Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
Monthly archives: June 2005


Learning to Walk II
2005-06-30 21:43
by Mike Carminati

Sheez, I go away for a few days—to Venice thanks, or rather "grazie", to a surprise trip planned by my fabulous wife—and the standings go all kaflooey, not to be overly technical. The O's, and their makeshift staff, finally get overtaken by a member of the Yankee-Red Sox fascist regime, this time by the Sox. My Phils, and I use the term lightly, meanwhile go from nipping at the heals of the division-leading Nats to a half-game out of last, albeit in a very tight division. And the locals suddenly started to notice that Jim Thome's contract may not have been such a good long-term investment, especially when the term is getting longer all the time. Eric Gregg, the former umpire and current "Metro", and I use the term loosely, reporter, is starting to call for the start of the Ryan Howard era. To quote the Bard, "Oopha!?!"

What else did I miss while I searched for the best Venetian "Pizze" while attempting to find a public "water closet" for less than half (or rather 0,50) Euro? My interview with Promohthree, in which John Carroll attempts to make me sound halfways intelligent, was posted. Good luck there. And my fluff posts to fill in the site during my absence drew some fire. And, of course, Leon is getting laaaaaaarger!

Some weren't convince that Rickey Henderson and Mark McGwire, among the all-time walk leaders, learned to elicit a base on balls more consistently late in their careers. Yes, they talk walk-drawing to new levels late in their careers, but it's not like they were Alfonso Soriano early on in their careers either. I guess my choice of titles based on the worst pun possible—witness "Learning to Walk"—is not necessarily the most effective means. Yes, they did not "learn" how to walk, but my main criterion was how much an established player had upped his walk ratio from his previous career ratio.

Now, if we are talking about just those players who were sub-par at drawing a walk and became at least better than average, here are the new all-time Learning to Walkers:

NameYrBB Above Exp PreBB Above ExpDiff
Reggie Smith1977-1.48%7.98%.095
Clay Dalrymple1962-2.52%6.39%.089
Richie Ashburn1954-0.17%8.54%.087
Danny O'Connell1956-2.85%5.23%.081
Joe Sommer1887-3.41%4.11%.075
Rocky Colavito1961-0.80%6.67%.075
George Selkirk1936-1.25%6.06%.073
Ron Santo1964-1.56%5.54%.071
Toby Harrah1975-0.12%6.76%.069
Johnny Evers1908-0.67%6.20%.069
Dick Siebert1944-3.55%3.31%.069
Kevin McReynolds1992-0.37%6.27%.066
Dick Gernert1953-1.07%5.57%.066
Bobby Bonilla1991-2.09%4.47%.066
Al Kaline1955-5.55%0.99%.065
Gary Matthews1981-0.59%5.95%.065
Sam West1939-1.91%4.62%.065
Jim Fregosi1964-2.39%4.13%.065
Vance Law1985-0.31%6.20%.065
Sherry Magee1910-0.63%5.88%.065
Cy Williams1916-2.52%3.94%.065
Fred Pfeffer1891-1.65%4.82%.065
Sal Bando1969-0.57%5.89%.065
Omar Moreno1978-1.48%4.98%.065
Tommy McCarthy1892-1.90%4.54%.064
Claude Cooper1915-1.94%4.48%.064
Jesse Barfield1989-0.90%5.49%.064

That may be more befitting of the title. However, it leads me to a new idea. Can players learn how to walk after making it to the majors, and does it positively affect their careers (Sammy Sosa comes to mind)? More on that after I get over my jetlag.

Learning to Walk
2005-06-27 21:37
by Mike Carminati

If you couldn't tell, I'm on vacation and attempting to milk every drop from this subject before I take my leave. I'm continuing the walk study with postdated research ad nauseum.

Anyway, this time I thought it would be interesting to look at the players who suddenly learned to draw a walk after becoming a regular player. I looked at the biggest increase in walks above expectation per plate appearance for those players with at least 400 plate appearances in the given year. Here are the best:

NameYrBB Above Exp PreBB Above ExpDiff
Reggie Smith1977-1.48%7.98%.0946
Ted Williams19415.21%14.51%.0930
Fred Carroll18892.59%11.82%.0922
George Grantham19293.27%12.19%.0892
Clay Dalrymple1962-2.52%6.39%.0890
Richie Ashburn1954-0.17%8.54%.0870
Babe Ruth19265.03%13.26%.0823
Frank Chance19050.46%8.57%.0811
Babe Ruth19303.83%11.92%.0809
Danny O'Connell1956-2.85%5.23%.0808
Wayne Garrett19700.51%8.54%.0803
Jack Crooks18926.58%14.58%.0799
Dolph Camilli19362.79%10.46%.0767
Pete Rose19851.18%8.71%.0753
Mark McGwire19984.89%12.41%.0752
Joe Sommer1887-3.41%4.11%.0752
Rocky Colavito1961-0.80%6.67%.0748
Barry Bonds20017.30%14.76%.0746
Candy Nelson18842.88%10.27%.0739
Luke Appling19351.93%9.28%.0735
George Selkirk1936-1.25%6.06%.0731
Rickey Henderson19965.40%12.70%.0730
John Morrill18851.13%8.38%.0724
Jimmy Sheckard19114.61%11.81%.0720
Ron Fairly19730.43%7.57%.0715
Ron Santo1964-1.56%5.54%.0710
Hank Greenberg19473.98%11.03%.0705
Cal Abrams19555.07%12.01%.0694
Toby Harrah1975-0.12%6.76%.0688
Johnny Evers1908-0.67%6.20%.0687

Now for players who suddenly lost the ability to draw a walk:

NameYrBB Above Exp PreBB Above ExpDiff
George Gore188712.16%1.24%-.1092
Willie McCovey197512.00%2.47%-.0953
Ray Chapman19196.32%-1.92%-.0824
Babe Ruth192912.02%3.83%-.0819
Yank Robinson189114.50%6.41%-.0809
Mike Sweeney20045.20%-2.52%-.0773
Bob Bescher19147.68%0.09%-.0759
Elmer Flick18997.94%0.58%-.0737
George Grantham193012.19%4.88%-.0731
Babe Ruth192512.26%5.03%-.0722
Ted Williams195516.19%9.03%-.0716
Jimmy Wynn197013.27%6.13%-.0715
Arky Vaughan19379.47%2.41%-.0707
Clay Dalrymple19636.39%-0.66%-.0705
Dave Nelson19733.66%-3.33%-.0699
Carlos Lee20034.53%-2.45%-.0697
Arnold Hauser19112.39%-4.56%-.0694
Frank Chance19047.39%0.46%-.0692
Goose Goslin19334.74%-2.09%-.0683
Bill Dahlen19015.94%-0.83%-.0678
Donie Bush191310.03%3.28%-.0675
Bob Allen18916.85%0.13%-.0671
Omar Moreno19794.98%-1.73%-.0671
Cal Ripken Jr.19896.22%-0.45%-.0668
Ken Williams19255.81%-0.81%-.0662
Fred Carroll189011.82%5.22%-.0660
Johnny Groth19513.06%-3.49%-.0655
Andruw Jones19983.45%-2.97%-.0643
Jack Clark199114.17%7.76%-.0641
Roger Maris19584.75%-1.54%-.0629
Walk of Ages
2005-06-26 20:49
by Mike Carminati

I received the following comment regarding my post the other day on Gary Matthews' year of walking easily in 1984:

I always lumped Matthews' 1984 BB surge together with Willie Mays v.1971 and Toby Harrah v.1986. Good players with slowing bats laying off pitches they can no longer hit, getting respect from the men in blue. Followed by a precipitous offensive decline.

That got me to thinking about how veteran players are said to be compensated by umpires. Can that be measured? Let's see. Here are the numbers based on the age of the batter:

140 100.25-0.25-2.53%
510 10.10-0.10-9.50%
520 10.08-0.08-8.43%
541 10.090.9191.42%
560 10.09-0.09-9.10%

If you graph that and throw out the years with small sample sizes at either extreme, you'll almost see a straight diagonal line from age 17 to 35. The line wavers from 35 to 44 but stays above average. The break-even point is somewhere between age 27 and 28.

I could see the positive numbers after age 35 reflecting the superior skills of players who can remain in the majors for that long. And I could see some sort of development by players as they age. However, this seems a bit excessive.

Sarge's BB Surge II
2005-06-24 07:55
by Mike Carminati

Oops, I said I was going to look at the best seasons ever for players drawing walks and I forgot to do it. So here goes.

