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This is why it is bad to rely on one's memory. I thought the Aztecs played Texas that night, but they played TCU (box score), and the catcher who homered was Bryan Holaday.
A few years ago, Kevin Goldstein asked Holaday about hitting Strasburg. Amusing stuff.
Thanks for the catch.
Ah yes, David Palmer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSW8XULgV8M
Fair enough. You'll get no argument from me on Hello Kitty.
Thanks, Matt. I don't doubt that promotional items bring people out to the ballpark, but they weren't nearly as effective for the Dodgers at roughly the same time in 2012:
Saturday 4/14 - Replica Dodger Stadium giveaway
Sunday 4/15 - Jackie Robinson Day, Kids Jackie Robinson Sweatband giveaway
The Dodgers were 7-1 entering the Saturday night contest. This is hardly conclusive, but I find it interesting.
Thanks, rsjanabasis, for the thoughtful comment. I agree that folks in Oakland have many reasons to be upset with the A's. To me, however, those reasons pale in comparison to the reasons folks in Miami have to be upset with the Marlins. That and the huge disparity in win totals last year led me to ask the question.
Thanks, Diane; I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks very much for the kind words, Lance. Some stories take longer to tell than others. I look forward to surprising you again at some future date.
Thanks very much; I'm glad you dug it.
Thanks, Andy, for reading and for the kind words. Baseball has been such an important part of my life for so long that it's difficult to imagine a world without it.
Ryan, I show San Diego being about 70 miles farther as the crow flies. Also, I love the Ernesto Frieri pick.
And it was cast proudly by the person geographically farthest from Toronto.
I agree with your final paragraph. The Mariners hit 149 homers last year.
Thanks, all, for the kind words; glad you dug it!
Subtract 1.5 WARP from Damaso Garcia for bringing Alfredo Griffin to the ASG as his guest in 1984. Griffin later subbed for an injured Alan Trammell on the AL roster, according to manager Joe Altobelli, "mostly because he was here."
Think bigger picture: Scott Sanders for Sterling Hitchcock, Joey Hamilton for Woody Williams, Brian Sikorski for Mike Adams, Jon Adkins for Heath Bell, Khalil Greene for Luke Gregerson, etc.
Travis, that's awesome; thanks for the info. And I found you in the book!
I'd expected to see Clark's name in the book, Schlom, but it is nowhere to be found.
Corona is in there: Hit .492 with 9 HR, named Coastal League Player of the Year, second team CIF, U-T all-county, etc.
Thanks, Bryant. I'll double-check when I have a chance, but I'm pretty sure Corona is in the book. I recognized the name from watching him at SDSU.
Thanks for all the additional information. I don't have the book handy right now, but I believe Putnam is at least listed on the Rancho Bernardo roster.
I wouldn't have missed it for anything... one of the coolest experiences I've ever had in life.
Thanks, gdragon; you are far too kind!
There's also the bit about Ty Cobb's career hit total later being reduced to 4,189, meaning that Rose broke the record two days earlier against Cubs RHP Reggie Patterson.
Thanks, Mike; glad you enjoyed it. I just remember that Cruz was the one consistent serious threat in their lineup. And after studying Wynn's numbers, I still can't believe what he was able to accomplish in that environment.
Okay, thanks for the clarification. I was thinking solely about the fact that Langford got through innings more easily than did his teammates.
"I do know that if you could finish a game in 130 today, you probably should do so."
Amen to that.
It does so superficially, with regard to Langford's usage, which was what I had mentioned. Here's the relevant quote:
"Pitch counts were kept but never used to determine when a starter was done. Langford, the most economical of the bunch, would average about 110 pitches in nine innings, according to McCatty, who usually threw between 130 and 140 pitches in his complete games."
If these numbers are accurate, Langford would have averaged around 12 per inning (very efficient) and McCatty around 15.
Correction: I missed a few PA in the above line. The numbers should be lowered to .255/.316/.387, which is more like Marlon Anderson or Greg Myers.
Thanks for sending me down that rabbit hole, anderson721. Fun stuff.
Tim Collins from our crack stats team has found the answer: Batters after a Barry Bonds IBB hit .266/.322/.405. That's essentially John Mabry's career line.
So would I. Let me get back to you on that.
My pleasure, Shaun. Thanks for reading.
I am nothing if not completely preposterous. Thank you, buffum!
Thanks, adrock and edwardarthur. Glad you enjoyed!
Thanks, Robotey; glad you enjoyed it. I've lived in SoCal pretty much my entire life, so it's what I know.
