How did The Garv respond to fan chants on visiting the team he'd helped eliminate a few months earlier?
At last Saturday's Dodger Stadium shindig, we heard from Vin Scully, Logan White, and Steve Garvey. All told fascinating stories, among which were Garvey's recounting of his first game at Wrigley Field after helping to knock the Cubs out of the post-season the previous October.
One of the points that was brought up by a number of people (most notably Al Yellon over at SB Nation Chicago) is that, although the game we see in the movie is clearly from June 5, the shooting schedule for the movie did not begin until September 1985 so it cannot be the date that the Wrigley Field scenes were filmed on. To some, I think, this means that the June 5 date is wrong.
The Dodgers' first baseman doesn't hit a lot of home runs but he drives in a quite a few runs.
James Loney is somewhat of an odd player. Despite hitting .321/.372/.543 in 486 plate appearances across the 2006 and 2007 seasons for the Dodgers, his power output has resembled that of Placido Polanco lately. While a short supply of power isn’t always a death blow to success at first base, it usually means that the top notchiest of defensive ability is required to make up the difference. Loney realistically doesn’t fit that bill either. He might be smooth with the glove, and he might not have a glaring weakness such as Ryan Howard’s inability to throw a baseball, but it isn’t as if we’re talking about the first-base equivalent of Franklin Gutierrez or Jack Wilson here. Despite the shortcomings in his game, there is one area in which Loney has excelled, even if it is a stat kept only in my strange head: the ratio of RBI to home runs.
In 2008, Loney hit just 13 home runs but knocked in 90 runners. Last season, he did the exact same thing by launching 13 dingers and plating 90 runners. This season, he appears to be on pace for very similar numbers, as he hasnine home runs and 80 RBI. Recording that many RBI with so few home runs is one of those jarring parts on a batting line. It doesn’t really tell us anything revolutionary about a player, but it looks off, just like when an on-base percentage exceeds its slugging counterpart. A disproportionate number of RBI relative to home runs might suggest that we are dealing with more of a slap hitter who happens to come up with runners on very frequently, and if he were to be moved down in the order the ratio might decline. After all, Loney continues to bat in the middle of the order even if Martin Prado can out-homer him.
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A "Best-Of" list for the most intense manager of the 1970s and '80s.
Last time I posted one of these rankings, I said that Chuck Tanner was the feel-good manager of the 1970s. Billy Martin was the feel-bad manager of the 1970s, but his teams won a lot more games. As always, the format here is inspired by Bill James’ Guide to Baseball Managers, a tome in which he created several of these “best-of” teams for historical managers. Martin was one that he skipped. The difficulty in ranking Martin’s players is that in eight of 16 managerial seasons, he either started the season but didn’t get to finish it or entered at mid-season to bail out someone else’s mess.
Giving up draft selections as compensation for signing free agents has often proved to be disastrous.
When Frankie Frisch, Hall of Fame infielder and manager, became a broadcaster, he became known for bemoaning walks. “Oh, those bases on balls,” he would cry whenever a pitcher put his team in a tough spot by throwing four out of the strike zone. If he was around today, he might be saying, “Oh, those compensatory draft picks.”
With both League Championship Series at 3-1, what are the chances, and how often has it happened?
With both the Dodgers and Red Sox facing 3-1 deficits in their respective League Championship Series, the inevitable question being asked by advertisers and network executives desperate for a marquee World Series matchup-not to mention any fan who's decided they'd like to hear Tim McCarver, Joe Buck, and a chorus of moralizing pundits tell us even more about the Manny Ramirez saga-is, "Can they come back?" The answer is, probably not, as just 11 teams have come from down 3-1 to win a seven-game post-season series. Still, the legendary comebacks and heartbreaking collapses in those 11 series have stocked baseball lore with a memorable cast of heroes and villains, including Mickey Lolich, Willie Stargell, Don Denkinger, Donnie Moore, Steve Bartman, and Dave Roberts.
Has the perceived decrease in foul territory brought by the new stadium boom contributed to the surge in home runs over the past two decades?
Last time around, after discussing how the baseball itself may have changed in a manner that helped to boost home run rates over the past two decades, I took a look at the myth of the shrinking ballpark. To recap, the notion that the stadium construction boom that's taken place over the past 20 years has left us with a game full of bandboxes is actually a false one, at least when it comes to fence distances:
Dan looks at double steals from every conceivable angle, inspired by a wacky quadruple steal from the pages of Retrosheet.
"He told me the rule book doesn't specifically cover that situation. He said you've seen one of the most unusual plays in baseball."
--Official scorer Randy Minkoff, recounting his conversation with Seymour Siwoff about the Cardinals "quadruple steal" in August of 1985, as recorded by Retrosheet
The Yankees--maybe you heard about this--had a significant comeback against the Rangers the other night. We also ask a few questions about the surging Phillies, and see how this year's team differs from previous playoff-contenders.
Felix Hernandez has a terrific nickname and the adoration of thousands just weeks into his MLB career.
Two starts into his major-league career, 50 starts as a professional, barely old enough to vote in the U.S., certainly not old enough to buy alcohol here…and yet Felix Hernandez has been branded royalty. That's not bad for someone who started the 2004 season in the California League.
The story broke on Monday that Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for a banned substance. What does this mean? Will's got the answers.
Rumors began circulating this weekend that something was brewing. I heard from no fewer than three independent sources that a "big story" was breaking. In retrospect, it appears that news of Palmeiro's test and hearing before an arbitrator was leaking. Palmeiro becomes the seventh player that tested positive under the newly negotiated testing policy that took effect before the 2005 season. Palmeiro has issued a statement saying that he "has never intentionally taken steroids." An independent arbiter heard his grievance and upheld the ten day suspension. This suspension brings up many questions, so I will try to answer them as best I can: