The massacre of star running backs continues into Week 4. The league's leading rusher Earnest Byner was injured in the Redskins' loss to the previously winless Bengles and Tecmo legend Bo Jackson was also hurt in the Raiders' win over the winless Falcons. Barry Sanders did return to action this week after missing two games and rushed for 179 yards but the Lions still lost to the Colts. In other action the Steelers knocked the Eagles from the ranks of the unbeaten and the lowly Patriots picked up their first win with a stunning blowout of the Oilers.
Week 4 Scores
Miami 35, Green Bay 14
MIA: 3-1, GB: 1-3
-Miami Defense: 5 interceptions
Indianapolis 17, Detroit 14
IND: 2-2, DET: 2-2
-Jeff George: 207 yards passing
Dallas 24, Phoenix 7
DAL: 2-2, PHX: 0-4
-Troy Aikman: 220 yards passing
Kansas City 17, Seattle 7
KC: 2-2, SEA: 2-2
-Christian Okoye: 171 yards rushing
Chicago 42, N.Y. Jets 3
CHI: 2-2, NYJ: 1-3
-Ken O’Brien: 7% comp pct, 34 yards, 4 int
Buffalo 28, Tampa Bay 20
BUF: 4-0, TB: 0-4
-Jim Kelly: 196 yards passing
Pittsburgh 27, Philadelphia 10
PIT: 2-2, PHI: 3-1
-Bubby Brister: 213 yards passing
Cincinnati 21, Washington 14
CIN: 1-3, WAS: 2-2
-Earnest Byner: leaves injured
New England 35, Houston 17
NE: 1-3, HOU: 2-2
-Irving Fryar: 6 rec, 157 yards
N.Y. Giants 35, Cleveland 10
NYG: 3-1, CLE: 2-2
-Mark Ingram: 4 rec, 145 yards
Minnesota 24, New Orleans 16
MIN: 3-1, NO: 2-2
-Saints: 16 yards rushing
L.A. Raiders 27, Atlanta 20
RAI: 4-0, ATL: 0-4
-Bo Jackson: leaves injured
San Diego 23, Denver 14
SD: 3-1, DEN: 2-2
-Anthony Miller: 4 rec, 109 yards
San Francisco 35, L.A. Rams 21
SF: 2-2, RAM: 2-2
-Jerry Rice: 6 rec, 196 yards
Leaders thru Week 4
1. Phil Simms, 213.3
2. Dan Marino, 205.6
3. Randall Cunnigham, 196.8
1. Joe Montana, 1085
2. Bernie Kosar, 1037
3. Marino, 918
1. Marino, 14
2t. Montana, 10
2t. Simms, 10
1. Jerry Rice, 20
2t. Henry Ellard, 14
2t. Anthony Miller, 14
1. Rice, 560
2. Irving Fryar, 392
3. Ellard, 386
1. Rice, 6
2t. Andre Rison, 5
2t. Mark Duper, 5
1. Earnest Byner, 449
2. Christian Okoye, 360
3. Neal Anderson, 347
1t. Tom Rathman, 5
1t. Anderson, 5
3. Many with 4
1. Many with 4
1. Lawrence Taylor, 10
2t. Michael Cofer, 7
2t. Simon Fletcher, 7
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Field Goals: Jeff Jaeger, 6
Putning Avg: Mark Saxson, 53.1
Punt Return Avg: Terrance Mathis, 17.5
Kick Return Avg: Chris Warren, 24.0
The Bills didn't miss Thurman Thomas for long as he was already back in the line up as they dispatched Jets in easy fashion 31-14. They are one of only three unbeatens left after only three weeks along with the Raiders and Eagles. The Vikings starting quarteback Wade Wilson was knocked out in the second half of their game against the 49ers but back up Rich Gannon led them to a 4th quarter comeback and overtime win, sending the Niners to a dissapointing 1-2 start.
Week 3 Scores
Washington 35, Phoenix 17
WAS: 2-1, PHX: 0-3
-Earnest Byner: 199 yards rushing
Miami 42, Detroit 10
MIA: 2-1, DET: 2-1
-Dan Marino: 330 yards passing
Buffalo 31, N.Y. Jets 14
BUF: 3-0, NYJ: 1-2
-Thurman Thomas: returns from injury, 113 yards rushing
L.A. Raiders 24, Indianapolis 21
RAI: 3-0, IND: 1-2
-Mervyn Fernandez: 4 rec, 119 yards
San Diego 24, Atlanta 23
SD: 2-1, ATL: 0-3
-Billy Joe Tolliver: 157 yards passing
Philadelphia 28, Dallas 6
PHI: 3-0, DAL: 1-2
-Randall Cunnigham: 152 yards passing
Denver 28, Seattle 17
DEN: 2-1, SEA: 2-1
-Mark Jackson: 4 rec, 114 yards
Houston 21, Kansas City 17
HOU: 2-1, KC: 1-2
-Lorenzo White: 149 yards rushing
Cleveland 34, Cincinnati 31 OT
CLE: 2-1, CIN: 0-3
-Bernie Kosar: 321 yards passing
N.Y. Giants 33, Chicago 27 OT
NYG: 2-1, CHI: 1-2
-Phil Simms: 211 yards passing
Minnesota 27, San Francisco 24 OT
MIN: 2-1, SF: 1-2
-Anthony Carter: 5 rec, 164 yards
Green Bay 21, Tampa Bay 17
GB: 1-2, TB: 0-3
-Don Majkowski: 239 yards passing
New Orleans 35, L.A. Rams 14
NO: 2-1, RAM: 2-1
-Steve Walsh: 250 yards passing
Pittsburgh 27, New England 24
PIT: 1-2, NE: 0-3
-Merril Hoge: 125 yards rushing
Leaders thru Week 3
Rating: Dan Marino, 230.6
Yards: Bernie Kosar, 840
TD: Marino, 11
Rec: Jerry Rice, 14
Yards: Rice, 364
TD: Many with 4
Yards: Earnest Byner, 398
TD: Many with 4
INT: Joey Browner; Barney Bussey, 4
Sacks: Many with 6
Two weeks in, two injured star running backs. In 35-3 blowout win over the Steelers, the Bills last their superstar Thurman Thomas to injury. The Lions so far have survived without Barry Sanders getting off to a 2-0 start after nipping the Packers 14-13. The big game of the week was the Rams upsetting the defending Super Bowl champion Giants 23-20 in overtime, and the Rams are now 2-0.
Week 2 Results
Seattle 20, N.Y. Jets 14
SEA: 2-0, NJY: 1-1
-Tommy Kane: 4 rec, 131 yards
Detroit 14, Green Bay 13
DET: 2-0, GB: 0-2
-Rodney Peete: 167 yards passing
L.A. Raiders 28, Denver 24
RAI: 2-0, DEN: 1-1
-Bo Jackson: 117 yards rushing
Minnesota 28, Atlanta 24
MIN: 2-0, ATL: 0-2
-Steve Jordan: 4 rec, 106 yards
Houston 23, Cincinnati 21
HOU: 1-1, CIN: 0-2
-Curtis Duncan: 5 rec, 117 yards
Cleveland 31, New England 14
CLE: 1-1, NE: 0-2
-Bernie Kosar: 313 yards passing
New Orleans 27, Kansas City 24
NO: 1-1, KC: 1-1
-Steve Walsh: 220 yards passing
Miami 28, Indianapolis 21
MIA: 1-1, IND: 1-1
-Dan Marino: 193 yards passing
San Francisco 34, San Diego 14
SF: 1-1, SD: 1-1
-Jerry Rice: 7 rec, 144 yards
L.A. Rams 23, N.Y. Giants 20 OT
RAM: 2-0, NYG: 1-1
-Jim Everett: 176 yards passing
Buffalo 35, Pittsburgh 3
BUF: 2-0, PIT: 0-2
-Thurman Thomas injured
Philadelphia 23, Phoenix 17
PHI: 2-0, PHX: 0-2
-Heath Sherman: 4 rushes, 73 yards
Chicago 20, Tampa Bay 19
CHI: 1-1, TB: 0-2
-Neal Anderson: 96 yards rushing
Washington 31, Dallas 14
WAS: 1-1, DAL: 1-1
-Earnest Byner: 130 yards rushing
Leaders thru Week 2
Rating: Randall Cunnigham, 235.0
Yards: Bernie Kosar, 519
TD: Cunnigham, 7
Rec: Jerry Rice, 10
Yards: Rice, 248
TD: Many with 3
Yards: Earnest Byner, 199
TD: Many with 3
INT: Many with 2
Sacks: Michael Cofer; Al Baker, 5
About four years out of Boredom I went on a binge of downloading roms to play old NES games. It was fun for a little while but playing on the keyboard got old fast. One of the games I downloaded of course was the favorite childhood video game of many men my age, Tecmo Super Bowl. A couple of weeks ago I finally had the itch again to play TSB but again playing on the keyboard just isn't nearly as fun as playing the original on the NES. So I decided for my next series of blog entires was to simulate a TSB season and track it here on my blog.
Yes I'm officially out of ideas.
Anyways I'll just be doing the quick simulation of each game. I thought about sitting through computer vs. computer games but that would take too damn long and get boring. Besides the computer can play really fucking stupid, like ignoring the wide open receiver streaking 50 yards down the field and throwing to tight end underneath who is covered. Maybe when I get to the playoffs I'll do that and add some screen captures.
For Week 1 the big game was obviously the rematch of the 1990 NFC Championship between the Giants and 49ers. Giants blew a 21-0 lead here in the 4th but prevailed in overtime 24-21. The big news of the week though is an upset win over the Redskins, the Lions lost Barry Sanders to injury. Randall Cunnigham, or better known as QB Eagles, went off against the Packers with 348 yards passing and 5 touchdowns.
Week 1 Scores
Seattle 27, New Orleans 21
-John L Williams: 5 catches, 121 yards
L.A. Rams 24, Phoenix 21 OT
-Henry Ellard: 5 catches, 147 yards
Philadelphia 38, Green Bay 24
-Randall Cunningham: 348 yards passing
San Diego 21, Pittsburgh 20
-Anthony Miller: 6 catches, 106 yards
N.Y. Jets 31, Tampa Bay 28 OT
-Jets: 176 yards rushing
N.Y. Giants 24, San Francisco 21 OT
-Phil Simms: 154 yards passing
Indianapolis 19, New England 14
-Steve Grogan: 16% comp pct, 46 yards
Denver 38, Cincinnati 14
-Bobby Humphrey: 14 rushes, 116 yards
Buffalo 24, Miami 21
-Thurman Thomas: 191 total yards
L.A. Raiders 30, Houston 21
-Oilers: 12 yards rushing
Detroit 17, Redskins 14
-Barry Sanders: 106 yards rushing, leaves injured
Dallas 24, Cleveland 10
-Jay Novacek: 4 catches, 102 yards
Minnesota 30, Chicago 17
-Wade Wilson: 204 yards passing
Kansas City 38, Atlanta 0
-Falcons: 64 total yards, 3 first downs
Leaders thru Week 1
As I get later into the season I'll add expanded leaders. I've never quite figured out what the hell formula Tecmo used for passing rating on the game as it is obviously not the standard NFL version.
Rating: Randall Cunnigham 302.0
Yards: Cunningham 348
TD: Cunnigham 5
Receptions: Art Monk; Anthony Miller, 6
Yards: Henry Ellard; Fred Barnett, 147
TD: Many with 2
Yards: Bobby Humphrey, 116
TD: Many with 2
INT: Many with 2
Sacks: Richard Dent; Lawrence Taylor; Al Baker, 3
Hey its entry #200! Ya I had nothing special thought out. I've tried putting together a list of the Top 50 Oakland A's of All-Time but am never satisfied with the list when I put it together. I also tried putting together a list of the Top 100 baseball players of my baseball lifetime but that became too difficult and eventually too subjective as I made adjustments to it. So as a total cop out I decided to list the Top 50 most replied to threads in the Sports forum here at TSM which is pretty much the only forum I post in for the most part. I'd pull quotes from these threads but not even I'm not Bored enough to go through threads with thousands of posts to find something remotely funny although feel free to do it for me.
1. One & Only MLB playoff discussion thread 3616 replies
Sarted September 27, 2003 by KingPK
Most Posts: Choken One - 612
2. English Football 3483
Started June 22, 2003 by welshjerichomark
Most Posts: TheFranchise - 893
3. The Official MLB Offseason Topic 2396
Started November 9, 2003 by Bored
Most Posts: alkeiper - 448
4. Fantasy NBA League? 2264
Started October 1, 2003 by MarvinisaLunatic
Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 415
5. The OAO NBA Playoffs/Finals Thread 2145
Started April 10, 2004 by Dangerous A
Most Posts: Choken One - 203
6. And So it Begins 2132
Started October 28, 2004 by Bruiser Chong
Most Posts: alkeiper - 238
7. The one and only NHL playoffs thread 1989
Started October 6, 2003 by Urban Warfare
Most Posts: ???
8. The ALCS: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox 1902
Started October 9, 2004 by The Dames
Most Posts: Anglesault - 246
9. NFL Discussion Forumtable 1870
Started November 14, 2006 by Agent of Oblivion
Most Posts: Porter - 144
10. Smartmarks Fake Baseball League 1714
Started October 18, 2003 by Evolution
Most Posts: Evolution - 553
11. Another reason why ESPN sucks 1681
Started April 13, 2006 by KingPK
Mosts Posts: Leena - 156
12. 2006-7 MLB Offseason Thread 1593
Started October 2, 2006 by Mik
Most Posts: cheech13 - 182
13. 2006 NFL Off-Season 1558
Started January 3, 2006 by FFMS
Most Posts: Carlito Brigante - 203
14. The OaO 2003-2004 NBA Thread! 1369
Started October 23, 2003 by Just J
Most Posts: alfdogg - 167
15. The 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs thread 1317
Started April 4, 2004 by CanadianChris
Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 99
16. The Official 2003 NBA Playoffs Thread 1246
Started April 16, 2003 by Crazy Dan
Mosts Posts: ???
17. Official College Football thread 1229
Started September 2, 2003 by Vern Gagne
Most Posts: Bored - 216
18. The NFL Offseason/Pre-Draft Thread 1177
Started January 22, 2005 by MrRant
Most Posts: Vitamin X - 158
19. TSM Fantasy Baseball 2007 1150
Started January 12, 2007 by MJ Styles
Most Posts: MJ Styles - 179
20. TSM 2006 NBA Playoffs thread 1140
Started April 17, 2006 by Dangerous A
Most Posts: alfdogg - 105
21. The One & Only 2003 NFL Draft Thread 1126
Started April 25, 2003 by Flyboy
Most Posts: ???
22. The Rose Bowl Thread 1112
Started December 3, 2005 by Bored
Most Posts: Damaramu - 236
23. NBA Offseason Thread 1109
Started May 8, 2006 by Kingofthe909
Most Posts: alfdogg - 143
24. NBA Offseason News and Moves 1104
Started June 17, 2004 by NaturalBornThriller4:20
Most Posts: alfdogg - 106
25. 2006-07 MLB Offseason Thread (Part II) 1095
Started December 11, 2006 by alkeiper
Most Posts: cheech13 - 154
26. NHL 2006 Playoffs thread... 1087
Started April 17, 2006 by Carlito Brigante
Most Posts: CanadianChris - 165
27. NBA Roundtable Discussion 1056
Started December 7, 2006 by alfdogg
Most Posts: Ripper - 145
28. Head 2 Head Fantasy Baseball 2005 1026
Started February 21, 2005 by Lightning Flik
Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 205
29. NHL 2006 Off-Season... 1012
Started June 19, 2006 by Carlito Brigante
Most Posts: Kingofthe909 - 134
30. NCAA Basketball Tournament Thread 1006
Started March 17, 2005 by Slayer
Mosts Posts: Damaramu - 131
31. The OAO NHL 2003-2004 Season Thread 1003
Started December 2, 2003 by CanadianChris
Most Posts: CanadianChris - 118
32. Super Bowl XL 996
Started January 22, 2006 by CanadianChris
Most Posts: Hawk 34 - 67
33. NBA Offseason Stuff 953
Started May 31, 2005 by alfdogg
Most Posts: alfdogg - 128
34. The One and Only Divisional Playoffs thread 917
Started January 10, 2004 by CanadianChris
Most Posts: FrigidSoul - 102
35. College Hoops: NCAA Tournament Rounds 1 and 2 913
Started March 13, 2006 by SilverPhoenix
Most Posts: Leena - 100
36. 2005-2006 MLB Offseason thread 891
Started October 19, 2005 by Mik
Most Posts: FFMS - 138
37. Fantasy Football 871
Started July 7, 2003 by razazteca
Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 162
38. The Official SmartMarks Fantasy Football Thread 869
Started July 28, 2002 by The Man in Blak
Most Posts: ???
39. NBA Playoffs 2006: Conference Semifinals 867
Started May 6, 2006 by alfdogg
Most Posts: naiwf - 89
40. TSM Head-to-head FantasyBaseball League~! 841
Started February 18, 2004 by Lightning Flik
Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 216
41. TOAO NFL Week 2 Thread 813
Started September 13, 2003 by bps21
Most Post: tpww - 144
42t. Anyone up for Fantasy Football? 808
Started July 3, 2004 by LaParkaMarka
Most Posts: Lightning Flik - 151
42t. 2005-06 MLB Offseason Thread (Part II) 808
Started Decmeber 11, 2005 by alkeiper
Most Posts: alkeiper - 114
44. OAO 2004 MLB Games Thread 800
Started April 4, 2004 by HarleyQuinn
Most Posts: Anglesault - 165
45. Yankees/Twins ALDS Thread 799
Started October 5, 2004 by alkeiper
Most Posts: mike546 - 131
46. The ONE and ONLY World Series Thread 795
Started October 16, 2003 by alkeiper
Most Posts: Mik - 179
47. The 2006 NFL Draft Thread 766
Started April 28, 2006 by Gert T
Most Posts: teke184 - 100
48. World Cup 2006 in Germany 753
Started May 10, 2006 by CurryMan
Most Posts: Kingofthe909 - 75
49. The 2004 NFL Draft 749
Started April 15, 2004 by JackBauer
Most Posts: bps21 - 102
50. NBA Playoffs 722
Started April 17, 2005 by alfdogg
Most Posts: The Electrifyer - 59
It's the All-Star Break so might as well give out some mideason awards. I honestly haven't paid much attention to the Cy Young or Rookie of the Year races this year and when I did I realized I made a mistake on my last MVP Watch.
National League Midseason Awards
Starting of course with the MVP, since my last MVP Watch was just 10 days there isn't going to be much change. But there was a major change on the N.L. side as after dropping out of the Top 10 last time in this short span Hanley Ramirez has been on fire and makes a huge jump back into the race which also goes to show you how wide open the N.L. race is. To go along with Miguel Cabrera it is amazing that a team that his five games under .500 has two legit MVP candidates going into the break but neither has prayer for the writer's award if the Marlins don't make a second half run. The other major change was after looking at the Cy Young race I decided I overrated Brad Penny last time around so he's out of the Top 10. Other than that very little change, Chase Utley holds the top spot going into the break, Barry Bonds is slowly moving back up the rankings, and Prince Fielder continues to slowly move down the rankings. I'm going to start losing faith in Win Shares though if it continues to think Eric Byrnes has been the MVP on the N.L.
10. Edgar Renteria, Braves
.319/.384/.481, 63 RC, 130 OPS+, .304 EQA, 32.7 VORP, 15.6 Win Shares
9. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
.310/.411/.516, 61 RC, 146 OPS+, .319 EQA, 28.6 VORP, 16.3 Win Shares
8. Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks
.306/.363/.496, 60 RC, 119 OPS+, .288 EQA, 25.4 VORP, 17.8 Win Shares
7. Russell Martin, Dodgers
.306/.374/.492, 60 RC, 125 OPS+, .300 EQA, 32.1 VORP, 17.0 Win Shares
6. Prince Fielder, Brewers
.284/.376/.620, 64 RC, 158 OPS+, .321 EQA, 35.5 VORP, 14.8 Win Shares
5. Jose Reyes, Mets
.307/.387/.439, 65 RC, 123 OPS+, .299 EQA, 35.2 VORP, 16.8 Win Shares
4. Barry Bonds, Giants
.295/.512/.589, 64 RC, 191 OPS+, .379 EQA, 41.6 VORP, 15.7 Win Shares
3. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
.331/.388/.538, 68 RC, 148 OPS+, .318 EQA, 45.1 VORP, 16.0 Win Shares
2. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
.324/.393/.576, 70 RC, 158 OPS+, .327 EQA, 39.5 VORP, 16.9 Win Shares
1. Chase Utley, Phillies
.325/.401/.571, 69 RC, 151 OPS+, .322 EQA, 42.7 VORP, 17.4 Win Shares
On to N.L. Cy Young, even though it is a close race it is hard to go against Jake Peavy at the moment. This was a really easy list to come up with as there's big drop off after the Top 3. Note Win Shares listed are pitching only.
3. Chris Young, Padres
202 ERA+, 2.75 K/BB, 1.06 WHIP, 35.6 VORP, 11.1 Win Shares
2. Brad Penny, Dodgers
183 ERA+, 2.42 K/BB, 1.19 WHIP, 41.7 VORP, 14.2 Win Shares
1. Jake Peavy, Padres
184 ERA+, 3.68 K/BB, 1.06 WHIP, 42.7 VORP, 12.6 Win Shares
N.L. Rookie of the Year is probably the easiest race to pick a winner at the moment as Hunter Pence is dusting the field. The question right now is if Ryan Braun got too late of the start to make a serious run but he takes the #2 spot despite having only 179 plate appearances. I went with Troy Tulowitzki over Josh Hamilton for the last spot simply due to Tulowitzki being really the only every day rookie in the N.L. since Opening Day and playing a pretty good shortstop for the Rockies.
3. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
.286/.358/.432, 40 RC, 103 OPS+, .268 EQA, 14.3 VORP, 10.1 Win Shares
2. Ryan Braun, Brewers
.350/.391/.663, 39 RC, 173 OPS+, .341 EQA, 27.2 VORP, 10.4 Win Shares
1. Hunter Pence, Astros
.342/.367/.589, 49 RC, 146 OPS+, .313 EQA, 30.7 VORP, 11.7 Win Shares
AMERICAN LEAGUE MIDSEASON AWARDS
Hardly any change at all from 10 days ago beyond dropping Dan Haren out of the Top 10. It continues to very much be a four player race but I still think there's little chance Magglio Ordonez holds down the top spot at the end of the year but I've yet not have him at #1.
10. Orlando Cabrera, Angels
.328/.366/.444, 58 RC, 118 OPS+, .282 EQA, 29.0 VORP, 18.4 Win Shares
9. Derek Jeter, Yankees
.336/.408/.463, 71 RC, 136 OPS+, .294 EQA, 33.4 VORP, 15.5 Win Shares
8. Gary Sheffield, Tigers
.303/.410/.560, 74 RC, 155 OPS+, .320 EQA, 38.2 VORP, 15.3 Win Shares
7. David Ortiz, Red Sox
.314/.434/.556, 65 RC, 159 OPS+, .323 EQA, 38.5 VORP, 13.9 Win Shares
6. Grady Sizemore, Indians
.280/.393/.471, 72 RC, 131 OPS+, .301 EQA, 35.8 VORP, 18.6 Win Shares
5. Victor Martinez, Indians
.324/.382/.553, 68 RC, 148 OPS+, .309 EQA, 38.7 VORP, 19.9 Win Shares
4. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
.359/.410/.459, 77 RC, 137 OPS+, .311 EQA, 44.0 VORP, 21.1 Win Shares
3. Vladmir Guerrero, Angels
.325/.416/.547, 75 RC, 158 OPS+, .321 EQA, 39.6 VORP, 21.6 Win Shares
2. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
.317/.413/.665, 86 RC, 186 OPS+, .341 EQA, 54.5 VORP, 18.8 Win Shares
1. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
.367/.446/.604, 84 RC, 177 OPS+, .346 EQA, 52.6 VORP, 20.0 Win Shares
For A.L. Cy Young Dan Haren is the easy choice for now but he's starting to comeback down to earth and in the end it will probably be once again Johan Santana's award to lose. One thing of note for both leagues with the whining by the media last year with their being no 20 game winners the writers will be falling over themselves to give the award to a 20 game winner this time around even if there are clearly better pitchers out there (C.C. Sabathia I'm looking at you).
3. Mark Buehrle, White Sox
149 ERA+, 3.18 K/BB, 1.10 WHIP, 34.7 VORP, 12.6 Win Shares
2. Johan Santana, Twins
161 ERA+, 4.17 K/BB, 1.03 WHIP, 38.0 VORP, 11.8 Win Shares
1. Dan Haren, A's
191 ERA+, 3.16 K/BB, 1.00 WHIP, 43.2 VORP, 14.1 Win Shares
Now for some CONTROVERSY~! Well not for the top spot as I think Jeremy Guthrie is clear choice for Rookie of the Year in the A.L. at the moment. But as you'll see there is no Daisuke Matsuzaka or Hideki Okajima on the list. I've said it before and I'll say it again, veteran players from Japan are not true rookies and should not be eligible for the ROY. That's just my opinion and right or wrong it isn't going to change.
3. Reggie Willits, Angels
.312/.408/.368, 40 RC, 113 OPS+, .288 EQA, 15.8 VORP, 9.8 Win Shares
2. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
.318/.400/.450, 43 RC, 124 OPS+, .287 EQA, 19.9 VORP, 11.4 Win Shares
1. Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles
159 ERA+, 4.00 K/BB, 0.91 WHIP, 32.5 VORP, 9.8 Win Shares
I attended the Mariners/A's game last night. On paper it seemed like a very favorable match-up with Dan Haren pitching for the A's against Jeff Weaver of the Mariners. Haren didn't have it last night, and he really hasn't had it for the last few weeks, but through six innings he had only given up one run mainly due to the Mariners over agressive hitting. He'd thrown 99 pitches to that point and I thought it'd be a good idea to get the hook instead of pressing their luck especially with scored tied 1-1. But manager Bob Geren did press his luck and got the whammy as Jose Vidro would hit a two run double to give the Mariners a 3-1 lead to finally knock Haren out of the game, the Mariners eventually going on to win 7-1. Now this was not the worst game I've ever been to from the standpoint of a heartbreaking loss (that would be this game) but it was one of the worst games I've ever been to from the quality of play by the A's. The A's committed five errors with Marco Scutaro tying an American League record with four errors in one game by a third baseman. Hey I saw history! So for this brief entry I give a brief list of some of the worst performances by the A's that I've seen live in person. The list is brief is I'm doing this off the top of my head and my memories of individual games as a kid aren't particularly good which I'll chalk up to having a short attention span.
June 21, 1987 vs. Texas. Now see talking of not having a good memory, I can't 100% vouch for that I went to this game but it was the second game of a double header and I have an early baseball memory of being at a double header against the Rangers with the A's getting blown out so odds are it was this game. A's lost 13-3 and some guy named Bob Brower for the Rangers hit two homeruns. Ron Cey DH'd for the A's that day. God I feel old.
June 30, 1997 vs. San Diego. The A's hit rock bottom as a franchise in 1997 and this game was pretty much how the season went. The Padres scored seven runs in the 2nd inning, featuring two three-run homeruns by Wally Joyner and Tony Gwynn off starter Don Wengert. He was replaced by Dan Johnson who I thought was good at the time because he had a 2.08 ERA. Not really grasping the idea of sample sizes at that point, he'd only pitched 13 innings so far that season, I would be very dissapointed as he would give up six runs of his own including a two run homerun to Greg Vaughn in the 4th. It was 11-3 at the end of the 4th, 15-5 at the end of the 6th, with the Padres clinging to a 15-6 win.
October 1, 2004 vs. Anaheim. This was an awful game and it was a heartbreaker. It was the first game of the final series of the year and the A's were one game out of first place behind the Angels. Mark Mulder made the start despite having a horrific last two months of the season and clearly needed to be skipped in the rotation for rookie Joe Blanton. Mulder would get hooked after surrendering four runs in the 2nd. Blanton would shadow him and kept the A's in it until the 6th when the Angels figured him out and Alfredo Amezaga (who hit .161/.212/.247 in 93 at bats that year) hit a grand slam to make it 8-0, eventually skunking the A's 10-0. And it was my birthday. Angels clinched the division the next day.
It's safe to say that the N.L. MVP race this year may end up being as wide open as the A.L. MVP race was most of last season. After never having a different #1 last season, I now place a 3rd different player at the top spot for this entry. I really didn't see it coming but the new #1 was the slam dunk choice this time around although I'm not sure if the media has noticed yet. For the rest of the list, Brad Penny rockets into the Top 5 and we'll see if he'll avoid a second straight, second half burnout. The previous #1 Prince Fielder is starting to level off which had to be expected but I think he'll keep himself in the Top 10 during the year. And my wire-to-wire MVP from last year Albert Pujols makes his first appearance in the Top 10 this season although he's still quite up to his usual level of greatness. Fantasy tip: If you have Edgar Renteria in your league sell now!
10. Edgar Renteria, Braves
.328/.386/.502, 55 RC, 137 OPS+, .311 EQA, 30.9 VORP, 13.8 Win Shares
9. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
.298/.401/.527, 54 RC, 147 OPS+, .318 EQA, 24.3 VORP, 15.1 Win Shares
8. Russell Martin, Dodgers
.299/.365/.480, 51 RC, 121 OPS+, .294 EQA, 25.7 VOPR, 14.9 Win Shares
7. Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks
.315/.368/.514, 54 RC, 125 OPS+, .294 EQA, 25.8 VORP, 16.3 Win Shares
6. Barry Bonds, Giants
.294/.504/.578, 55 RC, 187 OPS+, .373 EQA, 35.4 VORP, 13.2 Win Shares
5. Prince Fielder, Brewers
.282/.372/.622, 59 RC, 158 OPS+, .320 EQA, 31.2 VORP, 14.1 Win Shares
4. Brad Penny, Dodgers
213 ERA+, 2.50 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP, 41.6 VORP, 14.7 Win Shares
3. Jose Reyes, Mets
.314/.395/.447, 60 RC, 129 OPS+, .299 EQA, 32.5 VORP, 15.9 Win Shares
2. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
.326/.392/.594, 64 RC, 163 OPS+, .330 EQA, 37.1 VORP, 15.5 Win Shares
1. Chase Utley, Phillies
.331/.413/.586, 62 RC, 159 OPS+, .331 EQA, 41.2 VORP, 17 Win Shares
It was about this time I thought Magglio Ordonez's shocking ressurection would be coming to an end but he's still holding the top spot over some very stiff competition. Ichiro's contract year goodness continues as he's seemingly on his way the best year of Major League career and if the Mariners continue to not suck a second writer's MVP could very well be in his future along with a $20 million/year contract. Alex Rodriguez continues to hold strong even if the Yankees are holding him back.
10. Orlando Cabrera, Angels
.334/.372/.446, 51 RC, 120 OPS+, .285 EQA, 28.6 VORP, 16 Win Shares
9. Derek Jeter, Yankees
.343/.418/.483, 66 RC, 143 OPS+, .300 EQA, 32.5 VORP, 14.8 Win Shares
8. David Ortiz, Red Sox
.319/.433/.573, 59 RC, 162 OPS+, .322 EQA, 35.0 VORP, 13.5 Win Shares
7. Grady Sizemore, Indians
.281/.395/.471, 63 RC, 131 OPS+, .302 EQA, 33.6 VORP, 16 Win Shares
6. Victor Martinez, Indians
.318/.379/.536, 60 RC, 142 OPS+, .304 EQA, 31.9 VORP, 16.7 Win Shares
5. Dan Haren, A's
224 ERA+, 3.21 K/BB, 0.94 WHIP, 44.6 VORP, 13.9 Win Shares
4. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
.330/.424/.565, 67 RC, 165 OPS+, .325 EQA, 39.2 VORP, 18.6 Win Shares
3. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
.331/.429/.694, 79 RC, 198 OPS+, .350 EQA, 54.9 VORP, 17.4 Win Shares
2. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
.364/.419/.466, 72 RC, 141 OPS+, .316 EQA, 42.9 VORP, 20.2 Win Shares
1. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
.377/.453/.634, 80 RC, 185 OPS+, .352 EQA, 52.8 VORP, 19.2 Win Shares
The NBA Draft is this week so time for a NBA Draftback. Now I've done this twice before for past NBA Drafts (1989 and 1993) but I do them differently from the NFL and MLB ones as I rank the players from the draft by their career totals in the basketball version of Win Shares. As always I have no idea how reliable the basketball version is but it is interesting way to compare the careers of players from an individual draft class.
Like when I chose the 1987 MLB Draft this year I picked the 1992 NBA Draft because most of these players careers are over or winding down. Also like the 1987 MLB Draft this draft featured one of the most hyped #1 picks ever and like Ken Griffey Jr. in 1987, Shaquille O'Neal in 1992 would go on to become an all-time great in his sport. Hey it also featured Baby Jordan!
1992 NBA Draft per Career Win Shares
1. Shaquille O'Neal, Orlando - 501 Win Shares (1st pick)
2. Alonzo Mourning, Charlotte - 262 (2nd)
3. P.J. Brown, New Jersey - 243 (29th)
4. Robert Horry, Houston - 199 (11th)
5. Christian Laettner, Minnesota - 176 (3rd)
6t. Doug Christie, Seattle - 167 (17th)
6t. Latrell Sprewell, Golden State - 167 (24th)
8. Clarence Weatherspoon, Philadelphia - 163 (9th)
9. Tom Gugliotta, Washington - 128 (6th)
10. Jim Jackson, Dallas - 112 (4th)
11. Jon Barry, Boston - 110 (21st)
12. Walt Williams, Sacramento - 97 (7th)
13. Anthony Peeler, L.A. Lakers - 94 (15th)
14. LaPhonso Ellis, Denver - 90 (5th)
15. Matt Geiger, Miami - 83 (42nd)
16. Bryant Stith, Denver - 79 (13th)
17. Hubert Davis, New York - 76 (20th)
18. Adam Keefe, Atlanta - 75 (10th)
19t. Tracy Murray, San Antonio - 66 (18th)
19t. Oliver Miller, Phoenix - 66 (22nd)
21. Popeye Jones, Houston - 57 (41st)
22. Malik Sealy, Indiana - 50 (14th)
23. Todd Day, Milwaukee - 48 (8th)
24. Sean Rooks, Dallas - 46 (30th)
25. Brent Price, Washington - 35 (32nd)
26. Don MacLean, Detroit - 27 (19th)
27. Lee Mayberry, Milwaukee - 21 (23rd)
28. Harold Miner, Miami - 13 (12th)
29. Sasha Donilovic, Golden State - 12 (43rd)
30. Byron Houston, Chicago - 11 (30th)
31t. Elmore Spencer, L.A. Clippers - 7 (25th)
31t. Chris Smith, Minnesota - 7 (34th)
33. Marlon Maxey, Minnesota - 6 (28th)
34. Tony Bennett, Charlotte - 5 (35th)
35. Litterial Green, Chicago - 4 (39th)
36t. Randy Woods, L.A. Clippers - 3 (16th)
36t. Chris King, Seattle - 3 (45th)
38t. Reggie Smith, Portland - 2 (31st)
38t. Robert Werdann, Denver - 2 (46th)
38t. Matt Fish, Golden State - 2 (50th)
41t. Dave Johnson, Portland - 1 (26th)
41t. Corey Williams, Chicago - 1 (33rd)
41t. Duane Cooper, L.A. Lakers - 1 (36th)
41t. Darren Morningstar, Boston - 1 (47th)
41t. Brian Davis, Phoenix - 1 (48th)
The Zero Club
Isiah Morris, Miami (37th)
Elmer Bennett, Atlanta (38th)
Matt Steigenga, Chicago (52nd)
Never Played in the NBA
Steve Rogers, New Jersey (40th)
Henry Williams, San Antonio (44th)
Ron Ellis, Phoenix (49th)
Tim Burroughs, Minnesota (51st)
Curtis Blair, Houston (53rd)
Brett Roberts, Sacramento (54th)
Most Win Shares with the Team they were Drafted by
1. Shaquille O'Neal, 142
2. Latrell Sprewell, 81
3. Alonzo Mourning, 73
4. Clarence Weatherspoon, 72
5. Byrant Stith, 64
6. Robert Horry, 59
7. LaPhonso Ellis, 57
8. Christian Laettner, 48
9. Hubert Davis, 46
10. Jim Jackson, 38
Regulars of the Sports forum know that for the past three years I've been running a College Football Pick 'Em Contest. At the conclusion of last season I was uncertain if I wanted to continue running this contest. During last season the contest started to become a chore for me to run rather than a fun time killer. But after giving it it some thought and given the desire of others to keep it going I've decided to do it for at least one more year. I'll be holding off on posting the sign up thread for this upcoming season until mid-July as I hope having sign ups start closer to the beginning of the season will mean less people jumping ship right as the contest starts. Last year I started signs up around this time and I had four people drop out within a month into the season. Further details of the 2007 contest will be held off until then, including a change in the BCS rankings.
To keep this entry in with the theme of my blog, it's time for a random list which relates to the contest. Last year I posted the Bored's College Football Pick 'Em Encyclopedia which had a recap of the first two seasons of the contest and all-time standings. I don't really feel like typing up a recap of last season but I have gone ahead and updated the all-time contest standings so here they are.
All-Time Records (ordered by total wins)
Note: Results where replacements picks were used are thrown out.
1t. CanadianChris 29-13
1t. teke 184 29-14
3. iggymcfly 28-11
4. Edwin MacPhisto 27-14
5. Vern Gagne 25-16
6t. AlwaysPissedOff 23-17
6t. phoenixrising 23-18
8t. Bored 22-18
8t. nogoodnick 22-21
10t. Cuban Linx 21-7
10t. Lando Griffin 21-19
10t. Spaceman Spiff 21-21
10t. Will Scarlet 21-22
14. Spicy McHaggis 20-21
15t. MarvinisLunatic 19-12
15t. Cartman 19-21
17t. Agent of Oblivion 18-21
17t. Gert T 18-21
19. Kotzenjunge 17-20
20t. JHawk 16-22
20t. bravesfan 16-23
22t. Secret Agent 13-12
22t. Agent Bond34 13-14
22t. Kingofthe909 13-16
22t. the pinjockey 13-25
26. Porter 12-13
27t. SilverPhoenix 11-10
27t. therealworldschampion 11-20
29. A MikeSC 9-3
30t. Loaded Glove 8-13
30t. Damaramu 8-15
30t. Carnival 8-17
33t. kkktookmybabyaway 7-5
33t. Urban Warfare 7-6
33t. Danville Wrestling 7-7
33t. Flyboy 7-7
33t. Vampiro69 7-7
33t. Leena 7-8
33t. Vitamin X 7-16
39t. UTBroward 6-7
39t. HarleyQuinn 6-8
39t. Angel Grace Blue 6-19
42t. Hawk 34 5-7
42t. Ortonsault 5-7
44t. Matt Young 4-2
44t. Dangerous A 4-7
44t. 2GOLD 4-9
44t. Mad Dog 4-9
48t. Jimbo 1-1
48t. "Hail" bps21 1-2
50t. IK Cool Jew 0-3
50t. Rob E Dangerously 0-4
Well Jose Reyes will not repeat Albert Pujols' feat last season of leading the race wire to wire, then losing the real MVP, but he's not far from the now much fatter top spot. To no surprise at all J.J Hardy's fast start has come crashing down to earth and he is no where to be seen this time around after competing for the top spot last time. Barry Bonds has also cooled off but his rate stats are still way too good to leave out of the Top 10. Russell Martin might be this year's Joe Mauer and I can only hope all around spaz Eric Byrnes' numbers fall off a cliff like they normally do. Also of note the Marlins lead the way in both leagues with three players in the Top 10 but mediocre pitching from both their rotation and bullpen have done them in so far.
10. Josh Willingham, Marlins
.267/.373/.475, 52 RC, 131 OPS+, .305 EQA, 15.6 VORP, 12.2 Win Shares
9. Barry Bonds, Giants
.282/.488/.564, 43 RC, 181 OPS+, .365 EQA, 24.5 VORP, 10.3 Win Shares
8. Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks
.313/.375/.512, 40 RC, 129 OPS+, .302 EQA, 21.8 VORP, 12.1 Win Shares
7. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
.321/.391/.496, 45 RC, 141 OPS+, .312 EQA, 27.9. VORP, 10.5 Win Shares
6. Chase Utley, Phillies
.302/.383/.551, 41 RC, 144 OPS+, .314 EQA, 25.3 VORP, 11.3 Win Shares
5. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
.296/.358/.514, 51 RC, 138 OPS+, .308 EQA, 17.6 VORP, 12.6 Win Shares
4. Russell Martin, Dodgers
.297/.367/.474, 40 RC, 122 OPS+, .299 EQA, 20.6 VORP, 12.9 Win Shares
3. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
.330/.398/.590, 49 RC, 167 OPS+, .329 EQA, 27.6 VORP, 12.0 Win Shares
2. Jose Reyes, Mets
.308/.394/.453, 50 RC, 132 OPS+, .304 EQA, 27.1 VORP, 14.0 Win Shares
1. Prince Fielder, Brewers
.294/.381/.645, 52 RC, 169 OPS+, .332 EQA, 29.4 VORP, 13.5 Win Shares
Magglio Ordonez still holds down the top spot in the A.L. but Vladimir Guerrero is right on his tail and A-Rod isn't too behind as well. There's a big drop off those three with the rest of the pack featuring Ichiro Suzuki making a potential MVP run just in time for free agency. Only thing else of note is that I will have all of Dan Haren's babies if he continues to pitch this way all season.
10. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
.338/.426/.529, 48 RC, 151 OPS+, .314 EQA, 27.0 VORP, 10.9 Win Shares
9. David Ortiz, Red Sox
.330/.444/.599, 50 RC, 173 OPS+, .336 EQA, 34.0 VORP, 11.0 Win Shares
8. Victor Martinez, Indians
.322/.382/.551, 48 RC, 148 OPS+. .308 EQA, 24.4 VORP, 13.6 Win Shares
7. Dan Haren, A's
272 ERA+, 3.62 K/BB, 0.86 WHIP, 36.0 VORP, 12.0 Win Shares
6. Orlando Cabrera, Angels
.333/.379/.449, 43 RC, 125 OPS+, .286 EQA, 23.0 VORP, 14.6 Win Shares
5. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
.336/.388/.449, 52 RC, 128 OPS+, .298 EQA, 25.9 VORP, 13.2 Win Shares
4. Grady Sizemore, Indians
.283/.400/.485, 52 RC, 138 OPS+, .302 EQA, 25.2 VORP, 13.8 Win Shares
3. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
.300/.400/.648, 58 RC, 179 OPS+, .330 EQA, 35.2 VORP, 13.2 Win Shares
2. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
.341/.444/.589, 57 RC, 178 OPS+, .342 EQA, 37.2 VORP, 16.0 Win Shares
1. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
.367/.439/.668, 61 RC, 191 OPS+, .349 EQA, 41.9 VORP, 14.4 Win Shares
With Baseball-Reference.com now adding an extensive amateur draft database I thought for a quicky entry it might be mildly interesting to take a look back at who were the best picks for each round by the A's since the draft started in 1965. I originally thought of going through every round but settled on the first 20 rounds as you get later into the draft you have some rounds where they have zero players ever making it to the Majors.
1. Reggie Jackson, OF, Arizona State, 1966
Hard to go wrong with Reggie or Mark McGwire (1984). The year before taking Reggie #2 overall they had the #1 pick overall in the first ever draft taking Rick Monday. Other A's first round picks include Chet Lemon (1976), Walt Weiss (1988), Eric Chavez (1996), Mark Mulder (1998), Barry Zito (1999), and Nick Swisher (2002).
2. Jason Giambi, 3B, Long Beach State, 1992
Next best pick was Vida Blue in 1967. After those two you get Kevin Tapani (1986) and then drop to Mark Bellhorn (1995) and Mike Gallego (1981).
3. Mike Davis, OF, Hoover High School, 1979
Almost no success at all in this round for the A's as the only other player with an extended career in the Majors was Floyd Bannister in 1973 but he didn't sign.
4. Rickey Henderson, P, Technical High School, 1976
Yup RICKEY~ was a pitcher but obviously he went on to other things. Curt Young is the next best pick from this round but who cares when you have RICKEY~?
5. Mickey Tettleton, C, Oklahoma State, 1981
Tettleton did nothing for the A's but he's the easy pick here. Only middle reliever Dave Hamilton (1966) really contributed anything of signifcance for the A's form this round.
6. Sal Bando, 3B, Arizona State, 1965
The captain of the 70's championship teams is the pick here. They drafted Jim Sundberg (1969) and Alvin Davis (1981) in the 6th round but neither signed. Tim Hudson also drafted here in 1997.
7. Matt Keough, 3B, Corona del Mar High School, 1973
Slim pickings in the 7th, Keough became a pitcher for the A's with one good year in 1980. Todd Burns and Dan Johnson are the only other players to do anything with the A's.
8. Eric Byrnes, OF, UCLA, 1998
Glenn Abbott (1969) and Craig Paquette (1989) the only other "legit" Major Leaguers.
9. Terry Steinbach, 3B, Minnesota, 1983
A's regular catcher for a decade is an easy choice here. Another long time starter Wayne Gross was picked in 1973.
10. Lance Blankenship, 3B, California, 1986
Nothing of note here so I'll go with the only professional athlete I ever had a brief conversation with. Probably because I was one of about five people on line at a autograph signing appearance at a grocery store in 1990 but as a 12 year old kid it was pretty cool.
11. Greg Caderet, P, Grand Valley State, 1983
They drafted Eric Soderholm, third baseman with some pop who played with the Twins and White Sox, in 1967 but he didn't sign and Caderet is the only player from this round that had more than a cup of coffee in the Majors.
12. Chris Michalak, P, Notre Dame, 1993
Fewer than 200 innings in the Majors, and none with the A's, but there was literally no one better.
13. Rod Beck, P, Grant High School, 1986
A's traded him to the Giants for some nobody in a minor league deal in 1988.
14. Ron Coomer, 3B, Taft Junior College, 1987
Former "All-Star" was released by the A's in 1990. No A's 14th Round pick made it the Majors before him.
15. Jose Canseco, 3B, Carol City High School, 1982
Besides this piece of shit the A's also drafted defensive wizard Dwayne Murphy (1973) and fat power hitter Bob Horner (1975) although he didn't sign.
16. Doug Johns, P, Virginia, 1990
Only three 16th round picks made it the Majors and this is the best.
17. Rich Harden, P, Central Arizona College, 2000
Hall of Fame stuff but looks like the A.L. Mark Prior right about now. David Newhan (1995) the only other the Major Leaguer from this round.
18. Darren Lewis, OF, California, 1988
Just one of two 18th round picks from this franchise to make it the Majors but at least he did have an extended career and was a superb defensive center fielder.
19. Rick Lysander, P, Cal State-Los Angeles, 1974
See why I stopped at 20 rounds?
20. Gene Tenace, SS, Valley High School, 1965
Getting a guy who played 15 years in the Majors with .388 OBP is pretty good value here I'd say. Also picked Scott Brosius in 1987 in the 20th.
The MLB Draft is this week and for the first time it will be televised which will likely replace the NFL Draft for the boringest sports program ever. At least with the NFL Draft you've seen the top players play because college football is everywhere on Saturday's in the Fall but you are rarely able to catch any college baseball on t.v. outside the College World Series plus on top of that many of the top prospects are drafted out of high school.
I just picked 1987 to do a Draftback since by now most of the players from this draft careers are either done or winding down which just makes me feel so very old. It also has two first ballot Hall of Famers in the 1st Round with the #1 pick overall being one of the most hyped prospects ever and almost immediately living up to that hype.
1. Mariners - Ken Griffey Jr., Outfielder, High School
By far the best #1 pick of the 1980's Griffey would already be a superstar by 1990 and help turn around what was the Clippers of Major League Baseball into a respectable franchise.
2. Pirates - Mark Merchant, Outfielder, High School
On the other side of the coin we get this guy. Ironically enough he ended being traded to the Mariners organization in 1989 but never made it to the Majors and did not reach Triple-A until 1993.
3. Twins - Willie Banks, Pitcher, High School
Walked 107 batters in 125 2/3 innings in low A ball in 1988. Had one solid year in the Majors in '93 (11-12, 4.04 ERA) and that was it. Pitched for seven different teams in nine years in the Majors. Per the Baseball Cube in 2005 he gave up 15 runs in two innings pitched for the independent Newark Bears.
4. Cubs - Mike Harkey, Pitcher, Cal State Fullerton
Harkey had shoulder problems almost immediately but did to put together a very good rookie year in 1990 (12-6, 3.26 ERA) finishing 5th in the N.L. ROY voting. But that was his high point as he could rarely ever stay healthy.
5. White Sox - Jack McDowell, Pitcher, Stanford
Made his MLB debut just three months after being drafted. Very good pitcher for a few years including picking up a Cy Young in 1993 but started to break down by age 30. Probably best known for flipping off the Yankee fans in 1995 after being pulled from a game in his one season in New York.
6. Braves - Derek Lilliquist, Pitcher, Georgia
To no surprise he became expendable in the Braves organization and was traded to San Diego in 1990. Had two very good years as a middle reliever with the Indians in the mid-90's but little success at any other point.
7. Orioles - Chris Myers, Pitcher, High School
I found almost nothing on this guy. As you can imagine he never pitched in the Majors.
8. Dodgers - Dan Opperman, Pitcher, High School
Another guy where it is almost like he never exsisted. He apparently blew out his arm very early into is pro career.
9. Royals - Kevin Appier, Pitcher, High School
Excellent pitcher during his early to mid-20's with the Royals and I think was bit overlooked during his peak. Pitched reguarly into his mid-30's but was not particularly effective after age 29.
10. Padres - Kevin Garner, Pitcher/Outfielder, Texas
All I found out is he became a first baseman and was traded in 1991 with Joey Cora to the White Sox. Never sniffed the Majors.
11. Athletics - Lee Tinsley, Outfielder, High School
Never played for the A's and didn't make is MLB debut until 1993 with Seattle spending the majority of his brief career as a 4th or 5th outfielder.
12. Expos - Delino DeShields, Shortstop/Second Baseman, High School
A speedy, decent hitting, but poor fielding second baseman who spent 13 seasons in the Majors. Probably best remembered though for being the guy the Dodgers traded Pedro Martinez for.
13. Brewers - Bill Spiers, Shortstop, Clemson
13 years in the Majors mainly as a utility infielder.
14. Cardinals - Cris Carpenter, Pitcher, Georgia
No this is not Chris Carpenter. This Cris Carpenter pitched eight years in Majors primarily as a reliever.
15. Orioles - Brad DuVall, Pitcher, Virginia Tech
Chose to return to school the next year but didn't help his stock as he dropped to 23rd overall to St. Louis in the '88 draft and would never reach the Majors.
16. Giants - Mike Remlinger, Pitcher, Dartmouth
Only pitched 123 2/3 innings in the Majors thru 1996 he wouldn't have any real success until age 33 as a middle reliever with the Braves and was able to hang around until last year.
17. Blue Jays - Alex Sanchez, Pitcher, UCLA
Spent 18 days in the Majors in 1989: 11 2/3 IP, 16 H, 13 ER, 14 BB, 4 SO. Ouch.
18. Reds - Jack Armstrong, Pitcher, Oklahoma
Has to be one of the most obscure pitchers ever to start an All-Star Game doing so in 1990 but he'd collapse in the second half that year, would be left out of the Reds postseason rotation and really was never good again.
19. Rangers - Brian Bohanon, Pitcher, High School
Despite 5.19 career ERA still threw over 1000 innings in the Majors which again proves if you have a son who is left handed you better make him learn how to pitch.
20. Tigers - Bill Henderson, Catcher, High School
Another almost non-exsistant player.
21. Tigers - Steve Pegues, Outfielder, High School
Well at least one of the Tigers back-to-back picks made it to the Majors but Pegues didn't do it until 1994 with the Reds and played a total of 100 games in the Majors.
22. Astros - Craig Biggio, Catcher, Seton Hall
Okay he is washed up now and is just barely hanging by a thread to get to 3000 hits but he's had a remarkable career and doesn't need to get 3000 to be a lock for the Hall of Fame.
23. Rangers - Bill Haselman, Catcher, UCLA
Career back up catcher who played 13 years in the Majors.
24. Mets - Chris Donnels, Third Baseman, Loyola Marymount
Non-descript career in the Majors, played four years in Japan from 1996-1999.
25. Angels - John Orton, Catcher, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Damn teams sure were in desperate need of catchers in 1987. In 448 plate apperances in the Majors he hit .200/.265/.274.
26. Red Sox - Reggie Harris, Pitcher, High School
Had a five year gap between apperances in the Majors between 1991 and 1996, only threw 121 career innings.
Other Picks of Note
2nd Round, Blue Jays - Derek Bell
2nd Round, Indians - Albert Belle
2nd Round, Mariners - Dave Burba
2nd Round, Mets - Todd Hundley
2nd Round, Yankees - Pete Schourek
3rd Round, Cardinals - Ray Lankford
3rd Round, Brewers - Jaime Navarro
5th Round, Blue Jays - Mike Timlin
6th Round, Dodgers - Darrin Fletcher
6th Round, Padres - Dave Hollins
7th Round, Twins - Mark Guthrie
7th Round, Pirates - Mickey Morandini
7th Round, Reds - Reggie Sanders
11th Round, Orioles - Mike Mussina (did not sign)
13th Round, Orioles - Steve Finley
13th Round, Braves - Mike Stanton
18th Round, Orioles - David Segui
20th Round, Athletics - Scott Brosius
24th Round, Brewers - Jeromy Burnitz (did not sign)
26th Round, Yankees - Dan Wilson (did not sign)
28th Round, Twins - Bret Boone (did not sign)
30th Round, Astros - Darryl Kile
32nd Round, Rangers - Robb Nen
34th Round, Astros - Scott Erickson (did not sign)
37th Round, Cubs - Jeff Cirillo (did not sign)
45th Round, Blue Jays - Darren Lewis (did not sign)
48th Round, Yankees - Brad Ausmus
58th Round, Royals - Jeff Conine
A's lost two out of three to the Orioles this weekend in Baltimore and as May closes out it is once again looking like this is the year the A's string of winning seasons comes to an end. But it seems that way every year the first couple of months of the season before they go on some insane run for a couple of months that saves their season. Their former shortstop Miguel Tejada had never homered in 25 games against the A's before homering in back-to-back days this weekend and it was five years ago when Tejada played a major role in the A's most remarkable run of all when they won an American League record 20 straight games. It was that streak and some timely hits by Tejada that would be the primary reason he would be awarded the A.L. MVP after the season and it was always a very questionable win in the minds of statheads. I fully supported him winning the award at the time Miggy could have shit on my floor and I wouldn't have minded but enough time has past that it is time for me to take back what he didn't really deserve.
Tejada received 21 of the posssible 28 first place votes beating out Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano by a comfortable margin. A-Rod hit 57 homeruns and had 142 RBI in 2002 and those normally would be plenty for the writers to give him in the MVP the problem being this was of course when he was with the Rangers where wins did not come very often in Texas. Tejada hit 23 fewer homeruns than A-Rod and had a near idential OPS to his teammate Eric Chavez who finished 14th in the voting. But the main facotr in the writers view was that the Rangers won only 72 games, finishing 31 games behind Miggy and the A's, thus A-Rod could not have been truly "valuable" if his team played so poorly. Soriano had his breakout year with the Yankees, coming up with one homerun shy of a 40-40 season but given how loaded the Yankees line up was it was hard in the view of the writers to give the award to a player with so much help around him with teammates Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams both finishing in the Top 10.
So should A-Rod have been the slam dunk winner and how bad of a choice was Tejada?
1) Miguel Teajda 2) Alex Rodriguez 3) Alfonso Soriano 4) Garret Anderson 5) Jason Giambi 6) Torii Hunter 7) Jim Thome 8) Magglio Ordonez 9) Manny Ramirez 10) Bernie Williams 11t) David Eckstein 11t) Nomar Garciaparra 13) Barry Zito 14) Eric Chavez 15t) Eddie Guardado 15t) Troy Percival 17) Ichiro Suzuki 18) Billy Koch 19) Derek Lowe 20t) Pedro Martinez 20t) Mike Sweeney
.310/.352/.528, 118 RC, 132 OPS+, .290 EQA, 64.8 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.320/.381/.597, 132 RC, 152 OPS+, .312 EQA, 57.7 VORP, 26 Win Shares
169 ERA+, 2.33 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP, 75.3 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.308/.354/.508, 116 RC, 122 OPS+, .288 EQA, 58.6 VORP, 32 Win Shares
.300/.332/.547, 123 RC, 131 OPS+, .291 EQA, 68.9 VORP, 30 Win Shares
.333/.415/.493, 125 RC, 143 OPS+, .312 EQA, 66.7 VORP, 30 Win Shares
.349/.450/.647, 125 RC, 190 OPS+, .353 EQA, 75.4 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.314/.435/.598, 143 RC, 174 OPS+, .341 EQA, 79.2 VORP, 34 Win Shares
.304/.445/.677, 145 RC, 191 OPS+, .357 EQA, 85.0 VORP, 34 Win Shares
.300/.392/.623, 150 RC, 152 OPS+, .317 EQA, 86.8 VORP, 35 Win Shares
Some idiot on this board once said this back in 2003:
Oh wait, that was me. Fuck.
Anyways A-Rod, Thome, and Giambi all have great cases. Thome suffered the same fate as A-Rod that year as he was on a bad team otherwise he may have had a shot at the award if he had been on a contender. Alas I deferred to A-Rod's slight edge in both VORP and Win Shares (WARP3 as well) to give him the nod but there was simply no easy pick that season so this was the perfect year for someone like Tejada to win.
Finally I have an excuse to update this dying blog as HardballTimes.com has release the first Win Shares of the year and I know you are all excited. Okay maybe not, but it least allows me to take my first look of the year at the MVP races in both leagues. Being that we're less than two months into the season you have to take most things so far with a grain of salt. Taking a look back at my first MVP Watch from last year only two players from each league were in my final fictional MVP ballot (Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman in the N.L. and Jim Thome, Travis Hafner in the A.L.).
Last season Pujols led the N.L. race wire to wire in my view but he of course lost out to Ryan Howard in the real vote. This year Pujols is off to a very slow start by his standards and is no where in the early MVP picture. Right now it is three players vying for the top spot in Barry Bonds, J.J. Hardy, and Jose Reyes. Hardy's fast start seems a bit fluky but Bonds and Reyes could both certainly be in the race the whole year.
10. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
.316/.399/.536, 36 RC, 154 OPS+, .328 EQA, 19.4 VORP, 8.4 Win Shares
9. Carlos Beltran, Mets
.301/.385/.523, 34 RC, 147 OPS+, .316 EQA, 19.0 VORP, 8.9 Win Shares
8. Russell Martin, Dodgers
.314/.390/.468, 35 RC, 128 OPS+, .308 EQA, 16.7 VORP, 11.4 Win Shares
7. Todd Helton, Rockies
.361/.480/.538, 35 RC, 166 OPS+, .348 EQA, 23.5 VORP, 9.3 Win Shares
6. Prince Fielder, Brewers
.287/.370/.586, 38 RC, 153 OPS+, .313 EQA, 18.0 VORP, 10.2 Win Shares
5. Jake Peavy, Padres
235 ERA+, 4.05 K/BB, 0.98 WHIP, 25.3 VORP, 8.3 Win Shares
4. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
.344/.420/.557, 36 RC, 166 OPS+, .341 EQA, 28.7 VORP, 9.2 Win Shares
3. J.J. Hardy, Brewers
.311/.353/.595, 39 RC, 150 OPS+, .310 EQA, 21.5 VORP, 12.4 Win Shares
2. Barry Bonds, Giants
.282/.503/.618, 36 RC, 200 OPS+, .381 EQA, 22.5 VORP, 10.4 Win Shares
1. Jose Reyes, Mets
.313/.392/.484, 38 RC, 140 OPS+, .315 EQA, 23.7 VORP, 11.5 Win Shares
In the A.L. last year there was the MVP race was a complete debacle...as I picked Derek Jeter as my clear choice for MVP and the world stood still. Oh and Justin Morneau won the real MVP despite being the 3rd best player on his own team. Jeter is off to great start and is in the Top 5 but the #1 spot at the moment was an easy choice although certainly not someone you would have thought of coming into the season. Might raise some eyebrows with two Yankees above two Red Sox on the ballot at the moment but it really gives you an idea of how bad the Yankees have been beyond A-Rod and Jeter.
10. Grady Sizemore, Indians
.270/.393/.454, 36 RC, 129 OPS+, .308 EQA, 18.0 VORP, 10.0 Win Shares
9. B.J. Upton, Devil Rays
.309/.391/.550, 32 RC, 146 OPS+, .314 EQA, 18.3 VORP, 10.4 Win Shares
8. Orlando Cabrera, Angels
.312/.360/.435, 32 RC, 116 OPS+, .281 EQA, 15.5 VORP, 11.3 Win Shares
7. Curtis Granderson, Tigers
.286/.347/.583, 36 RC, 144 OPS+, .305 EQA, 19.6 VORP, 9.9 Win Shares
6. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
.347/.429/.535, 39 RC, 154 OPS+, .322 EQA, 22.0 VORP, 9.3 Win Shares
5. David Ortiz, Red Sox
.319/.436/.596, 40 RC, 171 OPS+, .335 EQA, 23.6 VORP, 9.0 Win Shares
4. Derek Jeter, Yankees
.367/.444/.494, 45 RC, 157 OPS+, .319 EQA, 23.8 VORP, 10.8 Win Shares
3. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
.306/.396/.676, 46 RC, 187 OPS+, .340 EQA, 29.1 VORP, 10.1 Win Shares
2. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
.335/.444/.613, 40 RC, 186 OPS+, .348 EQA, 28.1 VORP, 11.0 Win Shares
1. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
.361/.441/.710, 48 RC, 203 OPS+, .365 EQA, 34.5 VORP, 12.3 Win Shares
This past week has to be the most bizarre week I can remember in my sports lifetime. The Golden State Warriors upset of the Dallas Mavericks has made the Warriors the most talked about story by the national sports media, well until fat fuck Clemens signed with the Yankees today. Since I've been watching sports for the last 20+ years the only time the Warriors were ever the national conscious was when Latrell Sprewell choked P.J. Carlesimo almost 10 years ago. I have said in the past though that if the Warriors ever made a serious playof run that the Bay Area would go apeshit over it like nothing else and the crowds at The Oracle for those three games proved it. You have split fan bases in baseball and football, the Sharks have a nice hardcore base but hockey simply doesn't interest the moderate sports fan in the Bay Area, and pretty much only alumns get truly excited about Stanford and Cal sports. Hell the Warriors now even have bandwagon celebrity fans. It will be interesting to see if in the next round though as more bandwagon fans gobble up tickets if the crowds will be as insane as they were for the Dallas series. It's just crazy to think that if the Clippers don't lay an egg against the Kings at home on April 15th none of this might have happened.
Now of course the Mavericks became the 3rd #1 conference seed to lose in the first round to a #8 seed and only the 2nd overall #1 to lose in the first round since the NBA expanded the playoffs to 16 teams in 1984, joining the '94 Sonics. What's interesting it was only the 3rd time since '84 that the #1 overall didn't reach the conference the finals, the other being the '90 Lakers who were bounced by the Suns in the West semis that year. The Mavs are now part of trend where six of the last seven teams who had homecourt assured through out the playoffs has failed to make it to the NBA Finals. Before then 13 of the 17 overall #1's made it to the Finals, with 10 winning it all.
Now here is the random list with how each team who had homecourt assured through out the playoffs faired each year since 1984.
1984: Boston Celtics 62-20
-def. Lakers in NBA Finals 4-3
1985: Boston Celtics 63-19
-lost to Lakers in NBA Finals 4-2
1986: Boston Celtics 67-15
-def. Rockets in NBA Finals 4-2
1987: Los Angeles Lakers 65-17
-def. Celtics in NBA Finals 4-2
1988: Los Angeles Lakers 62-20
-def. Pistons in NBA Finals 4-3
1989: Detroit Pistons 63-19
-def. Lakers in NBA Finals 4-0
1990: Los Angeles Lakers 63-19
-lost to Suns in West Semis 4-1
1991: Portland Trail Blazers 63-19
-lost to Lakers in West Finals 4-2
1992: Chicago Bulls 67-15
-def. Blazers in NBA Finals 4-2
1993: Phoenix Suns 62-20
-lost to Bulls in NBA Finals 4-2
1994: Seattle Supersonics 63-19
-lost to Nuggets in First Round 3-2
1995: San Antonio Spurs 62-20
-lost to Rockets in West Finals 4-2
1996: Chicago Bulls 72-10
-def. Sonics in NBA Finals 4-2
1997: Chicago Bulls 69-13
-def. Jazz in NBA Finals 4-2
1998: Utah Jazz 62-20
-lost to Bulls in NBA Finals 4-2
1999: San Antonio Spurs 37-13
-def. Knicks in NBA Finals 4-1
2000: Los Angeles Lakers 67-15
-def. Pacers in NBA Finals 4-2
2001: San Antonio Spurs 58-24
-lost to Lakers in West Finals 4-0
2002: Sacramento Kings 61-21
-lost to Lakers in West Finals 4-3
2003: San Antonio Spurs 60-22
-def. Nets in NBA Finals 4-2
2004: Indiana Pacers 61-21
-lost to Pistons in East Finals 4-2
2005: Phoenix Suns 62-20
-lost to Spurs in West Finals 4-1
2006: Detroit Pistons 64-18
-lost to Heat in East Finals 4-2
2007: Dallas Mavericks 67-15
-lost to Warriors in First Round 4-2
I've been lazy with this blog for a few months now so no surprise I'm only getting around to second Draftback before the draft. Decided might as well do one from 10 years ago with the 1997 Draft and it is interesting to look at because one first rounder is in jail and another is dead. Can't beat that combo.
1. St. Louis - Orlando Pace, T, Ohio State
Not always glamerous to pick a lineman with the first pick overall but hard to argue with the Rams choice here. Selected to seven Pro Bowls.
2. Oakland - Darrell Russell, DT, USC
Lived up to the hype his first few years in the league but drug problems would derail his career among various other issues. Out of the league by 2004 and out of this life by 2005 when he was killed in a car accident.
3. Seattle - Shawn Springs, CB, Ohio State
Very good corner all be it a bit inconsistent at times during his career.
4. Baltimore - Peter Boulware, LB, Florida State
Would win Defensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to three Pro Bowls.
5. Detroit - Bryant Westbrook, CB, Texas
Not a total bust but pretty close to one considering he was a Top 5 pick.
6. Seattle - Walter Jones, T, Florida State
A complete bitch when it comes to contracts but he gets the job done. Six Pro Bowl selections.
7. N.Y. Giants - Ike Hilliard, WR, Florida
Okay receiver but when you take a receiver this high you'd hope they'd have at least one 1000 yard season and Hilliard has had none.
8. N.Y. Jets - James Farrior, LB, Virginia
The Jets had the #1 pick but they traded down. Farrior was considered a bit of a dissapointment while with the Jets but excelled with the Steelers.
9. Arizona - Tom Knight, CB, Iowa
It's the Cardinals, so really what did you expect? Three interceptions in his career.
10. New Orleans - Chris Naeole, G, Colorado
Big risk taking a guard this high but Naeole has been a solid player.
11. Atlanta - Michael Booker, CB, Nebraska
Not very good at all.
12. Tampa Bay - Warrick Dunn, RB, Florida State
Has a chance to pass the 10,000 yard mark in rushing this year and one of the true good guys in the NFL.
13. Kansas City - Tony Gonzalez, TE, California
Likley on his way to the Hall of Fame but he went to Cal so fuck him.
14. Cincinnati - Reinard Wilson, DE, Florida State
Well I guess on the plus side Wilson wasn't horrible like most Bengals' 90's first round picks but still not anything to get excited about.
15. Miami - Yatil Green, WR, Miami
Tore his ACL on literally the first day of training camp and never fully recovered. Only played one season in 1999.
16. Tampa Bay - Reidel Anthony, WR, Florida
I thought he'd be awesome. I was wrong.
17. Washington - Kenard Lang, DE, Miami
Average at best.
18. Tennessee - Kenny Holmes, DE, Miami
Another unspectacular Miami end.
19. Indianapolis - Tarik Glenn, T, California
Has developed into a very good tackle and selected to the last three Pro Bowls. But another Cal product, bleh.
20. Minnesota - Dwayne Rudd, LB, Alabama
A complete beast at Alabama...not so much in the NFL. Best known for his helmet tossing incident in 2002 that cost the Browns a game.
21. Jacksonville - Renaldo Wynn, DE, Notre Dame
22. Dallas - David LaFleur, TE, LSU
23. Buffalo - Antowain Smith, RB, Houston
Decent although he has to be one of the worst backs ever to have two 1,000 yard seasons.
24. Pittsburgh - Chad Scott, CB, Maryland
Has been a solid DB.
25. Philadelphia - Jon Harris, DE, Virginia
Two years. Two sacks. Bust.
26. San Francisco - Jim Druckenmiller, QB, Virginia Tech
Jesus tap dancing Christ, I had blocked this pick out of my memory. Horrible. Seriously do not know what the fuck they were thinking here especially with Jake Plummer on the board who seemed like a pefect fit for the 49ers offense at the time.
27. Carolina - Rae Carruth, WR, Colorado
Yessss it's everyone's favorite hiring a guy to kill your pregnent girlfriend and get found hiding in the trunk of your car wide receiver. Complete disphit.
28. Denver - Trevor Pryce, DE, Clemson
The string of mediocre ends, um, ends here. Four time Pro Bowl selection.
29. New England - Chris Canty, CB, Kansas State
Lasted four years and no one really noticed.
30. Green Bay - Ross Verba, G, Iowa
I just like the Deadspin entry on him.
Other Players of Note
34. Baltimore - Jamie Sharper, LB, Virginia
36. N.Y. Giants - Tiki Barber, RB, Virginia
42. Arizona - Jake Plummer, QB, Arizona State
43. Cincinnati - Corey Dillon, RB, Washington
44. Miami - Sam Madison, CB, Louisville
52. Buffalo - Marcellus Wiley, DE, Columbia
60. Green Bay - Darren Sharper, S, William & Mary
65. Dallas - Dexter Coakley, LB, Appalachian State
66. Tampa Bay - Ronde Barber, CB, Virginia
69. Chicago - Bob Sapp, G, Washington
71. Philadelphia - Duce Staley, RB, South Carolina
73. Miami - Jason Taylor, DE, Akron
91. Pittsburgh - Mike Vrabel, LB, Ohio State
98. Tennessee - Derrick Mason, WR, Michigan State
108. Chicago - Marcus Robinson, WR, South Carolina
229. N.Y. Jets - Jason Ferguson, DT, Georgia
This past week the Golden State Warriors ended 13 years of misery by finally clinching a playoff bid. My interest in the Warriors has never come close to my passion for the A's or even the 49ers but I'm excited never the less. As a kid I was a bandwagon Laker fan, which was hard not to do in the 80's, but around age 12 or 13 I dumped my bandwagon ways and started rooting strictly for the local teams then finally adopting the Warriors as my NBA team. I was a freshman in high school the last time the Warriors were in the playoffs and I only have vague memories of their season. I do remember going to their fan fest that year and getting my picture taken with Byron Houston, well because the lines for Chris Mullin and Latrell Sprewell were way too long. Damn little I knew at the time how oddly cool it would have been to have a picture taken with Sprewell although I seem to remember Houston got arrested on gun posession charges later in the year.
Now trying to figure out an entry for this I finally found an excuse to use paperofrecord.com. It's a free newspaper archive service that happens to have an expansive archive of old Sporting News. The Sporting News was still some what relevent then, although by then had already lost of a lot of it's prestige, so I figured it'd be interesting to check out an issue from 13 years ago this week and see what was being talked about in the world of sports.
Cover Story: Soar Subject. Can Danny Manning and the Hawks rise to occasion?
-Hawks had the #1 seed in the East going into the playoffs but they would be pushed to five games by the Heat in the first round and then lost in six to the Pacers in conference semis.
Sound Bites: Gorge Steinbrenner, giving yet another manager a vote of confidence:
-Hey he didn't lie. He'd fire him after 1995 instead. Who would have thought that 12 years later Steinbrenner hadn't fired another manager since? Showalter has of course been fired from two more jobs since.
-The NFL announced for the first time their games would be available by pay-per-view for home dish owners.
-In 1994 for the first time those advertisements behind home plate started popping up and in the "Voice of the Fan" section there is one from a fan saying he won't purchase any product shown behind homeplate and urging others to do the same. How'd that boycott turn out?
A Lively Debate: Only two weeks into the season, juicy theories abound about the core of the game - the ball itself.
-Everyone in baseball seemed to be hitting homeruns to start the season and many thought the ball was juiced. The word "steroids" is never mentioned once in the article. I miss those days.
-In a little blurb with an update on the baseball labor situation it is mentioned that Senator George Mitchell is a lock to be the next commissioner, if he wants the job. Guess he didn't want it.
-Dave Stewart accuses Barry Bonds of not respecting anyone but himself. Get out!
-In the Expos' notes section, pitcher Ken Hill shows why his future wouldn't have been as a GM. Expos were off to a slow 4-8 start and he complained about them trading Delino DeShield to the Dodgers in the offseason and saying that teams didn't fear them anymore. Who did the Expos receive for DeShields? Some guy named Pedro Martinez.
-Of course this time of year the NFL Draft was about to happen and they had an article ranking the top defensive players in the draft.
Defensive Ends: 1. Willie McGinest 2. Henry Ford 3. Joe Johnson 4. Shante Carver 5. Fernando Smith
Defensive Tackles: 1. Dan Wilkinson 2. Bryant Young 3. Sam Adams 4. Romeo Bandinson 5. William Gaines
Outside Linebackers: 1. Trev Alberts 2. John Thierry 3. Jamir Miller 4. Rob Fredrickson 5. Ron Woolfork
Inside Linebackers: 1. Winfred Tubbs 2. Kevin Mitchell 3. Allen Aldridge 4. Ken Alexander 5. Jermaine Younger
Cornerbacks: 1. Aaron Glenn 2. Antonio Langham 3. Dewayne Washington 4. Thomas Randolph 5. Tyronne Drakeford
Safties: 1. Toby Wright 2. Marvin Goodwin 3. Van Malone 4. Jason Sehorn 5. Anthony Phillips
-They added a quick Top 50 overall rankings. Comment on Heath Shuler: "A cut above Rick Mirer." High praise indeed.
-Also they had a mock 1st Round draft. Most interesting pick they had...Charlie Ward 19th overall to the Vikings. Ooookaaay.
-Speculation that the Raiders might move to Orlando. Damn, too bad that didn't happen. A's might have had a new stadium in Oakland by now.
-Charles Barkley on the Knicks. Knicks would come within one win of winning it all.
-Dennis Rodman on the Sonics. Wow, Rodman surprisingly prophetic as the Sonics were shocked by the Nuggets in the 1st round.
Been a long time since I did one of these as I got discouraged after flushing my 1991 Mariners entry by accident. But after doing the 80's tournament figured I might as well do one on the team that won it, the 1980 Expos. I normally try to focus on teams from the last 20 years since many of the players I at least have memories of seeing play but there are a quite a few interesting players from this club and I hadn't done one on the Expos yet.
Expos were in a heated three team race with the defending World Champion Pirates and eventual World Champion Phillies for the N.L. East title much of the second half. The Pirates faded down the stretch but the Expos and Phillies were tied for first going into the final weekend of the season and just happened to have a series against each other Montreal. Phillies won on Friday 2-1 and then the next day the Expos heart was broken when Woodie Fryman couldn't close it out in the 9th as the Phillies tied it 4-4 on a two out Bob Boone RBI single and then in the 11th Mike Schmidt hit a two run homerun off Steve Bahnsen to win it.
C: Gary Carter (.264/.331/.486, 34.9 VORP, 30 Win Shares) – “The Kid” at age 26 had already established himself as one of the best catchers in the game and finished a distant 2nd to Mike Schmidt in the MVP voting. Like most Expos stars they didn’t hang on to him and he was traded to the Mets following the 1984 season for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham, and Floyd Youmans. He would hit the catcher wall in 1987 and was released following an injury plagued 1989 season. Picked up with the Giants where had a decent year as a platoon catcher. Signed with the Dodgers for 1991 and then returned for nostalgia to Montreal in 1992 where he retired. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
1B: Warren Cromartie (.288/.345/.430, 19.8 VORP, 17.4 Win Shares) – Cromartie was a highly touted prospect who never quite lived up to the hype and he hit for very little power for a first baseman. Played in Montreal thru 1983 and then headed to Japan where he became a big star for Yomiuri Giants. He’d write a book about his experience in Japan which would inspire the movie “Mr. Baseball.” He returned to the States in 1991 where he played for the Royals as a back up.
2B: Rodney Scott (.224/.307/.293, 9.8 VORP, 13.2 Win Shares) – Scott was all speed and little else. He stole 63 bases and led the N.L. with 13 triples in 1980 which would lead to someone giving him a throw away 10th place MVP vote. For his career he hit just 3 homeruns in 2487 plate appearances, all of them in 1979. Most notable thing about him was in 1982 he walked off the Expos team in protest for them releasing Bill Lee and the Expos were more than accommodating in releasing Scott the next day. He was picked up by the Yankees who would also release later that year and would mark the end of his MLB career.
3B: Larry Parrish (.254/.310/.427, 9.2 VORP, 12.6 Win Shares) – Parrish had come off what appeared to be a breakout year offensively where he hit .307 with 30 homeruns and finished in the Top 5 in the MVP voting but it turned out to be a fluke, although part of his struggles in 1980 were due to a wrist injury. Dealt right before the 1982 season to Texas for Al Oliver. Played almost the rest of his career with the Rangers before being released in his final year of 1988, then picked up by the Red Sox to finish out the season. Had a brief but forgettable run as manager of the Tigers in 1999.
SS: Chris Speier (.265/.351/.330, 15.0 VORP, 12.5 Win Shares) – Speier was in the middle of a decent 19 year career although much of the rest of his career was spent as a back up. Traded to the Cardinals late in the 1984 season he’d then sign with the Cubs for a two year stint. Signed with the Giants from there where he played out the rest of his career, retiring after 1989. His son Justin currently pitches for the Angels.
LF: Ron LeFlore (.257/.337/.363, 17.0 VORP, 18 Win Shares) – LeFlore was a very interesting player because he was an ex-con and was discovered in prison by Billy Martin. After robbing people of their money for several years, LeFlore was robbing bases! Yeah I didn’t put too much thought into that. Stole a career high 97 bases in 1980 and is the only player to ever lead both leagues in steals. He signed as a free agent with the White Sox following the season but struggled there for his final two years in the Majors.
CF: Andre Dawson (.308/.358/.492, 50.9 VORP, 29.1 Win Shares) – This was Dawson’s breakout year at age 25, winning his first Gold Glove and finished 7th in the MVP voting. A free agent after 1986, with his knees already destroyed by the Olympic Stadium turf he signed with the Cubs where he’d win a very dubious MVP award his first year in Chicago. Stayed a fairly productive hitter thru his entire tenure in Chicago but after signing with the Red Sox in 1993 his power disappeared. Spent his final year with the Marlins in 1995. Currently fighting an uphill battle to get into the Hall of Fame and he just barely misses the cut for me.
RF: Ellis Valentine (.315/.367/.524, 23.9 VORP, 15.2 Win Shares) – Valentine was a super talented player but injuries starting this year derailed his career and was limited to just 86 games this year. He was hit in the face by a pitch from Cardinals’ reliever Roy Thomas in a game in late May, suffering a broken cheek bone. He struggled mightily following this season and the Expos traded him during the 1981 season to the Mets for Jeff Reardon which ended being a brilliant trade for Montreal. Played for the Angels in 1983, didn’t play a game in the Majors in 1984, and then played just 11 games with the Rangers in 1985.
Steve Rogers (120 ERA+, 50.6 VORP, 19.7 Win Shares) - Steve Rogers was a scrawny fine arts student specializing in industrialization in the 1940's before America entered World War II. He attempted to enlist in the army only to be turned away due to his poor constitution. A U.S. officer offered Rogers an alternative way to serve his country by being a test subject in project, Operation: Rebirth, a top secret defense research project designed to create physically superior soldiers. Rogers accepted and after a rigorous physical and combat training and selection process was selected as the first test subject. He was given injections and oral ingestion of the formula dubbed the "Super Soldier Serum" developed by the scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine. Rogers was then exposed to a controlled burst of "Vita-Rays" that activated and stabilized the chemicals in his system. The process successfully altered his physiology from its frail state to the maximum of human efficiency, including greatly enhanced musculature and reflexes.
After the assassination of Dr. Erskine. Roger was re-imagined as a superhero who served both as a counter-intelligence agent and a propaganda symbol to counter Nazi Germany's head of terrorist operations, the Red Skull. Rogers was given a costume modeled after the American flag, a bulletproof shield, a personal sidearm and the codename Captain America. He was also given a cover identity as a clumsy infantry private at Camp LeHigh in Virginia. Barely out of his teens himself, Rogers made friends with the teenage camp mascot, James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes. Barnes accidentally learned of Rogers' dual identity and offered to keep the secret if he could become Captain America's sidekick. Rogers agreed, and trained Barnes. Roger met President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who presented him with a new shield made from a chance mixture of iron, Vibranium and an unknown catalyst. Throughout World War II, Captain America and Bucky fought the Nazi menace both on their own and as members of the superhero team the Invaders, which after the war evolved into the All-Winners Squad.
In the closing days of World War II in 1945, Captain America and Bucky tried to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. Zemo launched the plane with an armed explosive device on it, with Rogers and Barnes in hot pursuit. They reached the plane just before it took off, but when Bucky tried to defuse the bomb, it exploded in mid-air. The young man was believed killed, and Rogers was hurled into the freezing waters of either the North Atlantic. Neither his body or Bucky's were found, and both were presumed dead.
The Avengers discovered Rogers' body in the North Atlantic, his costume under his soldier's uniform and still carrying his shield. Rogers had been preserved in a block of ice since 1945, which melted after the block was thrown back into the ocean by an enraged Sub-Mariner. When Rogers revived, he related his last, failed mission in the closing days of the war. Rogers accepted membership in the Avengers, and although he soon adjusted to modern times well enough to eventually assume leadership of the team, he was plagued by guilt for not being able to prevent Bucky's death. He also undertook missions for the national security agency S.H.I.E.L.D., which was commanded by his old war comrade Nick Fury. Rogers established a residence in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York and has discovered that Bucky had been held in suspended animation throughout the Cold War performing assassinations as the Winter Soldier.
Recent events have been tumultuous for Captain America. As the passage of the the Superhuman Registration Act drew near, Maria Hill (the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.) propositioned Rogers and the Avengers to join S.H.I.E.L.D. in enforcing the act. When he refused, Hill had her trained "Superhuman Response Unit" attack him. During the scuffle Rogers avoided being tranquilized and managed to escape by lodging his shield in an aircraft and forcing the pilot to fly him to safety. Soon after, at the Baxter Building the Watcher told the heroes who had gathered there about the Captain's escape. Captain America soon became the de facto leader of the Secret Avengers, heroes fighting against the registration act, much to the consternation of his erstwhile friend Iron Man. While the two made sporadic attempts to reconcile during the Civil War, the clashes between their respective teams became more and more heated, ultimately leading to a pitched battle in the middle of New York City. At the end of the battle, as Cap was about to deliver a finishing blow to Iron Man, he was tackled by several emergency workers. Realizing the damage the war was doing to the city and its civilian population, Captain America unmasked and surrendered as Steve Rogers.
On his way to an arraignment at the Federal Courthouse in New York City, Captain America was shot in the right shoulder by a sniper's bullet. Several subsequent shots were fired point blank at Rogers by Sharon Carter, brainwashed by Dr. Faustus who was allied with the Red Skull. Sharon, unaware of her actions and concealed by the crowd during the shooting, escorted Rogers to the hospital while the Falcon and the Winter Soldier subdued the sniper, Crossbones (Brock Rumlow). Captain America was pronounced dead on arrival at Mercy Hospital. Sharon's memory was restored by a keyword spoken by the Red Skull's daughter, Sin (Sinthia Shmidt).
Oh wait...wrong Steve Rogers. This Steve Rogers was the rock of the Expos rotation, playing his entire 13 year career in Montreal. There you go.
Scott Sanderson (115 ERA+, 37.9 VORP, 14.4 Win Shares) – I actually went over Sanderson already in the '89 Cubs entry. He was actually quite the phenom at this point as he was only 23. Traded to the Cubs in a three team, six player deal after the 1983 season.
Bill Gullickson (119 ERA+, 22.9 VORP, 10.1 Win Shares) – Gullickson was the #2 overall pick in 1977 and this was his rookie year at age 21. Had a losing record in 1981 but did pitch very well although it would pretty much be his peak. Very mediocre for the majority of the rest of his career, he was traded after one of his better years in 1985 to the Reds. They traded him to the Yankees in late 1987 and Gullickson then spent the next two years in Japan. Came back to America in 1990 to pitch for the Astros and then signed with the Tigers where he won an offense aided 20 games in 1991. Played the rest of his career there thru 1994. Ironically enough Gullickson and Sanderson are both #1 on each others career similarity scores.
Bill Lee (72 ERA+, -7.6 VORP, 1 Win Share) – Lee, Charlie Lea, and David Palmer shared the 4th spot in the rotation but I went with Lee since he’s the most recognizable name. The Sapceman’s career was obviously winding down at this point as he had a terrible year. Rebounded a bit in limited duty the following year but as before mentioned was released in 1982.
Relief Ace: Woodie Fryman (159 ERA+, 17.5 VORP, 12.7 Win Shares) – We’re still a little bit away from the closer position taking the role we know it as today as Fryman led the Expos with 17 just saves at age 40. He had actually retired midseason three years earlier while with the Reds but changed his mind after the season. Retired after 1983.
Oh it's the time of year again where idiots like me waste an entire weekend watching the most boring possible thing to watch in sports, the NFL Draft, but for someone reason we just can't turn away. So in honor of this I'll do what I did last year and take a look back at the 1st Rounds of a few drafts of the past providing zero analysis and bad jokes. Here were the ones I did last year:
This year I picked 1986 to start as the #1 pick didn't even sign and it was quite the draft for my 49ers but they had no 1st round pick so I won't be talking about it.
1. Tampa Bay - Bo Jackson, RB, Auburn
No we are well aware that it is not unheard of for #1 picks to whine their way into the trade like John Elway and Eli Manning but for one to not sign at all? Only the 80's Bucs could have pulled off such a feat. Jackson decided he'd rather play baseball for the Royals, who weren't a joke back then, than for the sorry Bucs. The Raiders would then steal him in the 7th round the following year where he'd play partial seasons for them for four years before suffering a career ending hip injury in the playoffs following the 1990 season.
2. Atlanta - Tony Casillas, DT, Oklahoma
Solid but never a standout player for 12 years, best known for winning two Super Bowls with the Cowboys.
3. Houston - Jim Everett, QB, Purdue
Always seemed like an odd pick as Houston of course already had Warren Moon, Everett never signed and his rights were eventually traded to the Rams. Dubbed the "Quarterback of the 90's", no I'm not making that up, after two very good years in 1988 & 1989 but a complete ass beating at the hands of the 49ers in the '89 NFC Championship Game seemed to shake his confidence and he never lived up the hype.
4. Indianapolis - John Hand, DE, Alabama
Another solid but unspectacular top 5 pick, had 10 sacks in 1989.
5. St. Louis - Anthony Bell, LB, Michigan State
A bad pick by the Cardinals? A shocking development to say the least.
6. New Orleans - Jim Dombrowski, T, Virginia
Primarily a guard in the NFL, started every game for the Saints between 1988 and 1995.
7. Kansas City - Brian Jozwiak, T, West Virginia
Bust, lasted three years and never made a start.
8. San Diego - Leslie O'Neal, DE, Oklahoma State
Would win Defensive Rookie of the Year after registering 12.5 sacks, finished with 132.5 career sacks and was selected to six Pro Bowls.
9. Pittsburgh - John Rienstra, G, Temple
"The Raging Rhino" lasted seven years, almost exclusively as a back up.
10. Philadelphia - Keith Byars, RB, Ohio State
Made a name for himself as superb receiver out of the backfield, eventually moving to tight end later in his career. Finished with 610 career receptions.
11. Cincinnati - Joe Kelly, LB, Washington
Played 11 years but hell if I remember him. I'll just assume announcers always called him "Jim" by accident.
12. Detroit - Chuck Long, QB, Iowa
Lions probably should never take a quarterback in the 1st round ever again. Maybe that's why Millen always takes receivers. 64.5 career passing rating.
13. San Diego - James Fitzpatrick, T, USC
Chargers didn't fair nearly as well with their second pick of the 1st round. Lasted six years, did nothing of note.
14. Minnesota - Gerald Robinson, DE, Auburn
Total non-descript career only playing two years with the Vikings.
15. Seattle - John L. Williams, RB, Florida
I guess this was the year for drafting receiving backs as John L. had 546 career receptions and made two Pro Bowls as a fullback.
16. Buffalo - Ronnie Harmon, RB, Iowa
Holy crap, had to be more receptions by running backs than any other draft. Harmon had 582 career receptions, better known for his days in San Diego.
17. Atlanta - Tim Green, LB, Syracuse
Better known now as an announcer and writing a lot of bad novels.
18. Dallas - Mike Sherrard, WR, UCLA
Suffered a badly broken leg in a scrimmage before the 1987 season, he wouldn't play a down again until 1990 making a comeback as third receiver with the 49ers and Giants.
19. N.Y. Giants - Eric Dorsey, DE, Notre Dame
7 sacks in seven years.
20. Buffalo - Will Wolford, T, Vanderbilt
Very good tackle for the majority of his 13 years, made three Pro Bowls.
21. Cincinnati - Tim McGee, WR, Tennessee
One very good year in 1989, but merely decent the rest.
22. N.Y. Jets - Mike Haight, T, Iowa
Haight wasn't even considered a lock to get drafted at all so this was your typical Jets' 1st round pick. Did last 7 years though.
23. L.A. Rams - Mike Schad, T, Queens University
That's Queens University in Ontario, Canada and was the first Canadian university player to ever be picked in the 1st round and did nothing to make his country proud after that.
24. L.A. Raiders - Bob Buczkowski, DE, Pittsburgh
Who are you to doubt the scouting genius that is Al Davis? Played a total of two games for the Raiders.
25. Tampa Bay - Rod Jones, CB, SMU
Hey at least the Bucs signed him. Did play 11 years, mainly as a back up.
26. New England - Reggie Dupard, RB, SMU
Hey he's a running back from SMU so he must be another Eric Dickerson! Um, not quite. 704 career rushing yards.
27. Chicago - Neal Anderson, RB, Florida
Had the misfortune of having to replace Walter Payton but he did a fairly good job with three straight 1,000 yard years from 1988 to 1990.
Other Players of Note
34. Houston - Ernest Givens, WR, Louisville
43. Cleveland - Webster Slaughter, WR, San Diego State
50. L.A. Rams - Tom Newberry, G, Wisconsin-La Crosse
51. N.Y. Giants - Pepper Johnson, LB, Ohio State
56. San Francisco - Tom Rathman, RB, Nebraska
60. New Orleans - Pat Swilling, LB, Georgia Tech
67. Pittsburgh - Bubby Brister, QB, NE Louisiana
76. San Francisco - John Taylor, WR, Delaware State
78. Cincinnati - David Fulcher, S, Arizona State
84. Green Bay - Tim Harris, DE, Memphis State
96. San Fancisco - Charles Haley, DE, James Madison
101. San Francisco - Steve Wallace, T, Auburn
102. San Francisco - Kevin Fagan, DE, Miami
135. Pittsburgh - Brent Jones, TE, Santa Clara
146. Washington - Mark Rypien, QB, Washington State
162. San Francisco - Don Griffin, CB, Middle Tennessee State
208. Philadelphia - Seth Joyner, LB, UTEP
213. Washington - Kurt Gouveia, LB, BYU
233. Philadelphia - Clyde Simmons, DE, Western Carolina
254. St. Louis - Vai Sikahema, KR, BYU
Just a note, of course for the finals the DH is used in New York and the pitcher's hit in Montreal.
80's Tournament Finals: 1980 Montreal Expos vs. 1980 New York Yankees
Game 1: Expos 13, Yankees 3
Ellis Valentine homered twice off of Tommy John and went 4 for 5 on the day as the Expos bombed the Yankees in Game 1. Steve Rogers pitched a complete game in the win.
Game 2: Expos 8, Yankees 7
Goose Gossage blew the save as the Expos scored five in the 9th stealing both games in Yankee Stadium before heading back home where they are undefeated in the tournament. Andre Dawson sparked the rally with a two run homer and Larry Parrish eventually put them in front on an rbi double.
Game 3: Yankees 9, Expos 8
Yankees recovered from a five run 6th from the Expos to comeback to win and hand them their first defeat at Olympic Stadium. Yankees had built a 7-3 lead highlighted by a Bob Watson grand slam in the 2nd off Bill Gullickson before the Expos erased the deficit. Yankees tied it in the 7th and then Jim Spencer hit a pinch hit homerun in the 8th off Elias Sosa for the eventual winning run.
Game 4: Expos 8, Yankees 2
Expos once again rough up Tommy John and once again Steve Rogers goes the distance for the win. John didn’t get through the 2nd as the Expos scored six runs off him, the knockout blow coming on an Andre Dawson homerun.
Game 5: Expos 3, Yankees 2
Gary Carter is the hero as the tournament ends on a thriller. Yankees scored both their runs in the 4th on back-to-back homeruns by Rick Cerone and Graig Nettles off of Scott Sanderson. After the Expos scored a single run in the 6th, Carter tied the game up in 7th with homerun off of Ron Guidry. Then leading off in the 9th he launched one off of Goose Gossage, to cap a miserable series for him, into the leftfield stands for the championship.
The 1980 Montreal Expos are the Team of the ‘80s!?
Expos win the series 4 games to 1
All-Final Four Team
C: Rick Cerone, '80 Yankees
1B: Bob Watson, '80 Yankees
2B: Willie Randolph, '80 Yankees
3B: Larry Parrish, '80 Expos
SS: Bucky Dent, '80 Yankees
LF: Ron LeFlore, '80 Expos
CF: Andre Dawson, '80 Expos
RF: Ellis Valentine, '80 Expos
SP: Steve Rogers, '80 Expos
RP: Woodie Fryman, '80 Expos
Final Four MVP: Ellis Valentine, .383/.383/.809, 47 AB, 11 R, 18 H, 3 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBI
After the 2003 season Miguel Tejada was a free agent and A's general manager Billy Beane had a major decision. He could either re-sign Tejada and allow Eric Chavez to leave as a free agency the following year or allow Tejada to leave and sign Chavez to a long term extension. He chose to allow Tejada to leave and ink Chavez to a 6-year, $66 million deal. Protests from some A's fans aside this made the most sense. Chavez was to that point the better hitter, the better fielder, and was two years younger than Tejada. The other reason it made sense was the A's had a prospect at shortstop who would be ready to step in as an everyday player the very next season. You know the story by now Tejada has put together three very good years in Baltimore while Chavez has seemingly fizzled out on ever reaching the MVP potential many thought he would fulfill. You also know the other side of the story in that Bobby Crosby has become a bit of a running joke from being a trendy MVP pick going into last year by some ESPN "experts" and now to an injury plauged, potential bust. This is possibly a make or break year for Crosby to show he can stay healthy and show he is capable of living up to the hype. Tonight in the opener he let a ball go right through his legs and then was the primary cause of a four run Mariner 6th inning as he dropped a ball while trying to turn what appeared to be an easy, inning ending double play. The sad thing is that the one thing about Crosby that has been very positive so far in his MLB career has been his defense and he didn't even have that going for him tonight. It's just one game and I really could careless at this point but not a good first impression to the season for a guy some already want to see out of Oakland.
And I leave you with a random list that I wanted to do but didn't think it was worth an entry. Since today was the true Opening Day here were the Opening Day starters for each team in 1997 which I thought would be mildly interesting to look at.
Doug Brocail (!)
Final Four: National League Finals: 1980 Montreal Expos vs. 1980 Houston Astros
Game 1: Astros 4, Expos 3
Astros come from behind with a three-run 9th, capped by an Enos Cabell two-run double for the win.
Game 2: Expos 4, Astros 1
Astros tried another 9th inning miracle by loading the bases with one out but Joe Morgan grounded into a game ending double play.
Game 3: Expos 8, Astros 6
Astros chased Bill Gullickson out of the game in the 4th, building a 6-1 lead, but the Expos score three in the 5th and four in the 6th to comeback for the win. Rodney Scott continues his shockingly good tournament going 4 for 5.
Game 4: Expos 3, Astros 1 12 innings
Chris Speier hits a walk off homerun off of Dave Smith in the 12th to move the Expos one win away from the finals.
Game 5: Expos 6, Astros 4
Montreal wraps up the N.L. title with another walk off homerun this time off the bat of Ellis Valentine. They are now a remarkable 14-1 at home in the tournament.
Expos win series 4 games to 1
Ellis Valentine: 9 for 24, 5 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Warren Cromartie: 9 for 20, 2 2B, 4 RBI
Woodie Fryman: 1-0, 3 G, 2 SV, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER
Final Four: American League Finals: 1988 Minnesota Twins vs. 1980 New York Yankees
Game 1: Yankees 9, Twins 8
The Yankees pound Frank Viola for 7 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings and hold off a late Twins rally for the win.
Game 2: Twins 10, Yankees 6
Twins return the favor by smacking around Ron Guidry to even the series. Tom Herr was 3 for 5 with a homerun.
Game 3: Yankees 10, Twins 2
Yankees bang out 13 hits and score nine runs in the final three innings to take back the series lead. Bobby Brown went 4 for 5.
Game 4: Yankees 13, Twins 11
There is no pitching to be found in this series as the two teams combine for 33 hits. The game is highlighted by a six run 8th inning by the Bombers to erase an 11-7 Twins lead. Kent Hrbek goes 3 for 3 with 5 rbi in the loss.
Game 5: Yankees 4, Twins 3
Finally we get some good pitching in this series but it fittingly ends on offense as Eric Soderholm’s three-run homer in the 9th sends the Yankees to the finals to set up an all 1980 final.
Yankees win series 4 games to 1
Rick Cerone: 9 for 21, 4 2B, 4 RBI
Eric Soderholm: 6 for 14, 1 HR, 7 RBI
Goose Gossage: 3 SV
Final Four: Championship
'80 Expos vs. '80 Yankees
A.L. West Finals: (12) 1988 Minnesota Twins vs. (6) 1983 Chicago White Sox
Game 1: Twins 6, White Sox 5
Tim Laudner hit a grand slam in the 6th off LaMarr Hoyt. White Sox had the tying and winning runs on in the 9th but Jeff Reardon held them off.
Game 2: Twins 15, White Sox 4
Every Twins starter scored at least one run as they crushed Floyd Bannister and the White Sox bullpen. Dan Gladden led the way going 3 for 5 with a homerun.
Game 3: White Sox 3, Twins 2
Richard Dotson allowed just one earned run in 7 2/3 innings as the Sox steal a win back in the Metrodome.
Game 4: Twins 7, White Sox 5
Twins escaped to take a 3-1 series lead as the Sox nearly made a miraculous comeback from being down 7-0 in the 9th.
Game 5: Twins 5, White Sox 4 10 innings
Twins wrap up the series on a walk off….ground out. With John Moses on 3rd, Gladden hit a chopper to Scott Fletcher and he was unable to throw Moses out at the plate. Kirby Puckett was 3 for 4 with a homerun.
Twins win series 4 games to 1
A.L. West All-Region Team
C: Tim Laudner, '88 Twins
1B: Kent Hrbek, '88 Twins
2B: Tom Herr, '88 Twins
3B: Gary Gaetti, '88 Twins
SS: Dick Schofield, '86 Angels
LF: Dan Gladden, '88 Twins
CF: Rudy Law, '83 White Sox
RF: Harold Baines, '83 White Sox
SP: Frank Viola, '88 Twins
RP: Jeff Reardon, '88 Twins
Region MVP: Gary Gaetti, .365/.402/.667, 96 AB, 20 R, 35 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 23 RBI
A.L. East Finals: (13) 1987 Toronto Blue Jays vs. (6) 1980 New York Yankees
Game 1: Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2
An Eric Sodherholm rbi single in the bottom of the 8th broke up a 2-2 tie.
Game 2: Blue Jays 3, Yankees 2
Lloyd Moseby hit a two out, rbi double in the top of the 9th for the winning run. Jim Clancy got the complete game victory.
Game 3: Blue Jays 6, Yankees 2
Jesse Barfield was 2 for 3 with a homerun and Dave Stieb allowed just one earned run on four hits in seven innings. The ’80 Yankees now trail in a series for the first time in the tournament.
Game 4: Blue Jays 3, Yankees 2 11 innings
Willie Randolph booted a groundball with two out in the 11th and then Ron Davis uncorked a wild pitch to score George Bell from third for the winning run.
Game 5: Yankees 7, Blue Jays 6 10 innings
Randolph drew a bases loaded walk from Jeff Musselman in the 10th to force in the eventual winning run and the keep the Yankees alive.
Game 6: Yankees 3, Blue Jays 1
Gaylord Perry and Goose Gossage hold the Jays to five hits to help force a Game 7.
Game 7: Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2
Davis pitched three scoreless innings in relief and Reggie Jackson hit his 12th homerun of the tournament as the Yankees complete the series comeback and now put three teams from 1980 into the Final Four.
Yankees win series 4 games to 3
A.L. East All-Region Team
C: Rick Cerone, '80 Yankees
1B: Don Mattingly, '85 Yankees
2B: Willie Randolph, '80 Yankees
3B: Graig Nettles, '80 Yankees
SS: Tony Fernandez, '87 Blue Jays
LF: George Bell, '87 Blue Jays
CF: Lloyd Moseby, '87 Blue Jays
RF: Reggie Jackson, '80 Yankees
SP: Tommy John, '80 Yankees
RP: Goose Gossage, '80 Yankees
Region MVP: Reggie Jackson, .350/.441/.825, 80 AB, 20 R, 28 H, 2 2B, 12 HR, 19 RBI, 13 BB
So there you have it, three teams from 1980 into the Final Four. The '80 Yankees aren't a huge shock as they won 103 games that year but laid an egg in the ALCS. Didn't see the other three teams getting in though.
Final Four: A.L. Finals
'88 Twins vs. '80 Yankees
Up Next: Final Four: League Finals
Eigh teams left, three from 1980 with the possibility of an all 1980 match-up in the N.L. side of the Final Four. Here's a recap of the National League region/division finals.
N.L. East Finals: (14) 1980 Montreal Expos vs. (4) 1985 St. Louis Cardinals
Game 1: Cardinals 8, Expos 4
Cardinals jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three innings and Darrell Porter went 3 for 4 with a homerun (6th out the tournament) and 4 rbi.
Game 2: Cardinals 6, Expos 1
Andy Van Slyke hit a three-run homer in the first and Danny Cox pitched a complete game.
Game 3: Expos 4, Cardinals 1
Bill Gullickson and Woodie Fryman combined to keep the Cardinals bats in check and snap their nine game tournament winning streak.
Game 4: Expos 1, Cardinals 0
Steve Rogers out duels John Tudor as the two staff aces surrender a combined seven hits. The lone run comes in the 2nd on an Ellis Valentine triple.
Game 5: Cardinals 5, Expos 2
Another strong outing by Cox (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER) and another big game for Porter (4 for 4, HR, 4 RBI) help in handing the Expos their first home loss of the tournament.
Game 6: Expos 6, Cardinals 4
Rodney Scott hit a two out, bases loaded single off of Ricky Horton in the top of the 9th to break 4-4 tie and force a deciding Game 7.
Game 7: Expos 10, Cardinals 2
Expos hammer Tudor for 8 runs in 6 innings and Rogers strikes out 10 in a complete game victory as the 1980 Expos shock the world as a 14 seed to win the N.L. East Region to advance the 80's Final Four.
Expos win series 4 games to 3
N.L. East All-Region Team
C: Darrell Porter, '85 Cardinals
1B: Jack Clark, '85 Cardinals
2B: Tom Herr, '85 Cardinals
3B: Mike Schmidt, '83 Phillies
SS: Chris Speier, '80 Expos
LF: Barry Bonds, '88 Pirates
CF: Andre Dawson, '80 Expos
RF: Ellis Valentine, '80 Expos
SP: Steve Rogers, '80 Expos
RP: Woodie Fryman, '80 Expos
Region MVP: Andre Dawson - .368/.394/.655, 87 AB, 14 R, 32 H, 6 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 3 SB
N.L. West Finals: (9) 1987 San Francisco Giants vs. (7) 1980 Houston Astros
Game 1: Astros 6, Giants 4
A four run 3rd for the Astros off of Dave Dravecky does the damage here.
Game 2: Astros 10, Giants 2
Enos Cabell goes 3-5 with a homerun and Joe Niekro pitches a complete game as the Astros cruise to the 2-0 lead.
Game 3: Astros 7, Giants 5 16 innings
After the Giants blew 4-2 lead in the 9th, in the 12th Jose Cruz hit an rbi double to give the Astros a 5-4 lead. In the bottom of the inning Chili Davis would answer with a solo homerun to tie the game back up. Finally in the 16th the Astros ended it with two runs, the critical blow coming on a Cesar Cedeno triple.
Game 4: Astros 5, Giants 2
Eight strong innings from J.R. Richard wraps up the sweep for the Astros as they go an amazing 16-3 through the N.L. West region.
Astros win series 4 games to 0
N.L. West All-Region Team
C: Alan Ashby, '80 Astros
1B: Will Clark, '89 Giants
2B: Joe Morgan, '80 Astros
3B: Kevin Mitchell, '87 Giants
SS: Jose Uribe, '87 Giants
LF: Kevin Mitchell, '89 Giants
CF: Chili Davis, '87 Giants
RF: Dave Parker, '85 Reds
SP: Vern Ruhle, '80 Astros
RP: Ted Power, '85 Reds
Region MVP: Joe Morgan - .370/.453/.765, 81 AB, 17 R, 30 H, 9 2B, 7 HR, 24 RBI, 13 BB, 4 SB
Soooo, was there something in the water in 1980? I'm going to have to chalk this up to just a bizarre fluke but with the way the Astros dominated and the way the 1980 Yankees have dominated so far I am wondering about the 1980 Strat-O-Matic set.
Final Four: N.L. Finals
'80 Expos vs. '80 Astros
Up Next: A.L. Elite Eight