I needed content and I wanted to do something related to the very competitive decade of the 1980's for baseball so I've decied to run a 64 team tournament between the top teams of the 1980's. Ya 64 is way too many but I'm Bored. I'll be using the computer version of Strat-O-Matic Baseball to run the tournament. I'll be simulating the games and the only thing I'll determine before the games is who the starting pitcher will be for each game. It will just be like the NCAA College Basketball tournament where I'll have four regions, or four divisions if you will, with teams seeded from 1 to 16 with each match-up being determined by a best-of-seven series.
Now for deciding how to do the seedings and who gets in I went the simple rout. First teams who won the World Series will be seeded highest, then teams who lost in the World Series, then teams who lost in the LCS, then the top 2nd place teams by record, and finally an "automatic berth" for the best team of the decade for a franchise who didn't have a team fit into the other categories so every franchise will have a representitive.
Starting with the N.L. East which features three World Champions including the team who had the best record in the decade, the '86 Mets. The Mets have the most teams in the region with five, followed by the Cardinals with four. The Pirates are the only team with just one rep as the '88 team was their best of the decade. Here's just a quick rundown of all the teams and the first round match-ups.
1986 New York Mets (108-54, defeated Boston 4-3 in World Series)
OPS+: 116 (1st)
ERA+: 114 (t-1st)
DefEff: .709 (4th)
Best Player: Keith Hernandez
Best Pitcher: Bob Ojeda
1982 St. Louis Cardinals (92-70, defeated Milwaukee 4-3 in World Series)
OPS+: 103 (5th)
ERA+: 108 (2nd)
DefEff: .710 (2nd)
Best Player: Lonnie Smith
Best Pitcher: Joaquin Andujar
1980 Philadelphia Phillies (91-71, defeated Kansas City 4-2 in World Series)
OPS+: 102 (6th)
ERA+: 110 (1st)
DefEff: .701 (4th)
Best Player: Mike Schmidt
Best Pitcher: Steve Carlton
1985 St. Louis Cardinals (101-61, lost to Kansas City 4-3 in World Series)
OPS+: 108 (t-1st)
ERA+: 113 (2nd)
DefEff: .718 (1st)
Best Player: Willie McGee
Best Pitcher: John Tudor
1987 St. Louis Cardinals (95-67, lost to Minnesota 4-3 in World Series)
OPS+: 94 (10th)
ERA+: 106 (3rd)
DefEff: .696 (t-6th)
Best Player: Jack Clark/Ozzie Smith
Best Pitcher: Todd Worrell
1983 Philadelphia Phillies (90-72, lost to Baltimore 4-1 in World Series)
OPS+: 102 (t-5th)
ERA+: 106 (t-2nd)
DefEff: .685 (12th)
Best Player: Mike Schmidt
Best Pitcher: John Denny
1988 New York Mets (100-62, lost to Los Angeles 4-3 in NLCS)
OPS+: 117 (1st)
ERA+: 110 (3rd)
DefEff: .707 (t-8th)
Best Player: Darryl Strawberry
Best Pitcher: David Cone
1984 Chicago Cubs (96-65, lost to San Diego 3-2 in NLCS)
OPS+: 105 (4th)
ERA+: 104 (4th)
DefEff: .690 (10th)
Best Player: Ryne Sandberg
Best Pitcher: Rick Sutcliffe
1989 Chicago Cubs (93-69, lost to San Francisco 4-1 in NLCS)
OPS+: 104 (t-3rd)
ERA+: 110 (2nd)
DefEff: .708 (6th)
Best Player: Ryne Sandberg
Best Pitcher: Greg Maddux
1981 Montreal Expos (60-48, lost to Los Angeles 3-2 in NLCS)
OPS+: 99 (8th)
ERA+: 106 (3rd)
DeffEff: .715 (t-3rd)
Best Player: Andre Dawson
Best Pitcher: Bill Gullickson
1985 New York Mets (98-64, finished 3 games behind St. Louis)
OPS+: 105 (4th)
ERA+: 111 (3rd)
DefEff: .716 (2nd)
Best Player: Gary Carter
Best Pitcher: Dwight Gooden
1981 St. Louis Cardinals (59-43, best overall record in N.L. East)
OPS+: 108 (3rd)
ERA+: 98 (t-8th)
DefEff: .715 (t-3rd)
Best Player: Keith Hernandez
Best Pitcher: Bruce Sutter
1987 New York Mets (92-70, finished 3 games behind St. Louis)
OPS+: 116 (1st)
ERA+: 99 (9th)
DefEff: .696 (t-6th)
Best Player: Darryl Strawberry
Best Pitcher: Dwight Gooden
1980 Montreal Expos (90-72, finished 1 game behind Philadelphia)
OPS+: 106 (t-3rd)
ERA+: 103 (4th)
DefEff: .698 (9th)
Best Player: Andre Dawson
Best Pitcher: Steve Rogers
