The Astros don’t improve at the trade deadline. Scott Podsednik is making Brewers fans forget about Alex Sanchez. Jose Guillen takes his huge year at the plate to the A’s. All this and more news from Oakland, Milwaukee, and Houston in this edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
I’m not writing tonight. [Editor grumbles and points to contract.] I’m just not. I just got ESPN HD and I’m watching the Giants spank the Reds. I’ve been to Great American Ballpark and I’ve seen the Giants up close, but this is so realistic that I don’t think I’m ever leaving the house. [Editor roughs Will up a bit and reminds him that with his laptop, he can watch and write.]
OK, I guess I AM writing. Still, let me highly recommend high definition TV. Once you see it, you’ll be ruined for regular TV, whether it’s Barry Bonds staring in against Jimmy Haynes or a rerun of The Sopranos. As much as I hate Comcast, I love them for bringing me HD sports, movies, and high-speed internet.
Red Sox players seem happy with their front office; J.P. Ricciardi wishes he had a bigger budget; Mike Hargrove is forced to say goodbye to one of his favorite players; Alex Rodriguez would possibly consider a trade; and Jarrod Washburn thinks won-lost records are overrated for pitchers. All these and many more pontifications in the newest edition of The Week In Quotes.
Apologies for my absence as of late, especially to those adoring fans who actually noticed that I was gone (both of you… Hi Mom! … ah, who’m I kidding, my mom doesn’t read Baseball Prospectus). That said, unlike the majority of AFTH columns, this edition isn’t prompted by a reader question, but rather my own interest in a baseball anomaly.
I’ve been interested in “hitting for the cycle” for some time. Though it’s primarily a novelty achievement (having each of the four specific types of hits), it does represent a an admirable feat. It has happened 79 times between 1972 and 2002 by 74 different batters. Five batters managed to do it twice: George Brett, Cesar Cedeno, Frank White, Bob Watson, and Chris Speier.
The novelty aspect of hitting for a cycle has led to interesting situations, such as whether a batter who already has a double, triple, and home run should stop at first on a would-be double to get his name in the footnotes of baseball history. Clearly, a game with two doubles, a triple and a home run is a more valuable accomplishment than a cycle, and so, while acknowledging the uniqueness of hitting for a cycle, I’d like to introduce a term for having a game at least as good as hitting for the cycle.