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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

Entries in this blog

 

2006 Player Rankings: 3rd Basemen

2004 Top 3 1. Adrian Beltre 2. Scott Rolen 3. Melvin Mora   2005 Top 3 1. Alex Rodriguez 2. Morgan Ensberg 3. David Wright   2006 3rd Basemen Rankings   1. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins 2. David Wright, Mets 3. Garett Atkins, Rockies 4. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 5. Chipper Jones, Braves 6. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs 7. Freddy Sanchez, Pirates 8. Scott Rolen, Cardinals 9. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 10. Mark Teahen, Royals 11. Joe Crede, White Sox 12. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays 13. Adrian Beltre, Mariners 14. Mike Lowell, Red Sox 15. Morgan Ensberg, Astros 16. Eric Chavez, A's 17. Brandon Inge, Tigers 18. Edwin Encarnacion, Reds 19. Melvin Mora, Orioles 20. Chad Tracy, Diamondbacks 21. Macier Izturis, Angels 22. Aubrey Huff, Devil Rays/Astros 23. Corey Koskie, Brewers 24. David Bell, Phillies/Brewers 25. Hank Blalock, Rangers 26. Nick Punto, Twins 27. Pedro Feliz, Giants 28. Aaron Boone, Indians 29. Abraham Nunez, Phillies 30. Vinny Castilla, Padres/Rockies

Bored

Bored

 

2006 Player Rankings: 2nd Basemen

No College Football Wrap Up today as I was out of town yesterday and missed the majority of the games, not that any of my "insights" ever require watching the games. On to the next rankings...   2004 Top 3 1. Mark Loretta 2. Jeff Kent 3. Ray Durham   2005 Top 3 1. Brian Roberts 2. Jeff Kent 3. Chase Utley   2006 2nd Basemen Rankings   1. Chase Utley, Phillies 2. Ray Durham, Giants 3. Dan Uggla, Marlins 4. Robinson Cano, Yankees 5. Jeff Kent, Dodgers 6. Orlando Hudson, Diamondbacks 7. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox 8. Josh Barfield, Padres 9. Brian Roberts, Orioles 10. Luis Castillo, Twins 11. Jose Valentin, Mets 12. Jose Lopez, Mariners 13. Brandon Phillips, Reds 14. Marcus Giles, Braves 15. Ian Kinsler, Rangers 16. Aaron Hill, Blue Jays 17. Mark Grudzielanek, Royals 18. Jamey Carroll, Rockies 19. Rickie Weeks, Brewers 20. Mark Loretta, Red Sox 21. Adam Kennedy, Angels 22. Jose Vidro, Nationals 23. Tony Graffanino, Royals/Brewers 24. Mark Ellis, A's 25. Placido Polanco, Tigers 26. Ronnie Belliard, Indians/Cardinals 27. Craig Biggio, Astros 28. Aaron Miles, Cardinals 29. Jorge Cantu, Devil Rays 30. Jose Castillo, Pirates

Bored

Bored

 

2006 Player Rankings: 1st Basemen

2004 Top 3 1. Albert Pujols 2. Todd Helton 3. Sean Casey   2005 Top 3 1. Derrek Lee 2. Albert Pujols 3. Carlos Delgado   2006 1st Basemen Rankings   1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals 2. Ryan Howard, Phillies 3. Lance Berkman, Astros 4. Justin Morneau, Twins 5. Nick Johnson, Nationals 6. Paul Konerko, White Sox 7. Carlos Delgado, Mets 8. Mark Teixeira, Rangers 9. Todd Helton, Rockies 10. Nick Swisher, A's 11. Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays 12. Adam LaRoche, Braves 13. Nomar Garciaparra, Dodgers 14. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres 15. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox 16. Richie Sexson, Mariners 17. Prince Fielder, Brewers 18. Scott Hatteberg, Reds 19. Kevin Millar, Orioles 20. Ben Broussard, Indians/Mariners 21. Mike Jacobs, Marlins 22. Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks 23. Mike Lamb, Astros 24. Doug Mientkiewicz, Royals 25. Chris Shelton, Tigers 26. Sean Casey, Pirates/Tigers 27. Craig Wilson, Pirates/Yankees 28. Shea Hillenbrand, Blue Jays/Giants 29. Dan Johnson, A's 30. Travis Lee, Devil Rays

Bored

Bored

 

2006 MVP Watch #9

Been a little while now since the last MVP Watch as was waiting for Hardball Times to finally update the Win Shares totals.   Hey so did you hear that Ryan Howard is now the N.L. MVP winner? If your left handed and fat, this is your year! You know the media goo-goos and ga-gas over homeruns and RBI and then they wonder why players take steroids? Of course is Howard even the MVP of the Phillies is a more interesting question. As for the league he's in Top 10 but with a month left he's got no shot at the top spot on my ballot. Now as for the #1 spot things keep getting more interesting. I really, really wanted to give Beltran the top spot finally but I didn't pull the trigger but that might change a month from now. Also we may have a late 3rd candidate to the race as Miguel Cabrera clocks at a very strong #3.   #10 Nick Johnson, Nationals .286/.423/.511, 93 RC, .312 EQA, 42.5 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #9 David Wright, Mets .294/.369/.511, 97 RC, .294 EQA, 34.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares   #8 Ryan Howard, Phillies .294/.382/.628, 96 RC, .313 EQA, 50.2 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #7 Jose Reyes, Mets .298/.351/.488, 103 RC, .285 EQA, 47.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #6 Chase Utley, Phillies .317/.385/.525, 94 RC, .296 EQA, 53.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares   #5 Alfonso Soriano, Nationals .294/.365/.603, 110 RC, .303 EQA, 52.9 VORP, 28 Win Shares   #4 Lance Berkman, Astros .308/.414/.614, 112 RC, .323 EQA, 54.7 VORP, 27 Win Shares   #3 Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .337/.426/.585, 117 RC, .328 EQA, 64.8 VORP, 30 Win Shares   #2 Carlos Beltran, Mets .286/.389/.631, 111 RC, .321 EQA, 63.1 VORP, 34 Win Shares   #1 Albert Pujols, Cardinals .323/.424/.665, 114 RC, .337 EQA, 65.4 VORP, 30 Win Shares     For the A.L. it's still anyone's guess but by the way things are shaking out now Derek Jeter may win the real award by default and he's still in strongly my Top 5. I nearly had a new #1 here and originally had Manny Ramirez taking the top spot but changed my mind due the uncertain staus of his knee. The media favorite David Ortiz is now clutching his heart (awww I'm mean) and his season could be over. Joe Mauer is still in the Top 5 but he needs a strong September to grab the award.   #10 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays .319/.374/.583, 93 RC, .310 EQA, 59.0 VORP, 21 Win Shares   #9 Jason Giambi, Yankees .261/.420/.594, 101 RC, .330 EQA, 46.9 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #8 Jermaine Dye, White Sox .326/.392/.649, 99 RC, .328 EQA, 59.3 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #7 Johan Santana, Twins 153 ERA+, 5.03 K/BB, 1.02 WHIP, 62.7 VORP, 21 Win Shares   #6 Jim Thome, White Sox .294/.413/.615, 103 RC, .331 EQA, 53.9 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #5 David Ortiz, Red Sox .287/.400/.633, 105 RC, .329 EQA, 61.0 VORP, 22 Win Shares   #4 Joe Mauer, Twins .356/.434/.514, 91 RC, .322 EQA, 57.6 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #3 Derek Jeter, Yankees .337/.413/.480, 108 RC, .311 EQA, 61.3 VORP, 25 Win Shares   #2 Manny Ramirez, Red Sox .326/.442/.628, 108 RC, .345 EQA, 62.8 VORP, 26 Win Shares   #1 Travis Hafner, Indians .307/.434/.643, 120 RC, .347 EQA, 74.6 VORP, 23 Win Shares

Bored

Bored

 

2006 MVP Watch #5

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

Bored

Bored

 

2006 MVP Watch #4

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

Bored

Bored

 

2006 MVP Watch #3

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

Bored

Bored

 

2006 MVP Watch #2

ESPN is already doing the "Chasing Bonds" treatment for Albert Pujols but it really should be "Chasing Wagner." According to HardballTimes.com Pujols is on pace to tie Honus Wagner's single season record of 59 Win Shares set back in 1908. I am outraged the media is ignoring this potential historic event. Come on the homerun record has been broken twice in the last eight years, the Win Shares record hasn't been broken in 98 years! Don't you remember as a kid always wondering if someone would reach that magical #59?   Anyways no shock at all who's #1 in the N.L. still and I might as well give the entire Top 10 to Pujols. Not much else of note, two drop out and one of the "Most Overrated Players in Baseball" cracks to the Top 10.   Drop Outs: Carlos Delgado, Carlos Lee   #10 Bobby Abreu, Phillies .276/.447/.503, 36 RC, .316 EQA, 13.8 VORP, 10 Win Shares   #9 Chase Utley, Phillies .328/.406/.554, 35 RC, .298 EQA, 18.9 VORP, 10 Win Shares   #8 Bronson Arroyo, Reds 195 ERA+, 3.79 K/BB, 1.06 WHIP, 26.7 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #7 Carlos Beltran, Mets .259/.382/.600, 32 RC, .324 EQA, 20.6 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #6 Morgan Ensberg, Astros .272/.403/.627, 36 RC, .322 EQA, 20.8 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #5 Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .335/.432/.599, 41 RC, .338 EQA, 25.4 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #4 Tom Glavine Mets 167 ERA+, 2.32 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP, 23.0 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #3 Lance Berkman, Astros .296/.375/.605, 40 RC, .307 EQA, 17.1 VORP, 11 Win Shares   #2 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 191 ERA+, 6.00 K/BB, 1.10 WHIP, 28.1 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #1 .323/.450/.804, 58 RC, .365 EQA, 37.8 VORP, 17 Win Shares   On the A.L. side there's a lot of change with five players dropping out from last week with a couple of familiar faces jumping in including Baseball Jesus himself. But the #1 spot stays the same and even though Thome isn't blowing away the rest of the league like Pujols he definently has a comfortable edge right now. Of course a name you will not see anywhere on this list is the WORST PLAYER EVER, MR. UNCLUTCH A-FRAUD!!!!! God damn how is he not playing in Single-A now? How do the Yankees win any games with him dragging down the club?   Drop Outs: Jonny Gomes, Vernon Wells, Alexis Rios, Nick Swisher, Ramon Hernandez   #10 Jose Lopez, Mariners .292/.322/.497, 40 RC, .284 EQA, 15.8 VORP, 10 Win Shares   #9 Jose Contreras, White Sox 250 ERA+, 2.73 K/BB, 0.87 WHIP, 25.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #8 Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox .319/.432/.503, 36 RC, .318 EQA, 15.7 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #7 Miguel Tejada, Orioles .333/.391/.587, 35 RC, .325 EQA, 27.6 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #6 Jason Giambi, Yankees .260/.464/.583, 40 RC, .348 EQA, 19.6 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #5 Manny Ramirez, Red Sox .314/.441/.577, 36 RC, .337 EQA, 20.5 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #4 Derek Jeter, Yankees .348/.433/.519, 41 RC, .325 EQA, 27.6 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #3 Travis Hafner, Indians .311/.443/.627, 46 RC, .353 EQA, 26.6 VORP, 9 Win Shares   #2 Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays 199 ERA+, 3.19 K/BB, 1.28 WHIP, 26.2 VORP, 11 Win Shares   #1 .304/.440/.684, 51 RC, .351 EQA, 28.7 VORP, 12 Win Shares

Bored

Bored

 

2006 MVP Watch #10

This is likely going to be my final look at the MVP race since there is now only two and a half weeks left. Last time I nearly bumped Albert Pujols from the top spot for the first time this season in favor of Carlos Beltran but this time around Pujols' has a firm grip back on the #1 spot. Of course in the media it's a two man race that doesn't include Beltran and almost a once man race with Ryan Howard. I mocked Howard last time but he's almost making a believer out of me as he makes a big jump (now finally the Most Valuable Phillie) but in my view he's still far behind Pujols and Beltran. For those who insist that Howard is the MVP ask these three questions:   Is he the best hitter in the league?   Is he the best all around player in the league?   Is he the best player on the best team in the league?   The answer to all three of those questions is no. He's had an amazing year and he might break the "non-steroid" homerun record (which kkk pretty much echoed my thoughts on that bullshit last week) but he's not the MVP.   10. Garrett Atkins, Rockies .326/.401/.551, 111 RC, .303 EQA, 51.8 VORP, 24 Win Shares   9. Jose Reyes, Mets .297/.349/.496, 112 RC, .284 EQA, 52.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares   8. Nick Johnson, Nationals .297/.434/.532, 109 RC, .323 EQA, 53.8 VORP, 27 Win Shares   7. David Wright, Mets .311/.384/.538, 114 RC, .303 EQA, 49.6 VORP, 30 Win Shares   6. Alfonso Soriano, Nationals .290/.361/.590, 122 RC, .303 EQA, 54.7 VORP, 31 Win Shares   5. Lance Berkman, Astros .306/.411/.606, 123 RC, .322 EQA, 57.8 VORP, 30 Win Shares   4. Ryan Howard, Phillies .316/.413/.682, 118 RC, .332 EQA, 74.1 VORP, 28 Win Shares   3. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .339/.430/.582, 132 RC, .330 EQA, 74.7 VORP, 33 Win Shares   2. Carlos Beltran, Mets .283/.388/.617, 119 RC, .318 EQA, 67.3 VORP, 37 Win Shares   1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals .323/.426/.677, 131 RC, .342 EQA, 75.5 VORP, 35 Win Shares     Now the A.L. has been a wide open race all year...until now. It's not over yet but Baseball Jesus has now emerged as the clear choice for A.L. MVP. Travis Hafner already had no chance at the writer award and now he has no chance either now on my ballot due to his season ending broken hand. He's at #2 currently but obviously he'll fall lower than that. Now Johan Santana is starting to enter the MVP dicussion in some circles and I think he's making himself a legit case as well. But I think it's going to be tough for him or teammate Joe Mauer to catch Jeter. As the Red Sox have faded, so has Manny Ramirez. I almost gave him the top spot last time but now he barely stays in the Top 5. Jermaine Dye seems to be Jeter's main competition in the media but I doubt he can win if the White Sox don't make the playoffs.   10. Grady Sizemore, Indians .293/.377/.535, 112 RC, .309 EQA, 65.5 VORP, 22 Win Shares   9. Justin Morneau, Twins .324/.379/.583, 110 RC, .313 EQA, 51.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares   8. Jim Thome, White Sox .291/.414/.604, 111 RC, .329 EQA, 57.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares   7. David Ortiz, Red Sox .285/.401/.628, 111 RC, .327 EQA, 63.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares   6. Jermaine Dye, White Sox .322/.388/.637, 110 RC, .325 EQA, 63.5 VORP, 24 Win Shares   5. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox .318/.436/.612, 109 RC, .338 EQA, 60.7 VORP, 26 Win Shares   4. Joe Mauer, Twins .348/.433/.505, 97 RC, .321 EQA, 61.1 VORP, 28 Win Shares   3. Johan Santana, Twins 166 ERA+, 5.35 K/BB, 0.98 WHIP, 74.8 VORP, 24 Win Shares   2. Travis Hafner, Indians .308/.439/.659, 124 RC, .353 EQA, 80.0 VORP, 24 Win Shares   1. Derek Jeter, Yankees .346/.423/.492, 125 RC, .321 EQA, 75.0 VORP, 30 Win Shares

Bored

Bored

 

2006 MVP Watch #1

It's Christmas time for stat geeks as Hardball Times has released the first Win Shares of the 2006 season and thus I can now I start tracking the MVP candidates for the season. Of coursing being that we are just a little over six weeks into the season this can all be taken with a grain of salt but hey I need excuses for entries. So every Tuesday now I'll have an updated Top 10 list for each league.   I'll start with the National League as let's face it, the race is alredy over. Barring injury everyone is running for second place behind Albert Pujols this season. He just completely blows away the field and didn't give a thought to anyone else at the top spot. What you will notice is the high placement of a couple of pitchers which didn't surprise me as with the small sample of games the more impact an individual starting pitcher can have. Those two pitchers are the least likely candidates to still be in the Top 10 come September.   #10 Chase Utley, Phillies .302/.372/.547, 25 RC, .277 EQA, 14.8 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #9 Bobby Abreu, Phillies .257/.437/.459, 27 RC, .288 EQA, 7.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #8 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 167 ERA+, 5.71 K/BB, 1.18 WHIP, 22.1 VORP, 7 Win Shares   #7 Morgan Ensberg, Astros .281/.401/.619, 30 RC, .291 EQA, 15.1 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #6 Carlos Delgado, Mets .298/.394/.610, 34 RC, .291 EQA, 15.9 VORP, 7 Win Shares   #5 Carlos Lee, Brewers .296/.392/.655, 34 RC, .296 EQA, 20.1 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #4 Bronson Arroyo, Reds 221 ERA+, 3.58 K/BB, 1.01 WHIP, 23.1 VORP, 7 Win Shares   #3 Lance Berkman, Astros .319/.384/.652, 37 RC, .293 EQA, 18.0 VORP, 10 Win Shares   #2 Tom Glavine, Mets 189 ERA+, 2.64 K/BB, 1.03 WHIP, 20.2 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #1 .333/.469/.833, 49 RC, .327 EQA, 33.1 VORP, 14 Win Shares     Now for the American League which could be a wide open race all year. As of right now DH's (or DH types) are dominating the field with the likes of Giambi, Thome, Hafner, and Gomes. Ramon Hernandez, Alexis Rios, and Jose Contreras all won't be there at the end and Contreras' stock will drop dramtically pretty soon with him on the DL. The two big candidates from last year, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, are both off to relatively slow starts but figure both will make a push at some point.   #10 Ramon Hernandez, Orioles .315/.385/.488, 29 RC, .280 EQA, 11.0 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #9 Nick Swisher, A's .305/.405/.664, 28 RC, .294 EQA, 18.4 VORP, 7 Win Shares   #8 Alexis Rios, Blue Jays .367/.386/.692, 30 RC, .294 EQA, 17.2 VORP, 7 Win Shares   #7 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays .358/.407/.642, 33 RC, .294 EQA, 24.7 VORP, 7 Win Shares   #6 Travis Hafner, Indians .314/.430/.628, 37 RC, .303 EQA, 21.6 VORP, 7 Win Shares   #5 Miguel Tejada, Orioles .361/.402/.613, 30 RC, .295 EQA, 25.7 VORP, 7 Win Shares   #4 Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays .288/.421/.648, 32 RC, .295 EQA, 18.7 VORP, 10 Win Shares   #3 Jason Giambi, Yankees .269/.480/.654, 38 RC, .311 EQA, 19.9 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #2 Jose Contreras, White Sox 335 ERA+, 1.91 K/BB, 0.87 WHIP, 24.3 VORP, 8 Win Shares   #1 .290/.438/.694, 43 RC, .304 EQA, 23.0 VORP, 11 Win Shares   I'm personally not sold that Thome will keep this up all year but you never know.

Bored

Bored

 

20 Years Later

2006 will mark 20 years of sports memories for me and I'm finally starting to feel like an old fart who reminisces about the good 'ol days. Fact is I was an old man when it came to sports when I was a kid as I loved sports history and researching useless sports facts which is still one of my favorite things to do. Regulars to sports folder have seen this most recently with my several useless fact posts in the Comments that don't warrant a thread, um thread, but that died off fairly quickly and figured it'd probably be more appropriate to post useless stuff like that in a blog.   So to make this all about me, I'll take a look back at my first ever live sporting event: 5/11/1986, Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics. As to memories about the actual game I have little to none. I only remember my family and I sat in the Plaza Level (2nd deck) of the Coliseum on the first base saide. My dad bought me an A's bobblehead, the old school ceramic ones not the plastic ones that you get today, which I promptly broke about a week later. Anything I remember from the game now comes from looking at the boxscore from Retrosheet. It featured a great "name" pitching of Oil Can Boyd vs. Moose Haas. The A's trailed 6-4 going into the 9th but a Carney Lansford homerun started a rally. They had 1st and 2nd with two out but pinch hitter Dusty Baker grounded out to the pitcher (wasn't hot enough for him?) to end the game with a Red Sox victory. That makes me feel old right there that Baker who will be in his 13th year of managing this season was playing in my very first live MLB game.   Now to look back at the starting line-ups from that game and just throw in a few comments about each player with their stats from 1986.   Red Sox   1. Dwight Evans RF (.259/.376/.476, 41.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares) - Doesn't get nearly the publicity for the Hall of Fame of his outfield mate Jim Rice, mainly because Evans fell off the ballot without notice while Rice remains a serious candidate. It's odd as Evans was equal the hitter of Rice and was unquestionably the superior defensive outfielder. Evans bests Rice in career Win Shares 347 to 282. Very underrated during his playing days and post career. Hopefully he'll get more notice when he comes up on the Veteran's Committee ballot.   2. Wade Boggs 3B (.357/.453/.486, 82.0 VORP, 37 Win Shares) - Roger Clemens would win the MVP in '86 but it should have been Boggs. I'm not sure where this myth that Boggs wasn't a feared hitter comes from beyond that he wasn't a power hitter but circa 1986 pitchers should have been pretty fucking scared to face Boggs.   3. Bill Buckner DH (.267/.311/.421, 21.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares) - Yes I'm sure you can see the irony in Bucker at DH in 1986.   4. Jim Rice LF (.324/.384/.490, 61.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares) - I was on the Rice for HOF bandwagon a couple of years ago but I've jumped off since. If he ever gets in I won't have a problem though but it wouldn't be much of an oversight either if he never gets in.   5. Don Baylor 1B (.238/.344/.439, 29.1 VORP, 16 Win Shares) - Mr. HBP who lucked into playing on three straight A.L. Champions on three different teams form '86 to '88 (Red Sox, Twins, A's).   6. Rich Gedman C (.258/.315/.424, 26.0 VOP, 18 Win Shares) - This was the last of a decent three year run for Gedman but he hit the wall the following season.   7. Marty Barrett 2B (.286/.353/.381, 38.0 VORP, 22 Win Shares) - Good season in a largely unspectacular career. I only remember him going beserk in the Red Sox dugout in the infamous Game 4 of the '90 ALCS when Roger Clemens was ejected.   8. Steve Lyons CF (.250/.312/.363, 0.4 VORP, 2 Win Shares) - Bad player and possibly even worse announcer. Claim to fame was playing literally every position and dropping his pants during a game when he was with the White Sox.   9. Ed Romero SS (.210/.270/.283, -3.9 VORP, 2 Win Shares) - I found edromero.com but it sadly it was a lounge singer not the baseball player.   A's   1. Tony Phillips 2B (.256/.367/.345, 22.7 VORP, 17 Win Shares) - Vastly underrated player who's best days would come away from Oakland. By no means a superstar but he just simply got a base a lot and could give you solid defense at multiple positions. He did smoke rock though. Has congress investigated the performance enhancements of crack?   2. Dwayne Murphy CF (.252/.364/.386, 18.9 VORP, 15 Win Shares) - Another underrated player. Probably would have been better appreciated if he played today as he got on base at a good rate, could hit for power (although by '86 he'd lost it), and was one of the best defensive outfielders of his era. Didn't help him that he played along side one of the greatest outfielders ever during his prime in RICKEY~.   3. Jose Canseco LF (.240/.318/.457, 30.2 VORP, 21 Win Shares) - He hit the first homerun I ever saw live in this game (not that I remembered it) but he was on the juice so it should ERASED FROM THE RECORDS!!!! Anyways the guy was a prick and by '89 I hated him. Wally Joyner absolutely got robbed in the '86 ROY voting by Canseco.   4. Dave Kingman DH (.210/.255/.431, 4.8 VORP, 8 Win Shares) - Awww Dave Kingman, never saw a pitch he didn't like. Really how long would he have lasted today with more emphasis on OBP? It amazes me a guy with so much power could draw so few walks. He'd hit 35 homeruns that year which is the record for most homeruns by a player in his final season but the average and on base tell you why no one was calling him up after '86.   5. Bruce Bochte 1B (.256/.357/.337, 12.8 VORP, 11 Win Shares) - No this isn't the Padres' manager. Is the answer to a trivia question, who was the A's starting 1B before Mark McGwire?   6. Carney Lansford 3B (.284/.332/.421, 32.8 VORP, 19 Win Shares) - Good hitter who was fun to watch because of his unique batting stance. Was my mom's favorite player and she probably would have fucked him she had the chance. Then I would have had to kill him.   7. Mike Davis RF (.268/.314/.454, 30.3 VORP, 18 Win Shares) - Was the A's "star" if you will the season before. Traded to the Dodgers after the '87 season where he did nothing but he drew a walk in front of Kirk Gibson's homerun in the Game 1 of the '88 Series. Thus I want him dead.   8. Alfredo Griffin SS (.285/.323/.364, 34.2 VORP, 17 Win Shares) - Never much of hitter but his glove kept him in the league for 18 years and had a badass JheriCurl.   9. Bill Bathe C (.184/.208/.359, -2.8 VORP, 1 Win Share) - Yes he was the back up catcher with those numbers, not that starter Mickey Tettleton did a whole lot better (.204/.325/.389, 11.3 VORP, 8 Win Shares).   Okay that's enough nostalgia for one night.

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1998 Opening Day/Night Starters

Can you believe that it will be 10 years since the McGwire/Sosa homerun chase and 10 years since the Yankees tore through the American League on their way to an 114 win season? I really have nothing to add to that and I am just posting one of my random lists, this time around every team's Opening Day/Night starter from the '98 season. I went to every A's Opening Night game from 1995-2002 and in '98 it was actually a fairly momentous occasion as they were playing the Red Sox in Pedro Martinez's first ever start for them. Pedro dominated as expected but glancing at the boxscore I forgot it was also Dennis Eckersley's first appearance in Oakland since 1995 as he played his final year with the Sox. On to the list...   Angels: Chuck Finley Astros: Shane Reynolds Athletics: Tom Candiotti Blue Jays: Roger Clemens Braves: Greg Maddux Brewers: Cal Eldred Cardinals: Todd Stottlemyre Cubs: Kevin Tapani Devil Rays: Wilson Alvarez Diamondbacks: Andy Benes Dodgers: Ramon Martinez Expos: Carlos Perez Giants: Shawn Estes Indians: Charles Nagy Mariners: Randy Johnson Marlins: Livan Hernandez Mets: Bobby Jones Orioles: Mike Mussina Padres: Kevin Brown Phillies: Curt Schilling Pirates: Francisco Cordova Rangers: John Burkett Reds: Mike Remlinger Red Sox: Pedro Martinez Rockies: Daryl Kile Royals: Tim Belcher Tigers: Justin Thompson Twins: Bob Tewksbury White Sox: Jamie Navarro Yankees: Andy Pettitte

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1998 Men's Basketball Tournament

Next Thursday and Friday will be what I consider the best two days of the year in sports. There is simply nothing more fun from a viewing standpoint than the 1st round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. 16 games both days with basketall all day long on CBS. You know you won't get through the day without seeing something exciting. I had originally scheduled both days off from work but someone in my department was let go last week and I do the work of two people as it is I might be going in Thursday so we don't fall behind. But for at least a day and a half I'll just be gorging myself on college basketball.   My favorite tournament by far was the 1998 tournament, simply because Stanford had ended a 56 year drought and reached the Final Four. After being a perennial doormat on the west coast for a number of years, Mike Montgomery had legitimized the program. After 1st round losses in 1989 and 1992, in 1995 Stanford picked up their first tournament win since the 1942 National Championship. Next year they'd nearly upset Marcus Camby and UMass in the 2nd round. In '97 they would end Tim Duncan's college career by beating Wake Forest in the 2nd round before losing in overtime to Keith Van Horn and Utah in the Sweet 16.   For the '97-98 season they would return with much of same team at the core but with one big loss in All-American point guard Brevin Knight. Junior Arthur Lee would take over the point with the rest of the line up being Kris Weems, Pete Sauer, Mark Madsen, and Tim Young. One of their last games of the regular season was a 32 point humiliation by Arizona. Although just their fourth loss of the season many doubted Stanford would last in the tournament. I can still remember after they were given a #3 seed, Digger Phelps whined about them getting such a high seed on ESPN's selection show and it was the only team he thought was seeded too high.   Some people's doubts seemed warranted after they had a surprisingly tough game from the College of Charleston in the first round. After that they though they would blow out Western Michigan in the 2nd round and then just beat the shit out of Purdue in the Sweet 16. Now the Purdue game wasn't a blow out but the Boilermakers were expected to out physical Stanford with well publicized inside duo of Brad Miller and Brian Cardinal. But led by Mark Madsen and freshman Jarron Collins they just punished the Purdue duo the entire game. Then came the regional final against upstart Rhode Island led by their backcourt of Cuttino Mobley and Tyson Wheeler. As the #8 seed they had upset #1 seed Kansas in the 2nd round and then eliminated the feel good team of the tournament Valparaiso. I fully expected Stanford to beat them but by the end of the game was just a wreck as URI controlled most of the game. Then came one of the great individual performances in the final minute of a game.   Mobely hit two free throws with 59.3 seconds left to put URI up 71-65. Arthur Lee then took over the game.   -Lee hits an off balance three pointer with 52 seconds left, 71-68 URI   -Stanford fouls with 49.8 seconds left, Mobely hits one out of two free throws, 72-68 URI   -Lee feeds Mark Madsen inside for two with 40.7 seconds left, 72-70 URI   -Stanford fouls with 38.8 seconds left, Preston Murphy hits two free throws, 74-70 URI   -Lee drives the length of court, scores and is fouled with 32 seconds left, hits the free throw (didn't miss the entire tournament), 74-73 URI   -Lee strips Mobely after the inbound, the ball gets knocked to Madsen, he dunks and is fouled with 26.2 seconds left, hits the free throw, 76-74 Stanford. I've watched that play on tape probably a few hundred times and I'll never get tired of it.   URI would unrravel after that, turning the ball over the next posession, then Tyson Wheeler would miss three free throws, Lee would hit two more free throws, a URI half court shot at the buzzer would end the score at 79-77 Stanford. Lee scored 10 points and had the key steal of the game in the final minute. Stanford advanced to play Kentucky in the Final Four. Everyone, and I mean everyone, pretty much was preparing for a Kentucky/North Carolina final as Stanford and Utah were after thoughts. The Cardinal would lose to Kentucky in a forgotten classic 86-85 in overtime. I think it gets forgotten as one of the great tournament games because it didn't have that dramatic finish or an upset that other great games get remembered for. It was just a incredibly well played game by both teams and Dean Smith after the game on CBS said it was the best game he'd ever seen. I remember not even being upset after they lost as they weren't expected to give Kentucky any sort of a challenge and they played so well that I couldn't be mad that they came up short. It's the one game where a favorite team of mine lost that I would still watch on tape years later.   1998 Tournament Results   March 12, 1998   East Region #1 North Carolina 88, #16 Navy 52 #8 Charlotte 77, #9 Illinois-Chicago 59 #4 Michigan State 83, #13 Eastern Michigan 71 #5 Princeton 69, #12 UNLV 57 #14 Richmond 62, #3 South Carolina 61 #11 Washington 69, #6 Xavier 68 #2 Connecticut93, #15 Farleigh Dickenson 85 #7 Indiana 94, #10 Oklahoma 87 OT   West Region #1 Arizona 99, #16 Nicholls State 60 #9 Illinois State 82, #8 Tennessee 81 OT #4 Maryland 82, #13 Utah State 68 #5 Illinois 64, #12 South Alabama 51 #3 Utah 85, #14 San Francisco 68 #6 Arkansas 74, #11 Nebraska 65 #2 Cincinnati 65, #15 Northern Arizona 62 #10 West Virginia 82, #7 Temple 52   March 13, 1998   Midwest Region #1 Kansas 110, #16 Prairie View 52 #8 Rhode Island 97, #9 Murray State 74 #13 Valparaiso 70, #4 Mississippi 69 #12 Florida State 96, #5 TCU 87 #3 Stanford 67, #14 Charleston 57 #11 Western Michigan 75, #6 Clemson 72 #2 Purdue 95, #15 Delaware 56 #10 Detroit 66, #7 St. John's 64   South Region #1 Duke 99, #16 Radford 63 #8 Oklahoma State 74, #9 George Washington 59 #4 New Mexico 79, #13 Butler 62 #5 Syracuse 63, #12 Iona 61 #3 Michigan 80, #14 Davidson 61 #6 UCLA 65, #11 Miami 62 #2 Kentucky 82, #15 South Carolina State 67 #10 Saint Louis 51, #7 UMass 46   March 14, 1998   East Region #1 North Carolina 93, #8 Charlotte 83 OT #4 Michigan State 63, #5 Princeton 56 #11 Washington 87, #14 Richmond 66 #2 Connecticut 78, #7 Indiana 68   Midwest Region #1 Arizona 82, #9 Illinois State 49 #4 Maryland 67, #5 Illinois 61 #3 Utah 75, #6 Arkansas 69 #10 West Virginia 75, #2 Cincinnati 74   March 15, 1998   Midwest Region #8 Rhode Island 80, #1 Kansas 75 #13 Valparaiso 83, #12 Florida State 77 OT #3 Stanford 83, #11 Western Michigan 65 #2 Purdue 80, #10 Detroit 65   South Region #1 Duke 79, #8 Oklahoma State 73 #5 Syracuse 56, #4 New Mexico 46 #6 UCLA 85, #3 Michigan 82 #2 Kentucky 88, #10 Saint Louis 61   March 19, 1998   East Region #1 North Carolina 73, #4 Michigan State 58 #2 Connecticut 75, #11 Washington 74   West Region #1 Arizona 87, #4 Maryland 79 #3 Utah 65, #10 West Virginia 62   March 20, 1998   Midwest Region #8 Rhode Island 74, #13 Valparaiso 68 #3 Stanford 67, #2 Purdue 59   South Region #1 Duke 80, #5 Syracuse 67 #2 Kentucky 94, #6 UCLA 68   March 21, 1998   East Region #1 North Carolina 75, #2 Connecticut 64   West Region #3 Utah 76, #1 Arizona 51   March 22, 1998   Midwest Region #3 Stanford 79, #8 Rhode Island 77   South Region #2 Kentucky 86, #1 Duke 84   March 28, 1998   Final Four Kentucky 86, Stanford 85 OT Utah 65, North Carolina 59   National Championship Kentucky 78, Utah 69

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1986 MLB Rookies

In one of his recent entries kkk talked about his favorite looking baseball cards. This got me be remembering one of my favorite baseball card collecting habits from my childhood, buying those store brand baseball sets. Stores like K-Mart and Toys 'R' Us would have their baseball cards, typically produced by Topps, that would feature star players or rookies. The sets were cheap and the cards were all glossy which was still a very unique feature back in the late 80's.   The first such set I remember buying was the 1987 Topps Toys 'R' Us Rookies set. It was a set of 33 cards featuring the rookies from the 1986 season. I took terrible care of the cards and now I don't even remember where they are but I do still remember those black boarded cards. I couldn't find individual pictures of the cards but I did find a site that showed that displays the entire set. Here are the links:   1. Andy Allanson, 2. Paul Assenmacher, 3. Scott Bailes, 4. Barry Bonds, 5. Jose Canseco, 6. John Cerutti, 7. Will Clark, 8. Kal Daniels, 9. Jim Deshaies OMG Bonds and Canseco's cards were together, it was a sign!!!   10. Mark Eichhorn, 11. Ed Hearn, 12. Pete Incaviglia, 13. Bo Jackson, 14. Wally Joyner, 15. Charlie Kerfeld, 16. Eric King, 17. John Kruk, 18. Barry Larkin See a relatively thin John Kruk.   19. Mike LaValliere, 20. Greg Mathews, 21. Kevin Mitchell, 22. Dan Plesac, 23. Bruce Ruffin, 24. Ruben Sierra, 25. Cory Snyder, 26. Kurt Stillwell, 27. Dale Sveum   28. Danny Tartabull, 29. Andres Thomas, 30. Robby Thompson, 31. Jim Traber, 32. Mitch Williams, 33. Todd Worrell   As you see 1986 produced a pretty impressive crop of rookies and some several infamous names as well. I had been thinking of trying to do a Reward Redo that wasn't an MVP vote but every other award in baseball only allows three players to be voted on a ballot. So I figured I'd do a Top 10 list of the best rookie season from 1986.   In my first entry about my very first game I mentioned that Wally Joyner was robbed by Jose Canseco in the '86 ROY voting and I'll put that claim to the test. They were the only two to receive first place votes on the A.L. side with Mark Eichhorn and Cory Snyder receiving some secondary support. In the N.L. the award was won by Todd Worrell who had already become nationally known as he had been a late season call up in '85 and made the Cardinals postseason roster. He became a household name due to being involved in the infamous blown call by Don Denkinger in Game 6 of the World Series that would eventually cost the Cardinals the series. Worrell was a near unanimous choice as Kevin Mitchell was the only player to a receive a first place vote.   So who was the best rookie of 1986?   #10 147 ERA+, 2.59 K/BB, 1.21 WHIP, 23.1 VORP, 13 Win Shares   #9 .272/.299/.500, 62 RC, 115 OPS+, .276 EQA, 24.6 VORP, 13 Win Shares   #8 .287/.343/.444, 62 RC, 121 OPS+, .284 EQA, 22.1 VORP, 14 Win Shares   #7 .277/.344/.466, 53 RC, 125 OPS+, .290 EQA, 21.6 VORP, 14 Win Shares   #6 .250/.320/.463, 80 RC, 109 OPS+, .277 EQA, 24.6 VORP, 16 Win Shares   #5 175 ERA+, 1.78 K/BB, 1.23 WHIP, 26.5 VORP, 19 Win Shares   #4 .240/.318/.457, 86 RC, 115 OPS+, .286 EQA, 30.2 VORP, 21 Win Shares   #3 .270/.347/.489, 87 RC, 124 OPS+, .290 EQA, 35.4 VORP, 15 Win Shares   #2 .290/.348/.457, 95 RC, 119 OPS+, .292 EQA, 41.1 VORP, 21 Win Shares   #1 246 ERA+, 3.69 K/BB, 0.96 WHIP, 66.4 VORP, 21 Win Shares   Canadian Greats? He was born in San Jose.   Okay I was right that Jose Canseco robbed someone but it was actually Mark Eichhorn. Yes a middle reliever was the top rookie of 1986. He had actually made his MLB debut back in 1982 but didn't get another shot in the majors until four years later. He didn't make a start but pitched in 157 innings (five innings short of qualifying for the ERA title), striking out 166, and posting a 1.72 ERA in what would be by far his best year.   One more thing here's the career Win Shares rankings for the 33 players in that 1987 Topps Toys 'R' Us Rookies set. Ya big shock who's #1.   1. Barry Bonds 661 2. Barry Larkin 347 3. Will Clark 331 4. Jose Canseco 272 5. Wally Joyner 253 6. Ruben Sierra 222 7. Danny Tartabull 188 8. Kevin Mitchell 178 9. John Kruk 156 10. Robby Thompson 155 11. Kal Daniels 112 12. Pete Incaviglia 107 13. Dan Plesac 106 14. Todd Worrell 105 15. Mike LaValliere 95 16. Paul Assenmacher 86 17. Cory Snyder 85 18. Mark Eichhorn 83 19. Bruce Ruffin 76 20. Mitch Williams 75 21. Kurt Stillwell 73 22. Bo Jackson 72 23. Jim Deshaies 68 24. Dale Sveum 55 25. Eric King 50 26. John Cerutti 45 27. Andy Allanson 27 28. Scott Bailes 26 29. Andres Thomas 23 30. Greg Mathews 22 31. Charlie Kerfeld 15 32. Jim Traber 11 33. Ed Hearn 5