1984 New York Mets (90-72, finished 6 ½ games behind Chicago)
OPS+: 101 (5th)
ERA+: 98 (9th)
DefEff: .694 (9th)
Best Player: Keith Hernandez
Best Pitcher: Dwight Gooden
1988 Pittsburgh Pirates (85-75, finished 15 games behind New York)
OPS+: 107 (3rd)
ERA+: 99 (7th)
DefEff: .715 (4th)
Best Player: Andy Van Slyke
Best Pitcher: Doug Drabek
1st Round Match-ups
'88 Pirates vs. '86 Mets
'89 Cubs vs. '84 Cubs
'87 Mets vs. '85 Cardinals
'81 Cardinals vs. '87 Cardinals
'85 Mets vs. '83 Phillies
'80 Expos vs. '80 Phillies
'81 Expos vs. '88 Mets
'84 Mets vs. '82 Cardinals
I'll complete the 1st round match-ups for this region/division, posting the results in the next entry, and then move on to the next region/division. Not sure how long I'll take to finish each round.
After the 2003 season Miguel Tejada was a free agent and A's general manager Billy Beane had a major decision. He could either re-sign Tejada and allow Eric Chavez to leave as a free agency the following year or allow Tejada to leave and sign Chavez to a long term extension. He chose to allow Tejada to leave and ink Chavez to a 6-year, $66 million deal. Protests from some A's fans aside this made the most sense. Chavez was to that point the better hitter, the better fielder, and was two years younger than Tejada. The other reason it made sense was the A's had a prospect at shortstop who would be ready to step in as an everyday player the very next season. You know the story by now Tejada has put together three very good years in Baltimore while Chavez has seemingly fizzled out on ever reaching the MVP potential many thought he would fulfill. You also know the other side of the story in that Bobby Crosby has become a bit of a running joke from being a trendy MVP pick going into last year by some ESPN "experts" and now to an injury plauged, potential bust. This is possibly a make or break year for Crosby to show he can stay healthy and show he is capable of living up to the hype. Tonight in the opener he let a ball go right through his legs and then was the primary cause of a four run Mariner 6th inning as he dropped a ball while trying to turn what appeared to be an easy, inning ending double play. The sad thing is that the one thing about Crosby that has been very positive so far in his MLB career has been his defense and he didn't even have that going for him tonight. It's just one game and I really could careless at this point but not a good first impression to the season for a guy some already want to see out of Oakland.
And I leave you with a random list that I wanted to do but didn't think it was worth an entry. Since today was the true Opening Day here were the Opening Day starters for each team in 1997 which I thought would be mildly interesting to look at.
Doug Brocail (!)
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.
This seems to be turning into a weekly Bills update but something interesting happens to them every week. This week in their showdown with the Dolphins for first place in the AFC East, Jim Kelly was knocked out of the game in first half. Lucky for them they have one of the few decent back up quarterbacks on the game in Frank Reich and he led two 4th quarter touchdown drives for the 24-21 win. Bills sweep the season series giving them essentially a two game lead on the Dolphins now. In other quarterback injury news, the Bengals lost to the Eagles and lost Boomer Esiason to injury dimming their already very slim playoff hopes. The Browns season seemed to be spiraling out of control after three straight losses including two huge blow outs but this week they knocked off the divison leading Oilers to pull back within in a game of first palce. Last week the Bears appeared to be on the verge of turning their season around after their win against the Vikings but they shit the bed against the Colts this week and now the Vikings can clinch the division next week.