Here are the best seasons for walks above expectation per plate appearance:

Babe Ruth1920150 61649.12100.8816.38%
Ted Williams1954136 52650.8385.1716.19%
John McGraw1899124 53938.3685.6415.89%
Babe Ruth1923170 69959.20110.8015.85%
Barry Bonds20021986861243.9686.0415.82%
Barry Bonds20011773566449.1492.8614.76%
Jack Clark19871361355842.8480.1614.71%
Barry Bonds200423212061739.3672.6414.61%
Jack Crooks1892136 58351.0184.9914.58%
Ted Williams1941147 60659.0487.9614.51%
Yank Robinson1890101 41740.5460.4614.50%
Mickey Mantle1962122950242.1770.8314.37%
Jack Clark19901041144231.9461.0614.17%
Jimmy Wynn1976127158444.4081.6014.00%
Ted Williams1946156 67262.2493.7613.95%
Max Bishop1930128 58848.2179.7913.57%
Yank Robinson1888116 58337.3478.6613.49%
Ted Williams1947162 69369.0692.9413.41%
Toby Harrah1985113252141.7469.2613.34%
Jimmy Wynn19691481465349.1884.8213.27%
Babe Ruth1926144 65257.5386.4713.26%
Max Bishop1926116 52946.6869.3213.10%
Max Bishop1927105 48941.0263.9813.08%
Babe Ruth1932130 58953.3076.7013.02%
Gene Tenace1980921141628.6452.3612.93%
Wes Westrum1951104 47443.1660.8412.84%
Babe Ruth1921145 69356.2088.8012.81%
Rickey Henderson1996125260246.8076.2012.70%
Roy Cullenbine1947137 60760.4976.5112.60%
Babe Ruth1934104 47144.7659.2412.58%

Here are the worst:

Virgil Stallcup19516 43439.51-33.51-7.72%
Don Mueller195010 53951.24-41.24-7.65%
Virgil Stallcup19499 58954.06-45.06-7.65%
Don Kolloway19469 50046.31-37.31-7.46%
Whitey Alperman19092 44234.29-32.29-7.31%
Deivi Cruz200013261555.71-44.71-7.29%
John Reilly18919 56549.75-40.75-7.21%
Ozzie Guillen199610052847.30-37.30-7.06%
Jack McGeachy18899 54347.32-38.32-7.06%
Mariano Duncan19969141737.27-29.27-7.03%
Dave Orr18899 57149.07-40.07-7.02%
Nap Lajoie191511 52047.18-36.18-6.96%
Carlos Baerga199410146941.37-32.37-6.92%
John Grim189312 43642.06-30.06-6.89%
Jiggs Parrott189313 46945.24-32.24-6.87%
Pete Suder194923 47755.64-32.64-6.84%
Deivi Cruz199912055349.39-37.39-6.76%
Alfredo Griffin19844044133.78-29.78-6.75%
Joe Hornung189012 52747.58-35.58-6.75%
Don Kolloway194818 43847.39-29.39-6.71%
Sam Dente194931 62572.91-41.91-6.70%
Yogi Berra194922 44351.68-29.68-6.70%
Bobby Sturgeon19419 45339.26-30.26-6.68%
John Leary191410 55246.60-36.60-6.63%
Don Kolloway194717 50950.72-33.72-6.63%
Manny Sanguillen197017951041.10-33.10-6.61%
Shawon Dunston19978051141.69-33.69-6.59%
Buck Weaver19129 55345.15-36.15-6.54%
Shano Collins19227 50439.87-32.87-6.52%
Juan Encarnacion199914153847.96-34.96-6.51%

Now, here's the best based on total walks above expectation:

Babe Ruth1923170 69959.20110.8015.85%
Babe Ruth1920150 61649.12100.8816.38%
Ted Williams1946156 67262.2493.7613.95%
Ted Williams1947162 69369.0692.9413.41%
Barry Bonds20011773566449.1492.8614.76%
Babe Ruth1921145 69356.2088.8012.81%
Ted Williams1941147 60659.0487.9614.51%
Babe Ruth1926144 65257.5386.4713.26%
Barry Bonds20021986861243.9686.0415.82%
John McGraw1899124 53938.3685.6415.89%
Eddie Stanky1945148 72662.7885.2211.74%
Ted Williams1954136 52650.8385.1716.19%
Jack Crooks1892136 58351.0184.9914.58%
Jimmy Wynn19691481465349.1884.8213.27%
Ted Williams1942145 67161.4683.5412.45%
Babe Ruth1924142 68158.5183.4912.26%
Jimmy Sheckard1911147 70463.8583.1511.81%
Babe Ruth1928137 68454.7682.2412.02%
Jimmy Wynn1976127158444.4081.6014.00%
Mark McGwire19981622868152.9481.0612.41%
Babe Ruth1930136 67655.4280.5811.92%
Jack Clark19871361355842.8480.1614.71%
Max Bishop1930128 58848.2179.7913.57%
Babe Ruth1927137 69157.9679.0411.44%
Yank Robinson1888116 58337.3478.6613.49%
Eddie Stanky1950144 69165.6878.3211.33%
Joe Morgan1975132363950.9978.0112.27%
Eddie Stanky1946137 64259.3977.6112.09%
Eddie Yost1959135167556.6077.4011.48%
Ted Williams1949162 73085.1576.8510.53%

And the worst:

Virgil Stallcup19499958954.06-45.06-7.65%
Deivi Cruz2000131161555.71-44.71-7.29%
Garret Anderson2000241968161.43-42.43-6.28%
Sam Dente1949313162572.91-41.91-6.70%
Joe DiMaggio1936242466865.56-41.56-6.22%
Don Mueller1950101053951.24-41.24-7.65%
John Reilly18919956549.75-40.75-7.21%
Ken Keltner1942202066360.73-40.73-6.14%
Dave Orr18899957149.07-40.07-7.02%
Granny Hamner1949252570064.25-39.25-5.61%
Don Mueller1954222265860.82-38.82-5.90%
Manny Sanguillen1974211263250.40-38.40-6.16%
Jack McGeachy18899954347.32-38.32-7.06%
Harvey Kuenn1954292969667.26-38.26-5.50%
Buck Weaver1919111162049.07-38.07-6.14%
Neifi Perez2000302469961.94-37.94-5.47%
Pete Fox1938313167568.86-37.86-5.61%
Woody Jensen1936161673153.80-37.80-5.17%
Garry Templeton1977151264449.56-37.56-5.86%
Manny Sanguillen197317961946.48-37.48-6.13%
Alex Gonzalez1999151559152.46-37.46-6.34%
Deivi Cruz1999121255349.39-37.39-6.76%
Don Kolloway19469950046.31-37.31-7.46%
Ozzie Guillen1996101052847.30-37.30-7.06%
Damaso Garcia1985151362750.27-37.27-5.96%
Steve Brodie1894181860455.19-37.19-6.16%
Alvin Dark1954272769364.06-37.06-5.35%
Neifi Perez1999282873264.97-36.97-5.05%
Dale Mitchell1949434368579.90-36.90-5.39%
Ozzie Guillen1986121157747.90-36.90-6.41%

Sarge's BB Surge
2005-06-23 16:36
by Mike Carminati
Walking is the very best exercise. Habituate yourself to walk...
— Thomas "Reggie" Jefferson

A walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more.

—William "Author" Shakespeare as quoted by Geddy Lee upon the gilded stage.

There's an email chain going around the SABR mailing list about statistical variations, one-year outliers in certain players' careers. Most of it is mental dross about Brady Anderson's 50-homer season, but the other day there was one entry about ex-Phil Gary "Sarge" Matthews 103-walk season in 1984 (with just two intentional walks). Matthews never had another season in his other 15 before and after 1984 in which he amassed more than 75 bases on balls.

So what's the deal? Did Sarge, who by the way had one of the best right-handed batting stances ever, suddenly learn how to be more selective in 1984 and then promptly forget it the next season? Could some strange statistical phenomenon have occurred in 1984 in which walks in general just went through the roof , affecting Sarge's stats?

Maybe a close look at his stats are in order. I took a look at Matthews' walks and walks per plate appearance for each year. Then I compared them to the league walks per plate appearance average to derive his expected walk total (based on the league average and his plate appearances). Then I compared his actual and expected walk totals to derive two stats: his walks above expectation and his actual-to-expected walk ratio. Here are the results (Note: IBB are removed from the walk totals in all calculations.):


First, the league average did not increase in 1984. In fact they went down slightly.

You'll note that 1984 was Matthews' career year for walks, but it was not completely out of line with what he did the previous year, what he would do the next year, or with his career in general. He was, after all, 42% better than the league average at acquiring a free base.

The biggest anomaly I do see is his dearth of walks when he was on the Braves. In 1980 he had a career low 42 walks, about three fewer than one would expect for the league average batter. He walked just 6.48 percent of the time. After being traded to the Phils for 1981, he doubled his walk rate to 13.38%. What's doubly odd is that Matthews had walked at about that rate the year before being sent from San Francisco to Atlanta (12.27% in 1975). His walk rate started to drop in his last season with the Giants and just continued to plummet when he was in Atlanta.

Another oddity in Matthews' career is that he is one of five men to ever steal twenty bases and yet ground into more double plays than bases stolen:

Jackie Jensen19542232
Gary Matthews19822123
Julio Franco19892127
Ivan Rodriguez19992531
Torii Hunter20042123

But I digress. So how good was Matthews at drawing a walk from an historical standpoint? Is he among the best ever? What about his 1984 season: is it among the best ever? And what about the walk king of the recent years, Barry Bonds? How history are his walks when you ignore intentional walks?

