In his second postseason as a starter, the 1952 World Series, Brooklyn first baseman Gil Hodges had a miserable time. In seven games he went 0-for-21 with five walks and one RBI. The Dodgers lost to the Yankees in seven games, and Hodges was the official goat. Hodges played in another four World Series and he never had another bad one, hitting .337 with four home runs in 26 games, yet he never did stop hearing about what happened in ’52, and that terrible series may have helped keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
I think about the “Snodgrass Muff” a lot because, like “Merkle’s Boner,” it’s a good example of how unfair life can be. “Snow” supposedly cost the Giants the 1912 World Series against the Red Sox—the last World Series the Sox ever won, you’d think, from the way folks are carrying on this year—but he was only a contributor. The two teams were playing the eighth game of a seven-game series, a previous game having ended in a tie, at Fenway Park. It was the bottom of the 10th inning. The Giants had just gone up 2-1 in the top of the frame by scoring an impossible run against Smoky Joe Wood, on in relief. Christy Mathewson was still in for the Giants.
Which low-level table-setters have the requisite statistical profiles to be projected as successful major league leadoff men?
Every June, the minor leagues are flooded with a new group of small, fast, up-the-middle players. Scouting directors take flyers on leadoff types in droves annually, and all the players have one thing in common: speed. However, the success rate of these players is especially poor, so over twoprevious articles, I have explored the traits beyond speed that good leadoff hitters have shown most often in the minor leagues. The quick five:
Kevin takes a look at some AL players who have seen their stock rise or fall this spring.
With spring training close to wrapping up, and most prospects without big league jobs already reassigned to minor league camp, it's not too early to take a look at the spring statistics to see which players' stocks are rising and falling. Spring stats should always be taken with a grain of salt, so here's some additional background of some of the American League's best and worst performances by prospects. Statistics are through games of March 26.
Was Jody Gerut really that much better than Hideki Matsui? The Dodgers are inviting a number of fresh faces to training camp in '04. And the Mariners don't have many options off the bench...to say the least. All this and much more news from Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Seattle in your Friday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Few people noticed when it came time to vote last fall, but Indians left fielder Jody Gerut was among the most productive rookies in the American League in 2003. In fact, according to a recent article by David Lipman on ESPN.com:
Brad Fullmer's down in Anaheim, setting back the defending champs just that much more; the Indians are beginning their youth-movement; Mike Sweeney is taking some time off in Kansas City just when the Royals need him most; Brandon Claussen finally makes it back after the long road through surgery; and BP favorite Kevin Young gets shown the door in Pittsburgh. All this and much more news from around the league in your Wednesday edition of Transaction Analysis.
Darin Erstad returns to Anaheim just as Jeff DaVanon's terrorizing the league. David Dellucci hits the DL just as he'd started to find a groove. Hee Seop Choi's should be back healthy and playing after a scary moment at Wrigley. Vlad Guerrero's DL stint has Expos fans clamoring for Terrmel "the Hammer" Sledge. News, notes, and Kahrlisms from 17 major league teams in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
The Snakes bury John Patterson, the Red Sox sort through a batch of soft tossers, the Marlins vie for a 25-catcher roster, and the Devil Rays solve all their problems by grabbing Al Martin and Damion Easley.
After using PECOTA-generated roto values at the recent Tout Wars National League draft, Nate Silver runs the numbers to produce values for the AL. Hint: as in the NL, pay the premium for studs. And do everything you can to get Pedro.
You can import these values into a spreadsheet by selecting them in your browser and copying them, pasting them into a text file (i.e. Notepad), and opening the new text file with your spreadsheet (i.e. Excel).