight of history was in your corner. Twelve World Series teams won Game 6 on the road to level the Series when facing elimination, and six of those went all the way. But none of them overcame more than a one-run deficit in Game 6. Here’s the list; Series winners in bold:

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Game 3: In search of an unobstructed view

Some final opinions (oh, sure) about the play that ended Game 3:

We should not judge too harshly Boston’s postgame comments questioning Jim Joyce’s call. But I don’t think any of their points holds water.

  • Jake Peavy: “It’s a joke … it’s just amazing to me that it would end on a call like that that’s not black and white.”

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The bold move we didn’t see in Game 2

On Grantland, Jonah Keri argues that John Farrell should have used Koji Uehara in the 7th inning of Game 2, rather than Craig Breslow, once the Cards had two men on with one out. I agree — but rather than take up that argument, I want to discuss the historical precedent for such a move.

There isn’t any.

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Chat here for World Series, Game 2

And here are a few items of pointless drivel to contemplate during the breaks.

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“Never seen THAT in a Serious!”

There are many things we’ve never seen in a World Series. These are a few of them:

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The DH in the World Series

The World Series begins (at last) on Wednesday. Both teams can use a designated hitter in the games in Boston — games 1 and 2, and games 6 and 7, if necessary. So here’s a quick, stats-centric overview of the DH in the World Series.

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Wacha like a man: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 0

Michael Wacha held L.A. to two hits over 7 innings, leading the Cards into the World Series with his second win of the NLCS and third in this postseason (totals 21 IP, one run, 8 hits, 4 walks, 21 strikeouts). St. Louis pitchers allowed just three baserunners, matching the fewest in a series clincher. (The Mets’ Bobby Jones one-hit the Giants in the his third win in the 2000 NLDS.) They faced 29 batters, one off the clincher record set by Atlanta in the 1996 NLCS, game 7.

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