If you haven't already, be sure to visit some of the region's minor-league parks. Lake Elsinore is my favorite, although Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino (Inland Empire) are also nice. Further north, the parks in Stockton and Sacramento are worth visiting.
Anderson was on my list but didn't make the final cut. I was hoping to get something about him and Troy Glaus at Carlsbad, but it didn't fit.
There were a lot of guys all up the line who missed the cut: Thad Bosley, Phil Hughes, Freddie Freeman, Gerrit Cole, Randy Jones, Rob Deer, Al Hrabosky, Walter Johnson, Jeremy Giambi, both Jeff Robinsons, Kurt Suzuki, Kevin Gross, Noah Lowry, Ryan Spilborghs, Chris Speier... and that doesn't even get into players from San Diego or Los Angeles proper.
My pleasure, Shaun. I hope you can make the trip someday soon!
If you're willing to go a little older than 52 for Oklahoma's catcher, there's always Johnny Bench.
According to career TAv: Howard is at .306, Dunn at .293.
I love stuff like this and am sorry I missed it myself. Thanks!
Good stuff, Diane. Lots of familiar names there.
Well, Timber, this is awkward. I was thinking of Kim when I wrote the comment but apparently never committed that thought to electrons. What I would have said isn't much more than what I said here in the introduction, i.e., that Kim provides an obvious cautionary tale worthy of further investigation.
Is your gripe against the name "Jeff" limited to those who spell it that way? So, Geoff Blum will get your support when his time comes?
Bud Black plays the kids more than Bruce Bochy ever did.
Gregorius is no more a known quantity than Bauer. I would say that Towers, like most GMs, values guys he likes more than guys he doesn't.
As for the San Diego farm system under Towers, there is plenty of blame for everyone. At various times he had an owner who preferred not to pay top dollar for amateur talent, a scouting director who leaned heavily toward polish over upside in the draft, a CEO who liked a small scouting department, and a manager who strongly favored playing veterans over youngsters. This doesn't absolve Towers of all responsibility, but the state of the system when he left was very much a team effort.
Thanks, Barry. I don't know yet, but my assumption is that I'll be watching a lot of A's games again.
Thank you for assuming I won't cheat at Scrabble.
There's no bashing here, Timber, we're just having fun. I happen to like where the organization is headed.
You raise an excellent point; thanks for adding to our collective knowledge.
I'm pretty sure it's illegal to have Garth Iorg without also having Rance Mulliniks.
Greg Harris topped the 1994 Rockies with 130 IP, but that was a strike year. Since 1900, in a non-strike-shortened season, only four teams have had zero pitchers reach 150 IP: 1957 A's (Ned Garver, 145.1), 1997 A's (Don Wengert, 134), 2006 Devil Rays (Scott Kazmir, 144.2), and 2012 Rockies.
So the answer is Harris, although under the same conditions as Francis had, it is Wengert (who made 12 starts and 37 relief appearances, and who was one of the worst pitchers on a terrible staff). Thanks for the question.
Thanks for the note. I agree that an examination of more recent usage would be interesting and potentially useful.
To answer two of your questions: Since 2000, 81 teams haven't had a pitcher reach 200 IP, while just two (2012 Rockies, 2006 Devil Rays led by Scott Kazmir's 144.2 IP) haven't had one reach 150 IP. Amusingly, Kazmir was taken a few picks after Francis in the 2002 draft.
I do not know the answers to your deeper questions, but they are certainly worth considering.
Thanks, all, for the kind words; glad you enjoyed!
Padres season ticket holders did that after their team's fire sale under Tom Werner in 1993. The team ended up offering refunds to those who requested them.
Thanks, Shaun! I had a blast out there; hopefully you can join us next year.
Yes, we'll cover Liriano in Part 2.
Thanks very much for the kind words and generous offer. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.
He also was drafted in 2006 and 2007, but didn't sign.
Yes. First, about 40 percent of his innings have come at Coors Field. Second, most first-round picks don't start 200 big-league games.
Yes, this exercise involves working with perfect hindsight, which we all agree is an unreasonable assumption. What I find interesting is that most teams don't take three guys in six years who become stud starters.
As for 2003-2005, the Giants did okay in 2003 with David Aardsma (whom they later traded for LaTroy Hawkins, whom they later traded for Steve Kline). In 2004, they didn't pick until the second round due to the Michael Tucker signing (an acknowledged weakness of Sabean). In 2005, they didn't pick until the fourth round due to the signings of Armando Benitez, Mike Matheny, and Omar Vizquel.
Verlander is the better pitcher, but Weaver stings more because the Padres spent months targeting him before abruptly shifting to Bush mere days before the draft.
Yes, good point. Development is an important part of the equation, so the Giants player development folks should share in the credit as well.
Thanks very much, Burr; I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks for mentioning the AT&T U-verse deal, which another reader reminded me of as well. To complete our timeline, according to the North County Times, that deal was announced on Thursday, October 4.
I don't know the answer to your first two questions, but my answer to your third is twofold:
1) I have bundled cable, internet, and phone, and didn't wish to disrupt all of those services for the sake of one channel, especially since it would have meant losing other channels that I wanted to keep.
2) The version of the channel offered on DirecTV was inferior to the version offered on Cox, with the former providing games only and no other Padres programming.
Also, MLB.tv was a game changer. Once I subscribed, I could watch any team except the Padres and their opponent on any given night. That worked for me.
Cox is not an option in many areas, including mine. DirecTV is an option for me, but not for everyone.
a) As a fan of Tommy Lasorda's Dodgers back then, I shared Lasorda's view of Bevacqua. b) If I had to pick a hero from my own memory, it would be Rick Monday for his homer off Steve Rogers in the 1981 NLCS.
One wonders how Kim might have fared in Game 5 had he not thrown 61 pitches a day earlier.
You can't spell "weird" without "we"...
He was a strong contender in 2004 and 2005, but Ryan Drese and Kenny Rogers were just too much better in my estimation. You could make a good case for Silva either year.
One confusing aspect of Maybin's offensive game is the juxtaposition of a steady dose of grounders with the occasional tape measure shot. He deposits baseballs in places that few people can, which is jarring within the context of his overall production.
Sorry, I missed your question earlier. There are a couple of answers to this, and yes, sample size is an issue.
First, the conclusion to a detailed study in Baseball Between the Numbers states that:
"Protection is overrated. There's no evidence that having a superior batter behind another batter provides the initial batter with better pitches to hit; if it does, those batters see no improvement in performance as a result."
Second, in the case of Headley this year, he has performed better with Quentin in the lineup (.304/.369/.528 in 355 PA) than without him there (.257/.357/.435 in 283 PA). However, Quentin didn't make his season debut until May 28, before Headley went on his rampage.
When Quentin returned, Headley hit very well (.333/.422/.487) over the first 20 games, then cooled off (.261/.323/.417) over the next 30 before hitting .314/.392/.613 over the last 49.
Or if you want to split Headley's season into three roughly equal groups:
Quentin 0 (4/5 -5/27): 201 PA, .243/.358/.396, 5 HR
Quentin 1 (5/28-7/24): 220 PA, .290/.364/.446, 6 HR
Quentin 2 (7/25-9/18): 217 PA, .314/.392/.613, 17 HR
Seems to me any "Quentin effect" should have manifested itself a little sooner.
The choice wasn't between Headley and Wright, it was between Headley and Huston Street, the Padres' lone All-Star representative who had pitched 24 innings to that point.
Correct. This is why I used the qualifier "probably."
I would have thought Charlie Lau and Walt Hriniak less likely than Phil Plantier. :-)
Great question. This is something I've been wondering myself for a while but haven't had a chance to study. My guess is that these factors do make a difference, but I have no data to support that guess.
Thanks... glad to know I'm not alone in enjoying such indulgences!
This is the great, unanswerable question. It is fun to dream on how things might have unfolded had his life circumstances and development path been different. Then again, it is fun to watch him in his current state, doing stuff that most people cannot do.
Good question: 47.
As an addendum, I believe the last time an individual hit more home runs at home than a team did was 1991, when Cecil Fielder hit 27 at Tiger Stadium and the Indians hit 22 at Cleveland Stadium. (Jose Bautista came close in 2010, hitting 33 at Rogers Centre vs 35 for the Mariners at Safeco Field.)
I have no problem with Harrelson. He is very upfront about who and what he is. Assuming one is willing to accept this, he actually provides a great deal of useful information. That being said, If I rooted for a rival team, he probably would drive me nuts.
Huh, I hadn't realized that. Looks like this game was on CSN.
And of course Vedder is a knock off of Ray Charles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0U38Nv3uXQ
It was. The game's only run came on a Leo Cardenas solo homer off Larry Jackson in the top of the 10th.
Awesome, thanks! I love the additional details. Retrosheet is a wonderful resource, but it couldn't tell me this was a one-hot-dog game.
For #3, was Lasorda right about the boat? Or the water?
Indeed, you are both correct.
Thanks a lot, guys; I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks for the suggestion. That could be fun.
I don't think highly of the NL West this year.