Here are the all-time leaders in career walks above league expectations per plate appearance (min. 400 PA):

NameBBIBBPA Exp BB BB Above Exp Per PA
Max Bishop1153 5776 500.05 652.95 11.30%
Babe Ruth2062 10617 898.25 1,163.75 10.96%
Ted Williams2021869791 941.28 993.72 10.24%
Ed Hogan87 526 34.56 52.44 9.97%
Eddie Stanky996 5435 491.00 505.00 9.29%
Frank Fernandez1649902 72.73 82.27 9.21%
Gene Tenace984585525 423.18 502.82 9.20%
John McGraw836 4926 390.72 445.28 9.04%
Randy Milligan447102594 206.25 230.75 8.93%
Bill Joyce718 4149 348.76 369.24 8.90%
Roy Thomas1042 6575 459.45 582.55 8.86%
Johnny Schulte76 461 35.48 40.52 8.79%
Jack Crooks610 3466 306.55 303.45 8.75%
Mike Fiore1247688 57.56 59.44 8.73%
Roy Cullenbine853 4787 440.53 412.47 8.62%
Yank Robinson664 4167 308.64 355.36 8.53%
Dick Dietz381302244 162.87 188.13 8.50%
Joe Morgan18657611329 835.02 953.98 8.48%
Marty Hopkins85 480 44.55 40.45 8.43%
Bill Salkeld182 1048 95.05 86.95 8.30%
Goat Anderson80 510 37.72 42.28 8.29%
Topsy Hartsel837 5793 367.63 469.37 8.10%
Ferris Fain90434904 505.80 395.20 8.06%
Ken Phelps390282287 180.69 181.31 8.03%
Wes Westrum48992849 253.76 226.24 7.97%
Willie McGill101 587 54.55 46.45 7.91%
Jack Hiatt224181387 97.68 108.32 7.91%
Rickey Henderson21906113346 1,079.61 1,049.39 7.90%
Olaf Henriksen97 598 50.31 46.69 7.81%
Rasty Wright81 480 43.56 37.44 7.80%

Max "Camera Eye" Bishop? Ahead of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams? Bishop, the leadoff hitter in the great Philly A's teams, twice walked eight times in a doubleheader (the record) and drew five walks in a game twice. His career walk total is almost three times his strikeout total (1153 to 452). His on-base percentage was 152 point higher than his batting average. Even though he played in an era in which intentional walks were not tallied, his numbers were not padded due to pitcher avoidance—his career .366 slugging average, 57 points below the adjusted league average, did not intimidate the opposition's pitcher. On the contrary, with Al Simmons and Jimmie Foxx hitting behind him, pitchers would do whatever they could to keep him off the bases.

So where's Barry Bonds, the career walks record holder? He's at number 33. So one could claim bias in the stats due to IBBs. Matthews does fairly well. He's number 430 out of 5159 batters who qualify.

Willie McGill was a pitcher and yet he finishes two spots of Rickey Henderson, the one-time walk king. His odd career line goes like this: .202/.344/.250. He had more walks (101) than hits (97) for his career. It's too bad that he gave as good as he got. He had 701 walks against 510 strikeouts in his pitching career.

Here are the men who earned the most walks above league expectations for their career, and it's a pretty good list:

NameBBIBBPA Exp BB BB Above Exp Per PA
Babe Ruth2062 10617 898.25 1,163.75 10.96%
Rickey Henderson21906113346 1,079.61 1,049.39 7.90%
Ted Williams2021869791 941.28 993.72 10.24%
Joe Morgan18657611329 835.02 953.98 8.48%
Barry Bonds230260411584 858.40 839.60 7.65%
Mel Ott1708 11337 875.09 832.91 7.35%
Mickey Mantle17331269909 849.50 757.50 7.74%
Eddie Yost1614159175 885.82 713.18 7.79%
Max Bishop1153 5776 500.05 652.95 11.30%
Darrell Evans160514110737 814.18 649.82 6.13%
Lou Gehrig1508 9660 869.98 638.02 6.60%
Harmon Killebrew15591609831 785.07 613.93 6.35%
Frank Thomas14501628478 702.91 585.09 7.04%
Roy Thomas1042 6575 459.45 582.55 8.86%
Eddie Mathews144410710101 757.12 579.88 5.80%
Billy Hamilton1187 7584 613.99 573.01 7.56%
Jimmie Foxx1452 9670 887.03 564.97 5.84%
Jimmy Wynn1224848010 575.28 564.72 7.12%
Mike Schmidt150720110062 746.59 559.41 5.67%
Carl Yastrzemski184519013991 1,095.96 559.04 4.05%

Now for the worst at drawing a walk. First, the worst based on walks above expectations per plate appearance, excluding pitchers:

NameBBIBBPA Exp BB BB Above ExpPer PA
Virgil Stallcup51 2131 197.27 -146.27-6.86%
John Leary15 790 68.19 -53.19-6.73%
George Washington11 405 38.20 -27.20-6.72%
Robert Perez110516 44.46 -33.46-6.49%
Garry Hancock125595 45.24 -38.24-6.48%
Jiggs Parrott37 1352 124.54 -87.54-6.48%
Rob Picciolo2511720 134.41 -110.41-6.42%
Bobby Sturgeon34 1279 114.76 -80.76-6.31%
Johnny Walker9 476 38.55 -29.55-6.21%
Kim Batiste145684 50.94 -41.94-6.18%
Dee Miles50 1541 144.89 -94.89-6.16%
Angel Salazar191932 75.04 -57.04-6.13%
Bob Hale263670 61.94 -38.94-5.84%
Herman Reich14 412 37.94 -23.94-5.81%
Bob Talbot16 460 42.40 -26.40-5.74%
Whitey Alperman30 1758 130.80 -100.80-5.73%
Jack McGeachy57 2530 200.85 -143.85-5.69%
Jay Kirke35 1226 104.28 -69.28-5.65%
Don Kolloway189 4244 428.80 -239.80-5.65%
Tuck Stainback64 2383 198.43 -134.43-5.64%
Deivi Cruz121114100 339.82 -229.82-5.62%
Julio Becquer41111029 87.08 -57.08-5.61%
Oscar Azocar122460 35.59 -25.59-5.59%
Tom Carey66 1608 155.47 -89.47-5.56%
Mike Caruso3501140 98.31 -63.31-5.55%
Emil Verban108 3110 279.32 -171.32-5.51%
John Grim85 2797 239.04 -154.04-5.51%
Alvaro Espinoza7612659 219.84 -144.84-5.45%
Gus Getz24 1172 87.83 -63.83-5.45%
Gus Polidor120456 36.51 -24.51-5.37%

Kim Batiste, ah yes, I remember him well. He's right behind the inappropriately named Johnny Walker. You've got to love that Oscar Azocar, the converted pitcher, made the list. Rob Picciolo, Gary Hancock, Angel Salazar, Devi Cruz, Gus Polidor—now them's some bad players, truly offensive. Stallcup, by the way, once drew nine walks in a 589-plate appearance season. His OPS was just 58% of the park-adjusted league average. Ouch!

Now here are the career worst at meeting the league walk expectation:

NameBBIBBPA Exp BB BB Above ExpPer PA
Bill Buckner45011110033 761.73 -422.73-4.26%
Ozzie Guillen239257133 593.61 -379.61-5.34%
Garry Templeton3751448208 603.22 -372.22-4.62%
Willie Davis418759822 705.10 -362.10-3.71%
Doc Cramer572 9933 928.70 -356.70-3.59%
Andre Dawson58914310769 802.26 -356.26-3.35%
Tommy Corcoran382 9368 734.49 -352.49-3.76%
Steve Garvey4791139466 708.65 -342.65-3.66%
Gee Walker330 7211 669.01 -339.01-4.70%
Al Oliver5351199778 744.39 -328.39-3.40%
Shawon Dunston203446276 484.21 -325.21-5.22%
Stuffy McInnis380 8623 690.09 -310.09-3.60%
Joe Carter527869154 748.52 -307.52-3.39%
Vic Power279266461 558.73 -305.73-4.75%
Garret Anderson280676246 518.27 -305.27-4.94%
Everett Scott243 6373 531.53 -288.53-4.53%
Hal Chase276 7939 560.88 -284.88-3.59%
Frank White412278467 668.21 -283.21-3.36%
Manny Sanguillen223965380 407.59 -280.59-5.31%
George Sisler472 9013 748.56 -276.56-3.07%
Aurelio Rodriguez324377078 560.44 -273.44-3.88%
Kirby Puckett450857831 636.41 -271.41-3.50%
Alfredo Griffin338377330 569.24 -268.24-3.68%
Roberto Clemente62116710212 722.00 -268.00-2.67%
Tim Foli265296573 497.73 -261.73-4.00%
Tommy Davis381667739 575.36 -260.36-3.39%
Buck Weaver183 5292 442.20 -259.20-4.90%
Willie Wilson425278317 656.76 -258.76-3.12%
Ivan Rodriguez400547215 604.38 -258.38-3.61%
Larry Bowa474459103 687.25 -258.25-2.85%

Shame on those Dodgers. It seems like they should have been more aggressive drawing a walk with their home park. Especially Bill Buck, whose career OBP was just 32 point higher than his batting average and who averaged just 29 walks per every 162 games.

Of course there's Roberto "You Can't Walk Off The Island" Clemente as well as a number of manager's pet (Ozzie Guillen and Shawon Dunston). And of course, I had to leave off with the Phils one-time leadoff hitter and offensive albatross, Larry Bowa.

Reds' Incompetence Catches Up With Miley
2005-06-22 12:44
by Mike Carminati

Dave Miley, who I continually have to remind myself is not the same Dave Miley that lived across the street from me when I was a kid, was mercifully fired yesterday by the last-place Reds. There's been widespread speculation that Miley wouldn't survive past the All-Star game given the team's performance (27-43, 18.5 GB).

Judging from Miley's profile photo on, he was getting a bit worn down by the job:

Why Me?

Anyway, Miley was just asking to be fired given that his bench coach, and eventual replacement, was Jerry Narron, a lifetime backup catcher. Everyone knows that today's backup catcher is tomorrow's fast-track managerial candidate. Whether it's Eric Wedge, Ned Yost, Bruce Bochy, Bob Brenly, Buck Martinez, Lloyd McClendon, Mike Scioscia, or Bob Melvin, catchers are hot commodities in the dugout, and they seem to keep their jobs for years no matter how the team performs on the field. It's the Catcher Mystique. Willie Randolph and other minority candidates couldn't get more than a cursory glance for years. If you want to be a major-league manager, put down the Strat-O-Matic and pick up the Tools of Ignorance.

I call it the Tim McCarver Principle. McCarver has tried to sell catchers as astute students of the game for years, and I guess the owners are picking up what he's putting down. As for me, I wouldn't pick it up with a pooper scooper.

Continue reading...
The Real Bash Brothers
2005-06-21 22:13
by Mike Carminati

So who were the most prolific home-run hitting teammates of all time? It sure wasn't Canseco and McGwire.

I looked at the home run records for all teammates who hit at least 100 homers individually, and here they are:

Franchise# YrsPlayer 1HR1Player 2HR2Tot HR
Atlanta Braves13Hank Aaron442Eddie Mathews421863
New York Yankees12Babe Ruth511Lou Gehrig348859
San Francisco Giants14Willie Mays430Willie McCovey384814
Los Angeles Dodgers15Duke Snider384Gil Hodges361745
Boston Red Sox16Jim Rice382Dwight Evans355737
Minnesota Twins13Harmon Killebrew476Bob Allison 256732
Chicago Cubs14Billy Williams376Ron Santo337713
New York Yankees13Mickey Mantle419Yogi Berra283702
Houston Astros15Jeff Bagwell449Craig Biggio222671
Seattle Mariners11Ken Griffey398Jay Buhner269667
Chicago Cubs13Ernie Banks329Billy Williams319648
Detroit Tigers15Norm Cash373Al Kaline274647
Minnesota Twins13Harmon Killebrew429Tony Oliva206635
Atlanta Braves10Eddie Mathews374Joe Adcock239613
New York Yankees10Babe Ruth467Bob Meusel146613
New York Yankees12Lou Gehrig443Tony Lazzeri169612
Seattle Mariners11Ken Griffey398Edgar Martinez198596
New York Yankees13Mickey Mantle434Elston Howard161595
New York Yankees12Lou Gehrig409Bill Dickey178587
Chicago Cubs12Ron Santo300Ernie Banks284584
San Francisco Giants9Willie Mays355Orlando Cepeda226581
Seattle Mariners14Jay Buhner307Edgar Martinez258565
Atlanta Braves10Chipper Jones294Andruw Jones270564
Atlanta Braves11Eddie Mathews397Del Crandall 162559
Detroit Tigers14Norm Cash366Dick McAuliffe192558
Los Angeles Dodgers10Duke Snider316Roy Campanella242558
Los Angeles Dodgers14Duke Snider368Carl Furillo189557
Los Angeles Dodgers14Gil Hodges353Carl Furillo189542
Los Angeles Dodgers10Gil Hodges297Roy Campanella242539
Baltimore Orioles14Boog Powell303Brooks Robinson234537

There are two current pairings on the list, the so-called Killer Bs of Houston and the Jones Boys in Atlanta. So where are the Bash Brothers? They crack the list at a meager number 41 with 503 home runs in eight years (McGwire 254 and Canseco 249), tied with Schmitty and the Bull and just three dingers behind Juan Gone and Pudge in Texas.

Is MLB Experienced? Has MLB Ever Been Experienced?
2005-06-21 21:43
by Mike Carminati

As the 2005 All-Star Game approaches, baseball is bending over backwards trying to find ways to exploit the game that make the Spiderman 2 fiasco from last year look as innocuous as the fan-friendly "I Live For This" campaign.

Witness the "2005 MLB/Dale Jr. TM All-Star Experience Sweepstakes Extravaganza-palooza". Not only should baseball not be dealing with a man who trademarks his own name—Dale Earnhardt Jr.™?!? —, what are they doing promoting another (alleged) sport?

"Baseball invites you to start watching the NFL when training camps open (and your local nine are fading) with the 'MLB Pennant Race/Michael Vick ™ Reality Experience'!"

What are they thinking? Then again, any organization that believes that a trip to Detroit—"Detroit? No, not Detroit"™—is a "grand" prize, is not worthy of having its thought system plumbed.

And how wholesome is the sport when it promotes "Budweiser One Night Stand Concert". Why don't they just stick their stars in Lucky Strikes™ ads like in the old days™.

Talking Long Ball, Sammy and the Rafe, Say Hey!
2005-06-20 21:15
by Mike Carminati

After looking at the possibility of Sammy Sosa hitting 700 homers, I thought it would be fun to look at the teammates with the most combined career home runs. The O's Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro are now tied with themselves at sixth. If Baltimore duo fulfills their projection of 21 home runs each, they will within a stone's throw of Aaron and Evans in fourth.

Here are all the teammates who hit at least one thousand home runs combined in their careers. Active players are designated with an asterisk:

Milw/Atl19541966Hank Aaron755Eddie Mathews5121267
NYY19231934Babe Ruth714Lou Gehrig4931207
SF19591972Willie Mays660Willie McCovey5211181
ATL19691974Hank Aaron755Darrell Evans4141169
OAK19871987Mark McGwire583Reggie Jackson5631146
TEX19891989Sammy Sosa*583Rafael Palmeiro*5601143
BAL20052005Sammy Sosa*583Rafael Palmeiro*5601143
ATL19691972Hank Aaron755Orlando Cepeda3791134
SF19711972Willie Mays660Dave Kingman4421102
SF20012003Barry Bonds*703Andres Galarraga3991102
SF19981998Barry Bonds*703Joe Carter3961099
MILW19541962Hank Aaron755Joe Adcock3361091
SF19931996Barry Bonds*703Matt Williams3781081
CHN20012002Sammy Sosa*583Fred McGriff4931076
SF19641964Willie Mays660Duke Snider4071067
BAL19961996Rafael Palmeiro*560Eddie Murray5041064
SF19982000Barry Bonds*703Ellis Burks3521055
BOS19391942Jimmie Foxx534Ted Williams5211055
OAK19861997Mark McGwire583Jose Canseco4621045
MILW19611965Hank Aaron755Frank Thomas(1)2861041
SF19581966Willie Mays660Orlando Cepeda3791039
SF19941994Barry Bonds*703Darryl Strawberry3351038
NYY19811981Reggie Jackson563Dave Winfield4651028
MILW19751976Hank Aaron755George Scott2711026
OAK19871987Reggie Jackson563Jose Canseco4621025
OAK19861986Mark McGwire583Dave Kingman4421025
CHA19901991Sammy Sosa*583Frank Thomas(2)*4411024
MILW19751976Hank Aaron755Gorman Thomas2681023
TEX19921993Rafael Palmeiro*560Jose Canseco4621022
CHN19921992Sammy Sosa*583Andre Dawson4381021
MILW19541957Hank Aaron755Bobby Thomson2641019
SF19972002Barry Bonds*703Jeff Kent*3161019
TEX19891989Sammy Sosa*583Juan Gonzalez*4341017
SF19691971Willie Mays660George Foster3481008
Milw/Atl19601968Hank Aaron755Joe Torre2521007
MILW19751976Hank Aaron755Robin Yount2511006
NYY19771977Reggie Jackson563Dave Kingman4421005
ATL19681968Hank Aaron755Deron Johnson2451000

It's nice to see the two Giant pairs tied at number nine and two sets of A's tied at #25.

Sosa's Chances of Breaking 700? So-So
2005-06-19 21:59
by Mike Carminati

On Saturday Sammy Sosa hit an opposite-field home run in a 7-2 Baltimore victory over Colorado for the 583rd of his career, tying fellow "savior of the game" Mark McGwire in the process.

In case, you have lived under a rock for the last decade, after two strike-shortened seasons in 1994-95, including one lost World Series, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were locked in a dogfight for the NL home run crown. Both eventually broke the single-season home run record. McGwrire reached the then-ungodly total of 70, while Sosa had to settle for one of the more ludicrously misguided encomiums in baseball history, the NL MVP award.

Now, Sosa and McGwire again meet in an odd confluence at the number six spot of all time. Sosa also is just four home runs away from sole position of the number five spot. Keep in mind that he's had five in the last 25 games.

Given that Sosa is 36 and, even though he projects to 21 homers this season, it would be the fourth straight year in which his home run totals have decreased (from 64 in 2001). Does he have enough in the tank to make a run at Willie Mays' 660 in fourth place? Could he be the fourth man to 700? Or will Sosa and McGwire's meeting at 583 be symbolic of Sosa's sudden decline a la McGwire in 2001?

Let's look at similar batters and see what they have to tell us. I took a look at every batter who hit between twenty and twenty-five home runs at the age of 36 and then looked at their career totals after that year. This is what I found:

NameYrHR Age 36HR post 36Final Yr
Marquis Grissom200320222004
Moises Alou200322392004
Dante Bichette200023122001
Edgar Martinez1999241112004
Darryl Strawberry19982431999
Ryne Sandberg199625121997
Harold Baines199524832001
Tim Wallach199423211996
Paul Molitor199322521998
Dave Winfield1988251081995
Dwight Evans198821391991
Fred Lynn198825171990
Ken Griffey Sr.198621311991
Don Baylor198523541988
George Foster198521141986
Carlton Fisk1984211461993
Ron Cey198425391987
Bill Robinson197924211983
Carl Yastrzemski1976211141983
Willie Stargell197620871982
Willie McCovey197422861980
Ernie Banks196723701971
Willie Mays196722961973
Joe Adcock196421321966
Yogi Berra196122181965
Minnie Minoso195921401980
Mickey Vernon195420471960
Eddie Joost195220121955
Tommy Henrich19492461950
Mel Ott19452111947
Al Simmons19382191944
Cy Williams192424781930
Average 22 48

On average these players had 48 home runs left in the tank. That would leave Sosa 17 shy of Mays. Of course, Sosa may follow the Carlton Fisk route (146 post-36 homers) putting him at 741, in earshot of Aaron. Wouldn't it be the ultimate irony if Sosa eventually passed Bonds and Ruth? Though I think it's unlikely that he'll pass anyone but Frank Robinson at this stage.