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13 Years Ago

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.

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'93-'94 All-NBA Teams

Just trying to mix up the entires and come up with something different I figured with the NBA Playoffs starting Saturday it'd be time to do an NBA entry. Being a Golden State Warriors fan it's hard to get nostalgic about much of antyhing so I figured I'd pick the year that they last made the playoffs, the first post-Jordan year, and an NBA Finals that was overshadowed by a slow speed chase of a white Ford Bronco. I wasn't sure where I'd go with the entry but one thing that I'm trying to look more into are the sabermetric side of basketball statistics. It's not nearly as well known as baseball sabermetrics and I'm not completely sure how reliable they are.   There's two stats that have caught my interest, John Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating and the basketball version of Win Shares that was created by the guy who runs basketball-reference.com. I actually did an entry a couple of months ago using Win Shares to compare how well players from the 1989 NBA Draft faired in their careers. Now since I'm not sure how reliable these are, and I didn't want to do a carbon copy of my Award Redos that I do baseball's MVP, I figured I'd just compare the All-NBA teams from the '93-94 season as voted by the media and who were the top players according to these two statiscal formuals.   '93-94 All-NBA Teams (media version)   First Team   F: Karl Malone, Utah (22.9 PER, 37 Win Shares) F: Scottie Pippen, Chicago (23.2 PER, 32 Win Shares) C: Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston (25.3 PER, 43 Win Shares) G: John Stockton, Utah (22.5 PER, 38 Win Shares) G: Latrell Sprewell, Golden State (15.9 PER, 28 Win Shares)   Second Team   F: Charles Barkley, Phoenix (22.8 PER, 26 Win Shares) F: Shawn Kemp, Seattle (22.9 PER, 32 Win Shares) C: David Robinson, San Antonio (30.7 PER, 52 Win Shares) G: Kevin Johnson, Phoenix (20.6 PER, 28 Win Shares) G: Mitch Richmond, Sacramento (17.7 PER, 18 Win Shares)   Third Team   F: Derrick Coleman, New Jersey (21.4 PER, 25 Win Shares) F: Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta/L.A. Clippers (21.4 PER, 25 Win Shares) C: Shaquille O'Neal, Orlando (28.5 PER, 47 Win Shares) G: Gary Payton, Seattle (17.8 PER, 27 Win Shares) G: Mark Price, Cleveland (22.7 PER, 26 Win Shares)   Now here's the top players by position using Player Efficieny Rating   Centers   1. Robinson 2. O'Neal 3. Olajuwon   Forwards   1. Pippen 2. Kemp 3. Barkley 4. Malone 5. Chris Webber, Golden State (21.7 PER) 6. Coleman   Guards   1. Price 2. Stockton 3. Johnson 4. Eric Murdock, Milwaukee (20.4 PER) 5. Reggie Miller, Indiana (20.2 PER) 6. Rod Strickland, Portland (19.9 PER)   Now using Win Shares   Centers   1. Robinson 2. O'Neal 3. Olajuwon   Forwards   1. Malone 2. Kemp 3. Pippen 4. Otis Thorpe, Detroit (31 Win Shares) 5. Horace Grant, Chicago (30 Win Shares) 6. A.C. Green, Phoenix (29 Win Shares)   Guards   1. Stockton 2. Miller 3. Mookie Blaylock, Atlanta (30 Win Shares) 4. Stacey Augmon, Atlanta (29 Win Shares) 5. Johnson 6. Sprewell   Probably the most interesting thing is Robinson and O'Neal both coming out ahead of Olajuwon who won the league's MVP and then had that incredible postseason. Sprewell making the All-NBA first team appears to have been way off and I have no problem agreeing with him being overrated. The high PER for Eric Murdock looks a bit odd and he didn't fair to well according to Win Shares (only had 15).

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'91 Mariners not in this entry

Another entry flushed because I'm a dumbass. I had been working on for an hour and a half on a new "Where'd They Go?" entry, this one on the '91 Mariners but decided to be typing here in the blog instead of C&P from a Word file. I was almost done with their line-up and but I had to restart my computer and I hit restart before realizing I hadn't saved my entry. So this is a complete throw away entry and I'll just talk briefly about one thing.   -ESPN I'm going to let you in on a little something...you don't have Monday Night Football. You may have the name, you might be showing games on Monday nights this year, but you don't have Monday Night Football. Monday Night Football is now shown on Sunday nights. NBC landed the dream deal where they will be able select better games the last couple of months of the season while ESPN your stuck with your lousy schedule. What you have ESPN is Sunday Night Football on Monday nights. No shock at all NBC's presentation and coverage absolutely smokes ESPN's, even though NBC hasn't covered the sport since 1997. It's pathetic the way they've been hyping their preseason MNF games and then after the game ends they start SportsCenter with a 15 minute segment with extended highlights and analyzing the game people just saw, a meaningless exhibition. It's scary to think how much coverage and hype they'll give to their regular season MNF games.

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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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'08 Player Rankings: Third Basemen

Hey look another position where the A's had the worst everyday player! How I got through this season without slitting my wrists, I'll never know.   Third Basemen Rankings   1. David Wright, Mets   29.1 Win Shares 66.2 VORP 10.6 WARP3   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 25 NYM NL 160  626  115  189  42  2  33  124  15  5  94 118  .302  .390  .534  143  334   0  11   5   4  15     2. Chipper Jones, Braves 3. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 4. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs 5. Troy Glaus, Cardinals 6. Evan Longoria, Rays 7. Jorge Cantu, Marlins 8. Melvin Mora, Orioles 9. Casey Blake, Indians/Dodgers 10. Ty Wigginton, Astros 11. Adrian Beltre, Mariners 12. Carlos Guillen, Tigers 13. Alex Gordon, Royals 14. Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres 15. Edwin Encarnacion, Reds 16. Mike Lowell, Red Sox 17. Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks 18. Garrett Atkins, Rockies 19. Scott Rolen, Blue Jays 20. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 21. Blake DeWitt, Dodgers 22. Chone Figgins, Angels 23. Joe Crede, White Sox 24. Jose Bautista, Pirates/Blue Jays 25. Willy Aybar, Rays 26. Pedro Feliz, Phillies 27. Geoff Blum, Astros 28. Bill Hall, Brewers   29. Jack Hannahan, A's   5.4 Win Shares 3.8 WARP3 -9.5 VORP   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 28 OAK AL 143  436   48   95  27  0   9   47   2  0  55 131  .218  .305  .342   77  149   3   5   4   2   5   30. Jose Castillo, Giants/Astros  

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'08 Player Rankings: Starting Pitchers

Finally, it's over. The list includes the top 120 pitchers in games started.   Starting Pitcher Rankings   1. C.C. Sabathia, Indians/Brewers   26.1 Win Shares 76.2 VORP 11.1 WARP33   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 2008 27 TOT     17  10  35  35  10   5   0  0  253.0  223   85   76  19   59  251   7   2  1023   1   2  2.70  4.37  162 1.115     2. Cliff Lee, Indians 3. Tim Lincecum, Giants 4. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays 5. Johan Santana, Mets 6. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks 7. Rich Harden, A's/Cubs 8. Cole Hamels, Phillies 9. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 10. Ryan Dempster, Cubs 11. Ervin Santana, Angels 12. Ben Sheets, Brewres 13. Derek Lowe, Dodgers 14. John Danks, White Sox 15. Jon Lester, Red Sox 16. Jake Peavy, Padres 17. Justin Duchscherer, A's 18. Mike Mussina, Yankees 19. Ricky Nolasco, Marlins 20. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers 21. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox 22. Edinson Volquez, Reds 23. Roy Oswalt, Astros 24. Zack Greinke, Royals 25. James Shields, Rays 26. Joe Saunders, Angels 27. Scott Baker, Twins 28. Josh Beckett, Red Sox 29. Gil Meche, Royals 30. Tim Hudson, Braves 31. Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles 32. Matt Cain, Giants 33. Felix Hernandez, Mariners 34. Mark Buehrle, White Sox 35. A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays 36. Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays 37. Aaron Cook, Rockies 38. Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers 39. Paul Maholm, Pirates 40. Scott Kazmir, Rays 41. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs 42. Matt Garza, Rays 43. Jamie Moyer, Phillies 44. Ted Lilly, Cubs 45. Randy Johnson, Diamondbacks 46. Kyle Lohse, Cardinals 47. Armando Galarraga, Tigers 48. Jesse Litsch, Blue Jays 49. Gavin Floyd, White Sox 50. Jair Jurrjens, Braves 51. Todd Wellemeyer, Cardinals 52. Kevin Slowey, Twins 53. Mike Pelfrey, Mets 54. Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies 55. John Lackey, Angels 56. Javier Vazquez, White Sox 57. Tim Wakefield, Red Sox 58. Jered Weaver, Angels 59. Jorge Campillo, Braves 60. Wandy Rodriguez, Astros 61. Dave Bush, Brewers 62. Andy Pettitte, Yankees 63. Andy Sonnanstine, Rays 64. John Lannan, Nationals 65. Greg Smith, A's 66. Braden Looper, Cardinals 67. Greg Maddux, Padres/Dodgers 68. Nick Blackburn, Twins 69. Scott Olson, Marlins 70. Randy Wolff, Padres/Astros 71. Dana Eveland, A's 72. Justin Verlander, Tigers 73. Oliver Perez, Mets 74. Bronson Arroyo, Reds 75. Brett Myers, Phillies 76. John Maine, Mets 77. Jason Marquis, Cubs 78. Jorge de la Rosa, Rockies 79. Edwin Jackson, Rays 80. Paul Byrd, Indians/Red Sox 81. Doug Davis, Diamondbacks 82. Kyle Davies, Royals 83. Aaron Harang, Reds 84. Joe Blanton, A's/Phillies 85. Manny Parra, Brewers 86. Jonathan Sanchez, Giants 87. Brian Moehler, Astros 88. Odalis Perez, Nationals 89. Johnny Cueto, Reds 90. Vincente Padilla, Rangers 91. Cha Seung Baek, Mariners/Padres 92. Kevin Millwood, Rangers 93. Jon Garland, Angels 94. Tim Redding, Nationals 95. Jarrod Washburn, Mariners 96. Zach Duke, Pirates 97. Glen Perkins, Twins 98. Jeff Francis, Rockies 99. Barry Zito, Giants 100. Luke Hochevar, Royals 101. Joel Pineiro, Cardinals 102. Sean Gallagher, Cubs/A's 103. Daniel Cabrera, Orioles 104. Scott Feldman, Rangers 105. Jeff Suppan, Brewers 106. Sidney Ponson, Rangers/Yankees 107. Jason Bergmann, Nationals 108. Ian Snell, Pirates 109. Brian Bannister, Royals 110. Kenny Rogers, Tigers 111. Fausto Carmona, Indians 112. Jeremy Sowers, Indians 113. Kyle Kendrick, Phillies 114. Brian Burres, Orioles 115. Carlos Silva, Mariners 116. Nate Robertson, Tigers 117. Brandon Backe, Astros   118. Livan Hernandez, Twins/Rockies   1.9 Win Shares -11.7 VORP 1.1 WARP3   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 2008 33 TOT     13  11  31  31   2   0   0  0  180.0  257  129  121  25   43   67   2   3   811   4   1  6.05  4.17   69 1.667   119. Jo-Jo Reyes, Braves 120. Garrett Olson, Orioles

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'08 Player Rankings: Shortstops

Is Hanley Ramirez the most underrated player in baseball right now? Of course playing for the Marlins doesn't help him.   Shortstop Rankings   1. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins   32.5 Win Shares 80.7 VORP 10.9 WARP3   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 24 FLA NL 153  589  125  177  34  4  33   67  35 12  92 122  .301  .400  .540  148  318   0   4   9   8   5     2. Jose Reyes, Mets 3. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies 4. Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks 5. Jhonny Peralta, Indians 6. J.J. Hardy, Brewers 7. Cristian Guzman, Nationals 8. Michael Young, Rangers 9. Derek Jeter, Yankees 10. Mike Aviles, Royals 11. Orlando Cabrera, White Sox 12. Ryan Theriot, Cubs 13. Yunel Escobar, Braves 14. Miguel Tejada, Astros 15. Marco Scutaro, Blue Jays 16. Jason Bartlett, Rays 17. Nick Punto, Twins 18. Brendan Harris, Twins 19. Erick Aybar, Angels 20. Edgar Renteria, Tigers 21. Yuniesky Betancourt, Mariners 22. Maicer Izturis, Angels 23. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 24. David Eckstein, Blue Jays/Diamondbacks 25. Bobby Crosby, A's 26. Cesar Izturis, Cardinals   27. Jeff Keppinger, Reds   5.7 Win Shares 0.6 VORP 1.5 WARP3   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 28 CIN NL 121  459   45  122  24  2   3   43   3  1  30  24  .266  .310  .346   70  159   6   5   3   2  14   28. Jack Wilson, Pirates 29. Julio Lugo, Red Sox 30. Khalil Greene, Padres

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'08 Player Rankings: Second Basemen

