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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

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World Series DVDs: Game 4

1975 World Series Game 4 - Red Sox 5, Reds 4 (boxcore and play account)   -The Cincinnati crowd audibly groans when starter Fred Norman gets behind 2-0 to the first batter of the game. Man, tough crowd.   -The announcers throughout the series have been talking about the possibility of Rico Petrocelli retiring after the Series. He’d retire after the following season.   -Announcers do a promo for the reunion of Simon & Garfunkle on Saturday Night Live that week.   -The video quality is very good for the first six innings and then in the 7th goes to shit. It’s such a dramatic change that for a second it almost seems like it’s a completely different game.   -They show Luis Tiant’s wife a few times and she’s waving some giant noise maker and the announcers say she does it for every game during the entire game. Now why didn’t the crowd around her rise up and slay her, I have no idea.   -In the 9th inning Tony Kubek thinks Tiant is at almost 200 pitches. Errr not quite. He did throw 163 pitches which is a lot of fucking pitches. Given his shutout in Game 1 and another complete game victory here he was definitely the MVP of the series so far. He even has a couple hits and runs scored in the series although he was just a .164 career hitter.   1979 World Series Game 4 - Orioles 9, Pirates 6 (boxscore and play account)   -Once again no network graphics for this game which is getting annoying. This game was played on a Saturday so they run a bunch of college football scores during the game which would have been kind of neat to see, if only to me. Cosell seems more excited about reciting the scores to the college games than this game itself.   -They hype the Red River Shootout game which was to follow the telecast of Game 4. Texas beat Oklahoma 16-7, the Sooners only loss of that season.   -It’s mentioned that the Pirates and Tim Foli have agreed on a new five-year contract. He’d spend just two years of the contract there as he was traded to the Angels after 1981. In Game 3 and this game the Pirates fans do a “Foli, Foli, Foli” chant. I’m not aware if Tim ever lost part of his ear during a game or landed on some thumbtacks while diving for a groundball.   -In this series and the ’75 Series there are several check swings that in today’s game would always be called strikes that are almost always called balls here. There must have been some rule change or evolutionary change in how umps call check swings in the last 30 years. In the Orioles huge 8th inning Doug DeCinces checks his swing on a two strike pitch that 99.9% of the time would been called a strike in today’s game but is called a ball here without question. He would draw a walk and be followed by pinch hit doubles by John Lowenstein and Terry Crowley.   1986 World Series Game 4 - Mets 6, Red Sox 2 (boxscore and play account)   -A potential great storyline never happened in this series as Tom Seaver would have been the Game 4 starter here for the Red Sox but an ankle injury caused him to miss playoffs. Jerry McNamara decides to go with Al Nipper and his 5.38 ERA here instead of having Bruce Hurst on three days rest. Nipper was solid in this game though and the Red Sox missed several opportunities against Ron Darling who didn’t give up an earned run in his first two starts.   -The crack researchers at NBC note that Danny Heep, who was at DH for the Mets, is the first DH in World Series history with the initials DH. God I hope that doesn’t end up on his tombstone.   -Lenny Dykstra’s homerun in the 7th goes off Dwight Evans glove. They compare it to Dave Henderson’s play in Game 5 of the ACLS where a Bobby Grich flyball went out of his glove and over the wall for a homerun but this wasn’t nearly as bad. Evans had it on his webbing and it would have been a snow cone job if he caught it. If he timed his jump better he would have had it.   -Classic series or not, the last three games haven’t been very competitive.

Bored

Bored

 

MVP Watch #7

Not much of note in the N.L. this week accept the arrival of You Know Who for the first time this year.   #10 Chase Utley, Phillies .317/.382/.531, 71 RC, .294 EQA, 40.5 VORP, 17 Win Shares   #9 Barry Bonds, Giants .255/.477/.509, 63 RC, .333 EQA, 27.8 VORP, 17 Win Shares   #8 Nick Johnson, Nationals .302/.429/.535, 73 RC, .321 EQA, 39.0 VORP, 17 Win Shares   #7 Alfonso Soriano, Nationals .288/.361/.594, 83 RC, .305 EQA, 40.3 VORP, 20 Win Shares   #6 Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .330/.429/.545, 78 RC, .321 EQA, 42.8 VORP, 18 Win Shares   #5 David Wright, Mets .315/.387/.568, 83 RC, .308 EQA, 37.8 VORP, 20 Win Shares   #4 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 192 ERA+, 4.68 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP, 59.6 VORP, 18 Win Shares   #3 Carlos Beltran, Mets .274/.381/.598, 78 RC, .311 EQA, 40.2 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #2 Lance Berkman, Astros .318/.403/.602, 87 RC, .319 EQA, 41.0 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #1 Albert Pujols, Cardinals .328/.444/.713, 92 RC, .354 EQA, 56.0 VORP, 26 Win Shares     And the wide open A.L. race has a new #1.   #10 David Ortiz, Red Sox .281/.389/.607, 78 RC, .318 EQA, 42.8 VORP, 16 Win Shares   #9 Jermaine Dye, White Sox .316/.395/.620, 71 RC, .322 EQA, 37.6 VORP, 16 Win Shares   #8 Johan Santana, Twins 153 ERA+, 5.43 K/BB, 1.01 WHIP, 46.7 VORP, 16 Win Shares   #7 Francisco Liriano, Twins 237 ERA+, 4.31 K/BB, 0.97 WHIP, 47.5 VORP, 16 Win Shares   #6 Derek Jeter, Yankees .344/.423/.466, 76 RC, .314 EQA, 46.0 VORP, 18 Win Shares   #5 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays .322/.385/.624, 75 RC, .320 EQA, 51.5 VORP, 17 Win Shares   #4 Manny Ramirez, Red Sox .310/.429/.608, 78 RC, .334 EQA, 43.0 VORP, 19 Win Shares   #3 Jim Thome, White Sox .293/.408/.632, 85 RC, .330 EQA, 46.7 VORP, 18 Win Shares   #2 Travis Hafner, Indians .308/.438/.637, 92 RC, .351 EQA, 58.1 VORP, 17 Win Shares   #1 Joe Mauer, Twins .381/.457/.534, 69 RC, .334 EQA, 51.4 VORP, 20 Win Shares

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Bored

 

Where'd They Go?: 1993 Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers have been one of the more proud franchises in baseball history. That was until Mike Ilitch bought the team after the 1992 season. Before their ownership the Tigers had never endured more than four consecutive losing seasons. This year’s Tigers are just 17 wins away from ending 12 years of futility and are very likely to reach the postseason for the first time since 1987. But Ilitch's first year as owner was the Tigers last succesful one.   In the Tigers last winning season of ’93 they lead the Majors in runs scored with 899. They were of course helped by the hitter friendly Tiger Stadium but the offense was genuinely good. The pitching on the other hand allowed a Major League high 188 homeruns which although helped/hurt by Tiger Stadium the pitchers were genuinely bad. The Tigers started the season red hot as after a 12-1 spanking of the defending champs Toronto on June 12th they were 38-22 with a four game lead on the Jays. But just 10 days later a 12-9 loss to Baltimore would start a 10 game losing streak that they could never fully recover from.   C: Chad Kreuter (.286/.371/.484, 30.2 VORP, 16 Win Shares) – This was only one of two seasons that Kreuter played over 100 games in and was by far his best year. This would be the second of seven teams he would play for in his career. Went to Seattle in ’95 and then spent the following year with the White Sox. They traded him with Tony Phillips to the Angels in 1997. The Angels sent him back to Chicago late in 1998. Spent the following year in Kansas City and finally found a stable job with the Dodgers for three years. Began 2003 back where he started in Texas but was released a month into the season.   1B: Cecil Fielder (.267/.368/.464, 27.8 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – Fielder hit 30 homeruns with 117 rbi but those were quiet, big numbers as he was only 5th among Tigers regulars in slugging. He remained a very steady performer but never came close to his huge 1990 season. Tigers traded him to the Yankees for Ruben Sierra in 1996 where Cecil would have a good World Series going 9 for 23. His power numbers would slip dramatically after this and was washed by ’98 being released by both the Angels and Indians. Tried to make a return to Toronto in 1999 but failed to make the team. Has spent his post career gambling away the millions he earned and is now estranged from his son Price Fielder.   2B: Lou Whitaker (.290/.412/.449, 36.4 VORP, 19 Win Shares) – Sweet Lou’s career was winding down at this point but when he was in the line up he was still very productive. Would retire after 1995 when he played in just 84 games but put up a strong .293/.372/.518 line. One of the great tragedies in Hall of Fame voting as he received only 15 votes in his first year of eligibility, failing to stay on the ballot despite being very comparable to his HOF contemporary Ryne Sandberg. Whether Whitaker deserves to be in the HOF or not is open for debate, I believe he does, but it is a joke that he couldn’t even receive enough support stay on the ballot for more than a single season.   3B: Travis Fryman (.300/.379/.486, 56.7 VORP, 28 Win Shares) – This was Fryman’s breakout season at 24 but it would end up being his best season. He actually started more games at shortstop (81 to 68) but I had a choice of talking about Alan Trammell or Scott Livingstone so I of course put Fryman at 3rd. At the start of the year Fryman was at short and Trammell was at 3rd but the Tigers would realize that Fryman was much better defensively at 3rd and flipped them back. Traded to the expansion Diamondbacks after the 1997 season but would never suit up for them as he would be flipped to Cleveland two weeks later for Matt Williams. Would play the rest of his career with the Indians, highlighted by a great 2000 season, and retired after 2002.   SS: Alan Trammell (.329/.388/.496, 40.6 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – Coming off a year where he only played 29 games due to a broken ankle, the other side of the Tigers long time middle infield duo was also still productive when he was in the line up. Trammell of course spent his entire career in Detoit, retiring after 1996. Has faired better in HOF voting than Whitaker but is no where close to being elected, appearing on just 17.7% of the ballots in the most recent election.   LF: Tony Phillips (.313/.443/.398, 46.3 VORP, 25 Win Shares) – The previously light hitting, utility man Phillips had emerged as one of the top lead off hitters in the game due to his great ability to draw walks (132 in ’93) and this was his best year. Would spend one more season in Detroit before signing as a free agent with the Angels. Signed with the White Sox in ’96 who then traded him the previously mentioned deal with Chad Kreuter back to the Angels. In August of that year he would be caught smoking crack in an Anaheim hotel and really who hasn’t? He was released by the Angels before the 1998 season, then picked up by the Blue Jays two months later who would trade him after a month in a deadline deal to the Mets. Returned to Oakland in 1999 for his final season in the Majors.   CF: Milt Cuyler (.213/.276/.313, -7.4 VORP, 2 Win Shares) – A passable rookie year in 1991 some how convinced the Tigers to keep trotting Cuyler out to center for a couple of more years although in just in part time duty, he still played too much. Mysteriously still found part time Major League work for a few more years including a trip to Boston in 1996. But in 1998 he had a historic year with the Rangers putting up a jaw dropping .500/.571/1.333 line. Even with a batting average heavy OBP those number are insane. Oh wait it was only in 7 at bats…never mind.   RF: Rob Deer (.217/.302/.381, -3.1 VORP, 5 Win Shares) – Everybody’s favorite no batting average power hitter, Deer was a poor man’s Dave Kingman. Okay Deer actually could draw walks but holy shit he could not make any contact at all. He was about as true a “three outcome hitter” as you could get and the primary outcome was a strikeout. Did not finish the season in Detroit as he was traded to Boston in August. This appeared to be his last year in the Majors but in 1996 made a comeback with the Padres. In true Deer fashion he went 9 for 50 (seven of the hits for extra bases) and struck out 30 times.   DH: Kirk Gibson (.261/.337/.432, 15.4 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – Fuck him.   Utility: Mickey Tettleton (.245/.372/.492, 31.7 VORP, 24 Win Shares) – Tettleton started 51 games at catcher, 38 in RF, 35 at 1B, 16 in LF, and surprisingly only 3 at DH considering he couldn’t play any position well but hit for enough power that you needed him the line up everyday. Signed as a free agent with Texas after 1994 and spent his final three years there.   Rotation   Mike Moore (82 ERA+, 3.0 VORP, 7 Win Shares) – A big free agent signing for the Tigers before the season leaving the friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum for Tiger Stadium proved very hazardous to Moore’s ERA. The Tigers offense carried him to a 13-9 record. Never effective in Detroit, retired after 1995.   John Doherty (97 ERA+, 15.3 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – I remember little to nothing of Doherty and found little to nothing about him. His baseball-reference sponsor says he hurt his arm so I’ll believe it. Tigers waived him before the ’96 season and was picked up by the Red Sox, pitching in only three games.   David Wells (103 ERA+, 28.3 VORP, 10 Win Shares) – Was released right before the season by the Blue Jays, Wells would end up saving his career in Detroit. Tigers would trade him to the Reds in 1995 in a deadline deal. Spent the next year in Baltimore before signing with the Yankees where he became the GREATEST PITCHER OF ALL-TIME or something. Traded for Roger Clemens before 1999 to Toronto and then traded to the White Sox before 2001 in the “oh we didn’t know Mike Sirotka’s arm was dead” deal. After an injury filled year there he would return to the Yankees for two years. Played with the Padres in 2004 and then joined the Red Sox where is now just fat and injured.   Bill Gullickson (80 ERA+, -2.1 VORP, 5 Win Shares) – The long time mediocre Gullickson was just about at the end of his career here and would retire after the following year.   Closer: Mike Henneman (163 ERA+, 18.3 VORP, 11 Win Shares) – One of Henneman’s better seasons. Struggled badly the following year but rebound in 1995 where he’d be dealt in a waiver deal to Houston for Phil Nevin. Spent his final year in ’96 with Texas.

Bored

Bored

 

Award Redo: 1991 N.L. MVP

This is one that I’ve been putting off as it seemed too obvious for an entry. No one in there right mind thinks in 1991 that Terry Pendleton was a better player than Barry Bonds except apparently the 12 baseball writers who voted for Pendleton over Bonds. Now Pendleton winning wasn’t on the level of Andre Dawson winning in 1987 and actually after reviewing it there certainly have been several worse choices for MVP in the past.   There’s an easy answer as to why Pendleton won the MVP and that was because the Braves were the feel good story of 1991. The Braves had lost 89 games or more in six consecutive seasons and had lost 97 the year before. But that all changed in ’91 when they made a shocking run at the N.L. West title and Pendleton received a good portion of the credit for their run. After all he wasn’t with the Braves before ‘91 and when he joins the team they suddenly became good so it must have been because of him, or at least that was probably the logic of some writers. Now I don’t want to slam Pendleton, he had a great year and he was the MVP of the Braves that season as he had a career year offensively after appearing to be washed at age 29 just a year earlier with the Cardinals. What would hurt Bonds in the MVP voting was A) he won the MVP the year before and did not have as good a year to follow it up, B) the Pirates ran away with the East title while the Braves were in a dog fight into the final weekend with the Dodgers for the West title so in September all eyes were on Atlanta, and C) he was already the miserable prick we know today and thus not liked by the media. Pendleton and Bonds received 22 of the 24 first place votes with Bonds’ teammate Bobby Bonilla receiving one. Not sure why someone picked Bonilla over Bonds but it did not cost Bonds the award and Bonilla had a great year. The other first place vote though went to Brett Butler who I’m assuming received it from a Dodgers writer. Butler had a good year but far from deserving to win it and he only placed 7th in the overall voting.   Now what eventually convinced me to write an entry on this one had little to do with the winner of the award but one bizarre 10th place vote. Dave Martinez was with the Expos at the time and I don’t think MVP and Dave Martinez have ever been uttered before but yet he showed up one writer’s ballot that year. Martinez played in 124 games, received 427 plate appearances, with his Triple Crow stats at .295 avg, 7 hr, 42 rbi. It got me thinking as to how in the world did a writer justify giving Dave Martinez an MVP vote, even if only a 10th place? The Expos lost 90 games that year so it wasn’t like he had some relevant “clutch” hits down the stretch that would caused a writer to overrate him. The two best players on the Expos in 1991 were his outfield mates Ivan Calderon and Larry Walker so it’s hard to imagine his play was noticed more over those two. Then it donned on me…the writer meant to vote for his teammate Dennis Martinez. El Presidente won the N.L. ERA title and it’s completely conceivable for a writer to have given the league leader in ERA a 10th place vote. I can’t confirm this is what happened but there is no other logical explanation for it.   Actual Results 1) Terry Pendleton 2) Barry Bonds 3) Bobby Bonilla 4) Will Clark 5) Howard Johnson 6) Ron Gant 7) Brett Butler 8) Lee Smith 9) Fred McGriff 10) Darryl Strawberry 11) Tom Glavine 12t) Jay Bell 12t) David Justice 14t) Andre Dawson 14t) John Smiley 16) Tony Gwynn 17t) John Kruk 17t) Barry Larkin 17t) Ryne Sandberg 20t) Dave Martinez 20t) Chris Sabo 20t) Ozzie Smith   #10 .294/.367/.483, 97 RC, 139 OPS+, .311 EQA, 43.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #9 .259/.342/.535, 105 RC, 145 OPS+, .308 EQA, 47.2 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #8 153 ERA+, 2.78 K/BB, 1.10 WHIP, 55.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #7 .278/.396/.494, 104 RC, 147 OPS+, .322 EQA, 48.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #6 .304/.377/.454, 88 RC, 143 OPS+, .315 EQA, 54.2 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #5 .319/.363/.517, 111 RC, 139 OPS+, .308 EQA, 53.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #4 .302/.391/.492, 112 RC, 150 OPS+, .323 EQA, 49.9 VORP, 31 Win Shares   #3 .291/.379/.485, 109 RC, 137 OPS+, .310 EQA, 52.5 VORP, 37 Win Shares   #2 .301/.359/.536, 109 RC, 152 OPS+, .321 EQA, 53.2 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #1* .292/.410/.514, 109 RC, 161 OPS+, .337 EQA, 61.6 VORP, 37 Win Shares   See...I put an asterisk. Cause he's a cheater. HAHAHAHA. People who use asterisks to mock Bonds are so clever.   Anyways you to have to admit that's one prophetic card.