2005-06-19 21:07
by Mike Carminati

Mark Simon has started a blog to commemorate the history of Mets walk-offs and I don't mean Nelson Doubleday.

For Whom The Bell Tolls? It Tolls For KC—So Far
2005-06-17 21:09
by Mike Carminati

The Royals swept the Dodgers yesterday, running their record under Buddy Bell to 11-4.

They became the fourth team in major-league history to sweep both the Yankees and the Dodgers, both times under Bell. The first to sweep both teams was the 1966 Orioles who took four straight from the Dodgers in World Series. The other two were the 1997 Mariners and the 1998 Angels (by the way, MLB missed the 1966 O's in their analysis).

Of course the Royals are still one of the worst clubs in baseball because of their record before Bell:


They have improved by .473 percentage points under Bell yet far. That made me wonder what was the best improvement under a replacement manager in baseball history. Has any team improved by that much over a full season?

Continue reading...
Put a Tiger in Your Tank
2005-06-16 21:40
by Mike Carminati

Jeremy Bonderman allowed one run in seven innings to beat the Padres, 3-1, and run his record to 8-4. Bonderman is on target to win 19 games and owns a 3.84 ERA.

The odd thing is that two years ago, in his rookie year, Bonderman lost 19 games and owned a 5.56 ERA, over 1.70 points higher. That made me wonder if he were the first pitcher to go from losing at least twice as many games as he won in his rookie year to winning twice as many games as he lost two years later.

Greg Maddux came to mind. He went 6-14 with a 5.61 ERA in 1987 and won 18 and 19 games the next two years. However, he started his career with a 2-4 six-game stint in 1986. Lefty Gomez started his career with a 2-5, 5.55 record and two years later was 24-7, 4.20. However, I'm looking for someone who has at least ten decisions in his debut year to qualify

Let's see. Here are the pitchers in descending order by ERA differential:

Jeff Ballard198728.2006.591989188.6923.43-3.16
Nick Cullop191337.3004.4219152211.6672.44-1.98
Steve Farr1984311.2144.58198684.6673.13-1.45
Dick Stigman1960511.3134.511962125.7063.66-0.85
Kid Gleason1888716.3042.8418903817.6912.63-0.21
Charlie Getzein1884512.2941.9518863011.7323.031.07

Getzein is the only one who saw his ERA go up, but then again the 1886 Detroit Wolverines were 87-36, which helps one's winning percentage.

It's an odd list overall. Gleason had the most success, winning at least 20 games four straight years, but he very quickly converted to second base due to injury. Farr converted to the bullpen by his third year. All of the starters but Stigman established career highs in wins in his third year, and Stigman would have just one more successful win.

So maybe Bonderman would be better off just stinking up the joint for the rest of the season rather than join this list.

And Then There Were Two
2005-06-16 13:08
by Mike Carminati

The Yankees announced their plan for a new Yankee Stadium. The fact that the team is remaining in the Bronx, a one-time point of contention for owner George Steinbrenner, grabbed the most fanfare.

Aside from wondering what they were going to do with the Monuments, I found it extremely interesting that the stadium will be privately funded as will the new Cardinals stadium that is in the works. When the Giants did that a few years back, they were vilified by the other owners. Baseball must be making too much money to notice nowadays.

My interest was also piqued by the estimates that the Yankee annual stadium expense will increase from $22 to $68 M, thereby, barring substantial changes to the CBA, will greatly lower the team's revenue-sharing debt. "They may be the only unhappy people as a result of this deal," Yankees president Randy Levine said.

Finally, and most obscurely, by retiring Yankee Stadium, baseball loses one of three stadiums from before World War II, the other two being, of course, Wrigley Field in Chicago and Fenway Park in Beantown. Yes, Yankee Stadium got an extreme makeover in the mid-Seventies, but it was essentially the same building that Babe Ruth crafted with his own two hands back in 1923.

The third oldest stadium in the majors after the Yankee switchover would be Washington's RFK Stadium, beating Dodger Stadium by one day. RFK hosted its first baseball game on April 9, 1962 (though the RedSkins played there on October 1 of the previous year), and the first game at Dodger Stadium didn't happen until the next day. Baseball's newest stadium is actually one of its oldest. It's like that question, who's at once the oldest and youngest Beatle (It's Ringobecause he joined last but was the oldest).

Here are the current oldest stadia in baseball in descending order with the year each was first used for baseball:

Fenway Park, 1912

Wrigley Field, 1914 (though the Cubs didn't play there until 1916)

Yankee Stadium, 1923

RFK Stadium, 1962

Dodger Stadium, 1962

Shea Stadium, 1964

Busch Stadium, 1966 (to be replaced)

Oakland-Alameda County (Whatever They Call It This Year) Coliseum, 1968

Royals/Kauffman Stadium, 1973.

That takes me up to when I started being a fan, and, boy, do I feel old.

Crying Wolf— Friday Awaits Robinson's Rescue
2005-06-15 13:10
by Mike Carminati
In Philadelphia, it's worth fifty bucks.
— Bo Diddley as a pawn broker bargaining with Dan Akroyd over his expensive watch in "Trading Places"

With the lack of depth in the Phils starting rotation the loss of Randy Wolf for the year to potential Tommy John surgery can be devastating. 23-year-old Robinson Tejeda, making his second major-league start, spells Wolf this Friday against Oakland.

Wolf started 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA, but in the last month has gone 5-0 with a 3.07 ERA. It's just the latest in Wolf's up-and-down career. Two years ago, he was drawing favorable comparisons to fellow lefty Tom Glavine. Now, the only comparisons that are made to a famous lefty is because of a surgery that bears his name.

Meanwhile, Robinson Tejeda pitched well in his debut against Texas (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 K), but remains an unknown. This is a pitcher who took four years to get above Single-A and who has 14 walks to go with his 13 strikeouts in 15 major-league innings. This is the story of Tejeda's career yet far: he strikes out a ton but is very wild (in addition to the walks, he had 11 wild pitches one year).

Another problem is that he has never gone that deep into games, averaging well under six innings per start. That's another load the beleaguered Phils' pen just doesn't need.

Here are his minor-league numbers:

1999GCL PhilliesGCL17Rk13 4.27 129 9.13 5.24 7.58 1.60 3.86 1.44
2000GCL PhilliesGCL18Rk25 5.54 106 10.15 2.77 5.08 1.44 3.90 1.83
2001LakewoodSAL19A89 3.40 2624 7.65 3.46 9.08 1.23 5.79 2.62
2002ClearwaterFSL20A48 3.97 1717 6.59 4.33 7.86 1.21 5.86 1.81
2003ClearwaterFSL21A24 3.20 1111 7.38 3.20 5.85 1.18 5.88 1.83
2003LakewoodSAL21A03 5.30 54 8.20 7.71 9.64 1.77 3.73 1.25
2004ReadingEast22AA814 5.15 2726 8.86 3.53 7.96 1.38 5.57 2.25
2005Scranton-Wilkes BarreInt23AAA20 2.22 55 6.67 4.138.891.20 5.67 2.15
7 yrsTotals2746 4.13 113102 8.00 3.857.881.32 5.29 2.04

I just don't see Tejeda being the solution for the rest of the season. He may hang in for a few starts, but he has too many negatives to overcome at least right now. But what other options do they have?

Ryan Madson has become indispensable in the pen, though I wish they would give him another chance in the rotation. Early season starter Gavin Floyd is floundering at Triple-A Scranton (2-5 with a 7.09 ERA). Former first-round pick, 21-year-old Cole Hamels won't be rushed to the rotation until probably September or next spring.

That leaves…[drum roll please]…Amaury Telelmaco as in "Sounds like debacle". I think I said at the start of the season if Telemaco was in the rotation by May, it was going to be a long season in Philly. Well, it's June and the Phils are just two games out of first, coming off a tremendous homestand, but the season is getting longer by the minute.

It was great that GM Ed Wade traded one of the few decent players the Phils can move (Polanco) for an overrated, would-be closer (Urbina) instead of a decent starting pitcher. The Phils have one more ace in the hole (Ryan Howard) and a better GM would be able to turn him into a decent option for the rotation.

In Philadelphia we'll get 15 starts from Amaury Telemaco.

J-Rolled?: Rollins' Extension and the Rolen Syndrome
2005-06-14 11:44
by Mike Carminati
The Great Jack Lemmon: What makes you think they're looking for a scapegoat?
Wilford Brimley: Tradition.
—From "The China Syndrome", referring to the Phils' management style

Brian: What is happening?
Matt: I'll tell you what's happenning. The Pepsi Syndrome.
[shows title: "The Pepsi Syndrome" ]
Brian: Pepsi Syndrome? I've never heard of it.
Matt: Only a handful of people know what the Pepsi Syndrome means. Maybe soon, everyone will know it.
Carl: But, what is it?
Matt: Well, the Pepsi Syndrome. If someone spills a Pepsi on the control panel of a nuclear power reactor, the panel can short-circuit, and the whole core may melt down.
Brian: But, you spilled a Coke.
Matt: It doesn't matter. Any cola does it.
Carl: Any cola? What about RC Cola?
Matt: Yeah, RC does it.
Brian: Canada Dry?
Matt: Sure.
Carl: 7-up?
Matt: It's harmless. It's an un-cola. [smacks his hands to his forehead ] Oh, wow! I could have had a V8!
—SNL's The Pepsi Syndrome

Yesterday, after winding up perhaps the most successful homestand in club history, the Phils signed 26-year-old shortstop Jimmy Rollins, whose contract was up at the end of 2006, to a contract extension that guarantees him $40 M over the next four years.

It breaks down thusly:

Signing bonus: $5 M

2006: $4 M

2007: $7 M

2008: $7 M

2009: $7.5 M

2010: $7.5 M

2011: $8.5 M club option or $2 buyout

That means the contract will either be for $40 M over four years or $46.5 M over five years (though the Phils reported $47.5 M, but what's another million more or less among friends).

Quoth Phils' GM Ed "Thanks Guys For Saving My Job" Wade:

"We signed a very special kid (in 1996). Words to describe Jimmy during his career in Philadelphia: class, energy, catalyst, a red-light player (the guy you want up in a big spot). Jimmy's prepared to go out and shine in the spotlight as someone who will lead us for a long time."

As for the newly shorn Rollins himself, "I wanted to stay here in Philly. I could have gone out there and possibly gotten more money. But … my heart was here in Philly."

OK, after you pick yourself up off the floor from the peals of laughter—who exactly would have given him more?—, I have to tell you that you're not alone. My sitemate, Derek Smart sent the Powdered Toast Men an email in which he asked the musical question:

Do you guys think the market is really that out of whack? I guess with what Orlando Cabrera got it probably is, but I can't help but wonder about this sort of deal. It just seems like financial suicide, even if the team is willing to carry a big payroll.

It's not that Rollins can't be that good, but he posted his first above average OPS+ last year, and while he's young enough that it could be the beginning of a trend, there's certainly nothing in what he's done this season to make one think it is.

My reaction was:

1) For some reason Rollins is seen as a marquee player in Philly. Even though he was roundly booed in 2003 and at the beginning of 2004, he is as the hometown soul of the team. Sure, Abreu and Thome are bigger names but they were not homegrown. Rollins is sort of a poor man's Jeter in that sense.

2) The standards are so low, especially at short, in Philly that Bowa is still seen as a great player. Steve Jeltz was the starting shortstop for a number of years and made Mario Mendoza look like Cal Ripken. Rollins is seen as a superstar shortstop locally. People in Philly just aren't that bright. They even forgot that they booed him roundly last year.

3) The management in Philly is completely out of its mind. Ed Wade's sole goal is keep his crummy job. There's a bit of excitement with the 12-1 homestand and being 1.5 out of first. The Phils are trying to stem the flow of fans to the Eagles' training camp in their second year in a new stadium. This is probably seen as a PR move. And besides, with the heaps of cash thrown to Thome, Bell, Lieberthal, Burrell, et al, this is a drop in the bucket.

After losing Rolen, the Phils policy has been to sign up every homegrown starting player for big bucks and a number of years. Call it the Rolen Syndrome. I saw team prez and Penn grad Dave Montgomery on a local sports talk show last year (Comcast Sports Net's Daily News Live) explaining the team's woes. When he was asked about the big contract to Burrell, he blamed the sportswriters (who were the hosts) for the bad PR during the Rolen fiasco and said basically he had to do it as a sop to the locals and the press. Now, that's great team management! [And of course it overlooks the fact that Bill "Jabba" Conlin led the villagers in their wild pursuit of "Clubhouse Cancer" Rolen's head.]

4) Oh, one last thing: the Phillies coffers are stuffed. They went a good decade or two without paying big bucks to anyone while the troglodytic locals continued to fork over the mullah for tickets. They also made out like bandits in luxury taxes for years. Cleveland basically paid the Phils to take Jim Thome off their hands. This is a big market that had a team that ran itself as a small-market club for many years.

The Inquirer/Daily news ran a short history of Phillies shortstops (amended from data):

1970-81: Larry Bowa

1982-84: Ivan DeJesus

1985-88: Steve Jeltz

1989-91: Dickie Thon

1992: Juan Bell

1993-97: Kevin Stocker

1998: Desi Relaford

1999: Alex Arias

2000: Desi Relaford

2001-05: Jimmy Rollins

Wow, that's some lineage! Rollins looks tremendous after seeing other homegrown products like Relaford, Stocker, and Jeltz flop. (Actually Relaford came out of the Mariners organization but got his first shot at the majors with the Phils.) Looking around the Phils organization, they may not even be able to produce another Jeltz for the foreseeable future.

Maybe I'm too tough on J-Roll. He is getting a chunk of change but look at the Renetria and Cabrera deals this past offseason. So how does he compare to the other shortstops in baseball?

Continue reading...
National Interest, II
2005-06-13 16:52
by Mike Carminati

The Nationals prepare to run their win streak to eleven games tonight versus the Burbank Angels of Anaheim. Washington has had some close calls in the streak, winning five games by one run and only two by five or more runs, resulting in six saves during the period for Chad Cordero.

The Nats were 24-25 on May 28 but one their next three, lost one (june 1) and now have won ten straight. The Phils have been almost as hot, winning twelve of thirteen on their just completed homestand and 15 of their last 17.

On May 28, The NL East looked like this:

NY Mets2624.5202

Now, they look like this:

TeamWLPCTGBSince 5/28
NY Mets3231.50856-7

Continue reading...
National Interest
2005-06-12 22:27
by Mike Carminati

The Washington Nationals passed a million in attendance this weekend and may surpass two and one-half million fans for the first time in franchise and Washington baseball history. They have already outdrawn their predecessors, the 2004 Expos, by over 250 thousand fans in almost 50 fewer games. They project to 2,571,601 fans for the season, almost 3.5 times as many as the Expos drew in Montreal and San Juan last year.

The 2005 Nats are also just the second Washington club to draw over one million fans. The other was the 1946 Senators with 1,027,216 in total attendance. They finished fourth that year.

Here are all the seasons in franchise history in which at least 1.5 million fans came out to see the Expos/Nats play, ranked by average per game:

Continue reading...
Purposeful or Plunk-Happy?
2005-06-11 21:17
by Mike Carminati
Of a thousand shavers, two do not shave so much alike as not to be distinguished.

—Samuel Johnson

The other day I looked at Craig Biggio's run at the "modern" hit by a pitch record and which batters exceed HBP expectations the most. Next, I'd like to look at the other side of the equation: which pitchers like to shave batters the closest.

Using each pitcher's career HBP totals and the his career batters faced pitching (or innings pitched for the years in which BFP were not kept), I calculated the difference between each pitcher's actual and expected HBP totals. Here are the ones that exceeded expectations the most:

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A Promotion of Ruthian Proportions
2005-06-10 13:05
by Mike Carminati

Baseball has gotten to the point where the way it can promote itself is with gimmickry or syrupy "Field of Dreams" and "The Natural"-inspired nostalgia. That's why the Red Sox winning the World Series last year was such a great coup for the sport: it incorporated both of those promotional approaches in one great big rowdy package. That's a rarity so baseball has to invent events that they are capable of promoting.

Enter interleague baseball, the game's ugly stepsister that I reported last week had altered the results of possibly ten playoff spots in as many years. But even that aesthetic mess is has become de rigueur. Baseball needed to up the gimmick factor.

So what's a scheduler to do? I can see the boardroom meeting now:

[Dimly lit boardroom with lots of leather and even more scotch, all bearing the label, "Property of Allan H. Selig". An overhead projector sits waiting whirring in the alcohol-laden silence. A Powerpoint cell appears on the screen that reads "MLB Annual Ineffectual Middle Management Suckups Committee". Bud Selig slouches somnolent in an oversized leather chaise lounge in the corner. A peon fans him with an oversized palm leaf. Other than his left hand, which is gently swishing a half-full brandy snifter, and his preternatural drooling, Selig is unmoving, otherworldly, above it all. Men and (rarely) women business suits shuffle in nervously, approach the Selig, bow, kiss its right hand (which it does nothing to acknowledge), and quickly take a seat as far as possible on the other side of the room.]

[The meeting starts.]

Sycophant/Marketing Whiz: OK, Boss, we have some great news for our evil plan
Bud (Jabba-like while reading his mind): Yes, the Red Sox AND the Cubs. It's just crazy enough to work.
[Fadeout amid peals of evil laughter, a few snorts, and intermittent retching into a spittoon.]

What baseball did is pair up the Red Sox and the Cubs in an interleague smorgasbord-a-palooza.

But they couldn't enough let bad enough alone. They have created a line of merchanidise to commemorate the fiasco, the Interleague Collection June 2005 (from Sears).

For $19.99, you can get the evil hat:

Or the evil gold coin, the Highland Mint Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago Cubs 2005 Interleague Matchup Gold Coin to be exact:

Though I have to admit that I kind of like the New York Yankees 4 Line vs. New York Mets 7 Line Cap ($14.99). It reminds me of the crappy subway races on the scoreboard at equally redolent Shea:

Jeff Kent-Walt Weiss Memorial Baseball Darwin Awards, IX
2005-06-10 07:57
by Mike Carminati

Clint Barmes seemed on target for an NL Rookie of the Year award this year, but after breaking his collarbone, an injury expected to keep him out three months, he'll have to settle for a JKWWMD Award. Maybe he was shooting for one the whole time: they are rarer and more prestigious after all. The guy seems to be working overtime embellishing the story behind the incident, thereby ensuring enshrinement in the Darwinian Hall.

Initially, the story went that Barmes had fallen in his home carrying groceries thereby causing the injury.

"Obviously, accidents happen… I figured, I'm an athlete, I can walk up the stairs, it's not that big a deal," Barmes said in an interview Monday, his left arm hanging in a sling. "Obviously, if I had to go back, I would have waited, or at least been a bit more careful going up."

But then the story got kind of complicated. Let me say for the record that Barmes had me at Hello—groceries gamboling causing a collarbone catastrophe? Holy gamboling, Barme-man! Actually, I think with a name like Barmes, it has to be good. No, wait, with a name like Barmes, which sounds too close to some odd Benny Hill expletive, he was halfway to a JKWWMDA the day he stepped into a major-league clubhouse.

Anyway, next he changed the story to a package of deer meat from teammate Todd Helton as the culprit of the fall. I guess that sounded more manly (Quien es mas macho?). He was evidently covering for Todd or maybe the deer, "I just didn't think it was right to bring Todd Helton into something like this."

Something like what? He fell right? Did Helton burst his eardrum causing his equilibrium to go haywire?

Well, the real culprit might have been the all-terrain vehicles that Helton and Barmes were riding that day. But Helton gainsays such talk:

"I cannot say it strongly enough -- he did not get hurt riding an ATV," Helton said. "I was there. He never left my eyesight the entire time."

Methinks they dost protest too much. Even though nothing in Barmes' contract bars ATVs. Doesn't the mutual behind-covering seem a bit excessive? Enquiring minds want to know!

Other entries:

The All-Time Hit (By Pitch) King?
2005-06-09 21:29
by Mike Carminati
Uptown. Downtown. No one's fussy I'm a target. Black, white. Day, night. No one's fussy I'm a target
—Joe Jackson (not the one without shoes)

The New York Times has a piece on Craig Biggio's assault on the "modern" hit by pitch crown. Biggio stands at 262, five behind "modern" leader Don Baylor (but a 1000 behind the farcical record of Ernie 'Coach' Pantusso).

However, in third place sits Ron Hunt with 243, who collected his plunkings in almost fivr thousand fewer plate appearances (10914 to 6158). So who was a bigger target for opposing pitchers? Let's take a look, shall we?

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Urbina Shocker—Wade Boggs Down Phils Again!
2005-06-08 22:20
by Mike Carminati

Not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, does the enlightened man dislike to wade into its waters.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

I am in blood
Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.

—William "Author" Shakespeare, Macbeth

Ed Wade has to go. And now…

Not tomorrow. Not after he flubs the ball at the trade deadline again.

It can't wait for the inevitable house cleaning at the end of the year. He could wiggle out again like he did last year by keeping walking dead manager, Larry Bowa, until the end of the season.

Marlon Byrd for Endive Chavez was inept enough. Now, Wade has traded one of his trump cards for a mercurial would-be closer.

Wade re-signed Placido Polanco in the offseason even though everyone in the organization backed aging prospect Chase Utley as the regular second baseman. Their new rube manager, Charlie Manuel, decided to platoon the two. While Polanco started slowly, he still shared time with Utley. Wade alluded to holding onto Polanco and Quad-A first baseman Ryan Howard as deadline bait. As Polanco improved, so did the Phils fortunes. They are now in second in a surprisingly bunched-up division—2.5 games separate all five clubs. The Phils it should be noted are now healthy while the Braves have had key injuries and the Marlins have been slumping offensively. They trail division-leading Washington by 1.5 games.

So Wade chose this moment to spring. He decided to play one of his cards to perform a Billy Beane-esque pre-trade deadline revamp. So did Polanco bring a much needed starter? Or how about a young catcher who can take over for aging Mike Lieberthal? Or a similar eventual replacement for disappointing David Bell?

No, the Phils exchanged Polanco for overrated closer Ugueth Urbina and 32-year-old utility infielder Ramon Martinez. Great, because the Phils don't have a closer or utility infielder. Wait, they have Billy Wagner, who's far superior to Urbina, and Tomas Perez, who's better than Martinez.

Wade deftly explains his approach:

"The price was high, but to be able to get a proven bullpen arm who has pitched at a championship level, it was too good to pass up," Phillies general manager Ed Wade said, adding that Tigers president Dave Dombrowski told him he was close to moving Urbina to another team in the NL East.

The last time I heard an explanation like that, it came from the GM of the last-place team in my fantasy league. So I think it went this way, Dombrowski called up Wade,

Dombrowski: "Hey, Ed, I know that you like Urbina. So I just wanted to let you know."
Wade: "Know what?"
Dombrowski: "I'm close to moving Urbina to one of your division rivals. Guess who?"
Wade: "What? Why didn't you call me?"
Dombrowski: "What do you think I'm doing?"
Wade: "OK, whatever you're getting I can do better."
Dombrowski: "OK…?"
Wade: "Well, you know we have two second basemen and Infante just isn't cutting it. But I need more than just Urbina…"
Dombrowski: "Well, I'll have an extra middle infielder. You get to start your young second baseman. You'll get the same production from his extra time at second plus the backup as you would from Polanco. Plus you get Urbina to set up Wagner. You know how the pen has been killing you guys this year. You shore that up…"
Wade: "Yeah, that would be great."
Dombrowski: "…Or you package Urbina or Wagner, which ever you want, to get a starter at the break…"
Wade: "OK, but tell me the trade with the Braves is dead."
Dombrowski: "All right, you know I like you better than those Atlanta elitists anyway…"

The only positive is that even Manuel can't screw up the lineup by limiting Utley's time now. Team management by the numbers was apparently needed.

Although, this may cause Wagner to start looking over his shoulder. And no holes were filled.

It was a move for the sake of making a move, a fantasy player with an itchy finger and a fear of losing a crappy reliever to a rival.

When do we get Ryan Howard for Todd Jones anyway?

Airing Out the Draft—Does the Amateur Draft Matter?
2005-06-08 09:57
by Mike Carminati
A corner draft fluttered the flame
And the white fever of temptation
Upswept its angel wings that cast
A cruciform shadow.

— Boris "Frank" Pasternak

I was musing to my friend Mike last night about the hoopla attending the amateur draft over the last couple of days. We decided it was a slow (baseball) news day.

I mean, the overwhelming media coverage has been like the sports writers expect the next LeBron James to step up to the podium. The truth is that it is unlikely that any of the players will make an impact this year and very few will be ready for anything but a September callup next year. It's the sports equivalent of watching paint dry.

Aside from an occasional Bob Horner has the draft ever mattered? I know that in the long run, a good number of these players will contribute at the major-league level, but does it really matter whether he was drafted in the second round or the 22nd round? Gammons had a nice piece the other day on how the Red Sox settled on Roger Clemens, the tenth pitcher selected and "a pitcher who Morgan that day said 'might be a closer'", after the high profile guys (Tim Blecher, Darrel Akerfelds, Jackie Davidson, and Stan Hilton?) were taken. The Sox actually wanted Rich "Mink" Stoll.

In the last eleven drafts, there have been just 6 players who made any contribution at the major-league level in the year they were drafted. Of those six, three came in 2003 (Rickie Weeks, Ryan Wagner, and Chad Cordero).

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Mexican Heirless?
2005-06-07 16:48
by Mike Carminati
This people must cease to hold slaves, and to make war on Mexico, though it cost them their existence as a people.
— Henry David "Marvelous Marv" Thoreau

The site has an interest article on the Mexican League. It details the difficulty of prying a player free from the league:

"[P]layers from Mexico cannot be signed as free agents and later placed in academies funded by big league teams… [The Mexican League has] a system similar to Japan's, all players are first affiliated with a Mexican League team…[Major League teams] first must negotiate with a team owner to attain temporary or permanent rights to a player."

The Mexican League is aberration in organized ball today, a maverick that works within the system. The Mexican League started in 1937 (though the author says it is celebrating its eightieth anniversary). After collecting Negro League stars in the Forties, it turned its ambitions toward raiding the Majors and establishing itself as a separate major league. As troops were returning home from World War II, many players jumped to Mexican teams. Danny Gardella was probably the most famous case: he signed with a Mexican team but after changing his mind, discovered he was banned from organized ball, initiating a major court case (one of the major assaults on the reserve clause before Curt Flood).

Anyway, the Mexican team overextended themselves the league dissolved and was swallowed up by the Arizona-Texas League in 1953 (to become the Arizona-Mexico League). When the old Mexican League was reorganized in 1955, as a sop it was allowed to enter organized ball as a Triple-A team (actually Class A, then the triple-A equivalent).

Ever since, the Mexican League has been allowed to operate on its own. Aside from a Fernando Valenzuela or a Rico Carty attaining some success, very few players sneak over the border (Maybe Homeland Security should contact the league). The last to make a splash was a 40-year-old Julio Franco, who used the Mexican League as a stepping stone back to the majors.

The Mexican League is baseball's West Bank, a tricky situation fraught with hazards. However, in this case, baseball should be rushing in, not pulling out.

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Revenge of the Joe Morgan Chat Day—On the Sith Joe Morgan Chat Day God Created Sabermetrics
2005-06-06 12:04
by Mike Carminati


We were under the delusion that George Lucas was a cinematic genius. By merging the austere palette of a Sergio Leone spaghetti western and the Eastern ethos of an Akira Kurosawa's samurai film, Lucas came up with a fun new kind of science fiction genre. He improved on it for another film, but then the chinks in the armor started to appear, those damnable Ewoks.

But the original trilogy was done, and it seemed like a masterpiece. Lucas would go on about the other two trilogies that he had already written, one before and one after the original three, but other than Lucas's speech pattern getting more stilted and ever so pedantic and his developing a Jabba-inspired dewlap under his signature beard, nothing became of it for a decade.

