April 19, 2000
Doctoring The Numbers
Jeter, Vlad and...Valerio?
Yeah, But You Should See Their Outfielders
Despite 25 World Championships, the New York Yankees have usually gotten by with mediocre shortstops. Phil Rizzuto is in the Hall of Fame, but only partly on merit, and he was the Yankees' only great shortstop.
Derek Jeter's power is his weak link in comparison to the other members of the Trinity, but in the Yankee pantheon of shortstops, he sits atop the throne:
Player Year HR Derek Jeter 1999 24 Tom Tresh 1962 20 Roy Smalley 1982 20 Derek Jeter 1998 19 Roy Smalley 1983 18
No other Yankee shortstop has ever hit more than 15 home runs in a season. In fact, Jeter is already closing in on the career record for homers by a Yankee shortstop:
Player HR Frankie Crosetti 94 Derek Jeter 64 Tony Kubek 54 Phil Rizzuto 38 Roy Smalley 38
Bucky Dent ranks eighth with 27 home runs. Maybe Red Sox fans should have seen it coming.
Vlad Never Fails to Impale
Vladimir Guerrero is doing his best to make the case that he's the greatest player in baseball right now, hitting .488 with five homers so far--and no strikeouts. While 58 players had more home runs than strikeouts in a season during the 1900s, only one (George Brett in 1980) has done it since 1958.
The players with the greatest difference between home runs and strikeouts in a season:
Name Year HR K Diff Tommy Holmes 1945 28 9 19 Lou Gehrig 1934 49 31 18 Joe DiMaggio 1941 30 13 17 Yogi Berra 1950 28 12 16 Ted Kluszewski 1954 49 35 14
The Life of a Brewer Pitcher
Valerio de los Santos is tied for the major-league lead with six home runs allowed, despite throwing just 10 1/3 innings. The fewest innings pitched by the major-league leader in the live ball era (in a non-shortened season):
Name Year IP HR Johnny Marcum 1939 137.2 27 Dave Johnson 1990 180.0 30 Johnny Hutchings 1945 185.0 21 Shawn Boskie 1996 189.1 45 Bob Harris 1940 193.2 24