The former first baseman talks about his days in the big leagues, the Hall of Fame, and most importantly his commitment to Wolfram Syndrome.
To many fans, J.T. Snow is remembered as the slick-fielding San Francisco Giants first baseman who had to scoop up three-year-old batboy Darren Baker from harm’s way in the 2002 World Series. Eight years later, the now-retired six-time Gold Glove winner is committed to a far more important cause: helping children suffering from a rare disease called Wolfram Syndrome. Snow, who hit .268/.357/.427, with 189 home runs over 15 big-league seasons, shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including the importance of defense, steroids and the Hall of Fame, and athletes as role models. His foundation, The Snowman Fund, is named for himself and his late father, former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Jack Snow.
Those who switch-hit in name only make up a rare cadre all their own.
A few weeks ago I found myself engrossed in a Tommy Bennettarticle on the Braves and stumbled upon his usage of the term SHINO when describing Melky Cabrera. The acronym stands for Switch-Hitter-In-Name-Only, and refers to some hitters with 'S' or 'Both' under the Bats column on their player pages, and specifically the ones who might want to think about changing that status. They certainly switch, but they don’t offer much in the way of hitting. The term tickled my fancy, in part due to the fact that I’ve had an article on switch-hitters in my to-do queue for over a year now that was set to focus on those who consistently struggled from one side of the plate. Though the title of that shelved article involved Bobby Kielty and not this term; as we’ll see, maybe Kielty should have been included in the title.
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The Orioles re-sign Rafael Palmeiro for some odd reason. Mike Lowell's staying with the Marlins. The Expos toss Rocky Biddle overboard a year too late, thanks to new GM Jim Bowden. The Yankees exercise fiscal restraint. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
J.T. Snow and Ichiro had big second halves this season, bucking the pattern that indicates most hitters tend to decline after the All-Star break.
To find out, the season has to be broken down into smaller samples of data. When analyzing the season, however, dividing the year into pieces for study can yield warning calls from the wings. "Small Sample Size!" they yell, and "Arbitrary date constraints!" they cry. It becomes difficult to carve the season down into pieces to examine how players rise and fall as half-seasons or less of information don't lend themsleves to quality analysis. Even an entire season isn't long enough to truly differentiate among the great majority of players in terms of their true ability.
To keep the sample sizes large enough, I'll break down the season into just two pieces, conveniently splitting things up at the All-Star break when three days of fishing, golfing, or whatever players do during their only vacation of the summer provides a nice natural split. To weed out the players who have turned things around the most this season, let's look at a quick estimate of runs generated using the handy formula 27*OBP*SLG/(1-AVG) for all players who accumulated at least 100 plate appearances in each half. (While we could take PA into account, the fact that there are more games in the first half skewed the results, so these results are prorated over 27 outs.)
The Greek God of Walks has been a boon for the Red Sox. Scott Stewart gets a well-deserved demotion by the Indians. The Mets could be in decent shape if they can get all hands on deck. John Mabry makes it back to the bigs with Cardinals. Alexis Rios gets a taste of the majors with the Blue Jays. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
The Angels spent lots of money on their rotation this offseason, but was it worth it? Kerry Wood is having a fantastic spring, with improved control. The Tigers have spent the past few weeks upgrading their bullpen in a search for 65 wins. A number of Expos are taking trips to ''club med.'' The Giants have failed to upgrade their offense, while the Dodgers have made small strides. And the Blue Jays traded Jayson Werth, but perhaps for good reason.
But they spent so much money (Part II)... Last time, we looked how Arte Moreno's money isn't going to buy a whole lot of runs. Apparently, Moreno's money won't save a lot of runs either. The Angels spent $66.75 millio to sign Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar, who are projected to post EQERAs in the 4.00s and be worth just a few wins above replacement, apiece. The Halos' starting staff needs to beat PECOTA's projection if the club is to be playoff bound.
Bobby Jenks: The next Goose Gossage? Bobby Estalella finds a job. Tony La Russa finds a new broken toy in Tony Womack. Syracuse could give the Devil Rays a good battle. These and other pontifications in today's jam-packed Transaction Analysis.