Bored

Bored

 

College Football in 1986

This year in college football there will be something called the BCS Championship Game or as I like to think of it, Fiesta Bowl II. It will match up the #1 and #2 teams in the BCS rankings and it will take place in the new Arizona Cardinals stadium which will be the new site of the Fiesta Bowl. It’s not a bowl game but it’ll be played at a bowl site the week after a bowl game was just played in it. It was the NCAA’s lame compromise they came up with for those who want to keep the bowl tradition and those who want a tournament or “plus one” format without actually addressing any of the flaws with the current format. But after it was after the 1986 regular season in the Fiesta Bowl where arguably the first true National Championship game may have ever taken place.   The landscape of college football was very different 20 years ago as many big time programs besides Notre Dame were still independents. Florida State, Boston College, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, South Carolina, and others were all independents. Two other national powerhouse independents would emerge as the #1 and #2 teams in the country in Miami and Penn State. Since neither had a conference affiliation thus neither was required to go to a particular bowl game. This is where the Fiesta Bowl came in as unlike the other major bowls they were not aligned with any conference to take their champion thus there able to invite both of the nation’s only undefeated teams. Miami were huge favorites with Heisman trophy winner Vinny Testaverde at quarterback, the Hurricanes beat their opponents by an average score of 38-12 during the regular season. Miami was the cockiest team on the planet at the time and infamously showed up to Tempe like this:     At a dinner to honor both teams the week of the game, the Hurricanes walked out of it. Jerome Brown was quoted as “Did the Japanese sit down and eat with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them?” You know equating yourself with the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor has never been the smartest thing to say. But Penn State would upset Miami 14-10 to win an undisputed national championship, intercepting Testaverde five times in the game. Four years later Penn State would join the Big Ten and spark the move of several independents to join conferences.   One other thing 1986 was also the Year of the Boz, probably the greatest marketing ever of a college athlete ever. Oklahoma's All-American linebacker Brian Bosworth created a complete alter ego for himself known as The Boz and made himself the most recognizable player in college football. Oklahoma won the Big 8 title but Bosworth would be suspended from the Orange Bowl for testing positive for steroids.   Here are useless facts from 1986.   Preseason AP Top 20   1. Oklahoma 2. Michigan 3. Miami 4. UCLA 5. Alabama 6. Penn State 7. Texas A&M 8. Nebraska 9. Ohio State 10. Tennessee 11. Florida State 12. Baylor 13. Florida 14. Auburn 15. LSU 16. Georgia 17. Washington 18. BYU 19. Arkansas 20. Michigan State   Top 20 Reguarl Season Match-ups   Week 1 #1 Oklahoma 38, #4 UCLA 3 #3 Miami 23, #13 Florida 15 #5 Alabama 16, #9 Ohio State 10   Week 2 #14 LSU 35, #7 Texas A&M 17 #17 Washington 40, #10 Ohio State 7   Week 3 #4 Alabama 21, #13 Florida 7 #7 Washington 52, #11 BYU 21   Week 4 #1 Miami 28, #2 Oklahoma 16 #5 Michigan 20, #20 Florida State 18 #12 USC 20, #6 Washington 10   Week 5 #11 Iowa 24, #17 Michigan State 21 #16 Arizona State 16, #15 UCLA 9   Week 6 #12 Washington 24, #18 Stanford 14   Week 7 #4 Michigan 20, #8 Iowa 17 #10 Arizona State 29, #15 USC 20 #11 Texas A&M 31, #20 Baylor 30   Week 8 #6 Penn State 23, #2 Alabama 3 #7 Auburn 35, #13 Mississippi State 6   Week 9 #1 Miami 41, #20 Florida State 23 #7 Arizona State 34, #6 Washington 21 #8 Alabama 38, #19 Mississippi State 3 #17 Ohio State 31, #11 Iowa 10 #18 USC 20, #14 Arizona 13   Week 10 #18 LSU 14, #6 Alabama 10   Week 11 #17 Arkansas 14, #17 Texas A&M 10 #10 Washington 17, #19 UCLA 17 tie   Week 12 #3 Oklahoma 20, #5 Nebraska 17 #14 Arizona 34, #4 Arizona State 17 #6 Michigan 26, #7 Ohio State 24 #18 UCLA 45, #10 USC 25   Week 13 #14 Auburn 21, #7 Alabama 17   Bowl Games (MVP) California: San Jose State 37, Miami of Ohio 7 (Mike Perez) Independence: Mississippi 20, Texas Tech 17 (Mark Young) Hall of Fame: Boston College 27, #17 Georgia 24 (James Jackson, Georgia) Sun: #13 Alabama 28, #12 Washington 6 (Cornelius Bennett) Aloha: #16 Arizona 30, North Carolina 21 (Alfred Jenkins) Gator: Clemson 27, #20 Stanford 21 (Rodney Williams) Liberty: Tennessee 21, Minnesota 14 (Jeff Francis) Holiday: #19 Iowa 39, San Diego State 38 (Mark Vlasic) Freedom: #15 UCLA 31, BYU 10 (Gaston Green) Bluebonnet: #14 Baylor 21, Colorado 9 (Ray Berry) All-American: Florida State 27, Indiana 13 (Sammie Smith) Peach: Virginia Tech 25, #18 N.C. State 24 (Erik Kramer, N.C. State) Rose: #7 Arizona State 22, #4 Michigan 15 (Jeff Van Raaphorst) Citrus: #10 Auburn 16, USC 7 (Aundray Bruce) Cotton: #11 Ohio State 28, #8 Texas A&M 12 (Chris Spielman) Orange: #3 Oklahoma 42, #9 Arkansas 8 (Spencer Tillman) Sugar: #6 Nebraska 30, #5 LSU 15 (Steve Taylor) Fiesta: #2 Penn State 14, #1 Miami 10 (Shane Conlan)   Final AP Top 20   1. Penn State 2. Miami 3. Oklahoma 4. Arizona State 5. Nebraska 6. Auburn 7. Ohio State 8. Michigan 9. Alabama 10. LSU 11. Arizona 12. Baylor 13. Texas A&M 14. UCLA 15. Arkansas 16. Iowa 17. Clemson 18. Washington 19. Boston College 20. Virginia Tech   All-Americans   QB Vinny Testaverde, Miami   RB Brent Fullwood, Auburn Paul Palmer, Temple Terrence Flagler, Clemson Brad Muster, Stanford   WR Cris Carter, Ohio State Wendall Davis, LSU Tim Brown Notre Dame   TE Keith Jackson, Oklahoma   OL Jeff Bregel, USC Randy Dixon, Pittsburgh Danny Villa, Arizona State John Clay, Missouri Ben Tamburello, Auburn Jeff Zimmerman, Florida Chris Conlin, Penn State Dave Croston, Iowa Paul Kiser, Wake Forest John Elliott, Michigan Randal McDaniel, Arizona State Mark Hutson, Oklahoma Harris Barton, North Carolina John Phillips, Clemson   DL Jerome Brown, Miami Danny Noonan, Nebraska Tony Woods, Pittsburgh Jason Buck, BYU Reggie Rogers, Washington Tim Johnson, Penn State   LB Cornelius Bennett, Alabama Shane Conlan, Penn State Brian Bosworth, Oklahoma Chris Spielman, Ohio State Terry Maki, Air Force   DB Thomas Everett, Baylor Tim McDonald, USC Bennie Blades, Miami Rod Woodson, Purdue Garland Rivers, Michigan John Little, Georgia Gordon Lockbaum, Holy Cross Mark Moore, Oklahoma State   K Jeff Jaeger, Washington Marty Zendejas, Nevada Jeff Ward, Texas   P Barry Helton, Colorado Greg Horne, Arkansas Bill Smith, Mississippi Greg Montgomery, Michigan State

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Bored

 

World Series DVDs: Game 3

1975 World Series – Reds 6, Red Sox 5 10 Innings (boxscore and play account)   -Like Game 2 this game is incomplete on the disk. With one out in the bottom of the 7th a screen comes up acknowledging that a portion of the game is missing from the archives. Now when the action returns I have no idea what part of the game until a couple minutes later when the announcers mention that it’s the top of the 9th. It would have been nice for them to add a graphic telling you what part of the game they had jumped to. Thankfully the Dwight Evans’ game tying homerun in the 9th isn’t missed.   -The video quality is the poorest so far of any of the games. Makes me wonder if they’ll be able to put together any pre-70’s World Series sets or not.   -Curt Gowdy wonders aloud if Pete Rose can get to 3000 hits or not. Considering he’d already cleared 2500 that year at age 34 I can’t imagine to many people thought there’d be much doubt about that.   -I’m amused again by the fact that Joe Morgan apparently didn’t like runners trying to steal when he was up. That’s not SMARTBALL~ Joe!   -Clay Carroll comes into pitch in the 7th with the Reds up 5-2 and Tom Brennaman (part of the rotating announce crew that I mentioned in the Game 1 entry) calls it a “saving situation” which tells you how much the role of relievers has changed. Carroll wasn’t the Reds primary closer though as he only had 7 saves during the regular season.   -1975 technology gone mad: With Johnny Bench up in the 9th, NBS puts an image of Bench's wife over the upper righthand corner of the screen (see the screencap) and continue to shoot a side camera angle of Bench for the first three pitches with his wife looking on. I hope Fox producers have never seen this.   -Big controversy in the bottom of the 10th as with Cesar Geronimo on first and none out, Ed Armbrister comes up to pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot specifically to bunt. He lays down a terrible bunt right in front of home plate. As Carlton Fisk tries to get to the ball Armbrister gets in his way. Fisk gets to the ball but uncorks a wild throw to second that gets by the bag and Geronimo advances to third while Armbrister ends up on second. Fisk is furious and rightfully so as it should have been interference. A couple of batters later Joe Morgan ends it with a base hit (sorry, "manufactured a run") and the Red Sox drop a second straight heartbreaker.   -During all of this the crowd was rather subdued for a World Series extra inning game.   1979 World Series – Orioles 8, Pirates 4 (boxscore and play account)   -Like Game 2 the network graphics are missing from the footage of this game. Hope it’s not this way the rest of the series.   -Al Michaels fills in for Keith Jackson as Jackson has to do a college football game the next day. It’s been too long since I heard Michaels call baseball.   -Both teams are wearing classic whites and greys for this game rather than the usual softball uniforms.   -Michaels calls Three Rivers a beautiful ball park. Well this was 1979 and it was very much the age of the giant, multi-purpose stadiums so maybe Three Rivers was considered nice for the time, what do I know?   -Unfortunately Cosell still hasn’t said anything particularly interesting in the entire series although he goes on a couple of mini-rants about the baseball writer’s blaming ABC for the bad weather or something, couldn’t quite figure out what he was talking about.   1986 World Series – Mets 7, Red Sox 1 (boxscore and play account)   -Vin Scully mentions that Oil Can Boyd has hepatitis. Well that’s good to know.   -Now in the ‘75 Series in Cincinnati when Carlton Fisk homered in the 2nd there seemed to be a decent number of Red Sox fans in the stands. Now for this series for the first two games in New York when the Red Sox would make a big play there was seemingly not a single Red Sox fan in the stands. This took me by surprise as today at every Red Sox road game there are thousands of bandwagon…uh I mean lifelong SAWX fans in the stands no matter where the game is played. Then what is interesting as the ’86 Series goes to Boston after Lenny Dykstra leads off the game with a homerun there is a noticeable number of Mets fans in the crowd and even a very light “Let’s Go Mets” chant starts.   -Oil Can Boydism: Quoted earlier in the year after a game that was fogged out in Cleveland as saying “What do you expect when you build a stadium near the ocean?”   -With the Mets up 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth the Red Sox fans start doing…the wave!? The wave in Fenway Park? Who knew?   -Scully makes a somewhat interesting parallel from the previous World Series where another high strung pitcher in Joaquin Andujar made the start in Game 3 and lost the game that let the Royals back in that series.

Bored

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MVP Watch #6/First Half Awards

First half awards, except Manager of the Year which I could careless about. The smart managers are usually smart every year and the dumb managers are usually dumb every year. The award itself is striclty based preseason predictions and who exceeds them.   National League   Starting with the MVP of course in my view it is still Albert Pujols' award to lose but in the view of the baseball writer's it appers to be David Wright's award to lose. If the Mets continue to blow away the rest of the N.L. and Wright continues to hit as his current pace he many win the award rather easiy. As you'll see I don't even consider Wright the best player on his team in the first half. Carlos Beltran is getting zero respect simply because he signed a huge contract and because he underachived last year. You'll hear Jose Reyes' name mentioned for MVP more than Beltran's.   10. Nick Johnson, Nationals .295/.421/.538, 65 RC, .319 EQA, 33.8 VORP, 16 Win Shares   9. Carlos Lee, Brewers .290/.353/.563, 69 RC, .297 EQA, 27.8 VORP, 17 Win Shares   8. Bobby Abreu, Phillies .293/.447/.467, 69 RC, .312 EQA, 27.8 VORP, 17 Win Shares   7. Jose Reyes, Mets .300/.357/.481, 71 RC, .285 EQA, 34.5 VORP, 17 Win Shares   6. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 183 ERA+, 4.90 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP, 51.2 VORP, 15 Win Shares   5. David Wright, Mets .316/.386/.575, 75 RC, .310 EQA, 36.8 VORP, 17 Win Shares   4. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .334/.442/.566, 73 RC, .325 EQA, 42.2 VORP, 16 Win Shares   3. Lance Berkman, Astros .317/.405/.607, 77 RC, .320 EQA, 36.9 VORP, 19 Win Shares   2. Carlos Beltran, Mets .279/.388/.606, 69 RC, .315 EQA, 38.7 VORP, 20 Win Shares   1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals .316/.435/.703, 79 RC, .350 EQA, 46.4 VORP, 22 Win Shares   For Cy Young this was a pretty easy choice of Brandon Webb as he's been a cut above the competition all year. Jason Schmidt is not getting any notice because of a 6-5 record but he's been dominant. For 3rd it was a toss up between Chris Capuano and Bronson Arroyo but I gave the nod to Capuano for his K/BB ratio.   3. Chris Capuano, Brewers 141 ERA+, 4.48 K/BB, 1.18 WHIP, 39.0 VORP, 13 Win Shares   2. Jason Schmidt, Giants 163 ERA+, 2.50 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP, 44.4 VORP, 12 Win Shares   1. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks   Rookie of the Year is another fairly easy choice of Dan Uggla although if I had to bet I think Ryan Zimmerman may end up emerging as the top rookie by the end of the year. Prince Fielder has only 8 Win Shares and a .320 OBP in case you were wondering where he is.   3. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins .271/.337/.413, 50 RC, .268 EQA, 19.1 VORP, 10 Win Shares   2. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals .287/.350/.478, 58 RC, .278 EQA, 15.3 VORP, 13 Win Shares   1. Dan Uggla, Marlins .307/.366/.510, 61 RC, .292 EQA, 30.0 VORP, 13 Win Shares   American League   Travis Hafner I think deserves the crown as the most underrated player in baseball now. He's arguably been the best hitter in baseball not named Albert Pujols over the last two and a half years yet he still has yet to make an All-Star team. The race is wide open but Hafner doesn't have a prayer unless the Indians go on another second half run and even then it seems highly unlikely they'll get close enough to the Tigers and White Sox for anyone to really notice. Where's David Ortiz? This was actually the first time all year I even gave consideration to Ortiz but he ended about 12th for me. The writers love him because he's "clutch" yet he's hitting a modest .280 with RISP and of course because he leads the leauge in the almighty RBI. Manny Ramirez is besting him in AVG/OBP/SLG and has hit .303 with RISP.   10. Curtis Granderson, Tigers .278/.367/.462, 64 RC, .285 EQA, 23.1 VORP, 17 Win Shares   9. Carl Crawford, Devil Rays .319/.359/.521, 72 RC, .297 EQA, 28.9 VORP, 17 Win Shares   8. Jason Giambi, Yankees .260/.415/.611, 70 RC, .329 EQA, 33.5 VORP, 15 Win Shares   7. Johan Santana, Twins 155 ERA+, 5.75 K/BB, 1.00 WHIP, 42.9 VORP, 15 Win Shares   6. Derek Jeter, Yankees .345/.427/.462, 68 RC, .314 EQA, 42.0 VORP, 16 Win Shares   5. Jermaine Dye, White Sox .318/.397/.646, 66 RC, .326 EQA, 36.2 VORP, 16 Win Shares   4. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox .306/.434/.615, 70 RC, .335 EQA, 38.4 VORP, 17 Win Shares   3. Joe Mauer, Twins .378/.447/.535, 60 RC, .331 EQA, 44.2 VORP, 18 Win Shares   2. Jim Thome, White Sox .298/.414/.651, 80 RC, .334 EQA, 43.4 VORP, 18 Win Shares   1. Travis Hafner, Indians .322/.461/.650, 88 RC, .361 EQA, 55.8 VORP, 17 Win Shares   For Cy Young there are three candidates that are head and shoulders above everyone else. I couldn't put Liriano over Santana and Halladay because Liriano has thrown 40+ fewer innings. If they were hitters he'd have about 120+ less plate appearances. That's tough to make up.   3. Francisco Liriano, Twins 250 ERA+, 4.43 K/BB, 0.97 WHIP, 41.9 VORP, 14 Win Shares   2. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays 164 ERA+, 4.50 K/BB, 1.03 WHIP, 44.0 VORP, 14 Win Shares   1. Johan Santana, Twins   ROY was a pretty easy list to put together. Myself personally I think both Liriano and Papelbon will level off in the second half as there is no way two rookie pitcher's are going to be this unstoppable all year long. Papelbon's ERA+ is insane but he'll have some bad luck eventually that will shoot that ERA up.   3. Justin Verlander, Tigers 147 ERA+, 2.09 K/BB, 1.17 WHIP, 35.4 VORP, 12 Win Shares   2. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox 803 ERA+, 5.88 K/BB, 0.72 WHIP, 28.3 VORP, 12 Win Shares   1. Francisco Liriano, Twins

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Where'd They Go?: 1987 Boston Red Sox

My 1987 A.L. MVP Redo helped me find my next “Where’d They Go?” subject as there was one team that year that had three players in my top 10, that being the Boston Red Sox. Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Dwight Evans all had great years and having three players of that caliber playing for the defending A.L. Champs you’d think that'd lead to a successful year. They finished 78-84. What happened?   Obviously three stars can not lead a team of 25 to a championship. After you got past those three and Mike Greenwell the ’87 Sox were a terrible team. They spent just one day over .500 (8-7 on April 22nd) the entire season. The major problem was pitching as they posted 4.77 team ERA, only Baltimore and Cleveland were worse. The bullpen was particularly awful with an ERA of 5.42 and only 16 saves. Maybe the most glaring problem for the Red Sox was they were seemingly a completely different team on the road. They were a very strong 50-30 at home. They were a miserable 28-54 on the road.   C: Marc Sullivan (.169/.198/.238, -14.7 VORP, 2 Win Shares) – 14 OPS+. 14! How is that even possible for a non-pitcher? Sullivan was part of a three headed non-hitting monster at catcher for the Sox along Rich Gedman and John Marzano. The previously reliable Gedman heldout the first month of the season and then had a thumb injury midseason. How in the world was Sullivan in the Majors you ask? His dad Haywood Sullivan was co-owner of the Red Sox at the time. Aww nepotism. This would be Sullivan’s last year in the bigs.   1B: Dwight Evans (.305/.417/.569, 57.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares) – Dewey was moved to first in July after they released Bill Buckner. Evans struggled badly at first and I’m not sure why they chose to move him to first instead of rookie Todd Benzinger who got the majority of time in right field the remainder of the year. I guess maybe the thinking was with Evans being 35 they wanted to attempt to extend his career by moving him to first. Stayed with the Red Sox thru 1990 and spent his final year in Baltimore. Deserved a lot more support for the Hall of Fame than he got, which was almost no support at all.   2B: Marty Barrett (.293/.351/.351, 18.1 VORP, 16 Win Shares) – Barrett had a decent year after his career year of ’86. In 1989 a knee injury cut his year, and eventually career, short and rookie Jody Reed took his job from there. Left the Sox after 1990 and had a brief stint in 1991 with the Padres before being released.   3B: Wade Boggs (.363/.461/.588, 90.1 VORP, 32 Win Shares) – Boggs was well into his peek here with another MVP caliber season winning his third of four straight batting titles. This was the one year that Boggs showed serious power as he hit 24 homeruns in an assumed juiced ball year. His production dipped severely in 1992 and after that year he signed as a free agent with the Yankees where rebounded with a great year in 1994 and won his only World Series ring in 1996. Closed out his career with the Devil Rays, retiring after 1999. He actually gave his HOF cap rights to the D-Rays as part of his contract but thankfully the HOF changed it’s rules and players no longer are able choose the cap they wear on their plaque. Inducted with a Red Sox cap last year.   SS: Spike Owen (.259/.337/.343, 10.7 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – Owen sure made a career out of being a weak hitter and unspectacular defensive shortstop. Traded after 1988 to the Expos where he’d spend four years. Traded again after 1993 to the Yankees. In 1994 with the Angels he put up a shocking .310/.418/.422 line in 82 games but he went back to his usual numbers in ’95 which was his final season.   LF: Jim Rice (.277/.357/.408, 9.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares) – This was the year where Rice seemed to age about five years as he was hobbled with knee problems. Moved to DH the following year but that failed to really extend his career and he retired after 1989. His HOF support is continuing to grow and though he’ll have no shot for 2007 with the Ripken/Gwynn ballot, I will not be surprised if he is elected on the 2008 ballot over the more deserving Tim Raines.   CF: Ellis Burks (.272/.324/.441, 17.4 VORP, 15 Win Shares) – Solid rookie year for Burks who was just 22 at the time. Had his first of many injuries in 1989 when he was limited to 97 games due to a shoulder injury. In his 18 year career he only played more than 140 games in a season four times but when he was in the line up he was usually great. Signed with the White Sox in 1993 for one season and then signed with the Rockies. Traded in a deadline deal to the Giants in 1998 and played there thru 2000. Spent the next three years in Cleveland and made a return to the Red Sox in 2004 but only played in 11 games.   OF: Mike Greenwell (.328/.386/.570, 41.9 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – This was Greenwell’s “rookie” year but he had played parts of the last two seasons and started 61 games in left, 28 games in right, and 15 games at DH. Really broke out the following year finishing in the Top 5 in the A.L. in average, OBP, SLG, hits, rbi, and a few other categories. He finished 2nd in the MVP voting but would never come close to match that year again. Would spend his entire MLB career in Boston, leaving after 1996 to play in Japan.   DH: Don Baylor (.239/.355/.404, 9.7 VORP, 7 Win Shares) – Boston stats only as Baylor would be traded with a month left in the season to the Twins. He was playing on borrowed time at this point although he would have a great World Series. Played his final year in 1988 with Oakland.   Rotation   Roger Clemens (154 ERA+, 92.8 VORP, 28 Win Shares) – Who?   Bruce Hurst (103 ERA+, 40.2 VORP, 15 Win Shares) – Hurst was the only other competent pitcher on the Sox, starters or bullpen, although this wasn’t a particularly good year for him. Oddly enough made the All-Star team but Clemens didn’t. Signed as a free agent with the Padres in 1989 and had arguably his best year posting a 2.69 ERA. Had three good years in San Diego but a shoulder problem hampered him in 1992 and he found out after the season he had a torn rotator cuff. Only would pitch 51 innings after that, traded to the Rockies midseason in 1993 and then spent 1994 with the Rangers.   Al Nipper (84 ERA+, 4.5 VORP, 6 Win Shares) – Nipper was a junkballer who fooled some hitters a few years earlier when he first came up to the Majors but by this time he was figured out. Sox traded him and Calvin Schiraldi to the Cubs in an absolute fleecing to get Lee Smith. Nipper actually did pitch fairly well splitting time between starter and reliever in ’88. Was released right before the 1989 season and did not pitch in the Majors that year. Not sure if he was injured or in the minors. Pitched 24 innings for the Indians in 1990, his final year.   Jeff Sellers (86 ERA+, 10.7 VORP, 6 Win Shares) – Supposedly had great stuff but apparently never knew where it was going. Traded after 1988 to Cincinnati in the Nick Esasky deal and never pitched in the Majors again.   Bob Stanley (91 ERA+, 8.8 VORP, 5 Win Shares) – This was a forgettable return to starter for Stanley who’d only made two starts in the previous six years. The workhorse reliever was moved back to the bullpen the following season and had a good year but struggled in 1989, announcing his retirement at the end of the season.   Closer: Wes Gardner (84 ERA+, 7.0 VORP, 4 Win Shares) – Red Sox didn’t really have a closer for their awful bullpen but Gardner picked up 10 of the 16 saves. Spent the following year as a long reliever/fifth starter and had his only productive year in the Majors. Traded to the Padres after 1990, splitting his final year with them and the Royals.

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College Football in 1991

I've been trying for a while to figure out some sort reoccurring entry for what's become my favorite sport to watch on television in the last several years and that's college football. But I haven't been able to come up with anything to this point so I figured I'd post some memories and some useless facts which is what this blog was created for.   As I've said before my "sports life" began in 1986 but it wasn't until 1991 that I took a true interest in college football. Really two things stuck out and that was Desmond Howard and that Stanford had a good team for the first time in a while. Howard was the hyped player that seemed to deliver every week. I will never forget watching that Michigan/Ohio State game when he struck the Heisman pose after a punt return for a touchdown. There was this sense from the announcers and the crowd that right before the punt that he was going to do something big. Him striking that pose in perfect unison with Keith Jackson's "Hello Heisman" call is I think one of the truly cool moments sports history.   Now since I had started following sports with a rabid interest Stanford had been lackluster in football, except in 1986 when they played in the Gator Bowl but again I wasn't into college football at the time. The year before they had pulled off a shocking upset of then #1 Notre Dame in South Bend but need nothing of note after that. In '91 they had an early season upset of Colorado but were only 2-3 after five games. Starting quarterback Jason Polumbus was knocked with a shoulder injury and back up Steve Stenstrom took over, leading the Cardinal to six straight victories and just their second bowl bid in 13 years. I still have on tape and watch at least once a year their 38-21 ass kicking of then #6 Cal in the Big Game that year with "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell scoring three td's.   Now on to the useless facts. 1991 may have been as reponsible as any year for the creation of the BCS because it ended with a split national champ between two undefeated schools who could not play each other in the bowls, Miami and Washington. Miami was ranked higher in the preseason poll so they ended up higher than Washington at the end of the season although it was near upset against a weak Boston College team (week after Wide Right I) that cost Miami the top spot in the Coaches' Poll.   Preseason AP Top 25 1. Florida State 2. Michigan 3. Miami 4. Washington 5. Florida 6. Notre Dame 7. Penn State 8. Georgia Tech 9. Clemson 10. Oklahoma 11. Tennessee 12. Houston 13. Colorado 14. Texas 15. Nebraska 16. USC 17. Auburn 18. Iowa 19. BYU 20. Michigan State 21. Texas A&M 22. Alabama 23. Ohio State 24. UCLA 25. Syracuse   Top 25 Regular Season Match-ups   Week 1 #7 Penn State 34, #8 Georgia Tech 22 #1 Florida State 44, #19 BYU 28   Week 2 #23 UCLA 27, #25 BYU 23   Week 3 #2 Miami 40, #10 Houston 10 #3 Michigan 24, #7 Notre Dame 14 #6 Florida 35, #16 Alabama 0 #11 Tennessee 30, #21 UCLA 16 #23 Baylor 16, #12 Colorado 14   Week 4 #4 Washington 36, #9 Nebraska 21 #18 Syracuse 38, #5 Florida 21 #6 Tennessee 26, #23 Mississippi State 24   Week 5 #1 Florida State 51, #3 Michigan 31 #5 Tennessee 30, #13 Auburn 21 #7 Clemson 9, #19 Georgia Tech 7 #14 Florida 29, #21 Mississippi State 7 #16 Nebraska 18, #24 Arizona State 9   Week 6 #1 Florida State 46, #10 Syracuse 14 #7 Michigan 43, #9 Iowa 24 #18 California 27, #24 UCLA 24 #19 N.C. State 28, #21 Georgia Tech 21   Week 7 #2 Miami 26, #9 Penn State 20 #10 Florida 35, #4 Tennessee 18 #7 Notre Dame 42, #12 Pittsburgh 7 #20 Illinois 10, #11 Ohio State 7 #22 Georgia 37, #23 Mississippi State 17   Week 8 #3 Washington 24, #7 California 17 #14 Alabama 24, #8 Tennessee 19 #22 Colorado 34, #12 Oklahoma 17 #15 Iowa 24, #13 Illinois 21 #19 Texas A&M 34, #16 Baylor 12 #24 Syracuse 31, #20 Pittsburgh 27   Week 9 #19 Clemson 29, #12 N.C. State 19 #20 East Carolina 24, #23 Pittsburgh 23   Week 10 #9 Nebraska 19, #15 Colorado 19 tie #11 Iowa 16, #13 Ohio State 9 #21 Baylor 9, #24 Arkansas 5   Week 11 #13 Tennessee 35, #5 Notre Dame 34 #6 Florida 45, #23 Georgia 13 #10 Iowa 38, #25 Indiana 21 #24 Virginia 42, #18 N.C. State 10   Week 12 #2 Miami 17, #1 Florida State 16 #4 Michigan 20, #25 Illinois 0 #8 Penn State 35, #12 Notre Dame 13   Week 13 #4 Michigan 31, #18 Ohio State 3 #21 Stanford 38, #6 California 21   Week 14 #5 Florida 14, #3 Florida State 9 #11 Nebraska 19, #19 Oklahoma 14   Bowl Games California: Bowling Green 28, Fresno State 21 (MVP, Mark Szlachcic) Aloha: Georgia Tech 18, #17 Stanford 17 (MVP, Shawn Jones) Blockbuster: #8 Alabama 30, #15 Colorado 25 (MVP, David Palmer) Liberty: Air Force 38, Mississippi State 15 (MVP, Rob Perez) Independence: #24 Georgia 24, Arkansas 15 (MVP, Andre Hastings) Gator: #20 Oklahoma 48, Virginia 14 (MVP, Cale Gundy) Holiday: BYU 13, #7 Iowa 13 tie (MVP, Ty Detmer) Freedom: #23 Tulsa 28, San Diego Sate 17 (MVP, Ron Jackson) Copper: Indiana 24, Baylor 0 (MVP, Vaughn Dunbar) Sun: #22 UCLA 6, Illinois 3 (MVP, Arnold Ale) Citrus: #14 California 37, #13 Clemson 13 (MVP, Mike Pawlawski) Peach: #12 East Carolina 37, #21 N.C. State 34 (MVP, Jeff Blake) Cotton: #5 Florida State 10, #9 Texas A&M 2 (MVP, Sean Jackson) Orange: #1 Miami 22, #11 Nebraska 0 (MVP, Larry Jones) Fiesta: #6 Penn State 42, #10 Tennessee 17 (MVP, O.J. McDuffie) Hall of Fame: #16 Syracuse 24, #25 Ohio State 17 (MVP, Marvin Graves) Rose: #2 Washington 34, #4 Michigan 14 (MVP, Steve Emtman) Sugar: #18 Notre Dame 39, #3 Florida 28 (MVP, Jerome Bettis)   Final AP Top 25 1. Miami 2. Washington 3. Penn State 4. Florida State 5. Alabama 6. Michigan 7. Florida 8. California 9. East Carolina 10. Iowa 11. Syracuse 12. Texas A&M 13. Notre Dame 14. Tennessee 15. Nebraska 16. Oklahoma 17. Georgia 18. Clemson 19. UCLA 20. Colorado 21. Tulsa 22. Stanford 23. BYU 24. N.C. State 25. Air Force   All-Americans   QB Ty Detmer, BYU Casey Weldon, Florida State   RB Vaughn Dunbar, Indiana Trevor Cobb, Rice Russell White, California Amp Lee, Florida State Marshall Faulk, San Diego State   WR Desmond Howard, Michigan Mario Bailey, Washington Carl Pickens, Tennessee   TE Kelly Blackwell, TCU Derek Brown, Notre Dame Mark Chmura, Boston College   OL Greg Skrepenak, Michigan Bob Whitfield, Stanford Jeb Flesch, Clemson Jerry Ostroski, Tulsa Mirko Jurkovic, Notre Dame Jay Leeuwenburg, Colorado Eugene Chung, Virginia Tech Leon Searcy, Miami Troy Auzenne, California Ray Roberts, Virginia Tim Simpson, Illinois   DL Steve Emtman, Washington Santana Dotson, Baylor Brad Culpepper, Florida Leroy Smith, Iowa Joel Steed, Colorado Shane Dronett, Texas Rob Bodine, Clemson Robert Stewart, Alabama   LB Robert Jones, East Carolina Marvin Jones, Florida State Levon Kirkland, Colorado Marco Coleman, Georgia Tech David Hoffman, Washington Steve Tovar, Ohio State Joe Bowden, Oklahoma Darrin Smith, Miami Erick Anderson, Michigan   DB Terrell Buckely, Florida State Dale Carter, Tennessee Kevin Smith, Texas A&M Darryl Williams, Miami Darren Perry, Penn State Troy Vincent, Wisconsin   K Carlos Huerta, Miami Jason Hanson, Washington State   P Mark Bounds, Texas Tech   KR Qadry Ismail, Syrcause   PR Kevin Williams, Miami

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World Series DVDs: Game 2

I've finished watching Game 2 of all three series so here are some of my notes.   1975 World Series Game 2 - Reds 3, Red Sox 2 (boxscore and play account)   -This game is incomplete on the disk. Apparantly the top of the 2nd is missing from the film archives. Thankfully it was just a 1-2-3 inning for the Reds.   -OBP gets it's first notice I think in all three of the series here although it's referred to as "on base average" as they have a graphic when Joe Morgan is up mentioning that he led the league in that category although the announcers don't mention it.   -They hype several times during the game a feature Sunday Night special NFL game between the Raiders and Chiefs that was following the game. Chiefs beat the Raiders 42-10 that night.   -Morgan continues his whining from Game 1 here and even tries to fake getting hit by a pitch in the 6th by claiming the ball grazed his jersey and then pitched a fit when they wouldn't give him the base. Replays show it didn't hit him. Two games of watching him and I'm already hating him as a player. I took joy in him getting thrown out trying to steal in the 7th right after Tony Kubek said he probably shouldn't be stealing with Johnny Bench up. SMARTBALL~!   -Speaking of SMARTBALL~ this game ended up being decided on what Joe would refer to as "manufacturing runs" but was really more luck than anything. With the Red Sox up 2-1 going into the 9th, Bench led off with a double. Tony Perez would hit a soft ground ball to short which allowed Bench to move to 3rd which I'm sure Perez was trying to do. George Foster would pop up to left, which was not deep enough to score Bench. Then with two outs Dave Concepcion hits a slow chopper up the middle that Red Sox second baseman Denny Doyle has to eat and allows Bench to score the tying run. Ken Griffey would double next to give the Reds the lead. Just think if Concepcion hits a line drive right at Doyle, the Red Sox would have been up 2-0, maybe won the series, and saved the world from being subjected to Fever Pitch.   1979 World Series Game 2 - Pirates 3, Orioles 2 (boxscore and play account)   -The graphics are missing from the footage of this game.   -I forgot to mention this in the Game 1 notes but sitting right directly behind home plate in both games is that John 3:16 guy who wore a rainbow colored wig. Never holds up any John 3:16 sign here though. What's funny here is that ABC puts a camerman right directly in front of him during this game to try obstruct the view of him. You never once see a shot from the behind homeplate so clearly the camera wasn't turned on.   -ABC thankfully cut back on the number of player's wive shots in this game but they do show Ken Singleton's wife for the first time and she knocks out Doug DeCinces' wife for the hottest wife of the series.   -Several Pirates have stars on their caps that were given by Willie Stargell during the season which were called "Stargell's Stars." Bert Blyleven, who started this game, had none. Man fuck Willie. Even by his peers Blyleven was undervalued. They'd play an interview with Blyleven before the game and it's brought up how baseball writers didn't think he could win a big game.   -The announce during the game that J.R. Richard had signed a four-year contract to stay in Houston rather than test the free agent market. It would be that following year when he'd have his stroke.   -Sorta like game Game 2 of '75 this game ends up being won on some fortunate bounces. Game was tied 2-2 going into the 9th, with two out Pirates catcher Ed Ott hit a groundball to 2nd which takes a bad hop right before Billy Smith can field it and it bounces away from him. Phil Garner would walk and then Manny Sanguillen hit a pinch hit single that would be the game winner.   1986 World Series Game 2 - Red Sox 9, Mets 3 (boxscore and play account)   -I can't even imagine the hype that when into this game as it was a match-up of Roger Clemens vs. Dwight Gooden which was about as epic of a pitching match-up you could get in 1986. As you can tell just looking by the score it didn't live up to the hype although they did have to follow up a 1-0 game. Neither pitcher had much of anything going for them in this one.   -Howard Johnson started at 3rd for this game in place of a slumping Ray Knight which ironically enough Dickhead Knight would end up being the World Series MVP.   -The Mets were just crushing Clemens but every deep flyball they hit seemed to die at the track. You knew it wasn't their night by what happened in the 4th and 5th. Dave Henderson led off the 4th with a homerun for the Sox. Then in the bottom of the inning Darryl Strawberry and Howard Johnson both hit balls that looked like and sounded like homeruns when they left at the bat but both barely stayed in the park. Davey Johnson then decideds not to pinch hit in the inning for Gooden, who was already looking bad at that point, and then top of the 5th he gives up a two run shot to Dwight Evans.   -It's kind of tough to tell in the screencap but in the bottom of the 6th some fan threw a ball at Jim Rice while he was catching a flyball.   -Strawberry struck out twice in each of the first eight postseason games.   -Everytime I here Scully say "a little roller up along first" I expect the next words to be "BEHIND THE BAG! IT GETS THROUGH BUCKNER!"   -Interesting to note that in this series and the '75 Series not once has the word "curse" come up yet. I really wonder if the "curse" nonsense didn't really pick up steam until after this series. Forgetting what happened in Game 6 it's amazing when you think about that the previous year the Royals became the first team ever to lose the first two games in the World Seires at home and comeback to win the series. What were the odds that the same thing would happen two years in a row after never happening before? The Red Sox had to feel good about themselves at this point and this particular game wasn't even as close as the score indicated.

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Award Redo: 1987 A.L. MVP

Okay I've redone all the 80's MVPs but this was one that I kind of have been wanting to do an entry for. The main reason is because 1987 was the year that my favorite player of all-time Mark McGwire burst on to the scene by completely obliterating the rookie homerun record with 49 homeruns. It's really one of those records that it's hard to imagine it ever being broken as Mike Piazza's 35 in 1993 is the most by a rookie since. In the Summer of '87 everyone was going out of their way to buy up as many of McGwire's Olympic card from the 1985 Topps set as they could. Now I know McGwire wasn't the MVP but I had always had it my head that he had a better year than the winner of the MVP that year.   The writer's pick for A.L. MVP was George Bell as he won it in a tight race over Alan Trammell, receiving 16 first place votes to Trammell's 12. Now when it comes to awards voting most writers submit their ballots before the season ends and that could have made a difference here. After dropping three out of four in Toronto on the next to last weekend of the season the Tigers sat two and a half games out of first place behind the Blue Jays. It's quite possible that series won the MVP for Bell over Trammell as Bell played a big role in the series win going 8 for 18. But the in the final weekend of the season the Tigers would sweep the Jays in Detroit to take the A.L. East title. Who knows how many writer's submitted their ballots right after the series in Toronto? Also if Trammell had won the MVP in '87 maybe he'd get a little more support in the Hall of Fame voting. I've always had the Shiny Object Theory when it comes to HOF voting where writer's will almost always give more support to a player who won a major award in their career than someone who didn't. Just look at Bruce Sutter (Cy Young in 1979) being elected to the HOF this year instead of Goose Gossage (never won a Cy Young).   Actual Results   1) George Bell 2) Alan Trammell 3) Kirby Puckett 4) Dwight Evans 5) Paul Molitor 6) Mark McGwire 7) Don Mattingly 8) Tony Fernandez 9) Wade Boggs 10) Gary Gaetti 11) Jeff Reardon 12) Darrell Evans 13t) Doyle Alexander 13t) Tom Henke 13t) Wally Joyner 16) Kent Hrbek 17) Danny Tartabull 18) Robin Yount 19) Roger Clemens 20t) Jack Morris 20t) Kevin Seitzer 20t) Ruben Sierra 23) Jose Canseco 24) Matt Nokes   #10 .309/.390/.541, 123 RC, 142 OPS+, .318 EQA, 54.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #9 .305/.417/.569, 129 RC, 156 OPS+, .332 EQA, 57.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #8 .327/.378/.559, 122 RC, 146 OPS+, .319 EQA, 50.4 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #7 .332/.367/.534, 121 RC, 132 OPS+, .304 EQA, 55.1 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #6 .308/.352/.605, 129 RC, 146 OPS+, .318 EQA, 60.6 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #5 154 ERA+, 3.09 K/BB, 1.18 WHIP, 92.8 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #4 .289/.370/.618, 127 RC, 164 OPS+, .335 EQA, 60.7 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #3 .353/.438/.566, 115 RC, 161 OPS+, .344 EQA, 74.8 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #2 .363/.461/.588, 151 RC, 173 OPS+, .358 EQA, 90.1 VORP, 32 Win Shares   #1 .343/.402/.551, 133 RC, 155 OPS+, .334 EQA, 96.6 VORP, 35 Win Shares   So Bell wasn't a terrible choice but not a particularly good one either. Boggs plays bride's maid again in my redos just like he did with the 1986 one. What happened with the Red Sox in '87? Defending A.L. Champs and three of the Top 10 players in the league on their team yet they finish six games under .500. Sounds like a "Where'd They Go?" team.

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Bored's College Football Pick 'Em Encyclopedia

Here's a look back at the first two years of my contest. Also for the first time full BCS rankings from 2005, pre bowls. The post bowl rankings for 2005 will be used for the Preseason Top 10 for 2006 but I won't be posting those until the sign ups are done. Also at the end is the all-time records list.   2004 Standings (regular season)   Pac-8   1. UCLA (6-1, 8-5) 2. Boise State (5-2, 7-6) 3. Hawaii (4-3, 7-6) 4. Stanford (3-4, 8-5) 4. Washington State (3-4, 7-6) 4. Oregon (3-4, 7-6) 7. USC (2-5, 5-8) 7. Arizona State (2-5, 5-8)   Big MAC   1. Minnesota (6-1, 9-4) 2. Notre Dame (5-2, 9-4) 2. Bowling Green (5-2, 9-4) 4. Kent State (4-3, 6-7) 4. Michigan State (4-3, 5-8) 6. Ohio State (3-4, 7-6) 7. Michigan (1-6, 4-9) 7. Penn State (1-6, 3-10)   Mid South   1. LSU (5-2, 10-3) 1. Georgia (5-2, 10-3) 1. Auburn (5-2, 6-7) 4. Alabama (4-3, 6-7) 5. Texas (3-4, 6-7) 5. Florida (3-4, 5-8) 7. Tennessee (2-5, 5-8) 8. Oklahoma (1-6, 4-9)   Big Atlantic   1. Virginia (5-2, 10-3) 1. Boston College (5-2, 6-7) 1. Syracuse (5-2, 10-3) 4. Maryland (3-4, 7-6) 4. Rutgers (3-4, 4-9) 4. Miami (3-4, 4-9) 7. Florida State (2-5, 4-9) 8. West Virginia (1-6, 4-9)   2004 BCS Rankings (Before the bowls)   Note: The formula was different for the first year and produced bizarre results which was the plan on my part but with money involved people took the contest seriously thus I had to make adjustments the 2nd year.   1. Virginia - Edwin MacPhisto 2.00 2. Minnesota - Vern Gagne 3.00 3. UCLA - phoenixrising 4.67 4. Syracuse - CanadianChris 7.33 5. Washington State - bravesfan 7.67 6. LSU - teke184 8.67 7. Oregon - nogoodnick 9.00 8. Hawaii - Will Scarlet 10.00 9. Notre Dame - Lando Griffin 11.33 10. Maryland - MarvinisaLunatic 13.00 11. Texas - Flyboy 13.00 12. Stanford - Bored 13.67 13. Florida - Agent Bond34 13.67 14. Arizona State - Spicy McHaggis 14.33 15. Ohio State - Gert T 15.00 - one forfeit 16. Miami - Spaceman Spiff 15.33 17. Oklahoma - Damaramu 16.00 18. USC - Cartman 16.67 19. Alabama - AlwaysPissedOff 18.00 20. Auburn - Agent of Oblivion 18.33 21. Kent State - JHawk 19.00 22. Bowling Green - "Hail" bps21/iggymcfly 19.33 - two forfeits 23. Rutgers - the pinjockey 19.33 24. Georgia - Kingofthe909/A Mike_SC *dead team* 20.00 - three forfeits 25. Michigan - Mad Dog 21.67 26. Boston College - HarleyQuinn 22.67 27. Boise State - Rob E Dangerously *dead team* 23.00 - two forfeits 28. Penn State - threalworldschampion 23.67 - one forfeit 29. Tennessee - Kotzenjunge 26.00 - one forfeit 30. West Virginia - Loaded Glove *dead team* 27.00 (21/31/29) 31. Florida State - 2GOLD 27.00 (27/28/26) - one forfeit 32. Michigan State - Dangerous A * 28.33 (21/32/32) - two forfeits   2004 Bowl Results   MILFHunter.com Bored Bowl: #2 Minnesota (Vern Gagne, 11-4) 16, #1 Virginia (Edwin MacPhisto, 11-4) 15   Traditional Bowl presented by Adam & Eve's Anal Lube: #3 UCLA (phoenixrising, 10-5) 19, #4 Syracuse (CanadianChris, 10-4) 18   Oxycotton Bowl: #6 LSU (teke184, 12-3) 14, #5 Washington State (bravesfan, 7-7) 13   KFC PETA Bowl: #10 Maryland (MarvinisaLunatic, 8-6) 18, #8 Hawaii (Will Scarlet, 7-8) 15   Massengil Country Flower Douche Bowl: Bowling Green (iggymcfly, 10-4) 16, #7 Oregon (nogoodnick, 7-7) 14   Lucky Strikes Tar Bowl: Texas (Flyboy, 7-7) 16, #9 Notre Dame (Lando Griffin, 9-6) 14   Out Magazine Bowl: Ohio State (Gert T, 8-6) 17, Stanford (Bored, 8-6) 14     2005 Standings (regular season)   Pac-8   1. Hawaii (6-1, 7-6) 2. Oregon (4-3, 6-7) 2. Stanford (4-3, 6-7) 4. Arizona State (3-4, 7-6) 4. Washington State (3-4, 6-7) 4. San Diego State (3-4, 6-7) 4. USC (3-4, 6-7) 8. UCLA (2-5, 4-9)   Big MAC   1. Penn State (5-2, 8-5) 1. Illinois (5-2, 8-5) 3. Northwestern (4-3, 8-5) 3. Minnesota (4-3, 5-8) 5. Ohio State (3-4, 7-6) 5. Notre Dame (3-4, 6-7) 7. Kent State (2-5, 4-9) 7. Buffalo (2-5, 2-11)   Mid South   1. Alabama (8-0, 11-2) 2. LSU (5-3, 9-4) 3. South Carolina (4-4, 9-4) 3. Florida (4-4, 8-5) 3. Texas A&M (4-4, 8-5) 6. Auburn (3-5, 7-6) 6. Tennessee (3-5, 5-8) 6. Nebraska (3-5, 5-8) 9. Oklahoma (2-6, 6-7)   Big Atlantic   1. Syracuse (6-2, 9-4) 1. Miami (6-2, 9-4) 3. Georgia Tech (5-3, 7-6) 3. Virginia (5-3, 6-7) 5. Maryland (4-4, 8-5) 5. Connecticut (4-4, 7-6) 7. FIU (3-5, 5-8) 7. Rutgers (3-5, 5-8) 9. Troy (0-8, 1-12)   2005 BCS Rankings (pre bowls)   1. Miami - Spaceman Spiff 3.85 2. Alabama - AlwaysPissedOff 5.0 3. Syracuse - CanadianChris 5.1 4. LSU - teke184 5.9 5. Texas A&M - Secret Agent 6.65 6. Ohio State - Gert T 7.2 7. South Carolina - Cuban Linx 8.1 8. Florida - Agent Bond34 8.2 9. Georgia Tech - iggymcfly 9.6 10. Penn State - therealworldschampion 10.65 11. Hawaii - Will Scarlet 12.8 12. USC - Cartman 13.25 13. Northwestern - Kingofthe909 13.45 14. Stanford - Bored 14.55 15. Virginia - Edwin MacPhisto 16.55 16. Notre Dame - Lando Griffin 16.6 17. Maryland - MarvinisaLunatic 16.9 18. Illinois - Matt Young 17.55 19. Tennessee - Kotzenjunge 19.1 20. Auburn - Agent of Oblivion 19.4 21. Arizona State - Spicy McHaggis 19.6 22. Rutgers - the pinjockey 20.4 23. UCLA - phoenixrising 20.45 24. Oklahoma - Damaramu 21.0 25. Nebraska - Carnival 21.5 26. Washington State - bravesfan 21.6 27. Connecticut - DragonLordKaiba 22.0 28. San Diego State - Porter 22.95 29. Oregon - nogoodnick 23.1 30. Florida International - Vitamin X 26.9 31. Kent State - JHawk 28.1 32. Minnesota - Vern Gagne 28.15 33. Troy - Angel Grace Blue 30.35 34. Buffalo - Black Widow 30.65   2005 Bowl Results   BenchWarmer Bob's Bored Bowl #2 Alabama (AlwaysPissedOff) 17, #1 Miami (Spaceman Spiff) 15   Jack Osbourne's Oxycotton Bowl #5 Texas A&M (Secret Agent) 18, #3 Syracuse (CanadianChris) 17   Lucky Strikes Cigarettes Tar Bowl #4 LSU (teke184) 18, #10 Penn State (therealworldschampion) 17   Out Magazine Bowl #7 South Carolina (Cuban Linx) 16, #6 Ohio State (Gert T) 16; South Carolina wins by tiebreak   Meow Mix XNXX.COM Pussy Bowl #9 Georgia Tech (iggymcfly) 16, #8 Florida (Agent Bond34) 14   Traditional Bowl presented by Adam & Eve's Anal Lube Northwestern (Kingofthe909) 18, Hawaii (Will Scarlet) 18; Northwestern wins by tiebreak   KFC PETA Bowl Maryland (MarvinisaLunatic) 15, Arizona State (Spicy McHaggis) 11   Ex-Lax Toilet Bowl Connecticut (DragonLordKaiba) 15, Auburn (Agent of Oblivion) 12     All-Time Records (ordered by total wins)   Note: Results where replacements picks were used are thrown out.   1. teke184 22-8 2. CanadianChris 20-9 3. AlwaysPissedOff 19-9 4t. iggymcfly 17-8 4t. Edwin MacPhisto 17-11 4t. MarvinisaLunatic 17-11 7. Vern Gagne 16-11 8t. Lando Griffin 15-13 8t. Will Scarlet 15-15 10t. Bored 14-13 10t. Gert T 14-13 10t. phoenixrising 14-14 13t. Agent Bond34 13-14 13t. Agent of Oblivion 13-14 13t. bravesfan 13-14 13t. Spaceman Spiff 13-15 13t. Spicy McHaggis 13-15 13t. nogoodnick 13-16 19t. Kingofthe909 11-6 19t. Cartman 11-15 19t. therealworldschampion 11-17 22t. Cuban Linx 10-4 22t. Kotzenjunge 10-14 22t. JHawk 10-15 25t. A Mike_SC 9-3 25t. the pinjockey 9-17 27t. Secret Agent 8-5 27t. DragonLordKaiba 8-6 27t. Damaramu 8-15 30. Flyboy 7-7 31t. Porter 6-7 31t. HarleyQuinn 6-8 33t. Carnival 5-8 33t. Vitamin X 5-8 35t. Matt Young 4-2 35t. Dangerous A 4-7 35t. Loaded Glove 4-8 35t. 2GOLD 4-9 35t. Mad Dog 4-9 40t. "Hail" bps21 1-2 40t. Leena 1-7 40t. Angel Grace Blue 1-12 43. Rob E Dangerously 0-4

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2006 MVP Watch #5

Quickie this time around.   N.L.   10. Jose Reyes, Mets 9. Bobby Abreu, Phillies 8. Nick Johnson, Nationals 7. Bronson Arroyo, Reds 6. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 5. Lance Berkman, Astros 4. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins 3. Carlos Beltran, Mets 2. David Wright, Mets 1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals   A.L.   10. Derek Jeter, Yankees 9. Paul Konerko, White Sox 8. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox 7. Jason Giambi, Yankees 6. Joe Mauer, Twins 5. Johan Santana, Twins 4. Curtis Granderson, Tigers 3. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays 2. Jim Thome, White Sox 1. Travis Hafner, Indians

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World Series DVDs: Game 1

I've finished watching Game 1 from each DVD so as I mentioned before I'm taking little notes while watching each game. Of course as i read some of my notes I'm not even sure what I intended on bringing up. Of course I won't go over every detail of the game as there is no point.   Interesting to note that for all three of these World Series that the winner of Game 1 was the team that ended up losing the series. Backs up Al's entry on playoff odds on how Game 1 is the least important game.   1975 World Series - Game 1 - Red Sox 6, Reds 0 (boxscore and play account)   -Announcers for Game 1 are Curt Gowdy, Dick Stockton, and Tony Kubek. Stockton was not a network announcer at this time as he was the local t.v. announcer for the Red Sox. They will be rotating announcers during the series as there will be a Reds announcer for Game 2. I guess this must have been common in the 70's as I remember watching Game 7 of the '73 Series on ESPN Classic a few years ago and old A's announcer Monty Moore was doing the play-by-play.   -Secretary of Treasury William E Simon threw out the first pitch. The crowd was shockingly unexcited by this.   -When Pete Rose is up in the first it is amusing how they bring up him being a huge fan of the game and always knowing what's going on in other games. If only they knew at the time why he was doing that.   -They say Johnny Bench has 50 foul ball homeruns in 1975. Now that sounds like bullshit to me. Who'd even keep track and how do you truly determine if a foul ball would have been a homerun?   -Why you can never predict the future: Bring up the great future of Reds starter Don Gullett who's career would end just three years later at age 27 due to shoulder problems.   -Joe Morgan sure did whine a lot to umpires when he played, not that I'm surprised.   -Kubek suggests that umpires should all be under one umbrella instead having seperate umps for A.L. and the N.L. which wouldn't change for another 20 years.   -God damn Sparky Anderson was only 41 in 1975? He already looked to be in his 60's.   -Luis Tiant started for the Red Sox and he was a lot fun to watch pitch...with no one on base. When someone was on base he is incredibly slow going to the mound.   -I had heard that was problems with the older stock footage and it shows up in the 6th inning as the audio suddenly is about five seconds ahead of the video and doesn't synch up again until the bottom of the 7th, thankfully when the biggest action of the game happens. The Red Sox scored all six runs in that inning.   -BULLPEN CART~!   -Gowdy does a promo for the first ever Saturday Night Live hosted by George Carlin that was to debut that night.   1979 World Series - Game 1 - Orioles 5, Pirates 4 (boxscore and play account)   -Announcers for the series are Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, and Don Drysdale.   -As you see in the picture the field is absolutely ripped to shreads and good example of why it's for the best that muti-purpose stadiums are almost now a thing of the past. It didn't help matters that Game 1 was rained the night before and it snowed over night. Game time temperature was 41 degrees and it most likley dipped below freezing by the end of the game. Many of the players just look miserable out there.   -Oh ya the black tops with yellow pants for the Pirates was not a good look. Although the Orioles orange unis would make a decent third jersey today.   -Pirates starter Bruce Kison came into the game 4-0 with a 0.41 ERA in his career in the postsason. He'd get knocked out after just recording one out in this game as the Orioles scored all their runs in the first although it was broken open by a bad throw by Phil Garner at 2nd.   -Not much of surprise that Cosell really brings nothing to the telecast except name dropping athletes who he had dinner with. One story that amused me was he brings up that he ran into Mike Flanagan's wife in Montreal and saying that she was visiting Flanagan's former teammate Ross Grimsley. Maybe it was just the general sleaziness of Cosell but the way he tells the story it almost sounds like he Flanagan's wife was cheating on him with Grimsley.   -They talk about Dave Parker's house and car being vandalized early in the season by fans because he signed a huge contract before the season. Yes how dare the defending MVP get paid! Anyone gone after A-Rod's house yet?   -Speaking of Paker I remember when he was with the A's towards the end of his career having a huge gut but here there is no sign of one. Guess cocaine is indeed slimming.   -Holy crap does ABC go overboard with showing player's wives. I should have kept count but I'd say they showed about 15 different players wives. Did the world really need to see Jim Rooker's wife? I'll give Doug DeCinces the award for having the hottest wife of the night although it was slim pickings. Everyone knows the groupies are hotter.   -I'm doubting Drysdale's analyst skills as in the bottom of the 8th Orioles second baseman Rich Dauer gets on base and Drysdale thinks he should steal. Jackson and Cosell both correct him pointing out that Dauer didn't steal a base all year. Nice research there Donny.   1986 World Series - Game 1 - Red Sox 1, Mets 0 (boxscore and play account)   -Announcers for the series are Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola.   -In the top of the first Garagiola brings up the Red Sox not being known for manufacturing runs. Now if this were Joe Morgan or most other ESPN anlysts this would be said with much disdain and followed by a mini-rant on why that doesn't work. But here Garagiola says it without being condescending and says it's worked for the Red Sox all year.   -Early in the game Scully brings up that he's surprised the Mets haven't tried to drag bunt down to first to take advantage of Buckner. How about a ground ball?   -It really is painful watching Buckner run as he has to hobble with every step.   -I didn't know Dwight Gooden had a gold cap on his front tooth. Don't think he wore it when he pitched.   -They mention that Darryl Strawberry was 0 for 45 in the August that year in Shea Stadium. Hmmm you think he was booed at all that month?   -In the 5th inning Scully mentions that there is a Mets pitcher who hates throwing to first base but he doesn't want to give that name away because he doesn't want to give a scouting report to the Red Sox. Maybe it was naive but it was kind of refreshing. Garagiola does get Scully to say the pitcher's name the following inning, that being Sid Fernandez.   -What everyone forgets about this series is the way the Red Sox won Game 1 on a play eerily similar to the final play of Game 6. In the 7th with Jim Rice on 2nd, Rich Gedman hits a ground ball to 2nd and it goes right through Tim Teufel's legs. Rice comes around and scores the only run of the game. There is a bizarre play at the plate which is what that screencap is of. When Rice comes home, Ron Daring goes to back up the throw at the plate while Dave Henderson tries to get into position to signal Rice to slide. The two don't see each other and completely wipe each other out. Both appear to be injured but both stay in the game.   -NBC producer's have a sense of humor as during Red Sox starter Bruce Hurst at bat in the 7th, they flash a graphic saying that Hurst has struck out in every at bat in his career. It was the first game he'd ever hit in. He struck out a 3rd straight time here.   -Red Sox manager John McNamara does in the 8th inning here what he didn't do in Game 6, replace Bill Bucker at first base with Dave Stapelton. Stapelton would make a play in the 9th inning on a Ray Knight bunt to get the lead runner at 2nd that there would have been no way for Bucker to have made the play and it possibly prevented the Mets from tying the game.

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Where'd They Go?: 1997 New York Mets

For the next Where’d They Go? I had already decided on doing a Mets team and ironically enough I received a request from TSM Mets’ fan strummer to do one for the 1997 Mets. The one I had chosen was the overpaid, sexual assaulting, firecracker throwing 1992 Mets. But I’m a giver so instead I will be doing the 1997 Mets.   The Mets had gone through six years of losing featuring many bad contracts, bad trades, and bad management. Basically the Mets the from 1991 to 1996 were the New York Knicks of today. Finally in ’97 things started to come together for the franchise under manager Bobby Valentine who had taken over as manager during the previous season for the young pitcher arm shredding Dallas Green. While the Mets never made a serious run for the N.L. East title they were in the thick of the Wild Card race for much of the summer but were never able to get closer than two games of the eventual World Champion Marlins. So let’s meet the 1997 New York Mets and see where they went.   C: Todd Hundley (.273/.394/.549, 45.2 VORP, 22 Win Shares) – This was during Hundley’s peak when he emerged as one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. He would have elbow surgery following season which would effectively derail his career. He was terrible in his return the following season in an ill-conceived move to leftfield and likely should have sat out the entire year. The Mets had acquired Mike Piazza during 1998 and Hundley would be on his way out to the Dodgers following the season. He had one good year in 2000 with the Dodgers but that was only productive year left. Signed as a free agent with the Cubs following that season. Played there for two years and was traded back to Los Angles to play one final injury filled season.   1B: John Olerud (.294/.400/.489, 36.2 VORP, 27 Win Shares) – Olerud’s first year in New York many thought he was already on his way down as a player but put together three very productive years with the Mets. Signed as a free agent after 1999 with Seattle where he would play until mid-2004 when he appeared to be washed up. After being released he was picked up by the Yankees and was mildly productive. Went to Boston for 2005 as a part-time player and retired after the season.   2B: Carlos Baerga (.281/.311/.396, 6.9 VORP, 11 Win Shares) – The Mets had a good second baseman in Jeff Kent but traded him the year before to get…Baerga. Whoops. After an early peak Baerga already was past his prime in his late 20’s. He’d leave the Mets after 1998 and would bounce around from San Diego, back to Cleveland, Boston, Arizona (had a surprisingly good year in 2003 as a role player), and finally Washington last year. On no MLB roster this year so I assume he’s now retired.   3B: Edgargdo Alfonzo (.315/.391/.432, 36.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares) – This was Alfonzo’s breakout year at age 23. Had a disappointing 1998 but followed that up with two phenomenal years where he amassed 65 Win Shares. Seemed on his way to becoming a superstar but had a bad year in 2001 with several nagging injuries. Rebounded in 2002 and cashed in as a free agent by signing with the Giants. His days a productive player would be over when he reached San Francisco and played three mediocre years there. Traded after 2005 to the Angels who released him in May, then the Blue Jays gave him a shot but released him after only a month with the team. Appears his career maybe over at age 32.   SS: Rey Ordonez (.216/.255/.256, -18.1 VORP, 6 Win Shares) – Everyone wanted to make Ordonez the next Ozzie Smith but it wasn’t going to happen and I don’t care how good defensively he may have been, those offensive numbers are of someone who should have been in Triple-A. Never lived up to the hype and was traded to Tampa Bay after to 2002. Played one year there and went to San Diego but never played a game with the big club. The Cubs of course couldn’t resist picking up a weak hitting middle infielder and picked him up but let him go after two months.   LF: Bernard Gilkey (.249/.338/.417, 9.0 VORP, 16 Win Shares) – Hindsight being what it is the Mets probably could have suckered some team into trading a major prospect for Gilkey following his career year of ’96. This ended up being his last season as everyday player. Did end up being traded during 1998 to Arizona but for no one of note. Released by the D-Backs in 2000 and was picked up by the Red Sox. Finished his career with Atlanta in 2001.   CF: Carl Everett (.248/.308/.420, 2.8 VORP, 13 Win Shares) – Mets actually had three primary center fielders during the season. They traded Lance Johnson for Brian McRae in a six player waiver deal to the Cubs in August. Everett was a big time prospect who at age 26 at this point looked like he might not live up to the hype. Unfortunately for Mets’ fans GM Steve Phillips had a fetish for trading for middle relievers and he traded Everett after the season to the Astros for John Hudek. He’d have two very good years in Houston but they traded enigmatic outfielder to the Red Sox after 1999 for Adam Everett. He signed a big money contract extension with the Red Sox before the season started and had a great year but like everywhere else wore out his welcome. Traded three more times first to Texas after 2001, then to White Sox during 2003, signed as a free agent with Expos, and then traded back to the White Sox during 2004. Now currently with the Mariners.   RF: Butch Huskey (.287/.319/.503, 19.1 VORP, 12 Win Shares) – Alex Ochoa led the Mets in games played in right field but Huskey made the most starts. I can’t remember if Huskey was ever expected to end up being really good or not but he never did become all that good beyond a couple of decent years like this one. Mets traded him to Seattle after 1998, who traded him to Boston during the 1999. Split 2000 with the Twins and Rockies. Spent 2001 in the minors and that appears to be where his career ended.   Rotation   Rick Reed (140 ERA+, 54.0 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – Reed was always that decent pitcher who you couldn’t see his real name in MLB video games because he was a “scab” player in 1995. I’m sure Brett Butler and Tom Glavine left him flaming bags of poo on his doorstep. This was arguably Reed’s best year and followed up with another good year in ’98. Merely an average pitcher through most of his career, he was traded in a deadline deal to the Twins in 2001 for Matt Lawton and pitched there thru 2003. He signed with the Pirates in 2004 but failed to make the Opening Day roster and decided to retire.   Dave Mlicki (101 ERA+, 31.9 VORP, 10 Win Shares) – Reading up on him apparently every Mets fan will always love him for his shutout of the Yankees in their first interleague mathc-up in ’97. Other than that, a very non-descript career who was traded several times. Mets traded during 1998 to the Dodgers in a deal for Hideo Nomo. Dodgers traded him last than a year later to Detroit, who would trade him two years later to Houston for Jose Lima.   Bobby Jones (111 ERA+, 32.2 VORP, 11 Win Shares) – Jones was a steady if unspectacular pitcher for the Mets for several years. A shoulder injury in 1999 would limit him to nine starts and he never had a season with ERA under 5 after that. Finished his career with two seasons with the Padres.   Mark Clark (95 ERA+, 12.9 VORP, 6 Win Shares) – Mets stats only as Clark was in that Johnson/McRae deal to the Cubs in August but he was the only other Mets pitcher with more than 20 starts. Mediocre pitcher who often seemed to luck into winning seasons. Actually pitched great for the Cubs down the stretch to last place in ’97 but was terrible the following season. The always desperate for pitching Rangers signed him as a free agent where’d he had have two god awful years to finish his career.   Closer: John Franco (158 ERA+, 18.7 VORP, 12 Win Shares) – The longtime Mets’ closer was still effective at age 36. Being that he was left handed he was able hang around after he was no longer effective as he was with the Mets thru 2004. Astros picked him up for 2005 but released him midseason. Never officially announced his retirement but his career is most certainly over. Finished 3rd on the all-time saves list with 424.