Then suddenly the originals were revamped and re-released to huge audiences. Never mind that Lucas toyed with every characteristic blemish of the original, finished unfinished scenes, pulled some scenes in favor of new ones, and upgraded the special effects to the then-current standard. And never mind that they had stuck these add allusions to episodes four, five, and six.

Who cares?!? A new trilogy was on the way! When the first new Star Wars revealed a whole new look into Darth Vader's go-carting skills, not to mention tremendously annoying characters who offended a broad swath of nationalities from Jamaican to Chinese to Jewish.

But we forgave the first cinematic stinkbomb when the second film came out. Our friends said it's better than the first, a claim every film in the last twenty years except for Gigli and Carrot Top's and Cindy Crawford's sole masterpieces could make. The film was revelatory. Bobba Fett's father provided the genetic material to create the entire imperial army! If anything in the last sentence appeals to you, you are officially a geek. It also revealed that a major motion picture could be crafted without any modicum of acting or screenwriting ability. And apparently Darth Vader's evil emanated from extreme peevishness. But you had to agree with your friends that these was an improvement over the first for no other reason than the dearth (I wish that was actually "death") of Jar Jar Binks (and I may have misspelled that name but I can't invest the intellectual wherewithal to give a …never mind).

Now, everyone is saying this one, the third or sixth Star Wars depending on one's point of view, is as good as the original trilogy. Yeah, the acting and writing still sucks (even though that egomaniac Lucas turned the screenplay over to someone who actually was interested in having some semblance of a plot), but it's good, it really is, we're told. Suddenly, Lucas has foresworn any knowledge of the final three films so that he can go out on a high note. And I am torn between my desire to complete the last chapter of a story in which I have apparently invested way more than I ever intended and my desire to never give another dime to that charlatan Lucas.

In a parallel Schrodinger-cat-like universe, our hero, Joe Morgan, took a career that personified the sabermetric ideal and became a broadcaster who had been tempted by the dark side. I used to parody this apostasy (as well as his entire existence) on a weekly basis by analyzing his chat sessions, but I had to give that up in protest when decided to put Joe and a Padilla flotilla of content behind its premium firewall (which is another way to say I was to cheap to pay for it though I'll couch it as a moral stand).

But I had to revive the franchise when Joe decided to cast off the dark side and embrace the sabermetric force. At least that's the vibe that he promulgates in his latest article, a screed on closers, a subject near and dear to my heart. Somehow the confluence of these two events, Joe's pseudo escape from the Dark Side and Darth's cinematic descent into it, was too good to resist. You see, I believe that Joe's latest article is merely an attempt to lure us all down the path of evil. The student has become the master. Grab this pebble from my hand, Grasshopper. And all that rot…

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Eating Raul
2005-06-02 19:28
by Mike Carminati

Raul Mondesi has been designated for reassignment by the Braves and is contemplating retirement. However, I think that would a great disservice to his career.

Do I think that Mondesi has greatness left in him? I doubt it.

But if he signs with another team this year, he will do something that's been done just seven times before. Mondesi has played for at least two teams for the last three years. In 2002 he played on the Blue Jays and the Yankess, in 2003, the Yankees and the Diamondbacks, and last year, the Angels and the Pirates. And so far this year, it's the Braves. If he rehabs his aching knee and catches on with a club in need of a corner outfielder/DH, he will have tied the "record" for most consecutive seasons playing for multiple teams.

Here are the previous "record holders":

Bob Kennedy19541957
Bruce Chen20002003
Don McMahon19661969
Jim Leyritz19972000
Rick Wilkins19951998
Sal Maglie19551958
Willie Montanez19791982

All of these guys were vets playing out a string usually with not much left of their career, except for Bruce Chen. He was a hot potato who never blossomed (do potatoes blossom?) until he was picked up by the Orioles.

No Flower Blooms For A Thousand Days
2005-06-02 09:39
by Mike Carminati
—Ancient Chinese proverb, huh?
A thousand moral paintings I can show
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's
More pregnantly than words.

—William "Author" Shakespeare

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded in the first man.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the Yankees prepare to fend off a sweep at the hands of the Buddy Bell-inspired Royals tonight, Jorge Posada will become just the 42nd catcher in baseball history to catch one thousand games with the same team. Number 41 was the Phils' Mike Lieberthal, who accomplished the feat Tuesday.

There are now three active catchers (Dan Wilson is the other) who have caught 1000 games for their current team. Three other catchers (Jason Kendall, Javy Lopez, and Ivan Rodriguez) have accomplished the feat for a previous team. Here's the complete list (including Posada):

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Number Five With A Bullet?
2005-06-01 21:42
by Mike Carminati

The Phils beat the Giants tonight on a Chase Utley pinch-hit grand slam. They are now one game under .500 for the first time since April 22 (8-9). If the Phils sweep the Giants tomorrow, they will have recorded their tenth day at or above .500. They are 11-6 since May 13 and 16-13 since the beginning of May.

Keep in mind that the Phils have not been more than one game over .500 all year. They may be 3.5 games out of first and one game out of third, but they are still in last place and have very little prospects of sustained winning streaks with their sub-par rotation and pen. They haven't won more than three games straight all year.

The Phils will probably pass the Nats once the excitement of escaping their Montreal/San Juan limbo wears off and the Mets aren't world beaters. But the division still comes down to Atlanta and Florida in my opinion.

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Dem Bums Iz History
2005-06-01 12:45
by Mike Carminati
[O]nce a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable.
—John Steinbeck. Travels With Charley

As soon as the harvest is in, you're a migrant worker. Afterwards just a bum.
—Grapes of Wrath (Film version)

The Brooklyn Historical Society has opened an exhibit on the Dodgers that they've entitled "Dodgers Do It!: Celebrating Brooklyn's 1955 Big Win!" The fiftieth anniversary of such a bittersweet moment—the Dodgers announced that they were moving to Los Angeles a little over a year later (December 1, 1956)—is certainly worthy of commemorating.

However, the brochure that accompanies the exhibit plays a bit loose with the facts:

Journey back in time to baseball circa 1955, a season of destiny and deliverance for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Home runs jumped off Dodger bats and crowds streamed into Ebbets Field. Despite five prior trips to the World Series as the Dodgers - in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953 - the team had never won a World Series Pennant. Stroll through playful environments and travel back to experience the agony and ecstasy of each of the seven games in the World Series and Brooklyn's deep-rooted love for baseball.

Yes, the Dodgers lost the Series in 1941, 47, 49, 52, and 53. But, there are two gaping holes in their history. First, as the Robins (for manager Wilbert Robinson) the team lost the Series in 1916 and 1920. Prior to that, while known as the Superbas, the team won two NL pennants prior to the advent of the modern World Series (1899 and 1900). They also failed to win in the old National League-American Association championship series twice. In 1889, their last in the AA, they lost to the Giants. In 1890, the series between Brooklyn and Louisville ended in a three-three tie (with one tied ballgame).

For the record, here are all the Brooklyn champs in the professional era:

YrLgTeamWLLg WinWS WinPos
1889AABrooklyn Bridegrooms9344YN1
1890NLBrooklyn Bridegrooms8643YN1
1899NLBrooklyn Superbas10147Y 1
1900NLBrooklyn Superbas8254Y 1
1916NLBrooklyn Robins9460YN1
1920NLBrooklyn Robins9361YN1
1941NLBrooklyn Dodgers10054YN1
1947NLBrooklyn Dodgers9460YN1
1949NLBrooklyn Dodgers9757YN1
1952NLBrooklyn Dodgers9657YN1
1953NLBrooklyn Dodgers10549YN1
1955NLBrooklyn Dodgers9855YY1
1956NLBrooklyn Dodgers9361YN1

OK, but that's just me being a stickler. The second more important omission was that the Dodgers had lost each of the World Series mentioned (plus one in 1956) to the hated Yankees. That's what made 1955 so important. The Bums finally beat the Yanks. If the Dodgers had beaten the Indians, who finished three games behind the Yankees, even in seven games, I doubt it would be as compelling a story.

So why is the BHS burying the headline? Maybe it's because they don't want to alienate all of the Yankee fans who potentially would come out to see the Dodgers exhibit, something that would have been anathema to Dodger fans back in the day. Eh, so what's a little revisionist history among friends?

Anyway, to illustrate just how unlucky the Brooklyn Dodgers were, here are all the league champions broken down by city affiliation sorted by the percentage of World Series won in their league championship years (Notes: Years without a Series are listed separately. There are more losers , or non-winners, than winners since two pre-1903 Series ended in a tie and three leagues—UA, PL, and FL—had champions but never sent teams to the Series):

CityNo WSDid Not Win WSWon WSTot Lg Champ%
San Diego220%
San Francisco330%
St. Louis12102245%
Kansas City11250%
Los Angeles45956%
New York125356158%
Minneapolis-St. Paul12367%
Grand Total3111310625048%

Nine percent is pretty low, the lowest among the "original 16" cities. Brooklyn had the bad luck of having two of its best teams prior to the modern World Series, but look at Boston's non-WS numbers.

Yeah, they are bums, but look at it this way: They had one playoff championship in 62 years (ones that employed a playoff system). San Fran has none in almost fifty years, Houston none in 42, San Diego none in 35, Dallas/Fort Worth none in 32, and Seattle non in 28 years. Montreal had none in 35 and probably won't have another chance. Of those cities only San Francisco and San Diego have gotten to the World Series. That's more bummy, but I guess a bit less dramatic.

This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
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