Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
Monthly archives: September 2008


Fearless Predictions…That Are Invariably Wrong—2008 Postseason Ed. (Electric Boogaloo)
2008-09-30 21:57
by Mike Carminati

I did so well with my preseason predictions—remember when the Tigers looked oh so good?—that I will deign to give my opinion on the postseason.

That said, I at least know enough not to pick the Twins to win it all. But before I give the hardware to the ex-D-Rays—Oops!—here are some ramblings on the postseason in general. Enjoy:

The Brewers' game one starter "Don" Yovani Gallardo becomes just the third pitcher in major-league history to start a postseason game after not winning even one game in the regular season. Gallardo had a 1.88 ERA in the four games he started spending almost five months on the DL, but had no decisions on the year. He has just one start since May 1, and that was a four-inning, one-run stint against the Pirates in a 5-1 win last Saturday. Long story short, C.C, Sabathia he aint.

The other two with no regular season wins to start a postseason game are Tiger Virgil Trucks in 1945 and Chicago White Stocking Jimmy "Pony" Ryan in the 1886 NL-AA World Championships. Ryan was an erstwhile outfielder who pitched just 5 games out of the 84 he played that year. Ryan had no record in the postseason, but Trucks was 1-0 in two starts. Mind you, Trucks pitched just one game in the 1945 regular season, spending almost all of the previous two seasons in the Navy.

A friend of mine latched onto the idea of shared players and therefore shared history haunting postseason series. Whereas a Ray-White Sox meeting might not conjure up that much shared history, the Cubs-Dodgers which he dubbed the "Codgers" evokes a certain Ron Cey/Bill Buckner/Grudzy kind of familiarity.

In this postseason, the "Codgers" had 249 shared players going into this season, the "Redgels" had 100, the "Phillers" had 69, and the "ChiRays" had 24. Here are the top ten players in combined games for both teams in each series:


NameTm1Tm1 YrsTm1 FirstTm1 LastTm1 GTm2Tm2 YrsTm2 FirstTm2 LastTm2 GTot YrsTot G
Ron CeyLAD12197119821481CHC419831986547162028
Jimmy SheckardLAD818971905871CHC7190619121001151872
Billy HermanLAD419411946488CHC11193119411344151832
Bill BucknerLAD819691976773CHC819771984974161747
Eric KarrosLAD12199120021601CHC120032003114131715
Bill DahlenLAD718991911665CHC818911898986151651
Augie GalanLAD619411946627CHC819341941903141530
Davey LopesLAD10197219811207CHC319841986174131381
Rick MondayLAD819771984645CHC519721976702131347
Jimmy JohnstonLAD10191619251266CHC11914191450111316


NameTm1Tm1 YrsTm1 FirstTm1 LastTm1 GTm2Tm2 YrsTm2 FirstTm2 LastTm2 GTot YrsTot G
Rick MillerANA319781980381BOS12197119851101151482
Frank MalzoneANA11966196682BOS11195519651359121441
Mo VaughnANA219992000300BOS8199119981046101346
Fred LynnANA419811984473BOS719741980828111301
Rick BurlesonANA519811986253BOS7197419801031121284
Jim PiersallANA519631967240BOS819501958931131171
Jerry RemyANA319751977444BOS719781984710101154
Don BaylorANA619771982824BOS21986198726881092
Tony ConigliaroANA11971197174BOS7196419758028876
Lee ThomasANA419611964486BOS2196419652586744


NameTm1Tm1 YrsTm1 FirstTm1 LastTm1 GTm2Tm2 YrsTm2 FirstTm2 LastTm2 GTot YrsTot G
Don MoneyPHI519681972524MIL11197319831196161720
Johnny BriggsPHI819641971695MIL519711975584131279
Sixto LezcanoPHI219831984127MIL7197419807859912
Charlie HayesPHI419891995519MIL1200020001215640
Deron JohnsonPHI519691973563MIL119741974496612
Dale SveumPHI11992199254MIL5198619915116565
Larry HislePHI419681971314MIL5197819822219535
David BellPHI420032006470MIL120062006535523
Dickie ThonPHI319891991431MIL119931993854516
Chris ShortPHI1419591972464MIL1197319734215506
Dan PlesacPHI22002200394MIL7198619923659459

ChiRays—And guess who's #1:

NameTm1Tm1 YrsTm1 FirstTm1 LastTm1 GTm2Tm2 YrsTm2 FirstTm2 LastTm2 GTot YrsTot G
Ozzie GuillenTBD12000200063CHW13198519971743141806
Dave MartinezTBD319982000262CHW3199519974106672
Toby HallTBD720002006586CHW120072007388624
Greg NortonTBD220062007173CHW5199620003377510
Roberto HernandezTBD319982000142CHW71991199734510487
Chris SingletonTBD12005200528CHW3199920014204448
Tony GraffaninoTBD21999200052CHW4200020032916343
Herb PerryTBD21999200073CHW2200020012014274
Jose CansecoTBD219992000174CHW120012001763250
Josh PaulTBD22006200793CHW5199920031457238

OK, enough of my arcana, let's boogie:

LDS: Phils over Brewers 4, Cubs over Dodgers in 4, Angels over Red Sox in 4, Rays over White Sox in 3

LCS: Cubs over Phils in six (dammit!), Angels over Rays in five (again dammit)

World Series: Angels over Cubs in 5 (It's a theme--Dammit!)

Back-to-Back to Oblivion
2008-09-28 21:37
by Mike Carminati

Mike Schmidt's 1978 typified his team, the Phils', season. It was a major disappointment. Schmidt batted .251 with a mere 21 homers and 78 runs batted in, those were miniscule numbers for Schmidt even given they came in a pitcher's era.

The '78 Phils followed up two straight 101-game win seasons with a meager 90. The postseason results were also the same with the Phils losing in the NLCS. The team overhauled its lineup in the off-season, bringing in record-breaking free agent Pete Rose, of the "Three Point Two Mill-Lee-Un Dollars" of Chico Escuela fame, to play—ah, well we don't have a position for him so stick him at first.

Little did we know that 1978 would represent a high watermark of sorts for the team. The Phils would have to wait thirty years—until Saturday to be precise—to win back-to-back division titles. In 1978, we had just witnessed back-to-back-to-back division titles for goodness' sake.

The Phils' 30-year wait between consecutive titles, division or league, is not unprecedented, but it is pretty rare. It's just the eleventh time it has happened in baseball history. It's nothing compared to the 68 years that the Pirates waited to raise two straight pennants, from 1902-03 to 1970-71.

Here are the longest waits in baseball history between consecutive division or league titles for any franchise. Note that the Phils mark is the seventh longest wait between consecutive titles since the advent of World Series play:

Team Yrs 1Yrs 2 Span
Pittsburgh Pirates1902-031970-7168
Boston Beaneaters-Milwaukee Braves1897-981957-5860
Brooklyn Superbas-Dodgers1899-19001952-5353
Washington Senators-Minnesota Twins1924-251969-7045
St. Louis Browns-Cardinals1887-881930-3143
Philadelphia-Oakland A's1930-311971-7241
St. Louis Cardinals1967-682004-0537
Milwaukee-Atlanta Braves1957-581991-9234
Cincinnati Reds1939-401972-7333
Minnesota Twins1969-702002-0333
Philadelphia Phillies1977-782007-0830
The Resurgent Moose
2008-09-28 20:24
by Mike Carminati

Mike Mussina completed his renaissance and may have gotten his crown jewel for the Hall of Fame plaque, winning his twentieth game today, 6-2, over the Red Sox. Mussina is now 30 wins shy of 300, which he would reach by 2011 with just two of his average years.

He also became the oldest first-time 20-game winner in baseball history, edging the still-Methuselan Jamie Moyer by one year. Here are the pitchers 35 and up who won twenty games for the first time (By the way, ESPN screwed up this list missing Federal Leaguer McConnell and adding two years to Allie Reynolds's age, but if they bother to acknowledge baseball during football season, we should be pleased):

39Mike Mussina2008
38Jamie Moyer2001
37David Wells2000
37George McConnell1915
36Virgil Trucks1953
36Rip Sewell1944
36Preacher Roe1951
35Allie Reynolds1952
35Hugh Daily1883
35Spud Chandler1943
35Curt Davis1939
They Can’t Fire Willie Twice
2008-09-21 22:20
by Mike Carminati

As the Phils start looking farther in their rearview mirrors, I am left wondering if this mini collapse is even worse for the Mets than the monumental, historic collapse of 2007.

Sure, the Mets are watching the floundering Ned Yost-bereft Brewers fade in their own Wild Card rearview mirrors. But I cannot help but wonder if the Mets are wasting the collective talent like Bill James said the Milwaukee Braves did in the late Fifties and early Sixties. Now, I don't think this will lead to the Mets relocating as the Braves did (breaking the "heart" of a young Bud Selig prior to his metamorphosis into Gallum). However, they are not exactly building momentum as they move to a new stadium.

The Phils will have won two straight division titles while having nary a major-league starting catcher or third baseman either year. The 2007-08 Phils will rank among the worst back-to-back division winners ever:

TeamTot WTot LPCTYr1Yr2
Cleveland Indians175148.54219971998
Kansas City Royals147118.55519801981
Philadelphia Phillies (projected)180144.55620072008
Philadelphia Phillies150119.55819801981
New York Yankees182139.56720002001
Oakland Athletics184140.56819731974
New York Yankees185138.57319992000
Oakland Athletics188136.58019741975
Arizona Diamondbacks190134.58620012002
Toronto Blue Jays191133.59019921993

Meanwhile, the Phils have again passed the Mets, albeit in not as dramatic fashion as in 2007. However, should they hold the lead again, it will be just the second time baseball history that a division or league rival has passed the same team two straight years in September.

The only other time this occurred was in 1965-66 when the Dodgers passed the Giants two straight years in September. And they passed the Giants Sept. 2 in 1966 so that barely qualifies.

The Phils are really doing something historic, which makes it all the more poignant when they end up losing to the Dodgers in the first round and the Mets meet the Rays in the World Series.

This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR