Two series into the new season, and the AL Central leads the way with two unbeaten clubs. A review of the weekend action in the junior circuit after the jump.
Filling in for my partner, John Autin, here’s the season’s first installment of Game Notes.
We’re off and running on another season. Here are some of the more unusual occurrences this opening day.
This post is for voting and discussion in the 90th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This round is the second of two adding players born in 1901 to the list of candidates eligible to receive your votes. Rules and lists are after the jump. Continue reading
The 89th round of voting for the Circle of Greats inducts Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane, winning election in only his third round on the COG ballot. After solid support in his first two ballot appearances, it was only a matter of time before voters gave the nod to Cochrane, who edged out teammate Al Simmons in a runoff election following a tie vote on the main ballot. Cochrane backstopped the Athletics and Tigers to consecutive pennants, earning a World Series ring and league MVP honors for both franchises.
More on Cochrane after the jump.
For decades in major league baseball, a predictable inverse relationship existed between the number of substitutions made during a game and the likelihood of winning that game. Teams that didn’t make substitutions were more likely to win than teams that did, with that winning percentage declining with each additional substitution made.
In today’s game, with at least three pitchers (starter, setup man, closer) in every team’s game plan everyday, the expanded pitching staffs necessary to sustain that approach have reduced bench size and, presumably, limited opportunities to use tactical substitutions on offense. Or, have they?
After the jump, more on the relationship between player substitution and winning.
Which team had the best outfield corps in 2014? Based on consistent WAR performance at each outfield position, the answer is Miami’s trio of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, each recording over 3.5 WAR (Baseball-Reference version) last season, a claim no other team can make.
What makes this development particularly encouraging for the Marlins is that Stanton, still only 25 as he starts his 6th major league season this year, was the old man of that group. How unusual are a trio of under 25 outfielders contributing at that level? You’ll find out after the jump.
Welcome to part five of my series on teams that had six 40-WAR players, age 30 or younger, with at least 1.0 WAR that year. (Series recap at bottom.) You might have thought I’d curb the verbiage for the 1935 Cubs, the fulcrum of a might-have-been dynasty that couldn’t even win one lousy title. But I have to clear my historical decks to get ready for live action again. And aren’t the final-stage shortfalls more interesting than the happy winners? So put on your waders, climb into the data dump, and see what’s worth salvaging!
It’s been like forever since I made a Quiz post. So, here’s one to sharpen your sleuthing skills as we head into a new season. I’ve characterized the pitchers in this quiz as journeymen in the best sense of the term – those who recorded solid workloads near league average performance for extended periods. But, these players are also the only pitchers to play their entire careers since 1946 and record a certain career accomplishment. What is it?
Hint: there were 77 pitchers who accomplished this feat while playing all or part of their careers from 1901 to 1945.
Seems I’ve managed to stump our esteemed panel. The solution is after the jump.