What's the maximum attention span of a baseball fan?
With our dear Editor-in-Chief leaving Baseball Prospectus for his next chapter, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite chapters of his career here. There's an incredible number of timeless Sam Miller articles to choose from, but we whittled it down enough to not break the internet. This article originally ran on July 15, 2013.
Baseball Prospectus and the San Diego Padres invite you to join us for a great day of baseball on Saturday, May 19 at PETCO Park. Thanks to the fine folks in the Padres front office, we are proud to be able to offer our guests the following:
Sam deconstructs a 12-page pamphlet that supports sending Juan Gonzalez to Cooperstown.
One of the strange things about praise is that it sometimes works in reverse. You tell me Muse is the best band in the world, and I’m compelled to dispute this craziness, and before I know it I find myself saying and thinking horribly mean things about Muse, even though Muse is perfectly fine, just not my cuppa tea.
And this is what I found myself feeling as I read Juan Gonzalez’ Hall of Fame brochure. Yes, Juan Gonzalez has a Hall of Fame brochure. It is 12 pages, it is extremely glossy, it came in the mail, and in about 25 seconds I’m going to show it to you, because you should get to see what a Hall of Fame brochure looks like. But before I do, I want to say this: Juan Gonzalez was really, really good at baseball. He was way better at baseball than Chris Sabo and Mark Portugal and Bobby Higginson, and nobody is saying mean things about them today. Whereas I am quite likely to say mean things about Juan Gonzalez and about the brochure that is supposed to be helping him. I would say this means Juan Gonzalez’ Hall of Fame brochure has failed. But let’s consider it together. (Note: click on images to expand.)
A young Detroit Tiger is pretty much Kevin's favorite animal. It's like a tiger and a prospect mixed, bred for its skills in baseball.
1. Cameron Maybin, cf DOB: 4/4/87 Height/Weight: 6-3/200 Bats/Throws: R/R Drafted: 1st round, 2005, North Carolina HS What he did in 2006: .304/.387/.457 at Low A (445 PA) The Good: On sheer athleticism and tools, Maybin is the total package, with a brutal home park hurting his nonetheless impressive numbers, as evidenced by road line of .333/.416/.517. Excellent hand-eye coordination and big time raw power that should begin to show up more in games as he improves his pitch recognition. Plus-plus runner who almost effortlessly covers the outfield from gap to gap and has a strong arm. The Bad: Maybin has trouble with breaking balls, and is prone to chasing pitches, which led to a lofty strikeout total. He needs to improve the accuracy of his throws. The Irrelevant: In 11 at-bats with the bases loaded, Maybin had three singles, a double, two grand slams and 16 RBI. In A Perfect World, He Becomes: A healthy Eric Davis. Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: High. Maybin will likely start the year in the Florida State League, which means the power surge might have to wait another year.
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Game of the Week kicks off the regular season with a look at the traditional Opening Day game in Cincinnati, as the Reds battle the Mets.
Barely a minute into the broadcast, Morgan is in playoff form. First he takes the Reds to task for batting Ken Griffey Jr. second, saying he should be a middle-of-the-order hitter with his ability. OK, fine. And then: "Griffey's due for some good luck...I think you'll see Griffey hit 40 or 50 home runs this year." Uh, the same guy who tears his hamstrings if he so much as contemplates the works of Kant, the same Griffey who hit 41 homers...in the last three years combined? If you squint really hard, you can see a fruit basket by Morgan's side in the press box, with the inscription: "The check's in the mail, Your Old Pal, Ken Griffey, Sr."