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Articles Tagged Chris Chambliss 

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March 13, 2012 3:00 am

Western Front: Better Than Doug Mientkiewicz

4

Geoff Young

James Loney hasn't exactly set Hollywood ablaze with his hitting prowess; can he still cash in on his mediocrity?

For reasons I don't entirely comprehend, James Loney has been on my mind of late. His skill set is unusual for a first baseman, and although some players have parlayed similar skills into a successful big-league career, such players are few and far between.

In last week's light-hearted preview of the NL West, I quipped that Loney should star in a show called “Being Doug Mientkiewicz.” Marginally amusing one-liners aside, the truth is that Loney is a better hitter than Mientkiewicz, though this is hardly cause for celebration among Dodgers fans. Set the bar low enough and everything looks good.

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From Ted Williams' home run in his final career at-bat to Sadaharu Oh's record-breaking blast and beyond, there have been some remarkable home runs hit in baseball history. Here's a look at six of them.

Note: This piece was originally run on Deadspin.

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Sitting down to talk to the former All-Star about his career as a player, and his new turn as a minor league skipper.

Travis Fryman has a new career, even if he's hesitant to admit it. A five-time American League All-Star at third base during 13 big-league seasons (1990-2002), the 39-year-old Fryman is now the manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Cleveland's affiliate in the short-season New York-Penn League. Selected by Detroit in the first round of the 1987 draft, Fryman went on to spend eight years with the Tigers and five more with the Indians, hitting .274/.336/.443 with 223 home runs. Known for having one of the best arms in the game, Fryman came up as a shortstop before moving to the hot corner, where he won a Gold Glove in 2000.

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November 1, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: My First Full Season

0

Dan Fox

Memories of this fan's rite of passage engender a look back at 1977 on the bases.

"This team, it all flows from me. I'm the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and [Thurman] Munson, but he can only stir it bad."
-Attributed to Reggie Jackson in the May 1977 issue of Sport magazine.


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June 14, 2007 12:00 am

Future Shock: State of the Systems, AL Central

0

Kevin Goldstein

Kevin swings through the four full-season affiliates in the always-productive AL Central farm systems.

Chicago White Sox

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February 14, 2005 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: Offseason - The Easts

0

Christina Kahrl

TA is back with a look at what teams in the AL East and NL East did this winter.

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May 27, 2004 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Southpaw Stories, Part I

0

Nate Silver

Two months ago, the Oakland Athletics signed Eric Chavez to a six-year, $66 million contract extension that will keep him with the club through 2010. Despite some head-scratching from the public, there are good reasons behind why Billy Beane campaigned to do for Chavez what he hadn't done for former MVP shortstop Miguel Tejada. Unlike Tejada, Chavez is a player whose skills, like his fine defense and his ever-improving plate discipline, are likely to be undervalued by the market. On top of which, Chavez has continued to demonstrate growth season after season, and PECOTA thinks that he's a very safe bet going forward. It is no secret, however, that Chavez has a tragic flaw: he can't hit left-handed pitching. From 2001-2003, Chavez managed a stellar line of .306/.375/.579 against right-handers, but a Mathenian .229/.278/.395 against southpaws. The A's, recognizing his defensive value and perhaps hoping that repetition would breed improvement, continued to start him anyway, in spite of a rotating array of viable platoon alternatives. This year, indeed, has brought about a turnaround--Chavez is crushing lefties so far on the season (.288/.373/.561), while performing well below his career averages against righties (.214/.358/.398). Whether there's any rationale for the change other than sample size, I'm not certain (I don't get to see the West Coast teams play as often as I'd like to). What is clear, however, is that if such a change becomes permanent--if Chavez learns how to hit left-handed pitching at the age of 26--it would be a relatively unprecedented development. In most cases, a platoon split for a left-handed hitter is something like a finger print or a dental record: it remains a readily identifiable and more or less unchanging part of his profile throughout the different stages of his playing life. A left-handed hitter with a big platoon split early in his career is, in all likelihood, going to have a big platoon split later in his career.

It is no secret, however, that Chavez has a tragic flaw: he can't hit left-handed pitching. From 2001-2003, Chavez managed a stellar line of .306/.375/.579 against right-handers, but a Mathenian .229/.278/.395 against southpaws. The A's, recognizing his defensive value and perhaps hoping that repetition would breed improvement, continued to start him anyway, in spite of a rotating array of viable platoon alternatives.

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May 14, 2003 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: May 8-11, 2003

0

Christina Kahrl

Tom Goodwin and company could allow the rest of the NL Central to catch the Cubs with Sammy Sosa out. Steve Sparks could be tossing knucklers in the 9th in Detroit. The Marlins cross their fingers on Dontrelle Willis with Jack McKeon now running the ship. Plus news and notes from 14 other teams.

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June 5, 2001 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A

0

Jeff Bower

Before the din of their World Championship celebration died down last year, Chris Chambliss was fired from his job as the hitting coach for the New York Yankees. He resurfaced this spring as manager of Florida's Triple-A team, the Calgary Cannons.

Chambliss is probably the most qualified managerial candidate in baseball today, but has yet to have the opportunity to manage in the majors despite interviewing for many vacancies over the past few years. He was kind enough to take time out of his schedule and talk with us recently before a game against the Tacoma Rainiers.

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October 9, 2000 12:00 am

The Managerial Shuffle

0

Christina Kahrl

Now that Davey Johnson's pink slip has surfaced from a long lurk in the Dodgers' interoffice mail, there are five managers out of work. Within the next couple of weeks, we'll probably see Jimy Williams and Jim Fregosi join the list. While it makes for nifty trivia that no manager was fired in-season, the firings mean something slightly different for each of the teams. The usual crocodile tears are being shed for the public's benefit about how Buck Showalter, Gene Lamont, Terry Francona and Jack McKeon all deserve better, but what are the really important elements of these firings, and the hirings yet to come? And how much recycling are we going to have accept this time around?

If Jack McKeon was cranky enough to sue over the question of whether or not he was fired because of age discrimination, his dismissal would be a particularly interesting case. If Jim Bowden ends up selecting Bob Boone as McKeon's replacement, it would be Bowden who would have given greater evidence of age-related handicaps like memory loss. Has everyone forgotten Boone's ineptitude as a manager during his stints with Tacoma and Kansas City? There's a hint of a glaucoma problem here if Boone gets the job, at least as far as what George Bush called "the vision thing." Firing the oft-recycled McKeon for someone who hasn't demonstrated any core competency to deserve recycling strikes me as poor judgment on a par with acquiring Fonzie Bichette or Ruben Sierra. On a similar level of irrelevance, Bowden is supposed to be considering Hal McRae, last seen as the Phillies' hitting coach. I don't know what the fascination with uninspired and uninspiring ex-Royals managers represents, but it isn't a good thing. Why not dig up Duke Wathan? If the objective is to bring back Davey Johnson, that's fine, but if the choices are limited to Ken Griffey's dad and some ex-Royal flops, then Bowden isn't rating the job as one with any real importance.

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Gave RHP Jack McDowell his unconditional release; purchased the contract of LHP Lou Pote from Edmonton. [8/9]

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