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Draftback: 1993 NBA Draft

I had almost forgotten that the NBA Draft was only a week away. I used look forward to the draft before ESPN took over coverage of it from TNT. Now in the early days of my blog (waaaaaaaaay back four and a half months ago) I did an entry on the 1989 NBA Draft, ranking the players drafted using the basketball version of win shares. I decided that would be a better way to do a Draftback entry for the NBA rather than the usual listing of the first round making stupid comments.   I picked the 1993 draft because it ended up leading to the downfall of the Golden State Warriors franchise, not that they didn’t have the right idea at the time. They of course struck a blockbuster draft day with the Orlando Magic to acquire the draft rights to Chris Webber in exchange for the draft rights for Anfernee Hardaway and three future first round picks. The Warriors would win 50 games in the ’93-’94 season while Webber went on to win the Rookie of the Year. But a feud with head coach Don Nelson would lead to a holdout and then an eventual trade of Webber to Washington that would set the course for 12 years (and going) of futility. So even in a year where the Warriors ended getting arguably the best player to come out of the draft it blew up in their face.     1993 Draft Rankings per Career Win Shares   1. Chris Webber, Orlando/Golden State – 241 Win Shares (1st Pick) 2. Sam Cassell, Houston – 233 (24th) 3. Anfernee Hardaway, Golden State/Orlando – 189 (3rd pick) 4. Nick Van Exel, L.A. Lakers – 169 (37th) 5. Allan Houston, Detroit – 162 (11th) 6. Bryon Russell, Utah – 141 (45th)   7. Vin Baker, Milwaukee – 137 (8th) 8. Shawn Bradley, Philadelphia – 132 (2nd) 9. Jamal Mashburn, Dallas – 127 (4th) 10. Rodney Rogers, Denver – 114 (9th) 11. Ervin Johnson, Seattle – 110 (23rd) 12. Lindsey Hunter, Detroit – 101 (10th)   13. George Lynch, L.A. Lakers – 100 (12th) 14. Chris Mills, Cleveland – 97 (22nd) 15. Lucious Harris, Dallas – 77 (28th) 16. Calbert Cheaney, Washington – 67 (6th) 17. Isaiah Rider, Minnesota – 62 (5th) 18. Chris Whitney, San Antonio – 57 (47th)   19. Corie Blount, Chicago – 56 (25th) 20. Gheorge Muresan, Washington - 50 (30th) 21. Scott Burrell, Charlotte – 45 (20th) 22. Terry Dehere, L.A. Clippers – 21 (13th) 23. James Robinson, Portland – 20 (21st) 24. Rex Walters, New Jersey – 16 (16th)   25. Eric Riley, Dallas – 8 (33rd) 26t. Greg Graham, Charlotte – 6 (17th) 26t. Acie Earl, Boston – 6 (19th) 28. Bobbie Hurley, Sacramento – 7 (7th) 29. Mike Peplowski, Sacramento – 3 (52nd) 30t. Doug Edwards, Atlanta – 2 (15th)   30t. Josh Grant, Denver – 2 (43rd) 32t. Scott Haskin, Indiana – 1 (14th) 32t. Darnell Mee, Golden State – 1 (34th) 32t. Richard Petruska, Houston – 1 (46th)   The Zero Club   Luther Wright, Utah (18th) Geert Hammink, Orlando (26th) Malcolm Mackey, Phoenix (27th) Evers Burns, Sacramento (31st) Alphonso Ford, Philadelphia (32nd) Ed Stokes, Miami (35th) Rich Manning, Atlanta (40th) Adonis Jordan, Seattle (42nd) Kevin Thompson, Portland (48th)   Never Played in the NBA   Sherron Mills, Minnesota (29th) John Best, New Jersey (36th) Conrad McRae, Washington (38th) Thomas Hill, Indiana (39th) Anthony Reed, Chicago (41st) Alex Holcombe, Sacramento (44th) Mark Buford, Phoenix (49th) Marcelo Nicola, Houston (50th) Spencer Dunkley, Indiana (51st) Leonard White, L.A. Clippers (53rd) Bryon Wilson, Phoenix (54th)   Most Win Shares with the Team they were Drafted by   Note: Even though Hardaway wasn’t technically drafted by Orlando since he was acquired in a draft day trade he might as well have been drafted by them.   1. Anfernee Hardaway, 143 2. Bryon Russell, 121 3. Nick Van Exel, 94 4. Lindsey Hunter, 81 (two different stints) 5t. Vin Baker, 68 5t. Chris Mills, 68 7. Gheorge Muresan, 49 8. Calbert Cheaney, 43 9. Sam Cassell, 33 10. Allan Houston, 31

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World Series DVDs: 1986 Bonus Disks

***OMG SPOILERS***   As I've mentioned I have purchased the 1975, 1979, and 1986 World Series box sets released by MLB this year. I decided to start by watching the bonus disks on the 1986 set before viewing the World Series games. The DVD sleeves are very cool as they have little facts on the cover of them and then on the back they have the boxscore to the game on that disk, then on the inside they have a completely play-by-play account of the game. There's two bonus disks on the 1986 set, one featuring the classic Game 6 of the '86 NLCS that went 16 innings and the other featuring a few clips and interviews. Here are the complete list of features on that bonus disk:   1. Mets Clinch Division Title (final out of game against Cubs on 9/17) 2. NLCS Game 3: Lenny Dykstra's Walkoff HR 3. NLCS Game 5: Gary Carter's Walkoff Single 4. Lenny Dysktra: Red Sox Premature Celebration 5. Keith Hernandez: Perspective On Game 6 Rally 6. Keith Hernandez: Nerve-Wracking Game 6 7. Kevin Mitchell: Coach's Tip Before Scoring in Game 6 8. Mookie Wilson: Mindset Of His Historic At Bat 9. Mookie Wilson: Unfair To Blame Buckner 10. Bill Buckner: Mookie Wilson's Gronder And The Error 11. Bill Robinson: Perspective On Buckner's Error 12. Ray Knight: Game 6 Memories 13. Lenny Dykstra: Full Team Effort 14. Mike Piazza And Mookie Wilson Discuss Game 6 15. Inside The Moments Of Game 6 (has a clip of Dave Henderson's Game 5 ALCS homerun) 16. Ray Knight: Confidence Entering Game 7 17. Keith Hernandez: Mound Conversation With Jesse Orosco 18. Gary Carter: Catching The Last Out 19. World Series Last Out, Clubhouse Euphoria 20. Trophy Presentation 21. Championship Clubshouse Interviews 22. 1987 Opening Day Ring Ceremony   The N.L. East clinching out was interesting because it gives a you a glipse of what no longer is allowed, fans storming the field like it was a college football game. Probably for the best as it looked like a riot was ready to breakout before the clip ends.   Of course the real treat is that other bonus disk with the complete Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS. The game itself clocked in at 4 hours and 42 minutes but with the commercials cut out the game and the postgame coverage clocks in at just about 4 hours on the disk. The game went so long that ABC's postgame coverage is short as they had to switch coverage to Game 7 of the ALCS that night.   I took down some notes as I was watching the game (no I didn't watch it all in one sitting). Keith Jackson and Tim McCarver were the announcers and McCarver was not nearly as annoying back then as he is now. I'm not going to go over every moment of the game of course so here's the boxscore and play account from retrosheet.org   -Bob Knepper started for the Astros on three days rest. They threw out a stat at the beginning of the telecast that Knepper was 14-5 with a 2.17 ERA on three days rest over the last three years.   -There were several empty seats in the upper deck when the game started. They did fill up a few innings but don't think it was a sellout.   -A sign in the crowd "Knepper + Scuffy = World Series". Scuffy was Astros ace Mike Scott and was known for allegedly scuffing the baseball by using sandpaper. It's very interesting during the game Jackson and McCarver often joke about Scott's possible cheating ways. Of course 20 years later there is all this phony moral outrage over cheating baseball players.   -Knepper was a being bitch on the mound the whole game. Almost every close pitch that was called a ball he'd slump his shoulders down and look straight at the umpire. In a regular season game he probably would have been ejected at some point. Until the 8th inning I thought Jackson and McCarver were calling the umpire "Brock Landers" but they they finally said his full name which was actually Fred Brocklander.   -That being said Knepper was throwing an absolute gem the first eight innings. Mets only had three baserunners with two singles and literally were hitting nothing hard.   -Jackson and McCarver mention the Mets set the record for most strikeouts by a team in an LCS and think it will last for a while. They casually mention that the record was held by the Royals just set the previous year and don't bother to bring up that it was the first year that LCS series were best out of 7 so of course strike out records were being broken with more games being played. I wasn't Bored enough to look up who holds the record now.   -I had forgotten that the Mets were down 3-0 going into the 9th of this game (I didn't look at the boxscore before viewing so I'd be mildly unaware of the events of the game). Dykstra hit a pinch hit triple to start the rally and it was first hard hit ball all day by the Mets.   -Astros closer Dave Smith was the goat of the series as he had given up the Dykstra homerun in Game 3 in his only apperance and came in here with it 3-2 with a runner on 2nd and one out. Tough situation but he proceeded to walk Carter (who the flash a graphic that he was 0 for his last 12 against Smith) and Strawberry before Ray Knight hits a sac flay to tie it. McCarver says it's unusual that Smith was having problems as he has "excellent command." On the year Smith's BB/9 ratio was 3.54. Not terrible but certainly not excellent.   -There was a wild moment in the Knight at bat with the bases loaded. The first pitch on the outside corner was called a strike, and it looked pretty good to me, but Knight being the dick he always was complained about it. Then on a 1-2 pitch a pitch clearly outside is called a ball but then the fun starts. Astros catcher Alan Ashby slams his fist and then Dickhead Knight complains about the call too claiming it was the same spot as the first pitch. Astros manager Hal Lanier runs out to the mind to talk to Smith all the while yelling at the umpire. Shorstop Dickie Thon then runs to the mound yelling at the umpire and Lanier has to restrain him to keep him from getting ejected. Again if this was a regular season game plenty of people would have been ejected.   -The signature moment of the game was actually by the losing team when Billy Hatcher hit a homerun in the bottom of the 14th to tie the game up after the Mets took the lead It was a majestic shot off the left field foul pole with Hatcher having his own Carlton Fisk moment as he ran backwards down the line hoping the ball would stay fair. Hatcher though in the top of the 16th would help the Mets to a three run inning by misplaying a fly ball by Strawberry leading off the inning that he would then let bounce over his head and allow Strawberry to go to 2nd. It was lamely scored a double.   I think I'll do little notes on all the games on each set and group each Game 1 in a single entry and then Game 2, etc. I'm looking forward to watching the '79 series as I know very little about the series itself beyond the ugly (or great?) uniforms.

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2006 MVP Watch #4

Woo hoo, my three World Series box sets showed up today. I’ll try to figure out some sort of entry to do on the sets beyond a simple review. Probably will start by watching the bonus disk on the 1986 set that has Game 6 of the NLCS.   Hey remember how overrated Carlos Beltran was and how he was overpaid? What happened to that talk? He’s arguably the best healthy player in baseball right now. To no surprise Pujols is still on top even on the DL but Beltran is making a serious push for the top spot. If the Mets do end up winning the East you could have an interesting teammate duel for the MVP with him and David Wright, depending on how much Pujols’ injury time affects his chances. Scott Rolen has stepped up in Pujols’ absence and makes his first appearance in the Top 10. After a huge jump into the Top 10, Alfonso Soriano goes cold and nearly tumbles out of it while his teammate Nick Johnson is red hot. The slumping Chase Utley drops out of the Top 10 for the first time this season.   #10 Alfonso Soriano, Nationals .289/.350/.585, 57 RC, .299 EQA, 23.9 VORP, 13 Win Shares   #9 Bobby Abreu, Phillies .292/.455/.500, 54 RC, .318 EQA, 23.9 VORP, 14 Win Shares   #8 Scott Rolen, Cardinals .355/.430/.589, 42 RC, .323 EQA, 27.7 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #7 Nick Johnson, Nationals .309/.436/.554, 55 RC, .328 EQA, 30.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares   #6 Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .339/.435/.562, 54 RC, .330 EQA, 34.0 VORP, 11 Win Shares   #5 Lance Berkman, Astros .308/.386/.602, 53 RC, .313 EQA, 24.2 VORP, 14 Win Shares   #4 David Wright, Mets .335/.404/.587, 55 RC, .319 EQA, 33.0 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #3 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 226 ERA+, 5.69 K/BB, 1.07 WHIP, 41.6 VORP, 13 Win Shares   #2 Carlos Beltran, Mets .300/.408/.643, 59 RC, .329 EQA, 34.3 VORP, 17 Win Shares   #1 .308/.442/.751, 65 RC, .357 EQA, 38.1 VORP, 19 Win Shares   Finally we have a new #1 in the A.L. as Jim Thome is starting to cool off. He actually leads the league in Win Shares still but the new #1 topped him in every other category. Joe Mauer pulls off what Alfonso Soriano did last week and makes a huge jump into the Top 10. Vernon Wells also makes a big jump and might be emerging as a serious MVP candidate this year. I do have some sad news this week…Baseball Jesus has dropped out. Do not cry though, there will be a resurrection.   #10 Curtis Granderson, Tigers .282/.379/.464, 49 RC, .290 EQA, 18.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares   #9 Ramon Hernandez, Orioles .292/.353/.498, 50 RC, .291 EQA, 17.7 VORP, 13 Win Shares   #8 Miguel Tejada, Orioles .333/.392/.556, 51 RC, .318 EQA, 37.1 VORP, 11 Win Shares   #7 Jermaine Dye, White Sox .298/.393/.639, 47 RC, .325 EQA, 23.1 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #6 Alexis Rios, Blue Jays .335/.386/.623, 51 RC, .320 EQA, 28.2 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #5 Jason Giambi, Yankees .270/.443/.616, 54 RC, .341 EQA, 26.5 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #4 Joe Mauer, Twins .378/.443/.523, 44 RC, .331 EQA, 33.0 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #3 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays .328/.384/.624, 53 RC, .320 EQA, 34.7 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #2 Jim Thome, White Sox .281/.415/.615, 61 RC, .331 EQA, 29.8 VORP, 14 Win Shares   #1 .303/.454/.620, 65 RC, .356 EQA, 37.7 VORP, 13 Win Shares