I was at the Seattle game. Speaking as someone who has watched the Padres sputter for the better part of the past two decades, that offensive performance by the Mariners may be the most futile I've ever seen.
Jerome Williams notched his first career save on Monday night with the following line: 4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 1 K. The Angels actually got outscored, 5-3, while Williams was in the game.
I love this question, Dave; we'll explore it in a future post. Thanks for the idea!
I'd forgotten that about Lavalliere and Ortiz. As to your question, there is a simple explanation for not using times on base: I didn't think of it.
My pleasure. If this isn't the best story in baseball right now, it's up near the top.
The Padres started talked about extending Quentin as soon as they acquired him over the winter. Byrnes is on record as saying one of his biggest regrets while serving as Arizona's GM was trading away Quentin in the first place. Many people saw this as a rental/flip situation, but I don't believe Byrnes ever shared their view.
Thanks for the additional info on Law. A similar thing happened to Joe Oeschger after his 26-inning start in 1920. His next three starts: 19 IP, 29 H, 9.00 ERA. His next six games (five starts) after that: 46 IP, 34 H, 2.15 ERA.
Oeschger's opponent in the May 1 marathon, Leon Cadore, fared better. His next four starts: 31.1 IP, 29 H, 1.44 ERA.
Both men hung on a few more years, but neither was as good as he had been. Cadore's drop in performance was more severe.
As for the Ryan game, I'll address that and others of its ilk in a future post.
Yes, two Dodgers did it in 1961: Stan Williams threw 207 against the Braves on May 17, and Koufax threw 205 against the Cubs on September 20.
I went to Powell's. It is a dangerous place, but I managed to escape with only one bag full of books.
Ah, the Zooperstars. No Clammy Sosa or Ken Giraffey Jr.?
As always, thanks for the info. It's nice to see Portillo and Hedges doing so well.
Good call on Komminsk. Sticking with the old-school theme, how about Silvestre Campusano?
Strasburg didn't "settle" for SDSU. Tony Gwynn actually had to be talked by his pitching coach into taking him:
This is an excellent question worthy of further investigation. My knee-jerk reaction is to say it's SSS, but those changes are dramatic. It could be that his improvement against lefties is legitimate and sustainable, which would make him a better long-term asset than the Padres had envisioned.
That Hamilton triple was well struck. Edinson Volquez picked a bad time to find home plate. I'm still trying to figure out how he walked Elvis Andrus after jumping ahead 1-2 with Hamilton on deck. Oh, that's right... he's Edinson Volquez.
Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Yeah, not this time; he's on my article to-do list.
The series typically consists of two three-game sets, so the best a team that got swept at home could hope for would be to return the favor and force a tie.
This opening set marks the second time either team has been swept at home. The first came last year, when the Padres were swept at Petco before dropping two out of three in Seattle.
Both cities produce fine beverages. Seattle is better known for its coffee, San Diego for its beer.
The problem in San Diego is that other networks aren't paying to carry the channel. It is estimated that roughly 40 percent of San Diegans (including yours truly) can't watch Padres games on TV in their homes.
As long as Fox Sports is getting the revenue, it has little incentive to make its channel available to the other 60 percent of potential viewers. At the same time, Fox Sports runs the real risk of alienating folks by investing money in sniping at one of the cable providers that won't pay to carry the channel rather than actually negotiating with said provider so fans can watch games:
The current strategy may make a few people rich, but it won't help a new ownership group build and retain a fan base that wasn't strong even before this madness began.
Although that would make for a great story, seeing as the Padres drafted but did not sign Kipnis in 2008.
On the same team, in the same game: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN200208060.shtml
Right. It didn't prevent him from adding loft to his swing so much as from focusing on baseball at all. Very sad story... with a hopefully happy ending.
Anyway, interesting stuff. Thanks for presenting this.
Do you mean Midwest League? Burroughs only played 6 games in the Cal League (plus a few more in the playoffs).
I also wonder, like touchstone033, how Burroughs might have developed as a ballplayer had his life not been a mess.
Sorry to hear about your lorry's tyre.
What, you didn't like watching Aubrey Huff out there? Seriously, in that ballpark and that division, having guys who can chase down fly balls is critical.
I have not seen that film but will add it to my list. Thanks for the suggestion.
Sogard is perhaps best known for playing Dr. Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1.
Then Hamels will admit that he gave up the home run on purpose.
Thanks for the details on Bilko. He put up some crazy numbers in the minor leagues. That 1955-1957 stretch for the Angels (.330/.421/.638 with 148 HR) is really something.
Thanks for the reminder about Edler. I didn't realize he played with Allen in Yakima; that is very cool.
If they go the TJ surgery route, I believe the current recovery period is 12-18 months. That would put him on schedule to return in the second half of 2013, give or take. As for effectiveness, there are too many variables at this point to make a reasonable guess. First he has to get healthy.
No problem. Thanks for putting the bug in my ear.
I'm not sure how they will go about implementing a potential retooling effort. My suspicion is that it might be more incremental, but this is not based on anything.
As for Hudson, I don't think Gyorko's readiness is a concern. Short-term, Amarista and Parrino remain options at 2B, as do Cabrera and Forysthe if their various issues are resolved.
I like Bass, Erlin, Kelly, and Wieland as mid- to back-end rotation types. There are other promising young arms further down the line: Adys Portillo and Keyvius Sampson are off to good starts, and Joe Ross has upside.
Among position players, I like Hedges, Rymer Liriano, and Cory Spangenberg. They aren't as close as Darnell, Grandal, and Gyorko but could be good.
Overall, the Padres have a good blend of depth and upside in the organization right now. Although there isn't a lot of high-end talent, the depth is of a better quality than it was a few years ago. Gotta start somewhere...
It's almost as bad as being stuck behind Brad Hawpe last year.
Cool, thanks for the additional details on that one.
Yep, every day something new happens... awesome.
Cool, because it's in the works.
Listach over Kenny Lofton in '92 never made much sense to me, nor did Hollandsworth over Edgar Renteria in '96.
Ford was on my short list, as was Downing, although I also like Andres Galarraga for open stance.
Correct on Lacey.
You get partial credit on Kline because that makes for another great trivia question, but what I had in mind happened the next season, also in SF.
You got #4. Nice guess for #2, but no. Kline allowed one homer to Mays, but it was his 160th.
Three down, two to go.
Thanks for the kind words. As for typo notification, by hawk would be awesome... failing that, email works.
And you nailed #5.
Thanks for the kind words, and glad you could join us! We had some great conversation that day, for sure.
It was an honor to steal that idea from you.
Thanks for the thoughtful comments. The closer one examines these things, the more subtle they become. Venable probably won't hit as well as Mack did, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him last a bit longer. Either way, your point stands.
Thank you. ISO stands for isolated power and is calculated by subtracting a player's batting average from his slugging percentage.
That Corey sure is a smart fellow. :-)
I would have quoted Shaobo Qin's character, but this is a family show.
Thank you. History is an important part of any culture. This is not my first venture into that realm here, nor shall it be my last. Glad you enjoyed!
Thanks for the kinds words. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. It was a lot of fun to research, which I hope comes through in the reading. I liked Harrah as well; he was on one of my early Rotisserie League teams ca. 1985.
Guzman will play LF before Alonso does.
Good call, Lance. I was reminded of Gaston's 1970 after I'd committed to Johnson. No doubt, Cito would be a most worthy addition to this list.
Speaking for myself only, Daniels was too good for this exercise. He was a stud when healthy, which admittedly was almost never, but check out his 1987 and 1988 seasons. Also, baseball needs more players named Kalvoski.
There have been 193 *unique* such players; many have done it more than once (as noted in the next sentence, 77 have done it at least four times).
As Jay notes, there wasn't much to say about the front of the rotation and Sandoval other than "they're good" or maybe "they're really, really good." We chose to focus on aspects of the team that might be less obvious, in the hope of shedding additional light on the unknown.
Thanks, informative/entertaining was our goal. Glad you enjoyed it.
Feel free to share as you see fit. Who doesn't want CRABS?
Thanks for the additional insights on Ross. I thought about Pennington... he's as good a bet as any.
I would advise betting on PECOTA over CRABS.
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.
Depends. If we can have 100% confidence in the specimen 98% of the time, what are the consequences for the other 2%? Illness? Death? Loss of reputation?
We're not real big on gifts, but we went out for tacos and beer at one of our favorite spots... had a great time together.
Thanks for commenting. You make a great point about risk and innovation. In the baseball world, we occasionally hear of calls for a manager or an organization to be more creative in their thinking, but the value placed on consistency and predictability makes it difficult for this to happen.
"But let me suggest that your lack of liking them has convinced you that they aren't any good, or at least to invent a criteria by which you could 'objectively' justify your own disliking."
Feel free to suggest it. I listened carefully to this album many, many times and learned a lot from the exercise. The Brubeck homage is beautiful in its way, which I didn't expect to find.
