Today is the craziest possible day for MLB names

St. Patrick’s Day is always interesting for names. Lots of babies born on this day end up being given the first or middle name of Patrick. Among the 41 MLB players born today, eight (Pat Seery, Pete Reiser, Dan Masteller, John Smiley, Larry Murphy, Pat Gomez, Rick Lisi, & Bill Gannon) have the first or middle given name of Patrick.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for unusual names among MLB players with a birthday today...

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What’s new at High Heat Stats

Andy here with just a few quick updates.

  • I’m updating the theme–it may look a bit wonky for a couple of days, but I’ll get it all sorted out.
  • Importantly, it will continue to run fast and lean.
  • We are about to embark on another season of writing for USA Today Sports Weekly. I have a great group of writers, including a bunch of new folks. Ely will also be posting all the articles here on HHS...
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Quiz – Division Champion Relievers (stumped)

All of these pitchers played for a division champion. But, they also did something else to distinguish themselves from all other relief pitchers since divisional play began in 1969. What is this unusual pitching accomplishment?

The pitchers are:

  1. Wade Davis,
  2. Santiago Casilla,
  3. Zach Britton,
  4. Koji Uehara,
  5. Joaquin Benoit,
  6. Rafael Betancourt,
  7. Cla Meredith,
  8. Michael Jackson,
  9. Dennis Eckersley...
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Free Agency by the numbers

But, not the numbers (with lots of zeros after them) that you’re probably thinking about. Baseball’s annual rite of fall and winter has just about run its course. As of this writing, Baseball-Reference is recording 414 free agent signings since the end of last season, with only 8 more players still on the market.

How did your team do in the free agent sweepstakes? Find out after the jump.

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Quiz – Double Trouble (solved)

The 2012 Minnesota Twins have the unfortunate distinction of being the only club in more than 35 years with some unusual position players on its roster. What unenviable characteristic distinguishes these clubs from among all other post-war teams?

Rk Year Tm 1 2012 Minnesota Twins 2 1979 Cleveland Indians 3 1976 California Angels 4 1976 San Diego Padres 5 1976 Texas Rangers 6 1972 Montreal Expos 7 1968 San Francisco Giants 8 1959 Philadelphia Phillies Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used Generated 3/7/2016...
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Arenado Blasts Off

Google translates “arenado” as Spanish for “sandblasted”. Leaving aside the sand, Rockie third baseman Nolan Arenado had a breakout year in 2015, recording one of the more impressive under-the-radar seasons in recent memory, leading the NL with 42 big blasts, and leading the majors with 130 RBI and 354 total bases.

More after the jump.

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Circle of Greats Recap

Our project at High Heat Stats to elect our version of the Hall of Fame has completed (for now) after 121 rounds of balloting, and 121 players elected to the Circle of Greats (COG). This matches the number of Hall of Fame (HOF) members elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). As the BBWAA elects additional members in future years, the intention is to resume COG balloting at those times to maintain a matching number of honorees...

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Tony Phillips 1959-2016

Tony Phillips died last week of a heart attack, aged only 56. Phillips exceeded 50 WAR in an 18 year career played primarily with the Athletics and Tigers. One of the most versatile players in major league history, Phillips started his career as a shortstop but ended up playing over 400 games at 2B, 3B and LF.

More on Phillips after the jump. (more…)

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Quiz – Catchers and Infielders (solved)

The players in this quiz share the distinction of posting the only qualified seasons since 1961 with a certain batting accomplishment. What is it?

Rk Player 1 Brad Ausmus 2 Royce Clayton 3 Tony Pena 4 Ted Simmons 5 John Wathan 6 Marty Perez 7 John Bateman Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used Generated 2/17/2016.

 

Hint #1: only one of these players posted such a season before age 30 Hint #2: no outfielder since 1871 has posted such a season

Congratulations to Richard Chester!...

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