Great small-sample seasons might not be the most valuable, but they're often among the most entertaining.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Chad Finn writes the Touching All The Bases blog for Boston.com and is the sports media columnist for The Boston Globe. He believes that Butch Hobson was actually a fine defensive third baseman, misses watching Pedro Martinez pitch, and would appreciate it if you gave him all of your good book ideas. He lives in Wells, Maine, with his wife, two children, and cat named after Otis Nixon.
Which baseball player measures up to the Linsanity sweeping the nation?
Football season is over. Spring training is still a few days away. That means, for multi-sport fans like me, there is little choice but to get immersed in college basketball and the NBA. And doing so during the past week meant going Linsane.
Point guard Jeremy Lin emerged as the New York Knicks’ savior, reviving a team that was struggling to stay afloat in the absence of stars like Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. A Harvard graduate who went undrafted and was rejected by two teams, Lin certainly did not take the beaten path to fame, but that only adds to the intrigue of his timely breakout. Hoops Analyst writer Ed Weiland is one of the few who can claim he saw this coming.
The Braves' bench looks ugly. The Dodgers make some nifty deals. The Mets inexplicably hand starting jobs to Tyler Yates and Scott Erickson. The Rangers unload Einar Diaz on the Expos. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
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The Braves strike NRI gold with Russell Branyan. The Astros do what they need to do to compete in the NL Central. Everything you ever wanted to read about Eric Karros. The Padres address their chasm in center. These and other news, notes, and Kahrlisms in today's Transaction Analysis.
Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia get rewarded for 2002. The Indians and Rangers swap pitching prospect for hitting prospect. The Yankees grab Armando Benitez in a non-Sierran move. The Jays get a steal in Stewart-for-Kielty. These and other tidbits, plus a full array of Kahrlisms, in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
The series we did end up with pits two teams with similar strengths, both
well-suited for short-series baseball. The Mariners get an opportunity to
defeat the team whose ghost they spent the year chasing, and add to their
argument for being one of the greatest teams in baseball history.
In Arizona, Bob Brenly made one of the more bizarre decisions I've seen in a
while, having Tony Womack bunt two runners over with no one out in
the eighth inning of a 3-0 game. The move essentially killed a rally, as
Danny Bautista and Luis Gonzalez both grounded out, scoring a
run but leaving the D'backs down 3-1.
The Era of Offense has not barred scrubs from the party. The last eight
years are not only remarkable for 70 homers and 400 total bases and league
ERAs approaching 5.00. The little guys have gotten in the act as well,
putting together some of the greatest September callups and fluke seasons
of all time.
It all started in 1996, when Rudy Pemberton came up in September and
went 21-for-41. Pemberton, a 27-year-old ex-Tiger farmhand who had been
rescued by the Red Sox and sent to Pawtucket early in the season, became
the first player to hit above .500 in a season of at least 30 at-bats. The
top five performances at that time: