The Indians are struggling at six games below .500, and it’s not hard for their fans to spot the main cause of their troubles: the bullpen. Indians’ pen has actually been pretty good in the past week, but their bullpen numbers are wretched for this point in the season. That raises the question: Is this a historically bad bullpen?
Fox Sports Net lies to you. I’m sure you’re all shocked, since it’s right next to Fox News Channel in the taxonomy of Rupert Murdoch’s vast empire, a collection of businesses renowned for raising the level of intellectual discourse across the country. Not to make too much of this, but this is exactly the kind of easily tolerated lying that drives me insane. Fox Sports Net doesn’t care about me.
The intro I originally started working on covered the topic of pitch counts. Instead of running it here, however, it’s now going to end up as part of a longer piece, as soon as I finish the ASMI article I’ve been promising, a Q&A I think you’ll enjoy, and an in-depth piece that I imagine will cause some controversy. So in lieu of that intro, I’ll say this about pitch counts: they’re important if that’s all you can get, but managing pitcher workloads requires context and contact.
On to the injuries…
It takes a lot these days to awaken me from my slumber and coerce me into penning a column for BP. Between taking care of a baby daughter at home and starting my own medical practice, the truly important things in life–like baseball analysis–have gotten short shrift of late.
But finally, I have found a topic that arouses my passion. A question so intriguing as to get my heart racing, my blood pumping, my brain thinking. Finally, a puzzle worth being solved, a code worth being cracked.
That question, of course, is: “Does Alex Sanchez have the emptiest batting average in major-league history?”
Consider the evidence. Bolstered by an obscene number of bunt hits, Sanchez was hitting .359 going into Wednesday night’s game, which ranked him third in the American League. (By the way, who had the exacta on a Melvin Mora-Ken Harvey-Alex Sanchez top three at this point in the season?) But Sanchez’s impressive ability to hit singles is neutered by his inability to do anything else: hit for power (eight extra-base hits), reach base by other means (four walks, no HBPs), or make effective use of his speed (11 steals, 10 caught stealings).
For the season, Sanchez is hitting .359/.371/.431. His batting average may rank third in the league, but his 802 OPS ranks just 43rd–in a tie with Jose Cruz, who’s hitting .237.
Put succinctly, Sanchez’s batting average is about as empty as Le Stade Olympique. But is it the emptiest ever?
If you have electricity, then by now you’ve seen footage of Milton
Bradley’s tantrum in Tuesday night’s game. To recap, as Bradley
stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the sixth inning against the
Brewers, something occurred which caused home-plate umpire Terry Craft to
After being tossed, Bradley erupted at Craft, to the point of having to be
restrained by Jim Tracy. He left his bat, helmet and batting gloves at home
plate, and once back in the dugout, tossed the contents of a ball bag in the
direction of Craft and then tried to play catch with Brewers left fielder
Geoff Jenkins. It was a historic meltdown, comparable only to
George Brett reaction to being ejected from the Pine Tar Game in