There are too many bands/artists to name, but off the top of my head, here are a few: Alice in Chains, Black Crowes, Bush, Foo Fighters, Incubus, Live, Dave Matthews, Sarah McLachlan, Elliott Smith, Soundgarden, Weezer.
And I'm not saying that "anyone that likes Pavement is wrong." I'm asking people to "open their minds" in the hope that maybe they will "find more than meets the eye."
Thanks for responding. I've listened to Slanted and Enchanted as well. I liked it even less.
Pavement's peers would be other people who make and sell recorded music for a living. Pretty much anyone from their era is fair game.
I love the DIY ethic. Several musician friends of mine have gotten great results following that path. None would ever use it as an excuse for not being able to play their instruments.
Warrant and Bon Jovi? Those guys can play, but their material does nothing for me.
Thanks for the kind and considered words. Yours is a perspective I'm slowly beginning to appreciate, although it is antithetical to my way of thinking. Musical taste is an intensely personal thing.
It should come as no surprise that Satriani is one of my all-time favorite musicians. I hear something new every time I listen to his stuff.
I will give it a listen when I have recovered from my recent Pavement binge.
Without question, the West Coast will be represented.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. As for being hopeful, you are not alone.
Hey, dprat, thanks for the kind words. For as difficult as the current situation is, things should improve, although it may take some time. Of course, sustaining any such improvement presents a different set of challenges, but it's a bit premature to tackle those just yet.
I remember Vazquez well from his stint with the Padres and was vaguely aware that he later spent time in Texas. As for Scoresheet, I have been playing for about 20 years and enjoy it very much.
The Angels had the good sense not to let Hillenbrand play so much as a single inning at third base.
Oops, did I say that out loud? My bad...
Don't forget? Great, there goes six months of trying...
It's a good question. Show was a complicated individual. After his death, the New York Times quoted Show's agent, Arm Tellem, as saying that Show "joined the Birch Society because he thought it would provide answers to how the world works" and that Show "was always looking for answers."
In addition to Tom Friend's ESPN article, which I linked to in my blurb, Ira Berkow's piece at the Times is worth reading:
Wilson is a good call. If not for Show, I would have written about him.
Many people, myself included, bring outside food into Petco Park on a regular basis. I don't know about other ballparks, but it isn't a problem here.
Having lived in Southern California nearly all my life, I'd assumed burritos at the ballpark were a given. I didn't realize they aren't available everywhere, although now that I think about it, why would they be?
Yet another reminder of the danger in making assumptions about the world based on one's own experiences...
Good call. You haven't lived until you've seen Robinson "track" a fly ball.
Ah, 93 games in Oakland; my mistake. And thanks for the link. (As an aside, those before and after photos of the Coliseum are depressing.)
You raise a good point. I was thinking specifically of player personnel moves, but the hiring of Hinch as manager clearly didn't work. If that is the move that cost Byrnes his job, presumably he will have learned from the experience.
Thanks for reading and commenting. I see your point about the cost to acquire Haren, but I think that given what the D'backs had done in 2007 and their expectations for the short-term future, it was justified.
Also, it's worth noting that CarGo fetched even less for the A's, who turned him into 63 games of Matt Holliday before flipping Holliday for Clayton Mortensen and Brett Wallace. They later became, in separate deals, Ethan Hollingsworth and Michael Taylor.
This has nothing to do with Arizona or Byrnes, but it's good to remember that the D'backs weren't the only team that sold short on CarGo, which raises the question of just how much value any GM could have gotten for him.
Thanks for the additional perspective on Quentin. From the outside, it appeared that they gave up on him too soon, but this is much easier to say now that we have the unfair advantage of seeing what he became after leaving.
Thanks, glad you liked it. I acknowledged Moorad's role in the Eric Byrnes extension, but I hesitate to lay all the blame on ownership because a) I'm not sure the degree to which either party was responsible, and b) part of a GM's job is to push back if he/she feels strongly about something. That being said, I agree that this probably wasn't entirely on Josh Byrnes.
Hrabosky was on my short list as well, but Fingers won by a whisker. [ducks incoming vegetables]
Don't I know it. She actually couldn't make the ceremony, instead flying out the next day to Buffalo, where I picked her up for the drive home. We missed the Isotopes due to our unexpected circumstances but did manage to catch games in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Springfield, Mo.
Ah, I had forgotten that Morris was part of the Manny trade. Thanks, Mike, for the addendum.
Thanks, all, for the very kind words. Glad you enjoyed!
My pleasure, glad you enjoyed.
You are not alone. The scene at the end was quite chaotic.
Your sister should have known better than to carve her initials in him. It's enough to make a guy want to see Eder Llamas pitch in the big leagues someday.
Newt got better. He won three games in 1941... not four, neither two.
To the best of my knowledge, neither pitcher ever played for the Ducks... or the Very Small Rocks.
Interesting ideas. Those would be good things to check.
Sometimes? I would say most of the time, managers manage by the book. And yeah, bullpen usage nowadays is very different from usage in the '80s, which in turn was very different from usage in the '50s.
Youth has been one of Parra's primary assets for a while. Sometimes guys suddenly learn how to use their tools (he said hopefully while thinking of Reymond Fuentes). DeJesus isn't a bad comp; if that's the kind of player Parra becomes, he'll have had a successful career.
P.S. Thanks for the offer. See you in Cooperstown. First Ommegang of your choice is on me.
Glad you enjoyed. As for Parra, I have to concede that he is becoming useful.
Peripherals are *related* to production, but the two are not identical. Ricky Nolasco had terrific peripherals (2.1 BB/9, 9.5 K/9) in 2009 but didn't prevent runs from scoring (5.06 ERA). The opposite was true of Kevin Millwood (3.2 BB/9, 5.3 K/9, 3.67 ERA) that same year.
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. You are correct about those horrible long-term contracts (I'll add Wiki Gonzalez and Bubba Trammell to the list), although Towers has blamed club president Bob Vizas for the Jarvis signing.
Drafting and developing hitters absolutely was a problem under Towers' watch. Headley has become useful, and a few others may yet make it (Darnell and Decker; maybe Blanks, Forsythe, and Tekotte), but where are the stars?
Towers had much better success with pitchers, e.g., Peavy and Latos. Still, the Padres had a chance to kill in '99, '04, and '07, and didn't get it done.
Arizona had some good drafts under Towers' predecessors. If the Snakes can continue drafting well *and* benefit from his trading acumen, they could be a formidable organization.
Addendum: I am informed that Hudson and Saunders were acquired by Jerry DiPoto during his brief tenure as interim GM between Byrnes' firing and Towers' hiring. Thanks to those who alerted me to this fact and apologies for the error.
Ah, gotcha. Do I lie and say I was that clever or come clean and admit to dumb luck? Let's go with "clever" shall we? It'll be our little secret.
I wasn't winking so much as noting that although Ross is a solid cog, his bat isn't strong enough to serve as the foundation for a championship caliber team.
Ah, good catch on Sanchez. I forgot that he'd been promoted. My main concern with him is this: How realistic is it to expect that a guy who posted an 8:1 K/BB ratio in A-ball (better since moving up, but small sample) will hit big-league pitching?
Despite his size, Blanks isn't a liability in LF.
Thanks, guys, for the additional Lincecum insights. I'm assuming this is just one of those blips that looks bigger than it really is because he has set the bar so high.
My use of "this" referred specifically to the Diamondbacks' current streak. You are correct, of course, regarding their early season success against good teams and they do deserve credit for that.
Much appreciated; glad you enjoyed!
OPS+ is park adjusted, so even though Cameron's OBP and SLG were both higher than Maybin's, because Maybin plays half his games at Petco Park, his overall offensive contribution is actually a little better than Cameron's. TAv shows the same (Cameron's in '97 was .274, Maybin's this year is .289).
"A parting of the ways" is an understatement. There was a lawsuit that ended up changing California state law. Look up "kgb vs giannoulas"...
I should have been more explicit. It's the third time in a single game. I also could have provided more context. Here is what MLB hitters as a whole are doing so far this season:
1st time against starter in game: .238/.303/.372
This is a consistent pattern from year to year. Over the past decade or so, hitters have added 25-50 points of OPS each time facing a starting pitcher in a game every year. This doesn't include 4th (or higher) time faced, as the sample sizes are smaller and numbers get a bit wonky for that split.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Dean and Hunter fall short of our minimum 100 HR requirement, but that's a fun find nonetheless. Thanks!
There are concerns about his defense. To what degree those concerns are warranted... well, as an unabashed Branyan fan, I'm probably not the best person to ask.
FLeghorn, as the fan of a team that ditched its plan to take Jered Weaver or Stephen Drew with the first pick overall in 2004 to save a few bucks on Matt Bush, I feel your pain.
Almost. Just swap out "best" for "worst" and you've got it.
Didn't Ron Davis "earn" that nickname back in the day?
The 1% standard effectively eliminates the HOF case of every reliever in history. I can see merit in that argument, although it has nothing to do with Hoffman beyond the fact that he is part of the subset of players which such a standard would exclude.
