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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

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2008 HOF Profiles: Holdovers

Next week (I think) the 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be released. Last year I did individual entries on each player on the ballot and I plan on doing the same thing this year for the first ballot players. Of course there is no point in redoing the holdovers from last year's ballot, and I'm much too lazy to update them, so here's links to each entry listed in order of the percentage of the vote they received last year. None of my opinions have changed as I would still vote Mark McGwire, Bert Blyleven, and Alan Trammell.   1. Goose Gossage 71.2% (9th year on ballot) 2. Jim Rice 63.5% (14th) 3. Andre Dawson 56.7% (7th) 4. Bert Blyleven 47.7% (11th) 5. Lee Smith 39.8% (6th) 6. Jack Morris 37.1% (9th) 7. Mark McGiwre 23.5% (2nd) 8. Tommy John 22.9% (14th) 9. Dave Concepcion 13.6% (15th and final year) 10. Alan Trammell 13.4% (7th) 11. Dave Parker 11.4% (12th) 12. Don Mattingly 9.9% (8th) 13. Dale Murphy 9.2% (10th) 14. Harold Baines 5.3% (2nd)

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HOF Profiles: Robb Nen

Robb Nen - Closer   Texas Rangers 1993 Florida Marlins 1993-1997 San Francisco Giants 1998-2002   Awards None   All-Star Selections: 3 (1998, 1999, 2002)   League Leader 2001: Saves   Career Ranks Saves: 15th   Best Performance October 26, 1997 - Cleveland at Florida In Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, with the Marlins down a run he comes into the top of the 9th with runners at the corners and one out and gets the Marlins out of the jam who then tie the game in the bottom of the inning. He proceeds to strikeout the side in the 10th (Omar Vizquel, Manny Ramirez, David Justice) as the Marlins win the Series in the 11th.   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Pitching - 3 (541) (Average HOFer ≈ 40) Gray Ink: Pitching - 24 (925) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 15.0 (471) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 92.0 (112) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: 1 (Bruce Sutter) Other Similar Pitchers: John Wetteland, Tom Henke, Troy Percival, Jeff Montgomery, Todd Worrell, Armando Benitez, Rod Beck, Ugueth Urbina, Jason Isringhausen   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1993: 0/-0.2 1994: 11/5.4 1995: 8/4.4 1996: 19/6.4 1997: 11/4.1 1998: 19/8.9 1999: 8/4.1 2000: 15/7.5 2001: 14/6.3 2002: 15/7.0   Career Win Shares: 120 Caeer WARP3: 53.9   My Stupid Opinion   Anyone else feeling old by the fact that someone who debuted in 1993 is already on a HOF ballot? Nen's career was cut short by a torn rotator cuff and his last appearance happened to come in the 2002 World Series. He was similar to undeserving HOF closer Bruce Sutter in that they both had short careers but were dominate in their roles while they were active. The big difference between the two is Sutter pitched in the pre-Dennis Eckersley era of closers as he threw 327 1/3 more innings than Nen in only 18 more games pitched. Given that HOF voters are more open to closers getting in now and the "heroic" nature of him pitching in the '02 World Series with his shoulder being mush I wouldn't be surprised if he received the necessary 5% to stay on the ballot.

Bored

Bored

 

Playoff & Bowl Idea 2007

Before I get to the redux my of idea for creating a playoff system and at the same time improve the bowl selection process, I'm going to make a little comment on Hawaii. Whenever I see someone say "Hawaii should be in the BCS Championship!", I just want to pat them on the head and say "Aww, aren't you cute? Yes you are, yes you are!" In the current structure of college football, which I agree is a joke, Hawaii has no business playing for the championship.   The purpose of the BCS is purely to match-up the two most deserving teams and nothing else. Hawaii is in no way shape or form one of the two most deserving teams in the country of playing for the Mythical National Championship and they are not on the same level of Boise State last year or Utah in 2004. I know it's a tired argument but it is always worth enforcing that they played what was the weakest schedule in the country. They played a total of three teams in the BCS Top 80 this year (Fresno State, Boise State, Washington) and all three game came at home. The best team they played on the road this year was Nevada who is ranked 83rd overall by the BCS computer rankings and only the Billingsley rankings had them in the Top 80 (78th). This team is going to get flat out killed in the Sugar Bowl by Georgia and I think it's going to be a beating so bad that it could hurt the cause of the non-BCS conferences.   And that being said, Hawaii deserves to play for a National Championship...if there was a playoff. Like Boise State last year, they didn't lose a game. It's the biggest hole in the "the regular season is a playoff" argument. If you didn't lose a game, how'd you get eliminated? I'm not going to retype my whole idea from last year but here is my idea in a nutshell: Eight teams, the first round is played on the homefield of the higher seeds, while the semi-finals and finals are played on the traditional BCS bowl sites. Automatic qualifiers would be the six BCS conference champions and any undefeated non-BCS conference team. If there are any available slots after that they will go to the highest ranked team(s) that did not win their conference championship.   Now there is an argument out there that we only need a four team playoff and I'll tell that has too many problems for it to ever to work. First off the BCS conferences will never go for it. Are you gonna tell me the SEC or Big Ten would ever agree to a playoff that could leave the possibility of their champ not having a chance to win a real National Championship? Also it doesn't solve the problem of the exclusion of the Boise State's and Hawaii's of the world as no non-BCS conference team has ever finished the season ranked in the BCS Top 4. An eight team playoff gives all the BCS conferences a piece of the pie while pleasing the non-BCS conferences and the general public of giving the opportunity for those "small" schools to play for a championship. An eight team playoff is logistically possible and doesn't over bloat the season too much.   So in my hypothetical scenario this year the Sugar Bowl is the site of the National Championship while the Orange and Rose Bowls would host the semi-final games. Here's how the playoff would set up:   Hawaii at Ohio State Georgia at Oklahoma   West Virginia at LSU USC at Virginia Tech   I don't know about you but I'll take the Pepsi Challenge of these games versus the sad slate of BCS bowl games we have this year.   Now last year as well I also suggested that the whole bowl selection process has to be overhauled. Now this is an issue that obviously doesn't get much attention because the issue of actually crowning a real National Champion in major college football takes precedence. We need to junk the preset conference bids which are inherently unfair. BYU for example, who has been completely overlooked because of Hawaii, is ranked in the Top 20 of the BCS for the second straight year but once again they have to settle for the Las Vegas Bowl rather than a bigger game. Now there are certainly years where the Mountain West champ may only deserve a bowl of that caliber but the preset bids ensure that those teams will never get a better bid, unless they go undefeated and get into the BCS. The preset bids also can give us lopsided, uninteresting match-ups. Michigan is ranked 32nd in the BCS yet they will play in the biggest non-BCS bowl against Florida who is ranked 12th. Anyone remember what Dennis Dixon and company did against Michigan earlier in the year? What you think Tim Tebow is going to do them? Also we have the lameness of bowls like the Hawaii Bowl or the New Mexico Bowl that can take the home school to play creating a road game for their opponent for what is technically supposed to be a neutral site.   My idea was/is to have an actual bowl committee that assigns similar ranked teams to appropriate bowl games. Now you wouldn't want to necessarily match-up #15 vs. #16 and #21 vs. #22 automatically because obviously there would be cases where you'd have two teams from the same conference or two teams that already played each other, which funny enough even with the preset bids we have two rematches this year (Las Vegas and Motor City). You also wouldn't want to have say a Pac-10 team play a Mountain West team in the Outback Bowl in Tampa nor would you want a Big East team to play an ACC team in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Location can be important for selling tickets which is part of the reason why we have preset bids, although it would been unavoidable in some cases to have bad location match-ups and hell the ACC sends teams to San Francisco and Boise. Another advantage to getting rid of the preset bids is it would create more variety in inter-conference match-ups instead the same conferences playing each other in the same bowls for several yars. Just for example, the Pac-10 and SEC haven't played each other in a bowl game since the 1989 Freedom Bowl (Washington State vs. Florida).   One other thing for the BCS bowl who is not part of the playoff, that being the Fiesta Bowl is this scenario, they would get the two highest ranked teams not in the playoff provided those two teams aren't in the same conference which this year would be the case with Missouri and Kansas. And just to make the conference presidents fat and happy those schools would get the same payout as the playoff schools.   So here's my "fantasy booking" of the bowl games. The order I placed the bowl games are based on how the current preset bids are handed out and not necessarily how I view each bowl. Last year I wanted only 20 bowl games outside the playoffs but I know there's no chance of ever significantly shrinking the number of bowls so this year I'm including them all. One provision I didn't think of last year is that after you get past the BCS Top 25 I'd only place teams based on their overall computer ranking as otherwise you could get coaches or former players (Harris Poll) giving their school a throw away 25th place vote to get their school a better bowl game.   Fiesta: Missouri vs. Arizona State Capital One: Kansas vs. Florida Cotton: Illinois vs. Clemson Holiday: Boston College vs. BYU Chick-fil-A: Tennessee vs. Wisconsin Gator: Texas vs. South Florida Outback: Virginia vs. Cincinnati Sun: Auburn vs. Boise State Champs Sports: Connecticut vs. Wake Forest Music City: Oregon State vs. Michigan Insight: Oregon vs. Arkansas Meineke Car Care: Florida State vs. Kentucky Las Vegas: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M Liberty: Penn State vs. Mississippi State Independence: Air Force vs. Georgia Tech Emerald: Utah vs. UCLA Motor City: UCF vs. Texas Tech Humanitarian: Michigan State vs. South Carolina GMAC: Maryland vs. Alabama Texas: Rutgers vs. Oklahoma State International: Colorado vs. Troy Poinsettia: California vs. New Mexico Armed Forces: Louisville vs. Purdue PapaJohns.com: Fresno State vs. Indiana Hawaii: Tulsa vs. Navy New Orleans: TCU vs. Florida Atlantic New Mexico: Central Michigan vs. East Carolina

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HOF Profiles: Jose Rijo

Jose Rijo - Starting Pitcher   New York Yankees 1984 Oakland Athletics 1985-1987 Cincinnati Reds 1988-1995, 2001-2002   Awards 1990 World Series MVP   All-Star Selections: 1 (1994)   League Leader 1991: W/L Pct., WHIP 1993: Strikeouts, K/9   Career Ranks K/9: 34th K/BB: 90th   Best Performance September 25, 1993 - Cincinnati at Colorado Pitched a complete game, one hitter in Mile High Stadium with a Charlie Hayes single in the 2nd being the only hit.   Hall of Fame Stats   Black Ink: Pitching - 9 (250) (Average HOFer ≈ 40) Gray Ink: Pitching - 93 (228) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 20.0 (289) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 28.0 (446) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Sid Fernandez, Bruce Kison, Gary Peters, Ray Culp, Bob Veale, Bob Ojeda, Mike Scott, Don Wilson, Sonny Siebert, Joe Horlen   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1984: 1/0.8 1985: 4/2.3 1986: 5/2.2 1987: 0/0.0 1988: 15/6.3 1989: 9/3.8 1990: 17/6.4 1991: 17/6.9 1992: 19/7.6 1993: 26/11.5 1994: 11/6.1 1995: 4/1.8 2001: 2/0.3 2002: 2/1.1   Career Win Shares: 132 Career WARP3: 57.1   My Stupid Opinion   This is Rijo's second different appearance on the HOF ballot as he was also on the 2001 ballot (received just one vote) but he made a comeback with the Reds later that year. Very good pitcher in the early 90's including a Cy Young caliber year in 1993 but the 257 innings he pitched that season probably did in him as his elbow was never the same. Ended up having four different Tommy John surgeries so he belongs in the infirmary wing of the HOF.

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HOF Profiles: Shawon Dunston

Shawon Dunston - Shortstop   Chicago Cubs 1985-1995, 1997 San Francisco Giants 1996, 1998, 2001-2002 Pittsburgh Pirates 1997 Cleveland Indians 1998 St. Louis Cardinals 1999, 2000 New York Mets 1999   Awards None   All-Star Selections: 2 (1988, 1990)   League Leader None   Career Ranks None of note   Best Performance June 4, 1989 - Chicago at St. Louis Hit two homeruns and a triple in a rout of the Cardinals.   Hall of Fame Stats Gray Ink: Batting - 6 (1622) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 16.9 (835) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 14.0 (950) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Batters: Jim Fregosi, Juan Samuel, Terry Steinbach, Carlos Baerga, Phil Garner, Greg Gagne, Bill Freehan, Granny Hamner, Hubie Brooks, Daimon Easley   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1985: 8/3.2 1986: 14/4.7 1987: 5/2.2 1988: 13/5.2 1989: 18/6.1 1990: 15/3.6 1991: 14/4.1 1992: 1/0.6 1993: 1/0.2 1994: 8/2.5 1995: 16/4.9 1996: 8/3.4 1997: 11/3.7 1998: 3/0.1 1999: 8/1.8 2000: 4/1.2 2001: 4/1.7 2002: 0/-0.8   Career Win Shares: 151 Career WARP3: 48.3   My Stupid Opinion   Gives Todd Stottlemyre a run for his money for the weakest player on the ballot honors. Decent player in the late 80's and early 90's but back surgery basically wiped out two seasons for him in 1992 and 1993. Had decent power for a shortstop but never saw a pitch he didn't like (.296 career OBP, 203 walks in 6276 plate appearances) and was a mediocre defensive shortstop. He lasted 18 years but the second half of his career was as a utility player and clubs loved his "veteran presence", especially the Giants.

Bored

Bored

 

HOF Profiles: Travis Fryman

Travis Fryman - Third Baseman   Detroit Tigers 1990-1997 Cleveland Indians 1998-2002   Awards 1992 A.L. Silver Slugger - SS 2000 A.L. Gold Glove - 3B   All-Star Selections: 5 (1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2000)   League Leader None of note   Career Ranks None of note   Best Performance July 28, 1993 - New York at Detroit Hit for the cycle (5 for 5, 4 RBI) although in a losing effort against the Yankees.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Batting - 2 (582) (Average HOFer ≈ 27) Gray Ink: Batting - 20 (991) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 26.4 (371) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 36.0 (491) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Batters: Ken Caminiti, Bret Boone, Vern Stephens, Miguel Tejada, Larry Parrish, Benito Santiago, Doug DeCinces, Gus Bell, Richie Hebner, Bobby Grich   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1990: 8/3.6 1991: 17/4.3 1992: 19/9.0 1993: 28/9.7 1994: 15/6.4 1995: 19/9.4 1996: 17/8.1 1997: 17/7.8 1998: 18/6.6 1999: 7/1.8 2000: 22/6.8 2001: 5/0.1 2002: 7/0.8   Career Win Shares: 198 Career WARP3: 74.4   My Stupid Opinion   He was to be the heir apparent to Alan Trammell at shortstop in Detroit but eventually ended up at hot the corner where he became a very good defensive third baseman. Outside of an outstanding 1993 season at age 24 he never quite became the offensive threat some thought he would be but was a very solid, consistent performer through out the decade. Nagging injuries cut his career short at age 33.

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Bored

 

HOF Profiles: Chuck Finley

Chuck Finley - Starting Pitcher   California/Anaheim Angels 1986-1999 Cleveland Indians 2000-2002 St. Louis Cardinals 2002   Awards None   All-Star Selections: 5 (1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2000)   League Leader 1993: Complete Games 1994: Innings   Career Ranks K: 23rd K/9: 55th   Best Performance May 23, 1995 - New York at California Matches his career high 15 strikeotus while two hitting the Yankees in Mariano Rivera's MLB debut.   Hall of Fame Stats Black Ink: Pitching - 6 (363) (Average HOFer ≈ 40) Gray Ink: Pitching - 156 (86) (Average HOFer ≈ 185) HOF Standards: Pitching - 27.0 (170) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Pitching - 53.5 (230) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Pitchers in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Pitchers: Mark Langston, Mike Torrez, Vida Blue, Doyle Alexander, Mickey Lolich, Fernando Valenzuela, Curt Simmons, Billy Pierce, Orel Hershiser, Joe Bush   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1986: 4/1.8 1987: 3/1.7 1988: 8/4.1 1989: 19/7.0 1990: 23/9.6 1991: 14/5.9 1992: 11/4.1 1993: 19/8.4 1994: 14/7.1 1995: 12/6.5 1996: 16/8.7 1997: 11/4.8 1998: 17/7.2 1999: 14/5.7 2000: 16/7.7 2001: 3/1.9 2002: 9/4.9   Career Win Shares: 213 Career WARP3: 97.0   My Stupid Opinion   Although it might not be saying much, Finley is probably the second best first ballot player this year. Was an extremely durable pitcher as in his 15 years as a starter he pitched more than 180 innings in 13 of them. Probably was a tad underrated as the Angels were rarely contenders during his career. Ranks in the Top 30 all-time in strikeouts but also ranks in the Top 30 all-time in walks. In the end though he'll end probably be remembered best for getting his ass kicked by his then wife Tawny Kitaen.

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HOF Profiles: Brady Anderson

Brady Anderson - Outfielder   Boston Red Sox 1988 Baltimore Orioles 1988-2001 Cleveland Indians 2002   Awards None   All-Star Selections: 3 (1992, 1996, 1997)   League Leader 1996: Extra Base Hits   Career Ranks None of note   Best Performance August 7, 1998 - Baltimore at Minnesota Career high five hits which included two homeruns and two doubles.   Hall of Fame Stats Gray Ink: Batting - 37 (643) (Average HOFer ≈ 144) HOF Standards: Batting - 26.1 (376) (Average HOFer ≈ 50) HOF Monitor: Batting - 38.0 (473) (Likely HOFer > 100)   Similar Batters in HOF: None Top 10 Similar Batters: Johnny Callison, Devon White, Rick Monday, Roy White, Lloyd Moseby, Chet Lemon, Claudell Washington, Jimmy Wynn, Ray Lankford, Amos Otis   Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)   1988: 3/1.4 1989: 7/2.1 1990: 7/3.0 1991: 6/1.8 1992: 29/11.3 1993: 18/6.4 1994: 12/6.2 1995: 19/6.6 1996: 28/10.0 1997: 26/7.2 1998: 13/4.4 1999: 23/8.8 2000: 15/5.4 2001: 8/2.4 2002: 0/0.2   Career Win Shares: 214 Career WARP3: 77.3   My Stupid Opinion   A bit of a late bloomer as his breakout year didn't come until age 28 as to that point he looked like he might be a bust. Will always be remembered for being the least likely player ever to hit 50 homeruns. He's the only player in MLB history to hit 50 homeruns in one season without having a 30+ homerun season at any other point in his career (not counting Prince Fielder). Interesting enough his breakout year of '92 is ranked as being better than his '96 season by both Win Shares and WARP. I'm guessing it has to do with his 53 stolen bases that year and I think he was probably a much better defensive outfielder at that point. Also in 1996 everyone seemed to be hitting 50 homeruns so his year doesn't really standout. Not as good as what his similar batters show as Wynn and Otis in particular were much better players.

Bored

Bored

 

TSB Sim Season: Wild Card Playoffs

Back in August when I was completely out of ideas for this blog I started simming a Tecmo Super Bowl season using an NES emulator I downloaded like five years ago and posted the results here. I got through the regular season but for the playoffs I'd decided I should sit and watch the computer play itself instead of just simming the games and I was Bored in a hurry. After two games I stopped and eventually forgot about the whole thing. But I'm currently out of ideas again so might as well finish thing, just in time for the real NFL Playoffs.   So you don't have to go digging for the old entries (and why would you?) here's the playoff picture:     Since I don't think I ever bothered to watch the computer play itself back in the day I don't remember if there is any sort of bug that causes every playoff game to be decided by exactly seven points but that is what happened in this round. Hopefully that won't continue.   AFC Wild Card: San Diego Chargers vs. Miami Dolphins     Scoring Summary   SD: Butts 42 Run   SD: Carney 23 FG   MIA: Clayton 62 Pass from Marino MIA: Clayton 24 Pass from Marino   MIA: Stoyanovich 21 FG   Mark Clayton burned the Chargers’ secondary for 152 yards as after a sluggish first half the Dolphins dominate the second half to advance. Charges moved the ball inside the Dolphins’ 30 late in the 4th quarter but turned it over on downs.   NFC Wild Card: Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles   When I did this game back in August it looks like I forgot to take a screen shot of the boxscore.   Eagles 28, Redskins 21   Scoring Summary   WAS: Clark 59 Pass from Rypien PHI: Williams 52 Pass from Cunningham   WAS: Clark 25 Pass from Rypien PHI: Williams 44 Pass from Cunningham WAS: Clark 14 Run   PHI: Cunningham 4 Run   PHI: Sherman 21 Run   An amazing performance by QB Eagles aka Randall Cunningham leads the Eagles into the next round. Cunningham threw for 220 yards and ran for 127 more as the Redskins defense did not force the Eagles to punt the entire game. The Redskins offense moved through the Eagle defense like butter in the first half scoring all three possessions but could not get a first down in the second half.   AFC Wild Card: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Oilers     Scoring Summary   HOU: Fuller 37 Fumble Return   HOU: Jefferies 11 Pass from Moon   PIT: Hoge 7 Run   HOU: Duncan 19 Pass from Moon PIT: Williams 3 Run   In the a battle of the #3 offense in the league and the #1 defense in the league, offense won out as the Oilers outlast the Steelers. Pittsburgh made it a game after digging a 14-0 hole and had the ball at the end of the game but in true Tecmo computer fashion they ran the ball and ran out the clock.   NFC Wild Card: Los Angeles Rams vs. New York Giants     LA: Warner 1 Run   NY: Megget 2 Run LA: Lansford 29 FG NY: Bahr 55 FG   LA: Gary 5 Run   LA: Anderson 13 Pass from Everett NY: Ingram 36 Pass from Simms   The defending Super Bowl Champs season comes to a disastrous end as after choking away a first round bye down the stretch they then proceed to be upset by the Rams in the Wild Card round. Willie Anderson went wild on the Giants secondary as the Rams were able to the move the ball without much resistance most of the game. Giants scored a meaningless touchdown as time expired to make the final score closer than it really was.

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'85 Bears DVDs: Super Bowl XX

Today is monumental day...it's My Two Year Blogoversary!   My first entry talked about the first ever live sporting event I ever went to, an A's/Red Sox game. Now that I finally have received the 1985 Chicago Bears boxset I can now do write up for the oldest sports memory I have, watching Super Bowl XX. This is the only reason I could ever have to re-watch this snuff film of a football game.   Here's the list of the 12 games that are in the set.   Week 1 vs. Tampa Bay Week 3 at Minnesota Week 4 vs. Washington Week 5 at Tampa Bay Week 6 at San Francisco Week 7 vs. Green Bay Week 11 at Dallas Week 13 at Miami Week 16 at Detroit Divisional Playoff vs. N.Y. Giants NFC Championship vs. L.A. Rams Super Bowl XX vs. New England   January 26, 1986 - Super Bowl XX: Chicago Bears (17-1) vs. New England Patriots (13-5)   -Woo hoo, the player introductions are on the disk! Seriously fuck the 2001 "Oh We're a Team!" New England Patriots for ending this tradition. Back in the day they always introduced the NFC offense which seemed inappropriate in this game as the Bears defense really should have been introduced. Judging by the reaction of crowd during the introductions it seemed like their were more Patriots fans at the game.   -Coin toss features the previous 17 Super Bowl MVP winners and even Joe Montana showed up this time. Majority of them didn’t seem thrilled to be there. Joe Namath got the biggest reaction and I wonder if a 21 year old Suzy Kolber was watching the game.   -Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen are the announcers with Bob Griese making some cameos.   Bears Offense QB: Jim McMahon RB: Walter Payton, Matt Suhey WR: Dennis McKinnon, Willie Gault TE: Emery Moorehead C: Jay Hilgenberg G: John Thayer, Mark Bortz T: Keith Van Horne, Jim Covert   Patriots Defense DE: Garin Veris, Julius Adams NT: Lester Williams OLB: Andre Tippett, Don Blackmon ILB: Steve Nelson, Larry McGrew CB: Ronnie Lippett, Raymond Clayborn S: Roland James, Fred Marion   Patriots Offense QB: Tony Eason RB: Craig James, Tony Collins WR: Stanley Morgan, Stephen Starring TE: Lin Dawson C: Pete Brock G: John Hannah, Ron Wooten T: Brian Holloway, Steve Moore   Bears Defense DE: Richard Dent, Dan Hampton DT: Steve McMichael, William Perry OLB: Wilber Marshall, Otis Wilson MLB: Mike Singletary CB: Leslie Frazier, Mike Richardson S: Gary Fencik, Dave Duerson   FIRST QUARTER   -Walter Payton fumbles on second play of the game and the Patriots recover on the Bears 20. This would be the high point of the game for the Pats. The misery begins for the Pats as tight end Lin Dawson blows out his knee on their first play from scrimmage. Three straight incompletions would lead to a Tony Franklin field goal for the first points off the Bears in the playoffs.   -After Don Blackmon drops a possible pick six on the Bears first play of their next possession, McMahon nails Gault for a 43 yard bomb. Their drive stalls near the Patriots 10 after Ronnie Lippett lands a heels over head hit on a McMahon scramble and Kevin Butler ties it up 3-3. What a competitive game we have!   -Both teams exchange punts and then the game tilts the Bears way for, well, the rest of the game. Steve “Former Four Horseman” McMichael sacks and forces Tony Eason to fumble, recovered by Dan Hamtpon on the Pats 13. On the next play McMahon completes a drag screen pass to Emery Moorhead and on the play Merlin Olsen insists there was clip by Dennis McKinnon on Blackmon. They show two replays showing Blackmon being hit in the front of his legs which would make it a legal block but Olsen says “Look, right in the back of the legs! You can’t tell me that’s not a clip!” It wasn’t Merlin. Dick Enberg pauses like he wants to disagree but just ignores him and moves on. Olsen continues to rant on about the play a couple of plays later. Sounded like someone had money on the Pats.   -William Perry makes his first appearance on offense on 2nd and Goal with a halfback option pass but The Fridge can’t get rid of it and is dropped for a loss. Another Butler field goal makes it 6-3 Bears. New England is hanging tough!   -Richard Dent forces a Craig James fumble on the Patriots next play from scrimmage and the Bears again get the ball inside the Pats 15. Two plays later Matt Suhey takes it in to make it 13-3.   -Patriots total yards: -19   SECOND QUARTER   -After another Patriots punt the Bears easily move through a quickly tiring Patriots defense, mainly behind Matt Suhey. McMahon takes it himself from two and a half yards (video quality suddenly went bad during the play) to make it 20-3 and the rout is on.   -Ron Rivera made a tackle on the next kick off and I only mention it because he was at my D.A.R.E. “graduation” in the 5th grade as our “celebrity speaker.”   -After another Patriots three and out, Eason gets the hook for Steve Grogan. Eason finished the day 0 for 6 and was sacked three times. Grogan completes a couple of passes on his first possession and the Pats get their first, first down of the game with less than four minutes left in the first half but it doesn’t lead to anything.   -Bears make a late march that features a 28 yard completion Ken Margerum to set up another Butler field goal to make it 23-3. Maybe doing an entry on this game was a bad idea as I’ve completely lost interest at this point as I’m sure I did at 7 years old.   -Patriots total yards: -19. Grogan allows them to break even for the quarter.   THIRD QUARTER   -As they recap the first half before the second half kick off Olsen is still bitching about the correct non-clip call on what wasn’t even a crucial play, not that there was any crucial play in a game like this.   -Even when things go right for the Patriots it doesn’t pay off. Punter Rich Camarillo gets off an ugly kick that takes a fortunate bounce on the Superdome turf and rolls all the way down to the Bears 4 yard line. But on the Bears first play of the half McMahon hits Gault on another bomb for a 60 yard gain. This would eventually lead to another McMahon touchdown keeper to make it 30-3.   -And the slaughter continues as on the Patriots next drive Grogan throws behind his intended receiver Derrick Ramsey, the ball glances off Ramsey's hands and right to Reggie Phillips who takes it for a 28 yard interception return touchdown and a 37-3 lead.   -22 years later and I’m starting to feel sorry for the Patriots in this game. Next “drive” Grogan completes a pass to Dedrick Jones near midfield but he is immediately hit by Gary Fenick, fumbles and Wilber Marshall recovers it. It didn’t look like a fumble to me as Jones only appeared to have one foot down before being hit but I can’t remember if the rules for possession were different back then. Instant Replay wasn’t implemented until the following season.   -A “Walter” chant starts as everyone wants to see him a score a touchdown in this game but alas that would not happen. After a terrible call on a “completion” to Dennis Gentry where he didn’t even get one foot in bounds, this drive would feature The Fridge’s famous touchdown. I seem to remember reading that later Mike Ditka regretted not having Payton take it in for the score at this point in the game. 44-3.   -God dammit there’s still another hour left on the disk, even without commercials.   FOURTH QUARTER   -Bears did start to call off the dogs a bit towards the end of the 3rd as the Pats finally get a sustained drive but it takes a 4th and Goal touchdown pass to Irving Fryar (who was playing with a laceration on his finger that he got during a fight with his wife a couple of weeks earlier) to get in the endzone, 44-10 Bears. I smell a comeback!   -The scoring ends when Henry Waechter sacks Grogan in the endzone for a safety. Bears 46, Patriots 10.   -It’s mentioned towards the end of the game that Buddy Ryan has been offered the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching position.   -Richard Dent wins the MVP but I have to say he didn’t really standout to me over any other player on the Bears defense during this game but maybe I wasn’t paying close enough attention.   -The postgame trophy presentation and interviews are on the disk but the video quality isn’t particularly good.   -Lord knows why I ever watched another football game again.

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22 Years Ago

Since I'm on a bit of a 1986 trip right now I figured I'd take a look back at what was going on this week in 1986 in the world of sports with the help of PaperofRecord.com using their Sporting News archive which I did once before with 1994.   February 17, 1986   Cover Story: Baseball's Worst Ballpark. Gale-force winds gust through Candlestick Park by day and frigid temperatures set in by night. One Giants official calls it the weather "the worst in baseball in June, July, and August." Fans don't like it any better than players. They're staying away in droves. That's why in baseball is in jeopardy in San Francisco. -Now just a hunch coming off a 100 loss season wasn't helping attendance either but Candlestick Park really was the worst place to watch a baseball game and the Giants came close to moving to St. Petersburg in 1993, and damn that would have been great (for me). The best part of the article was an insert about a Canadian firm was coming up with a "revolutionary idea" of doming already built stadiums with an air-filled balloon type structure. Now that would have been quite the eyesore.   Down and Up at Michigan -In the college basketball section there were two articles regarding Michigan State's Scott Skiles and Michigan's Roy Tarpley. One of the articles talks about a player having off the court troubles with a marijuana possession and dui conviction. If you guessed that player was Tarpley, you'd be wrong. Apparently Tarpley's off the court problems weren't public knowledge at this point as he would later be banned from the NBA for multiple drug violations.   -There's a little notes section about the old Continental Basketball Association where it notes Albany head coach Phil Jackson has been suspended for two games for "physically confronting" a referee. Wonder what happened to that guy?   -In the NBA notes section the Lakers had beaten the Rockets 14 straight games in Houston. The Rockets would stun the defending champs in the Western Conference Finals in five games later that year.   -Brief article about rising 20 year old, rising star Mario Lemieux although it more focuses on Wayne Gretzky and whether Lemieux would reach the level of Gretzky. There's a little blurb about how if the Penguins hadn't drafted Lemieux the franchise would have left Pittsburgh.   -In the NHL notes section there's a proposed change to the All-Star Game format that would match-up the NHL All-Stars against a touring Soviet national team in a two game series. Other ideas are the Stanley Cup champs vs. All-Stars or Americans vs. Canadians.   -A proposed new stadium deal in New York for the Jets that would be built by Donald Trump had fallen through.   -Brief commentary about the fallout after the Super Bowl about the drug problems of several members of the New England Patriots. In some team meeting after the Super Bowl the Patriots agreed to drug testing which didn't sit well with union head Gene Upshaw (yes that idiot was already running things back then) and he had this fantastic quote:   -Cincinnati Reds had offered Rollie Fingers an non-roster invite to Spring Training on the condition that he shave his mustache. He would end up refusing.   -Phillies pitcher Dave Stewart was very close to signing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants but it fell through. Phillies would release him three months later.   -There's a few mentions in various parts of the MLB team notes sections talking about team sponsored drug testing but of course the main concern back then was cocaine not steroids.

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World Series DVDs: 1977 Bonus Disk

Finally getting around to start watching the World Series sets I bought last year and starting with the bonus disk on the 1977 set which features Game 5 of the ALCS where the Yankees for the second straight year beat the Royals in the 9th inning of the deciding game.   1977 American League Championship Series Game 5 - Yankees 5, Royals 3 (boxscore and play account)   -The series was televised nationally by NBC but on this disk they have the Yankees local broadcast of the game and there no graphics with the original footage. Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto, and Bill White are the announcers. The first pitch of the game is missing so it takes me a few minutes to figure out all of this.   -Yankees and Royals had a pretty fierce rivalry going at this time and we get a brawl in the bottom of the 1st. George Brett would hit an RBI triple and as he came up from his slide into 3rd he shoved Graig Nettles off the bag. Nettles takes exception to this and kicks Brett and then the brouhaha starts. Both benches clear but neither player is ejected.   -Amazingly enough Billy Martin actually benched Reggie Jackson for this game in favor of a washed up Paul Blair as Blair had better numbers against Royals starter Paul Splittorff. Rizzuto at one point in the game claims that Jackson took the benching in great stride. Yeah, right.   -The Yankee announcers constantly fawn over Thurman Munson's clutchiness and reminding everyone he is the Yankee Captain. If you closed your eyes you'd think you were hearing current announcers talk about Derek Jeter. For Jeter's sake I hope he doesn't take up flying...   -Ron Guidry pitched on only two days rest and it showed as he was knocked out in the 3rd. Mike Torrez was brilliant in relief as the Royals failed to score another run the rest of the game.   -With out in the top of the 4th the disk jumps to the bottom of the 4th with one out so I'm guessing the footage went bad that point. Nothing important is missed.   -Pete LaCock!!!   -Reggie finally makes his appearance in the game with pinch hit bloop single to knock in a run in the top of the 8th to pull the Yankees within one. Later in the inning Frank White makes a great diving play to prevent Chris Chambliss from tying the game up and forces Reggie at 2nd. Reggie argues that he was safe even though he was out by a good five feet and I can only think he for some reason didn't think the force play was possible. He also injures shortstop Freddie Patek on the play after sliding in although I couldn't tell how he got hurt.   -Few pitches in the bottom of the 8th are missing from the disk after Torrez was replaced by Sparky Lyle but again nothing major is missed.   -Whitey Herzog elected to go with his ace Dennis Leonard in the 9th to finish the game rather than a reliever. Leonard had just pitched a complete game win in Game 3 two days earlier and was not sharp as he allows both hitters he faced to reach base before Herzog hooks him. The damage was done as the Yankees would plate three runs in the 9th to send the Royals to another heartbreaking ALCS loss.   -During Roy White's at bat in the 9th for a few seconds there is audio from some movie looped over on the disk. The voice sounded like Brian Cox but no idea what movie it was. Really bizarre.   Bonus Clips   -Nothing too special here as like the other sets it's mostly just interviews from old players and most of the clips are about Reggie. Best clip is they have the postgame interviews from the clinching Game 6 in the Series as Reggie makes sure to get a plug for Puma in during his interview.   1. Inside the Moments: Reggie Jackson’s 3 HR Game 2. Yankees World Series Locker Room Celebration and Interviews 3. 1977 World Series Trophy Presentation 4. Reggie Jackson on his 3 HR Game 5. Piniella on Reggie’s 3 HR Performance 6. Steinbrenner talks about Reggie’s 3 HR Game 7. Steinbrenner on the day he signed Reggie 8. Dusty Baker on the Yankees/Dodgers Rivalry 9. Burt Hooton on giving up Reggie’s first HR in Game 6 10. Mickey Rivers on Reggie’s World Series performance 11. Guidry on the Yankees being called the “Bronx Zoo” 12. Guidry on the Steinbrenner/Martin/Jackson triangle of controversy 13. Guidry on his first postseason in 1977 14. Chris Chambliss tells of his most memorable World Series moment 15. Roy White on Billy Martin benching Reggie in ’77 ALCS Game 5 16. Piniella on Martin benching Reggie in the ACLS 17. Paul Blair on starting over Reggie in ALCS Game 5 18. The Billy Martin/Reggie Jackson confrontation in Boston (original footage spliced with interviews) 19. Brian Doyle on the Billy/Reggie confrontation 20. Randolph on the confrontation in Fenway Park 21. Piniella talks about the Billy/Reggie confrontation 22. Guidry gives a detailed account of the confrontation 23. Randolph on the term “Bronx Zoo” given to the ’77 Yanks

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Where'd They Go?: 1986 Texas Rangers

I’ve wanted to do another one these for a while now and to tie it in with the 1986 TSM Baseball Simulation League (only two spots left, sign up today!) so figured I should pick a team from 1986 which is about as much thought as I put into picking the ’86 Texas Rangers for this entry, although they had a very interesting, young outfield.   The Rangers were coming of a 99 loss season in 1985 and were fielding one of the younger teams in the league entering the ’86 season. They would spend a good portion of the first half of the season in first place in the A.L. West but lost the lead for good in early July to the eventual division champion Angels. The stayed within striking distance through most of August but the Angels were able to coast to the division crown in September.   C: Don Slaught (.264/.308/.449, 14.5 VORP, 11.6 Win Shares) – Good hitting catcher but was rarely used full-time due to his poor defense. Rangers acquired him a four team deal before the ’85 season and he would be traded three more times in his career. Traded to the Yankees after the ’87 season he then signed with the Pirates in 1990 where he would have his longest tenure and best years. Signed with the Reds in 1996 but was dealt to the Angels before ever playing a game in Cincinnati, then traded in waiver deadline deal later that year to the White Sox. Signed with San Diego in 1997 but was released in May which marked the end of his career.   1B: Pete O’Brien (.290/.385/.468, 40.4 VORP, 23.9 Win Shares) – This was a career year for O’Brien during a solid four year stretch from ’83 to ’87. Rangers would trade him in a package deal to the Cleveland for Julio Franco following the ’88 season. Signed a four year deal with the Mariners after 1989 which ended up being a complete disaster for Seattle.   2B: Toby Harrah (.218/.332/.367, 3.1 VORP, 6.6 Win Shares) – Last season of a 17 year career spent primarily as a third baseman and shortstop. Had an excellent plate patience (had a career high .432 OBP at age 36 a year earlier) and hit for decent power but was very poor defensively.   3B: Steve Buechele (.243/.302/.410, 2.4 VORP, 12.2 Win Shares) – Ever have one of those players that you irrationally hated when you were younger and can’t remember why? Buechele was one of those guys for me. Pretty good defense but never much with the bat. Traded to Pittsburgh in a waiver deal in 1991 who then would trade him midseason the following year to the Cubs. Released by them in 1995, he then returned for I suppose a nostalgia return to the Texas that lasted 19 days.   SS: Scott Fletcher (.300/.360/.400, 35.5 VORP, 19.9 Win Shares) – Another career year here, I already talked about him in the 1992 Milwaukee Brewers entry.   OF: Ruben Sierra (.264/.302/.476, 9.4 VORP, 11.2 Win Shares) – Gary Ward was the primary left fielder this season for the Rangers and had a few more plate appearances but I couldn’t pass up talking about “The Village Idiot.” Never became the next Roberto Clemente as some had pegged him, he showed a lot of promise early in his career with a couple of outstanding years in 1989 and 1991 but peaked in his mid-20’s. Traded in a blockbuster deadline deal to the A’s in 1992 for a rat piece of shit. I was thrilled at the time but after the ’92 season Sierra decided to bulk up and become more of a power hitter which did not pay off. Had very much worn out his welcome by 1995 and was traded to the Yankees for fellow disgruntled outfielder Danny Tartabull. Traded again almost exactly a year later to the Tigers for Cecil Fielder who would toss him off to the Reds following season. For the next ten years he bounced to the Blue Jays, White Sox, Mets (minors only), Indians, back to the Rangers, Mariners, Rangers yet again, Yankees again, and finally the Twins in 2006. Did sign a minor league deal with the Mets last season but nothing came of it.   CF: Oddibe McDowell (.266/.341/.427, 23.1 VORP, 19.8 Win Shares) – Quite possibly the greatest first name in the history of first names, this was as good as would get for Oddibe as his career flamed pretty quick. Was part of the deal for Julio Franco following the ’88 season, wouldn’t last very long in Cleveland as they dealt him to the Braves midseason in ’89. Put up some solid numbers in half a season with Atlanta but came back down to earth again the following year. Didn’t appear in the Majors between 1991 and 1993 before making a return to the Rangers in 1994 as a back up.   RF: Pete Incaviglia (.250/.320/.463, 16.4 VORP, 16.1 Win Shares) – There was a lot of buzz about Incaviglia going into the season as he made the Rangers without playing a single game in the minors after putting up record numbers at Oklahoma State. Certainly had a lot of power but his inability to make consistent contact kept his homerun totals down as the 30 he hit this season as rookie would end up being a career high. Was released by the Rangers before the 1991 season, would spend the next two years in Detroit and Houston. In 1993 he signed with the Phillies where he made a pretty good contribution as a platoon player on their pennant winning team. Spent one more season there before playing a year Japan and then returning to Philly in 1996. They would trade him a waiver deadline deal to Baltimore later that year, would bounce around to three more teams and was out of the Majors after 1998.   DH: Larry Parrish (.276/.347/.509, 32.6 VORP, 16.7 Win Shares) – Already discussed him in the 1980 Montreal Expos entry, this was one of his best seasons.   Rotation   Charlie Hough (114 ERA+, 33.2 VORP, 14.2 Win Shares) – It’s amazing when you look back at Hough’s career that he wasn’t a regular starting pitcher until age 34. The knuckeballer was 38 at this point (looked 50) and was in the middle of the best stretch of his career. Signed as a free agent with the White Sox after 1990, spent two years there and then was part of the expansion Marlins for the final two years of his career.   Ed Correa (102 ERA+, 27.8 VORP, 10.3 Win Shares) – Correa was only 20 years old and this was his only full season in the Majors. Had 189 strikeouts but also 126 walks so I’ll just guess he threw hard but had no clue where it was going most of the time. Played just one more year in the Majors.   Bobby Witt (79 ERA+, -2.2 VORP, 3.4 Win Shares) – This was Witt’s rookie year and he clearly wasn’t ready. In his first two seasons he threw 300 1/3 innings and walked 283 batters. Yikes. Only had one good year in 1990 and would be part of the before mentioned Sierra/Shit trade in 1992 to Oakland. Signed with the Marlins in 1995 but would be traded back to Texas later that season. Dealt to the Cardinals in 1998, he became a nomad the rest of his career but did pick up a World Series ring in his final year in 2001 with Diamondbacks.   Jose Guzman (95 ERA+, 10.2 VORP, 6.1 Win Shares) – Yet another young pitcher, I always thought he was Juan Guzman’s brother but I was wrong. After a decent year in 1988 shoulder problems would cost him full two seasons but did comeback to have two more solid years in Texas. He parlayed that into a lucrative four year deal with the Cubs which was good for him and bad for the Cubs as his arm problems returned in 1994 and didn’t pitch a single inning for them the last two years of the deal.   Closer: Greg Harris (152 ERA+, 30.4 VORP, 14.3 Win Shares) – This was the only year that Harris was really a closer per say as most of his career was a long reliever/swingman. Had several stops in his career with his longest being in Boston from 1989 to 1994. His claim to fame is that in this game (next to last appearance of his career) as a member of the Expos he became the only pitcher in the 20th century to throw from both sides of the mound.

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Repost: Conference Tournaments are the Tool of the Devil!

Nothing like saying you're out of ideas by reposting an old blog entry but that's what I'm resorting to. Actually I probably would have come up with something over the weekend but I was near death (or at least felt like it) with the flu so putting together semi-coherent thoughts wasn't an option.   The weekend after next will be what I believe to be the best time of the sports year and that is the first two rounds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. This week however is one of the worst time's of the sports year with Conference Championship Week. Conference tournaments primarily accomplish two things, 1) Render the conference regular seasons meaningless and 2) Weaken the overall field of the national tournament. They are a pox on humanity and should be eliminated.   So I now present to you a Bored "classic" entry from 2/27/06, Conference Tournaments are the Tool of the Devil!  

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NCAA Tournament Random List: Lowest RPI At-Large Schools

The importance of the Ratings Percentage Index has been greatly devalued in the last two years by the tournament committee. Before 2006 not a single Top 30 school in the RPI had been left out the tournament but in the last two years three schools in the Top 30 have been sent to the NIT (Missouri State and Hofstra in 2006, Air Force in 2007). Nevertheless the RPI is still used to consider who gets into the tournament and I was curious to see which schools for each year since the creation of the RPI in 1994 were the lowest rated RPI team to get an at large bid and how they faired in the tournament. Or maybe I just needed an excuse for an entry and am not really interested in this at all. You make the call!   1994 George Washington (#61 in RPI, 10 seed) -def. 7 seed UAB 51-46 -lost to 2 seed Connecticut 75-63   1995 Minnesota (#66 in RPI, 8 seed) -lost to 9 seed Saint Louis 64-61   1996 California (#52 in RPI, 12 seed) -lost to 5 seed Iowa 74-64   1997 Georgetwon (#57 in RPI, 10 seed) -lost to 7 seed UNC Charlotte 79-67   1998 Western Michigan (#58 in RPI, 11 seed) -def. 6 seed Clemson 75-72 -lost to 3 seed Stanford 83-65   1999 New Mexico (#74 in RPI, 9 seed) -def. 8 seed Missouri 61-59 -lost to 1 seed Connecticut 78-56   2000 Pepperdine (#52 in RPI, 11 seed) -def. 6 seed Indiana 77-57 -lost to 3 seed Oklahoma State 75-67   2001 Oklahoma State (#49 in RPI, 11 seed) -lost to 6 seed USC 69-54   2002 Wyoming (#63 in RPI, 11 seed) -def. 6 seed Gonzaga 73-66 -lost to 3 seed Arizona 68-60   2003 N.C. State (#53 in RPI, 9 seed) -lost to 9 seed California 76-74   2004 Air Force (#70 in RPI, 11 seed) -lost to 6 seed North Carolina 63-52   2005 N.C. State (#63 in RPI, 10 seed) -def. 7 seed Charlotte 75-63 -def. 2 seed Connecticut 65-62 -lost to 6 seed Wisconsin 65-56   2006 Seton Hall (#58 in RPI, 10 seed) -lost to 7 seed Wichita State 86-66   2007 Stanford (#63 in RPI, 11 seed) -lost to 6 seed Louisville 78-58

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Draftback: 1998 NFL Draft

I "reviewed" the draft from 20 years ago so might as well do the one from 10 years ago. Like the 1993 draft, this draft featured quarterbacks being selected #1 and #2 overall. Also like that draft the #1 pick (Drew Bledsoe) turned out to be much better than the #2 pick (Rick Mirer) but in 1998 it was by a much larger scale as we would have a future Hall of Famer at #1 and all-time bust at #2.     1. Indianapolis - Peyton Manning, QB, Tennessee   My WEST COAST BIAS~ convinced myself that the next guy would be the better quarterback.   2. San Diego - Ryan Leaf, QB, Washington State   25 Career Games, 48.4% Comp Pct, 50.0 QB Rating, 14 TD, 36 Int, and a handful of public temper tantrums.   3. Arizona - Andre Wadsworth, DE, Florida State   Knee injuries killed his career barely after it got started.   4. Oakland - Charles Woodson, CB, Michigan   Outstanding early in his career but nagging injuries slowed him down quite a bit.   5. Chicago - Curtis Enis, RB, Penn State   Held out, showed up out of shape, and then blew out his knee. Pretty much useless.   6. St. Louis - Grant Wistrom, DE, Nebraska   Eight year starter but a tad overrated.   7. New Orleans - Kyle Turley, T, San Diego State   My guess is he'll end up killing someone during the usual, post-NFL lineman depression stage of his life.   8. Dallas - Greg Ellis, DE, North Carolina   Has had a career resurrection the last couple of years.   9. Jacksonville - Fred Tayor, RB, Florida   Passed the 10,000 yard rushing mark this past season.   10. Baltimore - Duane Starks, CB, Miami   Really good his first few years in the league, although probably helped by a great Ravens defense around him, and then flamed out pretty quickly once he left Baltimore.   11. Philadelphia - Tra Thomas, T, Florida State   Ten year starter and selected to three Pro Bowls.   12. Atlanta - Keith Brooking, LB, Georgia Tech   Overrated but still has had a pretty good career.   13. Cincinnati - Takeo Spikes, LB, Auburn   Was one of the best linebackers in the league for a few years.   14. Carolina - Jason Peter, DE, Nebraska   Check out his Real Sports segment to find out what happened to him.   15. Seattle - Anthony Simmons, LB, Clemson   Decent for a few years.   16. Tennessee - Kevin Dyson, WR, Utah   Place in NFL history is cemented due to the Music City Miracle and the final play of Super Bowl XXXV but really nothing special as a player.   17. Cincinnati - Brian Simmons, LB, North Carolina   Eight year starter.   18. New England - Robert Edwards, RB, Georgia   Infamously blew out his knee in an NFL flag football game on the beach during Pro Bowl week after his rookie year.   19. Green Bay - Vonnie Holliday, DE, North Carolina   Another decent UNC defensive player.   20. Detroit - Terry Fair, CB, Tennessee   Seven interceptions in four years.   21. Minnesota - Randy Moss, WR, Marshall   His off the field problems dropped him this far. Still pissed he broke Jerry Rice's single season, receiving touchdown record this past year which I thought was near unbreakable.   22. New England - Tebucky Jones, S, Syracuse   Nothing special.   23. Oakland - Mo Collins, G, Florida   Five year starter but was pretty terrible.   24. N.Y. Giants - Shaun Williams, S, UCLA   Just a warm body.   25. Jacksonville - Donovin Darius, S, Syracuse   Throws a nice lariat.   26. Pittsburgh - Alan Faneca, G, LSU   Seven time Pro Bowl selection.   27. Kansas City - Victor Riley, T, Auburn   Was a decent run blocker, terrible pass blocker.   28. San Francisco - R.W. McQuarters, CB, Oklahoma State   Great name, pretty good punt returner, awful cornerback.   29. Miami - John Avery, RB, Mississippi   XFL's all-time leading rusher.   30. Denver - Marcus Nash, WR, Tennessee   Four receptions in 11 career games.     Other Notable Picks   33. Arizona - Corey Chavous, CB, Vanderbilt 35. Chicago - Tony Parrish, S, Washington 38. Dallas - Flozell Adams, T, Michigan State 39. Buffalo - Sam Cowart, LB, Florida State 44. Miami - Patrick Surtain, CB, Southern Miss 46. Tennessee - Samari Rolle, CB, Florida State 48. Washington - Stephen Alexander, TE, Oklahoma 58. San Francisco - Jeremy Newberry, C, California 64. Chicago - Olin Kreutz, C, Washington 65. St. Louis - Leonard Little, DE, Tennessee 72. Philadelphia - Jeremiah Trotter, LB, Stephen F Austin 76. Seattle - Ahman Green, RB, Nebraska 78. Cincinnati - Mike Goff, G, Iowa 91. Denver - Brian Griese, QB, Michigan 92. Pittsburgh - Hines Ward, WR, Georgia 93. Indianapolis - Steve McKinney, C, Texas A&M 111. N.Y. Jets - Jason Fabini, T, Cincinnati 119. San Francisco - Lance Schulters, S, Hofstra 139. Tennessee - Benji Olson, G, Washington 173. Minnesota - Matt Birk, C, Harvard 180. San Francisco - Fred Beasley, FB, Auburn 187. Green Bay - Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Boston College 199. Atlanta - Ephraim Salaam, T, San Diego State 226. Arizona - Pat Tillman, S, Arizona State

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All-Time NFL Draft, Picks 61-100

Okay this is the last of this to keep my sanity but I decided I might as well finish on a nice round number at 100. I'll be honest there are a few of my picks who I've never heard of the player as some selections have never produced a Pro Bowl player. So I went with guys who started a lot figuring they couldn't have sucked, plus getting a long term starter is very good value at this point in the draft. I had no idea the Dolphins drafted Joe Theismann.   61. Philadelphia – Brian Dawkins, S, Clemson 1996 Honorable Mention: Mickey Shuler (1978), Albert Lewis (1983), Shaun Rogers (2001)   62. Dallas – Tony Hill, WR, Stanford 1977 Honorable Mention: Eric Williams (1984), Robert Brooks (1992), Antwaan Randle El (2002)   63. N.Y. Jets – Mo Lewis, LB, Georgia 1991 Honorable Mention: Terry Metcalf (1973), Jerry Ball (1987), Marv Cook (1989)   64. San Diego – Dan Fouts, QB, Oregon 1973 Honorable Mention: Dave Duerson (1983), Kyle Clifton (1984), Olin Kreutz (1998)   65. Dallas – Dexter Coakley, LB, Appalachian State 1997 Honorable Mention: Carlton Williamson (1981), Jerry Fontenot (1989), Ray Buchanan (1993)   66. Tampa Bay – Ronde Barber, CB, Virginia 1997 Honorable Mention: Charlie Waters (1970), William Henderson (1995), Nick Hardwick (2004)   67. Cincinnati – Ken Anderson, QB, Augustana (IL) 1971 Honorable Mention: Robert Pratt (1974), Mike Cofer (1983), Joel Steed (1992)   68. Chicago – Lance Briggs, LB, Arizona 2003 Honorable Mention: Jim Carter (1970), Jack Del Rio (1985), Tom Tupa (1988)   69. Washington – Russ Grim, G, Pittsburgh 1981 Honorable Mention: Lance Mehl (1980), Glenn Parker (1990), Jason Witten (2003)   70. Dallas – Erik Williams, T, Central State (OH) 1991 Honorable Mention: Lawrence McCutcheon (1972), Jimmie Giles (1977), LeRoy Irvin (1980)   71. New Orleans – Hoby Brenner, TE, USC 1981 Honorable Mention: Bob Newton (1971), Donnie Abraham (1996), Duce Staley (1997)   72. Philadelphia – Jeremiah Trotter, LB, Stephen F Austin 1998 Honorable Mention: Mike McCoy (1976), Lance Smith (1985), Henry Thomas (1987)   73. Miami – Jason Taylor, DE, Akron 1997 Honorable Mention: Steve McMichael (1980), Guy McIntyre (1984), Joey Porter (1999)   74. New England – Curtis Martin, RB, Pittsburgh 1995 Honorable Mention: James Hasty (1988), Will Shields (1993), Steve Smith (2001)   75. Oakland – Mark Van Eeghen, FB, Colgate 1974 Honorable Mention: Pete Metzelaars (1982), Denard Walker (1997), Steve Foley (1998)   76. Seattle – Ahman Green, RB, Nebraska 1998 Honorable Mention: Doug Cosbie (1979), Fredd Young (1984), John Taylor (1986)   77. Philadelphia – Fred Barnett, WR, Arkansas State 1990 Honorable Mention: Linden King (1977), Bubba McDowell (1986), Corey Harris (1992)   78. Miami – Leon Gray, T, Jackson State 1973 Honorable Mention: Nat Moore (1974), David Fulcher (1986), Laveranues Coles (2000)   79. Denver – Lyle Alzado, DE, Yankton 1971 Honorable Mention: Gregg Bingham (1973), Henry Marshall (1976), William Andrews (1979)   80. San Francisco – Bill Romanowski, LB, Boston College 1988 Honorable Mention: Paul Lankford (1982), Derek Smith (1997), Darrell Jackson (2000)   81. Miami – Curtis Johnson, CB, Toledo 1970 Honorable Mention: Bernard Jackson (1972), Earl Dotson (1993), Chris Cooley (2004)   82. San Francisco – Joe Montana, QB, Notre Dame 1979 Honorable Mention: John Stallworth (1974), Rodney Holman (1982), John Lynch (1993)   83. Denver – Ed McCaffrey, WR, Stanford 1991 Honorable Mention: Steve Brown (1983), Jay Schroeder (1984), Greg Spires (1998)   84. Washington – Charles Mann, DE, Nevada 1983 Honorable Mention: Rob Carpenter (1977), Tim Harris (1986), Dwight Smith (2001)   85. Dallas – Tony Tolbert, DE, UTEP 1989 Honorable Mention: Randy Dixon (1987), William White (1988), Greg Wesley (2000)   86. L.A. Rams – Jackie Slater, T, Jackson State 1976 Honorable Mention: Morten Andersen (1982), Andre Reed (1985), Tedy Bruschi (1996)   87. New England – Tim Goad, DT, North Carolina 1988 Honorable Mention: Ron Hall (1987), Moe Gardner (1991), Mike McKenzie (1999)   88. Denver – Tom Jackson, LB, Louisville 1973 Honorable Mention: Ricardo McDonald (1992), Jason Gildon (1994), Morlon Greenwood (2001)   89. San Francisco – Terrell Owens, WR, Tennessee-Chattanooga 1996 Honorable Mention: Roy Green (1979), Chris Warren (1990), Lorenzo Neal (1993)   90. Dallas – Pat Donovan, T, Stanford 1975 Honorable Mention: Tootie Robbins (1982), Yancey Thigpen (1991), Antonio Freeman (1995)   91. Philadelphia – Brian Westbrook, RB, Villanova 2002 Honorable Mention: Jeff Christy (1992), Mike Vrabel (1997), Brian Griese (1998)   92. Pittsburgh - Hines Ward, WR, Georgia 1998 Honorable Mention: Dennis Harrison (1978), Derrick Rodgers (1997), Casey Rabach (2001)   93. Green Bay - Ken Ellis, CB, Saginaw Valley State 1970 Honorable Mention: Joe Phillips (1986), Tyrone Williams (1996), Steve McKinney (1998)   94. Pittsburgh - Thomas Everett, S, Baylor 1987 Honorable Mention: Matt Herkenhoff (1974), Bob Horn (1976), Dave Widell (1988)   95. Denver - Rick Upchurch, WR/KR, Minnesota 1975 Honorable Mention: Todd Bell (1981), Michael Pittman (1998), Jonas Jennings (2001)   96. San Francisco - Charles Haley, DE, James Madison 1986 Honorable Mention: Bruce McNorton (1982), Maurice Hurst (1989), Ron Stone (1993)   97. New Orleans - Joel Hilgenberg, C, Iowa 1984 Honorable Mention: Vince Newsome (1983), Chris Calloway (1990), Todd Perry (1993)   98. Oakland - Cliff Branch, WR, Colorado 1972 Honorable Mention: Rich Gannon (1987), Donnie Edwards (1996), Derrick Mason (1997)   99. Miami - Joe Theismann, QB, Notre Dame 1971 Honorable Mention: Joe Federspiel (1972), Keith Hamilton (1992), Phillip Daniels (1996)   100. N.Y. Giants - Mark Bavaro, TE, Notre Dame 1985 Honorable Mention: Dave Dalby (1972), Michael Bankston (1992), Rudi Johnson (2001)

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College Football Pick 'Em Update

Just here to announce that 5th installment of the second longest running football pick 'em contest in TSM history is coming soon! Look for the sign up thread in the Sports folder in the next week or so. So this entry isn't a complete waste I'm updating the all-time standings for the contest. Will anyone stop the juggernaut that is Cuban Linx this year?   All-Time Standings (in order of wins)   1. teke184 38-18 2. CanadianChris 37-18 3. Edwin MacPhisto 36-19 4. iggymcfly 34-17 5. Cuban Linx 33-9   6t. Bored 31-23 6t. phoenixrising 31-24 8. Vern Gagne 30-23 9. AlwaysPissedOff 27-25 10. nogoodnick 26-29   11t. JHawk 25-26 11t. Cartman 25-27 11t. Spaceman Spiff 25-29 14. Will Scarlet 24-31 15. Fokai 22-25   16t. Lando Griffin 21-19 16t. Kingofthe909 21-21 16t. Gert T 21-29 16t. the pinjockey 21-31 20t. Spicy McHaggis 20-21   20t. Agent of Oblivion 20-33 22t. MarvinisaLunatic 19-12 22t. Secret Agent 19-18 24. Porter 18-20 25t. Vitamin X 17-19   25t. Kotzenjunge 17-21 27. UTBroward 15-11 28t. UZI Suicide 14-20 28t. Carnival 14-23 30t. Hawk 34 13-13   30t. Vampiro69 13-13 30t. Agent Bond34 13-14 30t. Angel Grace Blue 13-26 34t. kkktookmybabyaway 12-10 34t. Urban Warfare 12-11   36t. SilverPhoenix 11-10 36t. therealworldschampion 11-21 38t. Mecca 10-4 38t. Ortonsault 10-14 38t. Danville Wrestling 10-16   41t. A MikeSC 9-3 41t. AboveAverage484 9-4 43t. Damaramu 8-15 43t. HarleyQuinn 8-20 45t. MFerXtreme87 7-6   45t. Flyboy 7-7 45t. Leena 7-8 48. Smues 5-7 49t. Matt Young 4-2 49t. Dangerous A 4-7   49t. KingPK 4-7 49t. Nate 4-8 49t. 2GOLD 4-9 49t. Mad Dog 4-9 55t. Jimbo 1-1   55t. "Hail" bps21 1-2 57t. IK Cool Jew 0-3 57t. Rob E Dangerously 0-4

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Worst Hitters since 1986

A few weeks back I finally decided to purchase a subscription to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index since I figured it'd be helpful in putting together a few random lists to keep this blog afloat. Of course if I had known there would be a free preview over All-Star week (which ends today) I might I have waited a little longer but oh well. Now several times in the past I've mentioned that all my sports memories begin in 1986 so figured my first random list using Play Index I'd have it centered around that year.   So here are by position the worst hitters according to OPS+ who had at least 2500 plate appearances (about five full seasons) in the Majors since 1986. In fairness the majority of these players lasted as long as they did due to stellar defense. I left off DH because there's only 10 players that qualified with Dave Parker at the bottom with an OPS+ of 104.   Catcher .239/.293/.344, 4287 PA, 353 R, 925 H, 190 2B, 9 3B, 67 HR, 443 RBI, 266 BB, 795 SO, 64 OPS+   First Base .257/.301/.386, 3106 PA, 316 R, 733 H, 135 2B, 18 3B, 66 HR, 376 RBI, 181 BB, 552 SO, 88 OPS+   Second Base .248/.307/.352, 3138 PA, 366 R, 704 H, 128 2B, 17 3B, 44 HR, 271 RBI, 226 BB, 531 SO, 68 OPS+   Third Base .239/.274/.411, 2766 PA, 304 R, 620 H, 128 2B, 10 3B, 99 HR, 377 RBI, 120 BB, 20 SO, 77 OPS+   Shortstop .246/.289/.310, 3407 PA, 291 R, 767 H, 129 2B, 17 3B, 12 HR, 287 RBI, 191 BB, 339 SO, 59 OPS+   Leftfield (since 1986 only) .263/.324/.346, 5278 PA, 742 R, 1255 H, 156 2B, 79 3B, 27 HR, 306 RBI, 427 BB, 845 SO, 83 OPS+   Centerfield .250/.323/.322, 4652 PA, 607 R, 1021 H, 137 2B, 37 3B, 27 HR, 342 RBI, 403 BB, 514 SO, 72 OPS+   Rightfield .272/.315/.409, 2718 PA, 317 R, 685 H, 121 2B, 19 3B, 62 HR, 319 RBI, 149 BB, 409 SO, 83 OPS+

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Worst 2B Seasons since 1957

In case you were wondering, and you weren't, the worst hitting season by a second baseman since 1901 was by Del Young in 1923 with an OPS+ of 23 (.194/.235/.231 in 386 plate appearances). The top of this list once again shows that a shitty player may one day become a great manager. Also, anybody know who in the Mets' organization was Doug Flynn blowing in the late 70's and the early 80's to maintain an everyday job? (edit: It was Jesus!)   Top 25 (or so) Worst Offensive Second Baseman Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)   1. Sparky Anderson, 1959 - Philadelphia Phillies 43 OPS+ (.218/.282/.249)   2. Tommy Helms, 1970 - Cincinnati Reds 44 3. Billy Ripken, 1988 - Baltimore Orioles 48 4. Hal Lanier, 1965 - San Francisco Giants 51 5t. Mike Lansing, 2000 - Colorado Rockies/Boston Red Sox 54 5t. Doug Flynn, 1981 - New York Mets 54 7. Jose Lind, 1992 - Pittsburgh Pirates 56 8t. Mike Chapman, 1977 - San Diego Padres 57 8t. Julian Javier, 1970 - St. Louis Cardinals 57 10. Horace Clarke, 1968 - New York Yankees 59 11t. Delino DeShields, 1996 - Los Angeles Dodgers 60 11t. Rodney Scott, 1981 - Montreal Expos 60 13t. Doug Flynn, 1979 - New York Mets 61 13t. Sandy Alomar, 1973 - California Angels 61 13t. Glenn Beckert, 1965 - Chicago Cubs 61 13t. Billy Gardner, 1958 - Baltimore Orioles 61 13t. Bobby Morgan, 1957 - Philadelphia Phillies/Chicago Cubs 61 18t. Brent Abernathy, 2002 - Tampa Bay Devil Rays 62 18t. Doug Flynn, 1978 - New York Mets 62 18t. Julian Javier, 1960 - St. Louis Cardinals 62 21. Len Randle, 1976 - Texas Rangers 63 22t. Bret Boone, 1996 - Cincinnati Reds 64 22t. Ted Sizemore, 1975 - St. Louis Cardinals 64 22t. Dave Campbell, 1970 - San Diego Padres 64 25t. Ray Durham, 2007 - San Francisco Giants 64 25t. Duane Kuiper, 1979 - Cleveland Indians 64 25t. Sandy Alomar, 1975 - New York Yankees 64 25t. Sandy Alomar, 1969 - Chicago White Sox/California Angels 64 25t. Tony Taylor, 1958 - Chicago Cubs 64

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Worst SS Seasons since 1957

The worst offensive season by a shortstop of all-time was Jim Levey in 1933 with an OPS+ of 24 (.195/.237/.240). Jim was a teammate of Art Scharein on the St. Louis Browns that year who my three readers will remember that he had the worst offensive ever by a third baseman that year thus teaming up for the undisputed, worst hitting left side of an infield in MLB history. Congratulations guys.   Now on to more modern players and the player at the top of this list takes both #1 and #2 spots in back-to-back seasons which is quite the achievement. In case you were wondering, he was considered a great defensive shortstop but me thinks he probably still played more than he should have.   Top 25 (or so) Worst Offensive Shortstop Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)   1. Hal Lanier, 1968 - San Francisco Giants 38 OPS+ (.206/.222/.239)   2. Hal Lanier, 1967 - San Francisco Giants 42 3. Alfredo Griffin, 1990 - Los Angeles Dodgers 43 4t. Neifi Perez, 2002 - Kansas City Royals 44 4t. Ivan DeJesus, 1981 - Chicago Cubs 44 4t. Tim Johnson, 1973 - Milwaukee Brewers 44 7. Hal Lanier, 1969 - San Francisco Giants 46 8t. Clint Barmes, 2006 - Colorado Rockies 47 8t. Mike Caruso, 1999 - Chicago White Sox 47 10. Ozzie Smith, 1979 - San Diego Padres 48 11t. Alfredo Griffin, 1981 - Toronto Blue Jays 49 11t. Marty Perez, 1972 - Atlanta Braves 49 13t. Craig Robinson, 1974 - Atlanta Braves 51 13t. Dick Schofield, 1965 - Pittsburgh Pirates/San Francisco Giants 51 15t. Angel Berroa, 2006 - Kansas City Royals 52 15t. Zoilo Versalles, 1967 - Minnesota Twins 52 17t. Rey Ordonez, 1998 - New York Mets 53 17t. Andres Thomas, 1989 - Atlanta Braves 53 17t. Glenn Hoffman, 1982 - Boston Red Sox 53 20t. Ronny Cedeno, 2006 - Chicago Cubs 54 20t. Gary DiSarcina, 1997 - Anaheim Angels 54 20t. Ozzie Guillen, 1986 - Chicago White Sox 54 20t. Alfredo Griffin, 1982 - Toronto Blue Jays 54 24t. Juan Uribe, 2002 - Colorado Rockies 55 24t. Kevin Stocker, 1995 - Philadelphia Phillies 55 24t. Curtis Wilkerson, 1984 - Texas Rangers 55 24t. Don Kessinger, 1967 - Chicago Cubs 55 24t. Ken Hamlin, 1960 - Kansas City A's 55

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Worst LF Seasons since 1957

The worst offensive season but a leftfielder since 1901 was...wait...just nine years ago!? Speed can kill but it can also keep a guy in the line up who really shouldn't be anything more than a designated pinch runner.   Top 25 Worst Offenisve Leftfielder Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)   1. Brian Hunter, 1999 - Detroit Tigers/Seattle Mariners 48 OPS+ (.232/.280/.301)   2. Vince Coleman, 1994 - Kansas City Royals 59 3. Vince Coleman, 1986 - St. Louis Cardinals 62 4. Bill Sample, 1984 - Texas Rangers 68 5t. Billy Hatcher, 1989 - Houston Astros/Pittsburgh Pirates 70 5t. Dan Meyer, 1975 - Detroit Tigers 70 7t. Scott Podsednik, 2006 - Chicago White Sox 75 7t. Luis Polonia, 1993 - California Angels 75 9t. Tommy Harper, 1974 - Boston Red Sox 76 9t. Don Buford, 1972 - Baltimore Orioles 76 11t. Rickey Henderson, 2000 - New York Mets/Seattle Mariners 77 11t. Jeffrey Leonard, 1988 - San Francisco Giants/Milwaukee Brewers 77 11t. Ron LeFlore, 1981 - Chicago White Sox 77 14t. Terrence Long, 2003 - Oakland A's 78 14t. Roger Cedeno, 2002 - New York Mets 78 14t. Ricky Ledee, 2000 - New York Yankees/Cleveland Indians/Texas Rangers 78 14t. Gary Ward, 1987 - New York Yankees 78 18t. Reed Johnson, 2004 - Toronto Blue Jays 79 18t. Lou Piniella, 1973 - Kansas City Royals 79 20t. Dan Gladden, 1991 - Minnesota Twins 80 20t. Tito Francona, 1963 - Cleveland Indians 80 22t. Carl Crawford, 2003 - Tampa Bay Devil Rays 81 22t. Troy O'Leary, 2000 - Boston Red Sox 81 22t. Lou Brock, 1977 - St. Louis Cardinals 81 22t. Jim Gilliam, 1958 - Los Angeles Dodgers 81

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Best Catcher Seasons since 1979

Enough of the worst, it's time for the best. Now instead of OPS+ for these lists I'll be using Win Shares since it rates a player's all around game rather than just their offense, although the defensive measures are very flawed. Just like the worst lists I'm picking a year to start with and this time around I'm going with 1979. The reason is that I was born on October 1, 1978 which was the last day of the 1978 regular season (among the winning pitchers that day were Luis Tiant, Ferguson Jenkins, and Rollie Fingers...ya I'm really getting old), so essentially these are the best single seasons of my lifetime.   Obviously there's going to be one glaring problem with these lists and that's the 1981, 1994, and 1995 strike shortened seasons will all be very underrepresented. And well...fuck it. I'm not going to worry about it.   Note Win Shares Above Average is used to break ties.   Top 20 Catcher Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Mike Piazza, 1997 - Los Angeles Dodgers 38.6 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 1997 28 LAD NL 152  556  104  201  32  1  40  124   5  1  69  77  .362  .431  .638  185  355   0   5  11   3  19   2. Gary Carter, 1985 - New York Mets 33.3 3. Mike Piazza, 1998 - Los Angeles Dodgers/Florida Marlins/New York Mets 33 4. Mike Piazza, 1996 - Los Angeles Dodgers 32.9 5. Gary Carter, 1982 - Montreal Expos 31.3 6. Darrell Porter, 1979 - Kansas City Royals 30.8 7. Victor Martinez, 2007 - Cleveland Indians 30.8 8. Joe Mauer, 2006 - Minnesota Twins 30.8 9. Darren Daulton, 1992 - Philadelphia Phillies 30.8 10. Mike Piazza, 1993 - Los Angeles Dodgers 30.5 11. Gary Carter, 1984 - Montreal Expos 30.2 12. Gary Carter, 1980 - Montreal Expos 30 13. Javy Lopez, 2003 - Atlanta Braves 29.7 14. Darren Daulton, 1993 - Philadelphia Phillies 28.6 15. Jorge Posada, 2000 - New York Yankees 28.6 16. Paul Lo Duca, 2001 - Los Angeles Dodgers 27.9 17. Jorge Posada, 2003 - New York Yankees 27.8 18. Terry Kennedy, 1982 - San Diego Padres 27.8 19. Ivan Rodriguez, 1999 - Texas Rangers 27.6 20. Rick Wilkins, 1993 - Chicago Cubs 27.5

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Best 3B Seasons since 1979

This list is a travesty as we have the least clutchiest player in the history of mankind on top. I'm ashamed, your ashamed, and Jeter is ashamed. Now if I did this list during 2007, the #1 spot would have been a big shock.   Top 20 Third Baseman Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Alex Rodriguez, 2007 - New York Yankees 38.7 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2007 31 NYY AL 158  583  143  183  31  0  54  156  24  4  95 120  .314  .422  .645  177  376   0   9  11  21  15   2. Howard Johnson, 1989 - New York Mets 38 3. Scott Rolen, 2004 - St. Louis Cardinals 37.9 4. Ken Caminiti, 1996 - San Diego Padres 37.8 5. Mike Schmidt, 1980 - Philadelphia Philies 37.4 6. George Brett, 1985 - Kansas City Royals 37.3 7. Adrian Beltre, 2004 - Los Angeles Dodgers 37.1 8. Wade Boggs, 1986 - Boston Red Sox 36.8 9. Mike Schmidt, 1982 - Philadelphia Phillies 36.6 10. Alex Rodriguez, 2005 - New York Yankees 36.6 11. George Brett, 1980 - Kansas City Royals 36 12. Mike Schmidt, 1983 - Philadelphia Phillies 35.1 13. Terry Pendleton, 1992 - Atlanta Braves 35 14. David Wright, 2007 - New York Mets 34.4 15. Wade Boggs, 1983 - Boston Red Sox 33.7 16. Miguel Cabrera, 2006 - Florida Marlins 33.6 17. Mike Schmidt, 1979 - Philadelphia Phillies 33.3 18. George Brett, 1979 - Kansas City Royals 32.8 19. Wade Boggs, 1987 - Boston Red Sox 32.5 20. Gary Sheffield, 1992 - San Diego Padres 32.4

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Best SS Seasons since 1979

Now I know what you're thinking. If A-Fraud had the best third baseman season of the last 30 years, he had to have had the best shortstop season. But thankfully my Judeo-Christian friends we have been saved! But not be Jeter!? This is an outrage! Obviously our Lord and Savior is saving his best for last.   Top 20 Shortstop Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)   1. Robin Yount, 1982 - Milwaukee Brewers 38.6 Win Shares   Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 1982 26 MIL AL 156  635  129  210  46 12  29  114  14  3  54  63  .331  .379  .578  166  367   4  10   2   1  19   2. Alex Rodriguez, 2000 - Seattle Mariners 37.2 3. Alex Rodriguez, 2001 - Texas Rangers 36.8 4. Cal Ripken, 1984 - Baltimore Orioles 36.7 5. Alex Rodriguez, 2002 - Texas Rangers 35.5 6. Derek Jeter, 1999 - New York Yankees 35.3 7. Cal Ripken, 1983 - Baltimore Orioles 35.3 8. Alan Trammell, 1987 - Detroit Tigers 35.1 9. Alex Rodriguez, 1996 - Seattle Mariners 34.0 10. Cal Ripken, 1991 - Baltimore Orioles 33.7 11. Ozzie Smith, 1987 - St. Louis Cardinals 32.9 12. Derek Jeter, 2006 - New York Yankees 32.7 13. Robin Yount, 1983 - Milwaukee Brewers 32.6 14. Rich Aurilia, 2001 - San Francisco Giants 32.6 15. Alex Rodriguez, 2003 - Texas Rangers 32.5 16. Barry Larkin, 1992 - Cincinnati Reds 32.3 17. Miguel Tejada, 2002 - Oakland A's 32.0 18. Nomar Garciaparra, 1999 - Boston Red Sox 31.6 19. Barry Larkin, 1996 - Cincinnati Reds 30.6 20. Barry Larkin, 1995 - Cincinnati Reds 30.4

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