Week 12 Scores
San Francisco 21, Phoenix 10
SF: 8-3, PHX: 2-10
-Tom Rathman: 100 yards rushing
San Diego 24, New Orleans 20
SD: 6-5, NO: 5-6
-Billy Joe Tolliver: 179 yards passing
Indianapolis 28, Chicago 17
IND: 4-7, CHI: 5-6
-Albert Bentley: 77 yards rushing
Philadelphia 35, Cincinnati 21
PHI: 7-4, CIN: 4-7
-Boomer Esiason: leaves injured
Cleveland 24, Houston 21
CLE: 6-5, HOU: 7-4
-Bernie Kosar: 264 yards passing
Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 9
TB: 4-7, ATL: 2-9
-Chris Miller: 31% comp pct, 3 int
Kansas City 30, Denver 6
KC: 6-5, DEN: 4-7
-Christian Okoye: 106 yards rushing
Buffalo 24, Miami 21
BUF: 9-2, MIA: 8-3
-Jim Kelly: leaves injured
L.A. Raiders 17, Seattle 14
RAI: 9-2, SEA: 5-6
-Bo Jackson: 85 yards rushing
Pittsburgh 17, Washington 7
PIT: 6-5, WAS: 7-4
-Bubby Brister: 202 yards passing
N.Y. Giants 33, Dallas 28
GIA: 9-2, DAL: 5-6
-David Meggett: 112 yards rushing
L.A. Rams 31, Detroit 21
RAM: 6-5, DET: 2-9
-Jim Everett: 259 yards passing
Minnesota 37, Green Bay 14
MIN: 10-2, GB: 3-8
-Steve Jordan: 4 rec, 105 yards
N.Y. Jets 34, New England 14
JET: 3-8, NE: 3-8
-Al Toon: 5 rec, 137 yards
Leaders thru Week 12
1. Phil Simms, 201.0
2. Dan Marino, 175.2
3. Randall Cunningham, 167.5
1. Warren Moon, 2770
2. Montana, 2684
3. Jim Everett, 2536
1t. Marino, 27
1t. Montana, 27
3. Moon, 26
1. Jerry Rice, 53
2t. Many tied with 36
1. Rice, 1355
2. Sterling Sharpe, 989
3. Eric Martin, 970
1. Rice, 14
2t. Many tied with 10
1. Neal Anderson, 1056
2. Christian Okoye, 962
3. Johnny Johnson, 945
1. Tom Rathman, 13
2. Johnson, 12
3. Many tied with 11
1. Joey Browner, 8
2t. Many tied with 7
1. Lawrence Taylor, 17
2. Bruce Smith, 15
3t. Many tied with 14
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Field Goals: Jeff Jaeger, 13
Punting Avg: Rohn Stark, 51.3
Punt Return Avg: Jeff Query, 12.8
Kick Return Avg: David Meggett, 20.5
Before I get to the football, this week I go on baseball overdrive with the Bored's 2007 MLB Awards and Bored's 2007 MLB Player Rankings. Both are great if you were in a coma since April which I wish I was instead of being subjected to the A's season.
I didn't end up having work yesterday after all so I was able to be lazy and gorge myself on college football all day after all but the Cal/Oregon game left such a bad taste in my mouth that I didn't feel like doing an unfunny Wrap Up entry. Cal is now a legit Top 3 team which means there is no God.
As for my Pointless Top 25, with so many top teams losing this weekend it is pretty much impossible not to give some 1 loss teams a decent ranking. But that being said I stil think the entire Top 10 should only be unbeaten teams, even though that is proving very difficult. Again don't even bother reading it.
4. Ohio State
6. South Florida
7. Boston College
9. Arizona State
12. South Carolina
19. West Virginia
20. Kansas State
22. Michigan State
My favorite baseball team, and favorite team in all sports, the Oakland Athletics are going to suck this year. For the first time since the the late 90's I'm going into a baseball season with no hope or optimism. So since my favorite team is going to suck, I hope all your favorite teams suck this year too. Time for a little free floating hostility as I run down the other 29 teams in MLB and why they suck.
(Disclaimer: Don't take any of this seriously)
Angels: John Lackey's arm is about fall off and they'll find out that they wasted another $90 million on another overrated centerfielder. If Lackey does end up having surgery at some point hopefully they'll do something for his face too. God damn is that an ugly mother fucker.
Astros: Hey maybe they can bring back Roger Clemens again! That'll solve everything!
Blue Jays: They still play baseball in Canada?
Braves: No one gave a shit about them in Atlanta when they were good and no one gives a shit about them now that they suck. Move them to Alaska. For that matter move every professional sports franchise out of Atlanta.
Brewers: Anything that makes Bud Selig happy is a bad thing and the Brewers ever getting back to the playoffs will make him happy, so with that in mind I continue to hope for several more years of mediocre Brewers baseball. Signing Jason Kendall will of course help that cause for this year.
Cardinals: Seriously, fucking retire already LaRussa. Once you lucked out with the 2006 World Championship you should have done the George Constanza "Alright that's it for me! Goodnight everybody!"
Cubs: 100 years, no championships and now they are selling Wrigley Field's naming rights. Just kill yourself Cubs fans because it's gonna 100 more years of the same shit.
Diamondbacks: Would somebody kill Eric Byrnes already?
Dodgers: They're gonna trade Matt Kemp for Joe Crede, you just know it. Jeff Kent can't teach these kids how to win ya know!
Giants: HAHAHAHAHA...yes keep convincing yourself Giants fans and front office that you didn't need Barry. God I can't wait for the Summer when they are 30 games out of first place and averaging less than 10k fans a game. It's gonna be great! Seriously if they ever fire Brian Sabean I'm going to cry.
Indians: Seriously eat a fucking dick Cleveland for blowing it against the Red Sox in the ALCS to help that annoying fucking fan base celebrate another championship.
Mariners: Trading for Erik Bedard isn't going to cover up that this team vastly overachieved last year and Bill Bavasi is still the GM which will always lead to failure.
Marlins: Would somebody kill Jeffrey Loria already?
Mets: This team looks like it wants to go out of it's way to out perform the A's in the injury department this year. I personally approve of the failure of all New York teams so hopefully they'll crash and burn.
Nationals: Dmitri Young and Elijah Dukes on the same team...excellent.
Orioles: Batting 4th, Kevin Millar.
Padres: Padres' "fans" gave Barry Bonds a standing ovation when he tied Hank Aaron's record. At the end of the season Tony Gwynn Jr. hits a game winning triple against the Padres that forces them into a one game playoff against the Rockies which the Padres lose in crushing fashion. It's called karma, bitch.
Phillies: Would have been better off trading Kyle Kendrick to Japan for real and thrown Adam Eaton in the deal. Gonna be another cocktease year for Phillies' fans but like they give a shit anyways as they'll be too busy chanting "E-A-G-L-E-S" at the games.
Pirates: Not even worth it.
Rangers: Why does this franchise not get shit on more for being a complete joke? 47 years in existence and not a single playoff series win. They'll have no problem blowing by the 50 year mark and beyond.
Rays: Ooo they have so much young talent! They might be really good in 2010! Who gives a shit? Still going to be 90% Yankees and Red Sox fans at their games.
Reds: The fact that there are Reds fans who actually want to get rid of Adam Dunn tells me they deserve a manager like Dusty Baker.
Red Sox: Hey remember when we all thought it'd be great if the Red Sox won a championship so we could stop hearing all the whining from their fan base about "The Curse"? We never knew how good we had it. Every SAWX fan I see this year, I'm kicking square in the fucking nuts.
Rockies: Like the Indians, fuck you for losing to the Red Sox.
Royals: This team is more painful to watch than George Brett popping his hemorrhoids.
Tigers: Kenny Rogers is an asshole and Todd Jones is a closet fag.
Twins: 1. Trade Johan Santana, 2. ???, 3. Profit
White Sox: Is this team gonna suuuuuuuuuuck? YES!
Yankees: Derek Jeter is a selfish prick who is going to drag this franchise down very soon by his refusal to leave shortstop. This guy is the Lonnie Smith of shortstops. But whatever, Yankee fans deserve any losing season they get and hopefully they'll happen soon.
NFL Draft is only three weeks away and this year it might actually go by at a relatively brisk pace with the shortened draft times. Since it is that time of year it's time for me to pick out a past NFL Draft and run down the first round from that year with little to no insight. I picked 1988 because it was 20 years ago, simple enough? 1988 featured several great wide receivers but little depth overall after the first two rounds. It's also the draft where there wasn't a single quarterback taken in the first two rounds and the first one taken in the 3rd round was Tom Tupa who would later become a punter.
1. Atlanta - Aundray Bruce, LB, Auburn
Lasted 11 years but only two of them were spent as a starter so that would definitely would equal to a bust for a #1 pick overall.
2. Kansas City - Neil Smith, DE, Nebraska
Good pick. Six Pro Bowls and over 100 career sacks.
3. Detroit - Bennie Blades, S, Miami
Halfway decent defensive back but not quite the career you'd hope for a pick this high. His brother Brian was taken in the 2nd round of this draft.
4. Tampa Bay - Paul Gruber, T, Wisconsin
12 year starter but kind of surprising he never went to a Pro Bowl as I seem to remember him being regarded as one of the better left tackles in the league during his prime. Maybe he just has a good rating Tecmo Super Bowl and that's why I thought he was good.
5. Cincinnati - Rickey Dixon, S, Oklahoma
Lasted five years, doing nothing of note.
6. L.A. Raiders - Tim Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Slam dunk future Hall of Famer.
7. Green Bay - Sterling Sharpe, WR, South Carolina
Was on his way to a Hall of Fame career it seemed before a neck injury cut it short in 1994.
8. N.Y. Jets - Dave Cadigan, G, USC
I honestly never heard of him but apparently he was a five year starter.
9. L.A. Raiders - Terry McDaniel, CB, Tennessee
Five time Pro Bowl selection.
10. N.Y. Giants - Eric Moore, G, Indiana
Another guard for a New York team that I have no memories of.
11. Dallas - Michael Irvin, WR, Miami
I don't think there is a football player I despised more than him.
12. Phoenix - Ken Harvey, LB, California
Selected to four Pro Bowls but he went to Cal and therefore he sucks.
13. Philadelphia - Keith Jackson, TE, Oklahoma
Very good receiving tight end who went to five Pro Bowls.
14. L.A. Rams - Gaston Green, RB, UCLA
Short career. Rushed for over 1000 yards in 1991.
15. San Diego - Anthony Miller, WR, Tennessee
Obviously overshadowed by the three receivers taken ahead of him but had a very good career as well.
16. Miami - Eric Kumerow, DE, Ohio State
Pretty impressive that we got 15 picks in before getting to a complete bust.
17. New England - John Stephens, RB, Northwest State
Made the Pro Bowl as a rookie but did little else after that.
18. Pittsburgh - Aaron Jones, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Played eight years but did anyone notice?
19. Minnesota - Randall McDaniel, G, Arizona State
12 Pro Bowl selections and should be a future Hall of Famer.
20. L.A. Rams - Aaron Cox, WR, Arizona State
Well the great run of wide receivers in this draft had to end eventually.
21. Cleveland - Clifford Charlton, LB, Florida
22. Houston - Lorenzo White, RB, Michigan State
Had one great year in 1992 but didn't see a whole lot of carries in his career playing in the run and shoot.
23. Chicago - Brad Muster, RB, Stanford
Decent fullback who, like most running backs, had a short career.
24. New Orleans - Craig Heyward, RB, Pittsburgh
Very popular, fat fullback who died at age 39 due to brain cancer.
25. L.A. Raiders - Scott Davis, DT, Illinois
Not quite as good as the Raiders first two picks.
26. Denver - Ted Gregory, DT, Syracuse
Was cut during training camp. Seriously how does a team fuck up so bad on it's first pick that the guy can't even make it out of camp?
27. Chicago - Wendell Davis, WR, LSU
Pretty good receiver who's best known for having his career ended when he tore both ACLs while running a pass route on the god awful Veterans Stadium turf in 1993.
Other Notable Picks
29. Detroit - Chris Speilman, LB, Ohio State
30. Philadelphia - Eric Allen, CB, Arizona State
31. Cincinnati - Ickey Woods, RB, UNLV
36. N.Y. Giants - Jumbo Elliott, T, Michigan
39. San Francisco - Pierce Holt, DE, Angelo State
40. Buffalo - Thurman Thomas, RB, Oklahoma State
41. Dallas - Ken Norton, LB, UCLA
43. New England - Vincent Brown, LB, Mississippi Valley State
44. Pittsburgh - Dermontti Dawson, C, Kentucky
46. L.A. Rams - Flipper Anderson, WR, UCLA
49. Seattle - Brian Blades, WR, Miami
50. Cleveland - Michael Dean Perry, DT, Clemson
63. N.Y. Jets - Erik McMillan, S, Missouri
68. Phoenix - Tom Tupa, QB, Ohio State
74. N.Y. Jets - James Hasty, CB, Washington State
76. Indianapolis - Chris Chandler, QB, Washington
80. San Francisco - Bill Romanowski, LB, Boston College
125. Houston - Chris Dishman, CB, Purdue
159. Washington - Stan Humphries, QB, Louisiana-Monroe
239. Miami - Jeff Cross, DE, Missouri
252. Pittsburgh - John Jackson, T, Eastern Kentucky
The worst offensive season by a centerfielder since 1901 was Alex Metzler in 1930 with an OPS+ of 56 (.236/.313/.302). The player on the top of this particular list came very close to breaking that record in 1999 (the year of shitting hitting outfielders?) and also made my Worst Hitters since 1986 list. Interesting thing about this list is that most of these punchless performances have happened in the last 20 years.
Top 25 (or so) Worst Offensive Centerfielder Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)
1. Darren Lewis, 1999 - Boston Red Sox 57 OPS+ (.240/.311/.309)
2. Gary Pettis, 1988 - Detroit Tigers 61
3. Marquis Grissom, 2000 - Milwaukee Brewers 63
4. Darren Lewis, 1995 - San Francisco Giants/Cincinnati Reds 64
5t. Endy Chavez, 2003 - Montreal Expos 65
5t. Brian Hunter, 1998 - Detroit Tigers 65
5t. Chuck Carr, 1994 - Florida Marlins 65
5t. Brian McRrae, 1992 - Kansas City Royals 65
5t. Bill Virdon, 1964 - Pittsburgh Pirates 65
10. Peter Bergeron, 2000 - Montreal Expos 67
11t. Juan Pierre, 2002 - Colorado Rockies 68
11t. Gerald Williams, 1997 - Milwaukee Brewers 68
11t. Omar Moreno, 1982 - Pittsburgh Pirates 68
11t. Bill Virdon, 1962 - Pittsburgh Pirates 68
15t. Tom Goodwin, 2000 - Colorado Rockies/Los Angeles Dodgers 69
15t. Tom Goodwin, 1997 - Kansas City Royals/Texas Rangers 69
15t. Eric Yelding, 1990 - Houston Astros 69
18t. Tom Goodwin, 1996 - Kansas City Royals 70
18t. Darren Lewis, 1993 - San Francisco Giants 70
18t. Rick Manning, 1979 - Cleveland Indians 70
18t. Jim Piersall, 1962 - Washington Senators 70
22t. Doug Glanville, 2001 - Philadelphia Phillies 71
22t. Doug Glanville, 2000 - Philadelphia Phillies 71
22t. Chris Singleton, 2000 - Chicago White Sox 71
22t. Bob Dernier, 1985 - Chicago Cubs 71
22t. Rick Manning, 1983 - Cleveland Indians/Milwaukee Brewers 71
If you had to guess the first baseman who had the best single season of the last 30 years you might guess Frank Thomas, Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Albert Pujols, Jason Giambi, or maybe even Don Mattingly in his prime. And you'd be wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...at least according to Win Shares. This player's numbers don't look huge at first glance but they came in a season when in the N.L. the average team only scored 3.94 runs a game, one of only four seasons since '79 that teams average under 4 runs a game in the N.L.
Top 20 First Baseman Seasons since 1979 (per Win Shares)
1. Will Clark, 1989 - San Francisco Giants 43.8 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
1989 25 SFG NL 159 588 104 196 38 9 23 111 8 3 74 103 .333 .407 .546 175 321 0 8 14 5 6
2. Mark McGwire, 1998 - St. Louis Cardinals 40.9
3. Jeff Bagwell, 1996 - Houston Astros 40.7
4. Albert Pujols, 2004 - St. Louis Cardinals 39.7
5. Frank Thomas, 1997 - Chicago White Sox 39.1
6. Albert Pujols, 2006 - St. Louis Cardinals 38.6
7. Albert Pujols, 2005 - St. Louis Cardinals 38.3
8. Jason Giambi, 2000 - Oakland A's 38.2
9. Jason Giambi, 2001 - Oakland A's 37.8
10. Derrek Lee, 2005 - Chicago Cubs 37.2
11. Jeff Bagwell, 1999 - Houston Astros 36.9
12. John Olerud, 1993 - Toronto Blue Jays 36.7
13. Will Clark, 1988 - San Francisco Giants 36.7
14. Carlos Delgado, 2000 - Toronto Blue Jays 36.4
15. Will Clark, 1991 - San Francisco Giants 34.3
16. Jason Giambi, 2002 - New York Yankees 34
17. Jim Thome, 2002 - Cleveland Indians 33.9
18. Lance Berkman, 2006 - Houston Astros 33.7
19. John Olerud, 1998 - New York Mets 33.5
20. Todd Helton, 2003 - Colorado Rockies 33.5
Finally. Finally, finally, finally, finally I am excited about a World Series. I don't give a shit about the predictions of this being lowest rated World Series ever. If this ends up being true, then it's Fox and MLB's fault (and by proxy the WWL) for programing casual fans to think that only the Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs matter. I personally have not watched the majority of a World Series since 1997 and let me run down each year as to why I didn't care.
1998: New York Yankees vs. San Diego Padres
At this time I was fairly indifferent towards the Yankees but I was always partial to the Padres because I liked Tony Gwynn. This was clearly a huge mismatch and I knew the Padres had no chance but I did tune into Game 1, which I was into until the bottom of the 7th when Tino Martinez took a pitch right down the middle (or at least that's what I remember) that should been a called strike three against Mark Langston to strand the bases loaded and keep the game tied. Next pitch, grand slam, and I tuned out from the rest of the series after that.