Good question. I double checked the Encyclopedia, and it says he was 80 (it also says his name was "Heulsman"), but Baseball-Reference and other sources have his DOB as June 5, 1874, which would have made him 85 when he died. I think the Encyclopedia is wrong on this one. Thanks for the catch.
Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm glad to know you are enjoying these pieces. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to improve them.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I plan on making this a regular thing so any suggestions you (or anyone else) might have are much appreciated.
Awesome. Thanks for the additional info!
Actually, I was hoping to take Molina with one of the picks I used on Peralta/Scutaro. Catching is unbelievably thin in this league.
Excellent advice for any fantasy baseball owner in February!
Chiming in late here, but I just wanted to add that I've known medeaschild and Brian DewBerry-Jones for a very long time, and both are tremendous resources for anyone who is interested in learning more about Scoresheet. I highly recommend taking them up on their offers of assistance.
Yeah, it has the potential to be scary.
Exactly. Many people in San Diego know who the Padres are but don't care. Competitors in the region include the beaches, the mountains, the zoo, the theater...
Fun preview, Joe; I look forward to the full interview.
To be fair, DeShields was a very good player when he first arrived in the big leagues and looked like he might develop into something special. Just be glad you never traded Pedro Martinez for him.
Nice call on Montoyo, a personal favorite of mine. That '88 season at Stockton (.256/.450/.311) was pretty freakish.
In defense of the broadcasters, I believe both are true. From the March 16, 1977, St. Petersburg Times: "...he cut his right knee badly on a pair of rubber scissors while sliding across a sheet of wet plastic in his backyard. Infection set in, and soon doctors diagnosed the complication as osteomyelitis."
The Helton at-bat was fun. Latos kept pumping fastballs and Helton kept fouling them off.
Also, in addition to the lost popup, there were three third-strike foul tips not held onto by the catcher (including the pitch before Stewart's homer). Not that they were necessarily easy to catch...
It looked pretty much like four-seamers to me.
Thanks much, everyone, for the comments. I found those that attempted to engage the topic at hand especially useful, although I learned something from all of them.
On a more general note, I am always open to article suggestions. If you've got some constructive input, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com so we can discuss your ideas further. Thanks again for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Sorry I missed the show; sounds promising. The issue could use more honest discussion and less rhetoric.
This seems like a sensible approach. If the issue can serve as a springboard for discussion that somehow connects to and positively influences the lives of family members, then maybe good will come of it.
Like I said, I don't have kids, so this is a perspective that eludes me. But it did make me wonder. Thanks for the thoughts.
"A wonderful example for children about the consequences of doing something against the rules, especially the ending part of the punishment... And more importantly, after punishment, people deserve a second chance."
Thanks for the thoughtful response. I agree that there are lessons to be learned here. I hope that parents who cheer for Ramirez can explain this to their children as well as you have to me.
Very much so, and thank you for noticing.
Thanks, and thanks. Fortunately my physical therapist rocks.
He also plunked Damian Jackson with a pitch that broke Jackson's hand and put him on the DL. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Good thinking by LeMaster. It's kinda hard to claim they're chanting "Johnnie."
A perfecto at any level is special. I've not seen one, and it took me 38+ years to witness my first no-hitter of any kind. Now I've seen two, both at the college level: Josh Romanski, USD vs Harvard in '08; Stephen Strasburg, SDSU vs Air Force in '09.
Yeah, Dunston was fun to watch. If I'd had a vested interest in seeing the Cubs win, his complete absence of an approach at the plate probably would have driven me nuts, though.
Some good names there. The infamous Kekich/Fritz Peterson family swap was a little before my time but remains one of the strangest baseball stories I've ever heard.
An Archi Cianfrocco sighting. Most excellent.
Love the Swisher story... Flynn is a great pull; hadn't thought about that guy in a very long time.
Fun stuff. You may enjoy this little list I compiled at Ducksnorts a while back.
Yeah, Lezcano was a quality hitter for a very short time. His '82 was fantastic, and his '79 (.321/.414/.573, 28 HR for Milwaukee at age 25) was even better. I love guys like that.
I didn't think the Greene trade was a bad transaction necessarily, just one that was clearly motivated by the need to clear his salary. The fact that Greene is struggling and Luke Gregerson is pitching well for the Padres makes it look more palatable from a performance standpoint, but I doubt you'd find many observers who thought before the season started that Greene for Gregerson and Worrell was anything other than a salary dump.
I fear no exclamation point... Except possibly the one that follows Ichiro.
Thanks. It's great to see you here as well.
Thanks, it's good to be here.