This is the third straight year that Utley has topped the rankings.   Second Basemen Rankings   1. Chase Utley, Phillies   29.8 Win Shares 62.2 VORP 10.6 WARP3   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 29 PHI NL 159  607  113  177  41  4  33  104  14  2  64 104  .292  .380  .535  133  325   1   8  14  27   9     2. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 3. Ian Kinsler, Rangers 4. Dan Uggla, Marlins 5. Brian Roberts, Orioles 6. Mark DeRosa, Cubs 7. Kelly Johnson, Braves 8. Jose Lopez, Mariners 9. Orlando Hudson, Diamondbacks 10. Akinori Iwamura, Rays 11. Placido Polanco, Tigers 12. Alexei Ramirez, White Sox 13. Brandon Phillips, Reds 14. Ray Durham, Giants/Brewers 15. Rickie Weeks, Brewers 16. Howie Kendrick, Angels 17. Kazuo Matsui, Astros 18. Clint Barmes, Rockies 19. Robinson Cano, Yankees 20. Joe Inglett, Blue Jays 21. Mark Ellis, A's 22. Felipe Lopez, Nationals/Cardinals 23. Aaron Miles, Cardinals 24. Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians 25. Mark Grudzielanek, Royals 26. Alexi Casilla, Twins 27. Jeff Kent, Dodgers   28. Freddy Sanchez, Pirates   10.4 Win Shares -1.8 VORP 1.4 WARP3   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 30 PIT NL 145  569   75  154  26  2   9   52   0  1  21  63  .271  .298  .371   76  211   8   6   1   4  13   29. Jamey Carroll, Indians 30. Adam Kennedy, Cardinals

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'08 Player Rankings: Right Fielders

This list lives up to Smues' hype!   Also...Ryan Ludwick: Big Fluke or Biggest Fluke Ever?   Right Fielder Rankings   1. Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals   26.4 Win Shares 53.6 VORP 10.9 WARP3   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 29 STL NL 152  538  104  161  40  3  37  113   4  4  62 146  .299  .375  .591  150  318   1   8   3   8   8     2. Nick Markakis, Orioles 3. Brian Giles, Padres 4. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels 5. Andre Ethier, Dodgers 6. Xavier Nady, Pirates/Yankees 7. Jermaine Dye, White Sox 8. Bobby Abreu, Yankees 9. Alexis Rios, Blue Jays 10. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 11. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers 12. Randy Winn, Giants 13. Jayson Werth, Phillies 14. J.D. Drew, Red Sox 15. Hunter Pence, Astros 16. Brad Hawpe, Rockies 17. Ken Griffey Jr., Reds/White Sox 18. Corey Hart, Brewers 19. David Murphy, Rangers 20. Eric Hinske, Rays 21. Ryan Sweeney, A's 22. Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs 23. Jose Guillen, Royals 24. Jeremy Hermida, Marlins 25. Mark Teahen, Royals 26. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks 27. Jay Bruce, Reds 28. Franklin Gutierrez, Indians 29. Gary Matthews Jr., Angels   30. Jeff Francoeur, Braves   6.0 Win Shares -17.3 VORP 3.2 WARP3   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 24 ATL NL 155  599   70  143  33  3  11   71   0  1  39 111  .239  .294  .359   73  215   0   4   5  10  18

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'08 Player Rankings: Middle Relievers

It's the list you've all been waiting for...the guys who aren't good enough be starting pitchers or closers!!!!   I almost decided to skip doing middle relievers this year as I'm rarely satisfied with the final rankings and always change the guidelines that I use for who I include in the rankings. This year I opted for the top 60 in relief appearance, excluding those who will be on the closer list. I should probably do more than 60 as there's a few good ones that don't qualify (Grant Balfour and Brad Ziegler for example) but there's only so much time want to spend looking at stats for set up men.   Middle Relievers   1. Matt Thornton, White Sox   23.3 VORP 2.11 ERC 2.75 FIP 48 PRC   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 2008 31 CHW AL   5   3  74   0   0   0  12  1   67.3   48   20   20   5   19   77   2   3   268   2   0  2.67  4.57  171 0.995     2. Carlos Marmol, Cubs 3. Chad Qualls, Diamondbacks 4. Jesse Carlson, Blue Jays 5. Scott Downs, Blue Jays 6. J.P. Howell, Rays 7. Manny Delcarmen, Red Sox 8. Ramon Ramirez, Royals 9. Ryan Madson, Phillies 10. Hideki Okajima, Red Sox 11. Rafael Perez, Indians 12. Heath Bell, Padres 13. Russ Springer, Cardinals 14. Dennys Reyes, Twins 15. Damaso Marte, Pirates/Yankees 16. Dan Wheeler, Rays 17. Chad Durbin, Phillies 18. Doug Brocail, Astros 19. Jeremy Affeldt, Reds 20. Will Ohman, Braves 21. Brian Shouse, Brewers 22. Octavio Dotel, White Sox 23. John Grabow, Pirates 24. Joel Hanrahan, Nationals 25. Tony Pena, Diamondbacks 26. Joe Beimel, Dodgers 27. Chad Bradford, Orioles/Rays 28. Scot Shields, Angels 29. Joe Smith, Mets 30. Jeff Bennett, Braves 31. Eddie Guardado, Rangers/Twins 32. Javier Lopez, Red Sox 33. Matt Lindstrom, Marlins 34. J.C. Romero, Phillies 35. Saul Rivera, Nationals 36. Jesse Crain, Twins 37. Kyle McClellan, Cardinals 38. Trever Miller, Rays 39. Mike Lincoln, Reds 40. Tyler Walker, Giants 41. Manuel Corpas, Rockies 42. Duaner Sanchez, Mets 43. David Weathers, Reds 44. Rafael Betancourt, Indians 45. Blaine Boyer, Braves 46. Cla Meredith, Padres 47. Sean Green, Mariners 48. Bob Howry, Cubs 49. Scott Schoeneweis, Mets 50. Tyler Yates, Pirates 51. Pedro Feliciano, Mets 52. Alan Embree, A's 53. Jamey Wright, Rangers 54. Renyel Pinto, Rays 55. Luis Ayala, Nationals/Mets 56. Wesley Wright, Astros 57. Matt Guerrier, Twins   58. Aaron Heilman, Mets   -1.1 VORP 5.45 ERC 4.66 FIP 24 PRC   Year Ag Tm  Lg  W   L   G   GS  CG SHO  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP  IBB  BK  ERA *lgERA *ERA+ WHIP +--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+---+---+-----+-----+----+-----+ 2008 29 NYM NL   3   8  78   0   0   0  23  3   76.0   75   48   44  10   46   80   9   2   356   8   0  5.21  4.21   81 1.592   59. Ron Villone, Cardinals 60. Jack Taschner, Giants

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'08 Player Rankings: Left Fielders

Tim McCarver's hatred for this man almost made me want to root for the Dodgers.   Left Fielder Rankings   1. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox/Dodgers   33.4 Win Shares 83.5 VORP 10.8 WARP3   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 36 TOT    153  552  102  183  36  1  37  121   3  0  87 124  .332  .430  .601  164  332   0   4  24  11  17     2. Carlos Quentin, White Sox 3. Matt Holliday, Rockies 4. Jason Bay, Pirates/Red Sox 5. Ryan Braun, Brewers 6. Johnny Damon, Yankees 7. Raul Ibanez, Mariners 8. Carlos Lee, Astros 9. Adam Dunn, Reds/Diamondbacks 10. Dave DeJesus, Royals 11. Jack Cust, A's 12. Pat Burrell, Phillies 13. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs 14. Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks 15. Garret Anderson, Angels 16. Luke Scott, Orioles 17. Fred Lewis, Giants 18. Josh Willingham, Marlins 19. Delmon Young, Twins 20. Willie Harris, Nationals 21. Ben Francisco, Indians 22. Carl Crawford, Rays   23. Gregor Blanco, Braves   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 +--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+ 2008 24 ATL NL 144  430   52  108  14  4   1   38  13  5  74  99  .251  .366  .309   83  133   6   3   2   6   3   24. Chase Headley, Padres 25. Luis Gonzalez, Marlins 26. Adam Lind, Blue Jays 27. Juan Pierre, Dodgers 28. Emil Brown, A's 29. David Dellucci, Indians 30. Jay Payton, Orioles

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