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Circle of Greats 1955 Balloting – Part 1

This post is for voting and discussion in the fifteenth round of balloting for the Circle of Greats. This round begins to add those players born in 1955. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats 1956 Results: Late Voters Put Spark In Larkin

Riding a sudden wave of support near the end of the voting period, Barry Larkin edged out Paul Molitor by a single vote to become the 14th inductee into the Circle of Greats. More on Larkin and the voting after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Tuesday game notes: “Ad Astro per aspera”

I meant to cover all the games, but the ‘Stros wouldn’t stop hitting….

Astros 16, @Mariners 9: The dam burst. By the 2nd inning, Houston had 9 runs, 10 hits and 2 HRs, all more than any of their first 7 games, and equaling their runs total from their last 6 games. A home run in the 4th by the indomitable Jose Altuve gave him three-fourths of the cycle, and gave Houston a 13-0 lead and their highest run count since 2010 (when they scored 18 with no dingers).

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Say it ain’t so, Roy

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay is struggling. Last season was definitely below par. But, observers were inclined to give Halladay the benefit of the doubt and ascribe his performance to injury and never getting back into rhythm after his return to the lineup. The trouble with that assessment of 2012 is that, rather than rounding into form as the season wound down, Halladay was headed the other direction.

But, “2013 is a new year” went the refrain. With rest and a renewed sense of purpose, it would be the same old Roy again. Except, Halladay had a rough spring with whispers that his old velocity just isn’t there. So far this season, the search party is still looking for the old Roy.

Is this the end of Halladay as the dominant staff ace? Say it ain’t so, Roy!

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Monday game notes (belated edition)

Walks in the 9th with the bases empty Monday:

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Why I don’t create new stats

I’ve been writing about baseball online for four years, and early on, I learned I needed to work hard to create anything meaningful. A few years ago, I killed a weekend creating a stat I dubbed, “Runs Accounted For.” It looked at a player’s run and RBI totals compared to his team’s run total and, as I later learned, was more or less a simplified version of Bill James’ work, Runs Created. I didn’t know this when I posted my piece (I hadn’t read a James book up to this time), and proudly, naively, I submitted a link to Baseball Think Factory expecting to be applauded.

The response I got is fairly typical for anyone who creates a new baseball metric and is one reason I don’t devote much time inventing stats.

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Sunday supplement: The late games!

@Rockies 9, Padres 1: Colorado’s 5th straight win matched their longest streak of last year. Three straight home games yielding 3 runs or less is a first since June 2011. And four straight starts of 6+ IP and 2 runs or less … they didn’t have even two in a row like that after June 3-4 last year.

  • Wilin Rosario has hit 33 HRs in his first 124 games caught, 138 games played. That’s 4 more HRs than any other catcher within his first 150 games played. Coors helps, of course — but he also has 13 road HRs in 238 PAs, which is about the same as Piazza’s career HR percentage.
  • Yonder Alonso took a solid 62 walks last year, but none in 6 games so far this season.

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Notes on Sunday early games

@Mets 4, Marlins 3: Miami squandered umpteen baserunners, then donated the game in the 9th. Ahead 3-2 with 1 out and none on, Steve Cishek aimed inside on a 2-2 count to Ruben Tejada, and nicked him. Kirk Nieuwenhuis looped a single to left-center, and Tejada dared the rag-armed Juan Pierre to catch him at 3rd.

With a 1-run lead and 1 out, Pierre’s play was to 2nd base: Keep the DP in order, keep the winning run at 1st. But he threw to 3rd, badly, and when the rookie 3B came off the bag for the throw and kept his head down afterwards, Nieuwenhuis waltzed over to 2nd. Then came the manager’s move I don’t think I’ve seen before:

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Saturday snippets

Twins 6, @Orioles 5: Chris Davis’s dinger drought at 1 game. O’s now 0-2 in 1-run games. Not that it means anything for the future.

  • Josh Roenicke, #2 last year in relief games more than 1 IP, worked the 6th through 8th innings, preserving the tie and earning his first AL win.

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Quiz – Ian Stewart (Solved)

ian stewartIf you don’t know Ian Stewart, he is a third baseman, playing mostly for the Rockies, but currently with the Cubs. He’s never had a qualifying season but has exceeded 400 PAs twice in his career. In the equivalent of 3 full-time seasons, he has career totals including 66 doubles, 10 triples and 59 homers. His career slugging percentage is almost 200 points higher than his batting average, and he has more strikeouts than hits in every season of his career.

Nondescript though that synopsis may be, Ian enjoys the distinction of achieving a certain offensive feat more often than every other major-leaguer who has played his entire career since 1916. What is this unusual feat?

It’s approaching midnight Eastern, 27+ hours after this quiz was posted, so I’m calling this one a stumper. The HHS readers were quick to identify that the quiz was about appearing in an opening day game on a player’s birthday, but failed to note the batting feat that Ian Stewart has achieved more often than any other player. That feat is to get a hit in an opening day game on your birthday, something that Stewart has done twice and 24 others have managed only once, including Daniel Murphy of the Mets this season.

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