COG Round 90 Results: “Bucketfoot” heads the class

The 90th round of voting for the Circle of Greats inducts Hall of Famer “Bucketfoot” Al Simmons, winning election in only his third round on the COG ballot as he edged out contemporaries Carl Hubbell and Paul Waner in a close three-way race. Simmons was a fixture on the powerhouse As teams of the late 1920s and early 1930s, recognized as one of the top hitters in the game and also one of the better outfielders. His manager Connie Mack, hardly known for sentimentality, kept just one picture of a former player in his office – Simmons’. When asked which player had been most valuable to the As, Mack replied “If only I could have had nine players named Al Simmons.” 

More on Al Simmons after the jump.

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COG Round 89 Results: it’s a lock for Cochrane

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.

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Player substitution and winning: is less still more?

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.

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Miami’s young outfield: is it a pennant predictor?

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 StantonChristian 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.

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