Jose Bautista's turnaround has continued despite doubts, plus other observations from the Bronx.
Twenty-six players have hit at least 50 home runs in a single season. Only nine of them have done it twice, and only five—Babe Ruth, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Alex Rodriguez—have repeated the feat in consecutive seasons. Jose Bautista is not in that group yet, but with an AL-high nine homers through Toronto's first 28 games, he's on pace to hit 52, two shy of the 54 he posted last year, when he stunned the baseball world. Bautista had never hit more than 16 homers in a season during his six-year major-league career, and had totaled just 59 in 575 games to that point while playing for four teams (Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh) prior to Toronto.
Revisiting a conversation with the long-time official scorer in Boston.
Chaz Scoggins has been the primary official scorer at Fenway Park for over 30 years. A long-time sportswriter for The Lowell Sun and a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, Scoggins sat down for this interview in December 2004.
CHEERS clearly proves that Tim Raines doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame. Will it incite an anti-stathead backlash for Rock amongst the voters?
I'm asking all of you to take a voyage back in time. Not to last week, or even last month, but to a more innocent time, before my mind got wrapped up in Congressional hearings or trips to the Dominican Republic. Back then, we looked at the candidacy of Tim Raines for induction to Cooperstown. I shared some of my subconscious thoughts on the subject, and issued a challenge: come up with an argument that would create an anti-stathead backlash in favor of Raines among Hall of Fame voters, and win a prize.
Gardenhire handled an awful situation well and got good performance from pitchers he probably doesn't want to be leaning too heavily on. Now, he has a one-game lead and the certainty that he can bring back Santana in Game Four. It helped that Bernie Williams' Corpse was on display. While much of the post-mortem seems to be focusing on Alfonso Soriano's throw to the Fulton Fish Market on the same play, it was Corpse's brutal misplay of a Torii Hunter single that changed the game. We go through this every year with the Yankees. Maybe it's time to issue a public challenge of some sort, because the naked-emperor thing is getting out of hand. To hear Joe Morgan and Jon Miller--a combination I enjoy--go all Claude Rains when the Yankees display the defensive ability of Kuwait is ridiculous. It's as if they expect service time or postseason appearances to make plays, disregarding the fact that Williams hasn't been even an adequate center fielder in two years. He can't throw--as evidenced on the first run of the game, when he just missed gunning down Cristian Guzman at the pitcher's mound--and his diminished lateral range no longer makes up for a first step measured in geologic time.
I'm wondering what I would have given for the Twins' chances if you'd told me yesterday morning that Rick Reed would be pitching the fifth inning. Johan Santana's pre-game bout of vomiting dehydrated him and left him unable to go more than four innings. Reed managed to get two outs, however, and he and J.C. Romero combined for the six most important outs of the Twins' year to date, bridging the gap to LaTroy Hawkins in the seventh.
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