Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Everything is overrated

Everything in baseball is rated. Players are rated according to their abilities, but also by their contract value. Managers are rated by their tactical nous, and also by their handsomeness. Ballparks are rated by their beauty, but also by the level of traffic encountered when leaving them.

Of course, no one agrees on these ratings. Thus almost everything is ripe for being under-, over-, or massively overrated. Fans, players, coaches, writers; everyone has an opinion, and we have over a century’s worth of evidence documenting that fact.

Here, then, is an examination of the many things that have been overrated in the world of baseball. I looked through the pages of The Sporting News from 1920 to 2000, and found approximately 150 instances of something or someone being overrated. Let’s get to the highlights: long preambles are overrated.

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A Batting Race: 1983 NL

I have to say how little the subject matter of this post matters to me. As I’ve said before, batting average doesn’t super matter; we all know this. 1983 is before I was born. I have no emotional attachment or interest in any of the subjects of this post. And this took a tremendous amount of research.

But… all of that goes to show you that a good baseball story, is a good baseball story. Because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this race, a batting title chase for the ages among four players: Bill Madlock of Pittsburgh, Jose Cruz of Houston, and teammates Lonnie Smith and George Hendrick of St. Louis. (To be clear, I started this post the day before MLB.com decided to feature an article about the Cruz family; it’s just a happy coincidence that there’s something fun there to link while I was writing about the eldest in the family.)

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The day the Bronchos lost 44-0

The eyes of the baseball world briefly turned to the Dominican Summer League (DSL) yesterday, where the DSL Yankees trounced the DSL Twins by a score of 38-2. After a scoreless first inning the Yankees tallied in every subsequent frame.

The scoreline was reportedly record-breaking. MilB.com wrote that the DSL Yankees “are believed to have broken the all-time Minor League record for runs in a game, set by Rookie Advanced Ogden in a 33-10 Pioneer League romp over Helena on Aug. 27, 1995.”

I can tell you of at least one game that featured more runs than that.

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The ultimate sweep: Dodgers vs Giants in 1974

What is the sweetest way to win a game of baseball against your closest rival? Is it dominating your opponent in their own backyard? Maybe it’s through an impressive individual performance, perhaps coming from an unlikely source. Or is it a gutsy come-from-behind win, culminating in a walk-off hit in front of a full house of partisans?

If it’s the latter, then it’s difficult to imagine a happier set of fans than those of the Los Angeles Dodgers in June of 1974 after one dramatic series versus the rival San Francisco Giants.

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