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Award Redo: 1986 A.L. MVP

I think every sports fan has certain athletes they dislike or even on some level hate. Sometimes there are some justifiable reason to dislike the athlete and other times it is just irrational hate. For me that athlete is Roger Clemens. I can't stand the fat fuck. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense as Clemens has many memorable failures against my Oakland A's over the years. Clemens was 0-7 head-to-head vs. Dave Stewart when Stewart pitched for the A's. Hell you'd think I'd like the guy but I don't. I've grown tired of his several near retirements which started with his so called farewell season of 2003. That season he was forced on to the All-Star team by Bud Selig after not being selected to the team and was given a long standing ovation in his "final" start in the 2003 World Series even though at no point before or during the season did he ever say that it would be his final year. Now he's on his way back yet again and in honor of his return I will attempt to take something away from him: the 1986 American League Most Valuable Player Award.   1986 was the last time a starting pitcher won an MVP award as Clemens had arguably the best season of his career going 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA while playing on the best team in the league. In the 1995 N.L. MVP redo I established that it is still possible for a starting pitcher to win an MVP award although it is very difficult. Certainly Clemens had the type of year a starting pitcher would need to warrant consideration for an MVP and he received 19 of the 28 possible first place votes. His main competition was the defending A.L. MVP Don Mattingly and he had an even better season than his MVP year but his RBI total was down from 145 to 113 so undoubtedly that hurt him in the view of the writers. Then other player to receive first place votes was Clemens' teammate and another former MVP in Jim Rice. Rice had a great year but the best position player on the Red Sox was clearly Wade Boggs who won the batting title with a .357 avg and also lead the league with a .453 obp. Boggs only finished 7th in the voting.   Actual Results 1) Roger Clemens 2) Don Mattingly 3) Jim Rice 4) George Bell 5) Jesse Barfield 6) Kirby Puckett 7) Wade Boggs 8) Wally Joyner 9) Joe Carter 10) Dave Righetti 11) Doug DeCinces 12) Mike Witt 13) Don Baylor 14) Tony Fernandez 15) Teddy Higuera 16) Gary Gaetti 17t) Marty Barrett 17t) Scott Fletcher 17t) Pete O'Brien 20) Jose Canseco 21) Jim Presley 22) Dick Schofield   #10 .263/.358/.469, 102 RC, 125 OPS+, .307 EQA, 53.6 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #9 156 ERA+, 2.80 K/BB, 1.21 WHIP, 75.3 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #8 .302/.335/.514, 114 RC, 130 OPS+, .300 EQA, 49.9 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #7 .282/.355/.461, 102 RC, 122 OPS+, .296 EQA, 58.7 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #6 .328/.366/.537, 131 RC, 140 OPS+, .307 EQA, 65.4 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #5 .324/.384/.490, 117 RC, 137 OPS+, .310 EQA, 52.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #4 .289/.368/.559, 120 RC, 147 OPS+, .315 EQA, 51.8 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #3 169 ERA+, 3.55 K/BB, 0.97 WHIP, 84.6 VORP, 29 Win Shares   #2 .357/.453/.486, 128 RC, 157 OPS+, .337 EQA, 73.2 VORP, 37 Win Shares   #1 .352/.394/.573, 155 RC, 161 OPS+, .338 EQA, 85.8 VORP, 34 Win Shares   OH IN YO FACE CLEMENS, IN YO FACE!!!   See the fact fuck wasn't even the best player on his own team. That's it he shouldn't be allowed in the Hall of Fame. Pretty much a toss up between Mattingly and Boggs, I wouldn't argue with anyone who feels Boggs should have won it. RICKEY~ didn't receive any votes and neither did Ripken who also didn't receive any votes in the 1984 A.L. MVP redo when I chose him as the winner.   In the near future I'll be posting an 80's round up of MVP redos for the years haven't done yet but aren't interesting enough for their own entry...and I'm not even sure if this one was either.

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Evolution of a Trade: Astros trade Glenn Davis

Resident TSM Astros fan vivalaultra inspired me by his excitement over me mentioning Glenn Davis in the new TWiB thread and bringing up him being traded to the Orioles. During the '90/'91 offseason the Astros traded their slugging first baseman for three prospects named Curt Schilling, Steve Finley, and Pete Harnisch. Davis played three injury filled years in Baltimore while Schilling and Finley are still active players. Quite the coup by the Astros but Schilling and Finley's best years would come away from Houston as they would both be traded within the next three years.   This gave me an idea, which I've actually thought of before, of looking at the evolution of a trade and see what other moves it spawned. I orignally was going to post this in the TWiB thread but there is an insane number of moves that that one trade created and changed the lives of many players. This is only from the Astros perspective or otherwise this would go on forever. Now since I'm lazy I'm only C&Ping the transactions from baseball-reference.com.   Fun Facts from the Evolution of the Glenn Davis Trade -13 future trades, the last made in 2004 -61 Players traded -Acquired Brad Ausmus from the Tigers, then traded him back to the Tigers, and then traded back for him. If he's never traded again by the Astros he will be the last connection to the Davis trade.   Glenn Davis January 10, 1991: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Baltimore Orioles for Pete Harnisch, Curt Schilling, and Steve Finley.   Curt Schilling April 2, 1992: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jason Grimsley.   Jason Grimsley March 30, 1993: Released by the Houston Astros.   Pete Harnisch November 28, 1994: Traded by the Houston Astros to the New York Mets for players to be named later. The New York Mets sent Todd Beckerman (minors) (December 6, 1994) and Juan Castillo (April 12, 1995) to the Houston Astros to complete the trade.   Steve Finley December 28, 1994: Traded by the Houston Astros with a player to be named later, Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Roberto Petagine, and Brian Williams to the San Diego Padres for Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez (the other one), Phil Plantier, and Craig Shipley. The Houston Astros sent Sean Fesh (minors) (May 1, 1995) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.   Phil Plantier July 19, 1995: Traded by the Houston Astros to the San Diego Padres for Rich Loiselle and Jeff Tabaka.   Pedro A. Martinez October 10, 1995: Traded by the Houston Astros to the San Diego Padres for Ray Holbert.   Ray Holbert December 15, 1996: Signed as a Free Agent with the Detroit Tigers.   Craig Shipley January 5, 1996: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Diego Padres.   Rich Loiselle July 23, 1996: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Danny Darwin.   Doug Brocail December 10, 1996: Traded by the Houston Astros with Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, Orlando Miller, and cash to the Detroit Tigers for Brad Ausmus, Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski, and Daryle Ward.   Jeff Tabaka January 10, 1997: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds.   Danny Darwin February 7, 1997: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox.   Brad Ausmus & C.J. Nitkowski January 14, 1999: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Detroit Tigers for Paul Bako, Dean Crow, Brian Powell, Carlos Villalobos (minors), and Mark Persails (minors).   Ricky Gutierrez December 20, 1999: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.   Derek Bell December 23, 1999: Traded by the Houston Astros with Mike Hampton to the New York Mets for Roger Cedeno, Octavio Dotel, and Kyle Kessel (minors).   Trever Miller March 29, 2000: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Philadelphia Phillies for Yorkis Perez.   Paul Bako April 11, 2000: Purchased by the Florida Marlins from the Houston Astros.   Yorkis Perez July 24, 2000: Released by the Houston Astros.   Roger Cedeno December 11, 2000: Traded by the Houston Astros with Chris Holt and Mitch Meluskey to the Detroit Tigers for Brad Ausmus, Doug Brocail, and Nelson Cruz.   Jose Lima June 23, 2001: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Detroit Tigers for Dave Mlicki.   Brian Powell November 30, 2001: Signed as a Free Agent with the Detroit Tigers.   Doug Brocail November 11, 2002: Granted Free Agency.   Nelson Cruz December 16, 2002: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Colorado Rockies for Victor Hall (minors).   Daryle Ward January 25, 2003: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Ruddy Lugo (minors).   Octavio Dotel June 24, 2004: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Houston Astros to the Oakland Athletics. The Oakland Athletics sent Mike Wood and Mark Teahen (minors) to the Kansas City Royals. The Houston Astros sent John Buck and cash to the Kansas City Royals. The Kansas City Royals sent Carlos Beltran to the Houston Astros.   Carlos Beltran January 11, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.

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Where'd They Go?: 1986 Cleveland Indians

Joe Carter and Cory Snyder of the Clevleand Indians graced the cover of Sports Illustrated's 1987 Baseball Preview issue. It declared the Indians as the best team in the American League. The ’87 Indians would lose 101 games. How could this happen? No one is picking a team who was terrible the year before to win a pennant and indeed the year before the Indians were the surprise team of baseball. There have plenty of looks at the infamous ’87 Indians so I figured I’d look at the ’86 team that led to their label as preseason contenders the following season   Going into 1986 the Indians were coming off a 102 loss season but would put together their best team in 27 years, leading the Majors in runs scored. They were never serious contenders in the A.L. East to the Red Sox in ’86 as their highpoint was on July 23rd when they were 51-41, five games out of first place. After terrible month of August (12-19) they hovered around .500 but won 9 of their last 12 games to finish 84-78, their first winning season since 1979.   C: Andy Allanson (.225/.260/.280, -9.3 VORP, 0 Win Shares) – 101 games played, 0 Win Shares. Wow. Allanson was a rookie and brought absolutely nothing to the table. On top of those stomach turning offensive numbers he also committed 20 errors. Played with the Indians thru 1989 then bounced around to Detroit, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and California.   1B: Pat Tabler (.326/.368/.433, 28.7 VORP, 16 Win Shares) – Tabler would have made an awesome middle infielder with his numbers but problem was he played first base. ’86 was his best year as he finished 4th in the A.L. in average but he had almost no power with a career .379 SLG. Traded to the Royals in 1988 for Bud Black, then traded to the Mets in 1990 (the fifth trade of his career), and finished his career with two years in Toronto.   2B: Tony Bernazard (.301/.362/.456, 48.2 VORP, 25 Win Shares) – The top A.L. second baseman in 1986 per Win Shares, this was also Bernazard’s career year (possible trend?). Traded midseason the following year to Oakland in what would be his last year in the Majors before a brief comeback with the Tigers in 1991.   3B: Brook Jacoby (.288/.350/.441, 30.0 VORP, 21 Win Shares) – Only 26, Jacoby appeared to be a rising star but would peak the following year with a 32 homerun season. Fell off a cliff performance wise after age 30, the Indians traded him to Oakland in 1991 and then return to Cleveland a forgettable final season in 1992.   SS: Julio Franco (.306/.338/.422, 41.9 VORP, 18 Win Shares) – Allegedly 27 years old at the time, Franco was one of my favorite non-A’s players as a kid because of his bizarre batting stance. He was awful defensive shortstop and was moved over to second base in 1988. After that year he was traded to the Rangers for Pete O’Brien, Oddibe McDowell, and Jerry Browne where he’d win the batting title in 1991. Signed with the White Sox for the 1994 season where had a terrific year but during the baseball strike decided to play over in Japan for the ’95 season. He returned to Cleveland in 1996, released late in 1997, signed with Milwaukee, and then went back to Japan in 1998. Played in Mexico in 1999 but did appear in one game for one at bat for the Devil Rays in September. Played the next two years in Mexico but the Braves purchased his contract late in 2001 and has since made a surprising return as solid, platoon player. This year joined the Mets at age 117.   LF: Mel Hall (.296/.346/.493, 29.4 VORP, 18 Win Shares) – Hall was the very definition of a platoon outfielder. In 1986 the left handed hitter had just 26 at bats against left handed pitchers. Basically a decent hitter against righties but completely useless against lefties. Traded to the Yankees before the 1989 season and I’ll just post his awesome bio on BaseballLibrary.com to talk about the rest of his career.     CF: Brett Butler (.278/.356/.375, 18.3 VORP, 20 Win Shares) – Very good leadoff hitter he was the master of the bunt single. Was a late bloomer as his prime was actually in his early-30’s. Signed with the Giants after 1987, played there for three years then became one of the most hated players by Giants fans when he signed with the Dodgers after 1990. Traded late in 1995 to the Mets and then came right back to the Dodgers, retiring after 1997.   RF: Joe Carter (.302/.335/.514, 49.9 VORP, 28 Win Shares) – Although later recognized more for his playing days with the Blue Jays, 1986 was actually Carter’s best year (trend!). Indians traded him to San Diego after 1989 for Sandy Alomar, Carlos Baerga, and Chris James. Almost exactly a year later he would be traded in a blockbuster deal to Toronto with Roberto Alomar for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. Played for the Blue Jays for seven years and of course became a World Series hero in 1993. Split his final season in 1998 with Baltimore and San Francisco.   DH: Andre Thorton (.229/.333/.392, 7.0 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – Thorton was washed up at this point after being an unsung, very good DH for several years. Played in only 36 games the following year hitting just .118, his final season.   UTL: Cory Snyder (.272/.299/.500, 19.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares) – I figured I’d throw Snyder in since he was on that infamous S.I. cover and it was partly the hype behind him that led to the Indians being overrated going into the following year. He hit 24 homeruns in only 103 games as a rookie but no one bothered to notice his .299 OBP and that he struck out 123 times with only 16 walks! Having 100+ more strikeouts than walks is hard to do and Snyder did it three more times in his career. Traded in 1991 to Toronto, then signed with San Francisco, and then played two years in Los Angeles.   Rotation   Tom Candiotti (116 ERA+, 47.6 VORP, 17 Win Shares) – This was Candiotti’s first full year in the Majors and he was the Indians only good pitcher in 1986, leading the A.L. with 17 complete games. Traded to the Blue Jays in 1991 in a five player deal. Then signed with Dodgers who he played with for six years. Signed with the A’s after 1997 then released during the 1999 season but was picked up for a return to Cleveland. Signed with the Angels before the 2000 season but did not make the team.   Ken Schrom (91 ERA+, 12.4 VORP, 10 Win Shares) – The Indians offense helped the mediocre pitcher to 14-7 record and an All-Star selection. Posted a 6.50 ERA the following year which would be his last in the Majors.   Phil Niekro (96 ERA+, 7.3 VORP, 9 Win Shares) – I doubt we’ll ever see another rotation with two knuckleballers on it and besides everyone knows only Doug Mirabelli can catch them. Anyways Niekro was 47 at this point and was no longer effective. His final year come next season as the Indians traded him in August to Toronto who released him a few weeks later. Picked up for a purely sentimental final start with the Braves and retired after the season. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.   Closer: Ernie Camacho (102 ERA+, 9.9 VORP, 7 Win Shares) – A former 1st round pick of the A’s he had an injury filled, sporadic career and this was one of only two years that he threw more than 30 innings.

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2006 MVP Watch #3

Ugh, I had almost finished the entire entry and my dumbass clicks the back button by accident. Click forward, nothing there. So fuck it I'm not typing all that out again so here's the quick version of the Top 10 for each league and maybe I'll edit in some numbers later.   Pujols still has a huge lead although it could be gone if he misses the full six weeks like many think he will.   Edit: Okay I've put the numbers in now.   National League 10. Jason Bay, Pirates .305/.427/.614, 49 RC, .328 EQA, 30 VORP, 9 Win Shares   9. Carlos Beltran, Mets .266/.389/.572, 42 RC, .309 EQA, 21.4 VORP, 12 Win Shares   8. Lance Berkman, Astros .299/.380/.598, 45 RC, .310 EQA, 20.6 VORP, 12 Win Shares   7. David Wright, Mets .327/.400/.559, 47 RC, .315 EQA, 25.5 VORP, 11 Win Shares   6. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .349/.437/.593, 51 RC, .338 EQA, 32.5 VORP, 10 Win Shares   5. Chase Utley, Phillies .323/.389/.541, 43 RC, .300 EQA, 27.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares   4. Bobby Abreu, Phillies .285/.454/.505, 48 RC, .317 EQA, 19.0 VORP, 14 Win Shares   3. Alfonso Soriano, Nationals .310/.363/.628, 54 RC, .309 EQA, 25.8 VORP, 13 Win Shares   2. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 217 ERA+, 5.00 K/BB, 1.08 WHIP, 40.0 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #1 .308/.442/.751, 65 RC, .357 EQA, 38.8 VORP, 19 Win Shares   Basically can flip a coin between Thome and Hafner right now but gave Thome the nod for the edge in Win Shares.   American League 10. Curtis Granderson, Tigers .287/.388/.483, 43 RC, .295 EQA, 18.9 VORP, 12 Win Shares   9. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays .326/.379/.606, 44 RC, .314 EQA, 28.2 VORP, 10 Win Shares   8. Ramon Hernandez, Orioles .307/.366/.512, 47 RC, .298 EQA, 18.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares   7. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox .319/.434/.505, 44 RC, .322 EQA, 22.1 VORP, 11 Win Shares   6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox .306/.405/.669, 42 RC, .333 EQA, 22.3 VORP, 10 Win Shares   5. Derek Jeter, Yankees .344/.435/.495, 47 RC, .320 EQA, 30.1 VORP, 11 Win Shares   4. Alexis Rios, Blue Jays .359/.397/.631, 47 RC, .324 EQA, 26.5 VORP, 11 Win Shares   3. Jason Giambi, Yankees .277/.458/.620, 51 RC, .350 EQA, 27.0 VORP, 12 Win Shares   2. Travis Hafner, Indians .308/.449/.631, 57 RC, .355 EQA, 33.2 VORP, 12 Win Shares   #1 .296/.432/.656, 58 RC, .344 EQA, 30.2 VORP, 13 Win Shares

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Draftback: 1980's MLB Roundup

The draft is tommorrow so I've decided just to do a quick list of the top players of each draft from the 1980's per Win Shares with a couple of other things thrown in. Now when putting this together I was quickly skimming over the list of players who played in the Majors from each draft so it's entirely possible I might have missed a key player or two so feel free to point out any omissions. For each year I only take in account players who signed.   1980   Top Pick Overall: Darryl Strawberry, 252 Win Shares, Mets Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #2 Garry Harris, Blue Jays Most Career Win Shares: Strawberry Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Craig Lefferts 91, 9th Round, Cubs Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Eric Davis 224, 8th Round, Reds   1981   Top Pick Overall: Mike Moore, 133 Win Shares, Mariners Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #11 Mike Sodders, Twins Most Career Win Shares: Tony Gwynn 398, 3rd Round, Padres Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: David Cone 205, 3rd Round, Royals Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Joe Carter 240, #2 Overall, Indians; Kevin McReynolds 202, #6 Overall, Padres; Paul O'Neill 259, 4th Round, Reds; Devon White 207, 6th Round, Angels; Fred McGriff 326, 9th Round, Yankees; Lenny Dykstra 201, 13th Round, Mets Other Pitchers with 180+ Career Win Shares: Mark Langston 184, 2nd Round, Mariners; Frank Viola 187, 2nd Round, Twins; John Franco 183, 5th Round, Dodgers   1982   Top Pick Overall: Shawon Dunston, 151 Win Shares, Cubs Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #2 Augie Schmidt, Blue Jays Most Career Win Shares: Jose Canseco 272, 15th Round, A's Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: David Wells 203, 2nd Round, Blue Jays Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Terry Pendleton 202, 7th Round, Cardinals Other Pitchers with 180+ Career Win Shares: Dwight Gooden 187, #5 Overall, Mets; Jimmy Key 188, 3rd Round, Blue Jays; Bret Saberhagen 193, 19th Round, Royals; Kenny Rogers 185, 39th Round, Rangers   1983   Top Pick Overall: Tim Belcher, 132 Win Shares, Twins (did not sign) Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #5 Stan Hilton, A's Most Career Win Shares: Roger Clemens 421, #19 Overall, Red Sox Most Career Win Shares by a Player: Wally Joyner 253, 3rd Round, Angels Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Ron Gant 206, 4th Round, Braves   1984   Top Pick Overall: Shawn Abner, 13 Win Shares, Mets Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #13 Bob Caffrey, Expos Most Career Win Shares: Greg Maddux 371, 2nd Overall, Cubs Most Career Win Shares by a Player: Mark McGwire 342, #10 Overall, A's Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Jay Bell 245, #8 Overall, Twins; Ken Caminiti 242, 3rd Round, Astros Other Pitchers with 180+ Career Win Shares: Tom Glavine 290, 2nd Round, Braves; Jamie Moyer 184, 6th Round, Cubs   1985   Top Pick Overall: B.J. Surhoff, 231 Win Shares, Brewers Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #5 Kurt Brown, White Sox Most Career Win Shares: Barry Bonds 661, #6 Overall, Pirates Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Randy Johnson 297, 2nd Round, Expos Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Will Clark 331, #2 Overall, Giants; Barry Larkin 347, #4 Overall, Reds; Rafael Palmeiro 394, #22 Overall, Cubs; David Justice 233, 4th Round, Braves; Mark Grace 294, 24th Round, Cubs Other Pitchers with 180+ Career Win Shares: John Smoltz 257, 22nd Round, Tigers   1986   Top Pick Overall: Jeff King, 115 Win Shares, Pirates Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #14 Greg McMurty, Red Sox (did not sign) Most Career Win Shares: Gary Sheffield 398, #6 Overall, Brewers Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Kevin Brown 241, #4 Overall, Rangers Other Players Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Matt Williams 241, #3 Overall, Giants; Todd Zeile 221, 2nd Round, Cardinals   1987   Top Pick Overall: Ken Griffey Jr., 358 Win Shares, Mariners Highets Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #2 Mark Merchant, Pirates Most Career Win Shares: Craig Biggio 411, #22 Overall, Astros Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Kevin Appier 189, #9 Overall, Royals Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Albert Belle 243, 2nd Round, Indians; Ray Lankford 228, 3rd Round, Cardinals; Reggie Sanders 201, 7th Round, Reds; Steve Finley 286, 13th Round, Orioles   1988   Top Pick Overall: Andy Benes, 139 Win Shares, Padres Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #5 Bill Bene, Dodgers Most Career Win Shares: Mike Piazza 309, 62nd Round, Dodgers Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Benes Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Robin Ventura 272, #10 Overall, White Sox; Tino Martinez 216, #14 Overall, Mariners; Marquis Grissom 248, 3rd Round, Expos; Luis Gonzalez 285, 4th Round, Astros; Jim Edmonds 263, 7th Round, Angels; Kenny Lofton 261, 17th Round, Astros   1989   Top Pick Overall: Ben McDonald, 83 Win Shares, Orioles Highest Pick Not to Play in the Majors: #4 Jeff Jackson, Phillies Most Career Win Shares: Jeff Bagwell 387, 4th Round, Red Sox Most Career Win Shares by a Pitcher: Trevor Hoffman 144, 11th Round, Reds Other Players with 200+ Career Win Shares: Frank Thomas 362, #7 Overall, White Sox; Mo Vaughn 201, #23 Overall, Red Sox; Chuck Knoblauch 231, #25 Overall, Twins; John Olerud 301, 3rd Round, Blue Jays; Tim Salmon 228, 3rd Round, Angels; Ryan Klesko 222, 5th Round, Braves; Jim Thome 279, 13th Round, Indians; Brian Giles 228, 17th Round, Indians; Jeff Kent 295, 20th Round, Blue Jays

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Mavericks & Heat: Top 10 Individual Seasons

For the first time in 35 years the NBA Finals will feature two franchises who have never reached the Finals before. So like I did for the Clippers after their historic playoff series win, here are the Top 10 individual seasons for both franchises according to the basketball version of Win Shares.   I guess it shouldn't be surprising that the best individual season for both franchises are from this past season. The Mavericks list is dominated by one player who may end up holding the 10 best seasons in franchise history by the time he's done and appears on his way to becoming one of the greatest players of all-time.   Dallas Mavericks Top 10 Individual Seasons   1. Dirk Nowitzki, '05-'06, 52 Win Shares 26.6 PTS, 9.0 REB, 2.8 AST, 0.7 STL, 1.0 BLK, 1.9 TO   2. Dirk Nowitzki, '04-'05, 47 Win Shares 26.1 PTS, 9.7 REB, 3.1 AST, 1.2 STL, 1.5 BLK, 2.3 TO   3. Dirk Nowitzki, '02-'03, 45 Win Shares 25.1 PTS, 9.9 REB, 3.0 AST, 1.4 STL, 1.0 BLK, 1.9 TO   4. Dirk Nowitzki, '00-'01, 43 Win Shares 21.8 PTS, 9.2 REB, 2.1 AST, 1.0 STL, 1.2 BLK, 1.9 TO   5. Dirk Nowitzki, '01-'02, 42 Win Shares 23.4 PTS, 9.9 REB, 2.4 AST, 1.1 STL, 1.0 BLK, 1.9 TO   6. Dirk Nowitzki, '03-'04, 33 Win Shares 21.8 PTS, 8.7 REB, 2.7 AST, 1.2 STL, 1.4 BLK, 1.8 TO   7. Steve Nash, '02-'03, 32 Win Shares 17.7 PTS, 2.9 REB, 7.3 AST, 1.0 STL, 0.1 BLK, 2.3 TO   8. Steve Nash, '01-02, 31 Win Shares 17.9 PTS, 3.1 REB, 7.7 AST, 0.6 STL, 0.0 BLK, 2.8 TO   9. Rolando Blackman, '83-'84, 30 Win Shares 22.4 PTS, 4.6 REB, 3.6 AST, 0.7 STL, 0.5 BLK, 2.1 TO   10, Derek Harper, '89-'90, 30 Win Shares 18.0 PTS, 3.0 REB, 7.4 AST, 2.3 STL, 0.3 BLK, 2.5 TO     Miami Heat Top 10 Individual Seasons -Yes Udonis Haslem but no Glen Rice. I've said before I'm not sure how reliable this is.   1. Dwyane Wade, '05-'06, 41 Win Shares 27.2 PTS, 5.7 REB, 6.7 AST, 1.9 STL, 0.8 BLK, 3.6 TO   2. Tim Hardaway, '96-'97, 39 Win Shares 20.3 PTS, 3.4 REB, 8.6 AST, 1.9 STL, 0.1 BLK, 2.8 TO   3. Alonzo Mourning, '99-'00, 38 Win Shares 21.7 PTS, 9.5 REB, 1.6 AST, 0.5 STL, 3.7 BLK, 2.7 TO   4. Tim Hardaway, '97-'98, 33 Win Shares 18.9 PTS, 3.7 REB, 8.3 AST, 1.7 STL, 0.2 BLK, 2.8 TO   5. Anthony Mason, '00-'01, 33 Win Shares 15.9 PTS, 9.5 REB, 3.0 AST, 1.0 STL, 0.3 BLK, 2.2 TO   6. Shaquille O'Neal, '04-'05, 32 Win Shares 22.9 PTS, 10.4 REB, 2.7 AST, 0.5 STL, 2.3 BLK, 2.8 TO   7. Dwyane Wade, '04-'05, 32 Win Shares 24.1 PTS, 5.2 REB, 6.8 AST, 1.6 STL, 1.1 BLK, 4.2 TO   8. Alonzo Mourning, '96-'97, 27 Win Shares 19.8 PTS, 9.9 REB, 1.6 AST, 0.8 STL, 2.9 BLK, 3.4 TO   9. Udonis Haslem, '04-05, 27 Win Shares 10.9 PTS, 9.1 REB, 1.4 AST, 0.8 STL, 0.5 BLK, 1.4 TO   10. Alonzo Mourning, '95-'96, 26 Win Shares 23.2 PTS, 10.4 REB, 2.3 AST, 1.0 STL, 2.7 BLK, 3.7 TO

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Draftback: 1984 MLB Draft

Next up is 1984 and I selected this particular year as it features easily the worst #1 pick of the 1980's. The Mets had the #1 pick and they wanted to draft Mark McGwire but could not agree on a contract so they settled for this...   1. Mets - Shawn Abner, Outfield, High School Abner never put on a real Mets uniform as he was traded to San Diego after the 1986 season in the Kevin Mitchell/Kevin McReynolds deal. .227/.269/.323 line in 392 ML games with only 13 career Win Shares.   2. Mariners - Bill Swift, Pitcher, Maine Another player involved in a Kevin Mitchell deal, traded to the Giants in a five player deal after the 1991 season. It was in San Francisco where Swift broke out, winning the ERA title in 1992 and winning 21 games in 1993. That was his peak though as he had elbow, shoulder, and other various arm problems through out his career going back to his Seattle days.   3. Cubs - Drew Hall, Pitcher, Morehead State Fewer than 200 IP in the Majors, primarily as a reliever.   4. Indians - Cory Snyder, Shortstop, BYU Could hit for power but had zero plate discipline. In 1987 he stuck out 166 times with only 31 walks.   5. Reds - Pat Pacillo, Pitcher, Seton Hall His 85 walks in 149 innings at Triple-A in 1986 was a bad sign. Only a little over 50 IP in the Majors.   6. Angels - Erik Pappas, Catcher, High School Nice strikeout/walk numbers (53/48) but results weren't pretty when he put it in play in his very short career. But hey he was the MVP of the 2002 European Baseball Championships.   7. Cardinals - Mike Dunne, Pitcher, Bradley I must have had thirty 1988 Topps Mike Dunne cards. Traded to the Pirates in the Andy Van Slyke/Tony Pena deal right before the 1987 season. On the surface had a very impressive rookie year (13-6, 3.03 ERA) but his poor K/BB ratio (72/68) spelled doom for any future success.   8. Twins - Jay Bell, Shortstop, High School Yet another #1 pick traded before they reach the Majors. Traded to Cleveland in 1985 in a deal for Bert Blyleven. Good hitting shortstop who lasted 18 years.   9. Giants - Alan Cockrell, Outfield, Tennessee Didn't make his ML debut until 1996 for a cup of coffee with the Rockies.   10. A's - Mark McGwire, First Base, USC My favorite player of all-time. I want him in the Hall of Fame but under the current circumstances might never get in.   11. Padres - Shane Mack, Outfield, UCLA Very good hitter but only played nine years filled with several nagging injuries.   12. Rangers - Oddibe McDowell, Outfield, Arizona State One of the great first names in baseball history. Already a regular player by 1985 but beyond a decent second year, not much of a career.   13. Expos - Bob Caffrey, Catcher, Cal State Fullerton An Olympian but never a Major Leaguer.   14. Red Sox - John Marzano, Catcher, Temple Believe it or not actually played in 10 different ML seasons but only 301 games played in that span.   15. Pirates - Kevin Andersh, Pitcher, New Mexico I searched his name on Google Groups and there was a total of one entry.   16. Royals - Scott Bankhead, Pitcher, North Carolina One decent year in 1989 but otherwise an erratic career.   17. Astros - Don August, Pitcher, Chapman College Traded for Danny Darwin late in 1986, had a decent rookie year but was a mess after that.   18. Brewers - Isaiah Clark, Shortstop, High School Brother of mid-90's Padres scrub Phil Clark. That's all I got.   19. Braves - Drew Denson, First Base, High School Only 41 career ML at bats.   20. White Sox - Tony Menendez, Pitcher, High School Threw over 1000 innings in the minors, only 29 in the majors.   21. Phillies - Pete Smith, Pitcher, High School Traded to Atlanta after the 1985 season in a deal for Steve Bedrosian, the Braves hot shotted him from Double-A in 1987 which probably doomed his career. Threw almost 200 innings at age 22 in 1988 and it's no shock he had arm problems after that.   22. Yankees - Jeff Pries, Pitcher, UCLA The Yankees first, 1st Round pick since 1979 (kept giving them up for free agent signings) and never made it to the Majors.   23. Dodgers - Dennis Livingston, Pitcher Oklahoma State One of several bad 1st round picks by the Dodgers in the 80's.   24. Giants - Terry Mulholland, Pitcher, Marietta College Hasn't been effective in about seven years but he's left handed so he's still getting a Major League salary at 103 years old.   25. Orioles - John Hoover, Pitcher, Fresno State Pitched just two games in the Majors.   26. White Sox - Tom Hartley, Outfield, High School Never made it.   Other Picks of Note   1st Round (Compensatory) Expos - Norm Charlton 2nd Round Braves - Tom Glavine 2nd Round Yankees - Al Leiter 2nd Round Cubs - Greg Maddux 3rd Round Astros - Ken Caminiti 6th Round Cardinals - Lance Johnson 6th Round Cubs - Jamie Moyer 12th Ruond Mets - John Wetteland (did not sign) 13th Round Expos - Jeff Brantley (did not sign) 14th Round Brewers - John Jaha 15th Round Angels - Chuck Finley 17th Round Angels - Dante Bichette 20th Round Red Sox - Jack McDowell (did not sign)

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