1999: New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves
Already saw them play in '96 and had no desire to see them play again. I think I watched about five minutes of Game 1 and that was it.
2000: New York Yankees vs. New York Mets
I like most people outside of New York and Bristol, CT didn't give a shit. Did not watch a single second of the series.
2001: New York Yankees vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Now this one I think I will have to revisit some day but at the time I couldn't be bothered to watch any of it, not even Game 7. The Yankees had eliminated the A's for the second straight and this time in heartbreaking fashion in part to the most overrated defensive play in baseball history because some fat fuck didn't slide...not that I'm still bitter. I wanted to no part of the Yankees or any sort of baseball after that.
2002: Anaheim Angels vs. San Francisco Giants
Finally the Yankees reign of terror is stopped but instead we get the Rally Monkey against the Assholes by the Bay. Giants fans are the most smug group of fans in sports, with no real reason to be, and this didn't help matters. I think briefly tuned into Game 6 to torture myself but that was it.
2003: New York Yankees vs. Florida Marlins
Once again the Yankees were back to poison us all so once again I didn't tune in, although I think I did flip on the end of Game 6 due primarily to this board.
2004: Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Now I was genuinely intrigued by this series, for a brief moment. If had to say who my N.L. team is, it'd probably be the Cardinals because I did pretty much adopt them as my second favorite team and followed them pretty closely when Mark McGwire played there. I really thought it would be a good series and since it was the Red Sox, it would end with Boston have their hearts ripped out which is always fun. How wrong I was. I watched most of Game 1 and then quickly lost interest.
2005: Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros
Now this series was kinda similar to this year because it was a very fresh match-up. But 2005 was all about LOLZ OZZIEBALL > MONEYBALL and Joe Morgan and the usual band of idiots slobbering all over the White Sox ability to "manufacture runs." If it had ended up being a competitive series I might have tuned for a Game 6 or 7 but it wasn't, so I didn't watch any of it.
2006: Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Now I'm going to contradict myself with the "Caridnals are my N.L. team" thing because I really didn't want them to win this series. The baseball elitist in me simply didn't want to see an 83 win team win a World Series because I felt it cheapened the whole season. I didn't have any real animosity towards the Tigers for shitkicking the A's right out of the ALCS but I was disappointed that I wouldn't get use my World Series tickets so really wasn't up for watching the series. I think I tuned in every once in a while during the series but overall the whole thing fell flat and I could only put up with so much "David Eckstein is clutch and scrappy" talk.
2007: Boston Red Sox vs. Colorado Rockies
God damn did the 2007 postseason suck ass or what? Didn't watch a single second of the series.
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.
1. Matt Thornton, White Sox
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
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
Aww the Congressional Bowl sold it's naming rights and is now the EagleBank Bowl. I'm shocked the St. Petersburg Bowl still hasn't sold theirs as that always seemed like a generic placeholder bowl name.
Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian, EagleBank
Locks: Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina
Bowl Eligible: Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Bubble Teams: Clemson, Duke, N.C. State, Virginia
Everyone is technically still alive but highly unlikely Duke or N.C. State win their last two games. The winner of the Clemson/Virginia game this week will become bowl eligible while the loser will have to pull of an upset in a rivalry game the following week.
Bowl Tie-ins: Cotton, Gator, Sun
Irish barely avoid disaster at the end of the Navy game to become bowl eligible. Should lock up a bid with an easy win against Syracuse this week which will have them on their way to the Gator or Sun Bowl. Upset USC the following week and they will end up in the Cotton Bowl.
Bowl Tie-ins: BCS, Gator/Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, Papajohns.com, St. Petersburg
Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Pittsburgh
Bowl Eligible: South Florida, West Virginia
Bubble Teams: Louisville, Rutgers
As covered last week the Big East will lose a bid to Notre Dame if they finish 7-5 leaving the conference with five bids. Rutgers crushed a reeling USF team and can become bowl eligible with a win over Army this week which is quite the surprise considering how bad they played the first half of the year. With that in mind, there will be at least one team in this conference needing to find an open bid if they want to go bowling so it is very important to get seven wins.
Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Rose (two bids?), Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City
Locks: Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State
Bowl Eligible: Wisconsin
Bubble Teams: Illinois
The Big Ten's season is over after this week and if Penn State and Ohio State win, they are both on their way to BCS bowls. Illinois needs to win at Northwestern this week or otherwise the Motor City Bowl will become an open bid.
Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Fiesta (two bids), Cotton, Holiday, Gator/Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas
Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech
Bubble Teams: Colorado
There is no scenario where this conference doesn't put two teams in the BCS so you can put them down for nine bids which also locks Kansas up for a bid even they still sit on six wins. With Kansas State and Texas A&M being eliminated from bowl consideration, the Texas Bowl is now an open bid and if Colorado doesn't win at Nebraska in two weeks then the Independence Bowl will also be an open bid.
Bowl Tie-ins: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, Armed Forces, New Orleans, St. Petersburg
Locks: Rice, Tulsa
Bowl Eligible: East Carolina, Houston
Bubble Teams: Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, UTEP
Only change was Houston became bowl eligible with a drubbing of Tulsa. Southern Miss scored a big win over East Carolina and now only has to beat an awful SMU team to become bowl eligible.
Bowl Tie-ins: Motor City, GMAC, International
Bowl Eligible: Ball State, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Western Michigan
Bubble Teams: Akron, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois
The odds of Ball State getting into the BCS are now zilch as they were passed by BYU in the BCS standings. See last week's entry as to why there is a really small chance Ball State could not go bowling but it gets slimmer and slimmer with the the growing number of open bids there will be.
Bowl Tie-ins: BCS?, Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico
Locks: Air Force, BYU, TCU, Utah
Bubble Teams: Colorado State, UNLV
There's a story out there that I don't think has received any attention yet and that is if BYU beats Utah this week, they and not Boise State could end up with the Fiesta Bowl invite. There's nothing in the BCS rules that requires the highest ranked non-BCS conference team to be taken, if there is another eligible non-BCS team who can be chosen. Boise getting passed over for a one loss non-BCS team could be a nice shitstorm. UNLV should become bowl eligible with a win over San Diego State this week while Colorado State will play at Wyoming with a chance to become bowl eligible as well. Popular belief is that the New Mexico Bowl would invite the Rebels over CSU.
Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Rose (two bids?), Holiday, Sun, Emerald, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Poinsettia
Locks: Arizona, California, Oregon, Oregon State, USC
Bubble Teams: Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA
No changes this week as every favorite won. Stanford's season is on the line in the Big Game on Saturday and they will win. They just have to. ASU and UCLA are both idle before their elimination game in two weeks. Still seems likely that at least the Poinsettia Bowl will be an open bid which would go to a WAC team.
Bowl Tie-ins: BCS/Sugar (two bids), Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence, Papajohns.com
Locks: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
Bubble Teams: Arkansas, Auburn
Since the conference is pretty much assured to BCS bids at this point which pushes the conference to ten bids, every eligible team is now a lock including Vanderbilt will be going to their first bowl in 26 years. Both Arkansas and Auburn are longshots to become bowl eligible which would leave the Independence and the Papajohns.com Bowl as open bids. I'm sure the Independence Bowl is just giddy over the possibility of instead of having an SEC/Big XII match-up they may end up with a MAC/Sun Belt showdown.
Bowl Tie-in: New Orleans
Bowl Eligible: Troy
Bubble Teams: Arkansas State, FIU, Florida Atlantic, UL Lafayette, Middle Tennessee
The winner of the ULL/Troy game this week all but clinches the conference title and the New Orleans Bowl bid. Because of contingency bids and other open bids this sad sack of conference could conceivably end up sending four teams to bowls when all is said and done.
Bowl Tie-ins: BCS?, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico
Locks: Boise State
Bowl Eligible: Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State
Bubble Teams: Hawaii
As I already covered, Boise State's odds of landing a BCS bid could even longer than you think. Fresno, LA Tech, and Nevada all became bowl eligible this week but there is still way too many things that can happen to figure out who is going where and who is staying home. Again the Poinsettia Bowl will likely be added as a 4th bid for the conference, assuming the Pac-10 doesn't fill.
Ron Gant, Left Fielder
Atlanta Braves 1987-1993
Cincinnati Reds 1995
St. Louis Cardinals 1996-1998
Philadelphia Phillies 1999-2000
Anaheim Angels 2000
Colorado Rockies 2001
Oakland Athletics 2001, 2003
San Diego Padres 2002
1991 NL Silver Slugger - OF
All-Star Selections: 2 (1992, 1995)
Home Runs: 96th
July 5, 1990 - New York at Atlanta
Easy pick as he matches he career high in hits (four), home runs (two), RBI (six), and total bases (eleven) in the same game.
Hall of Fame Stats
Gray Ink: Batting - 52 (477) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 26.0 (377) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 41.5 (441) (Likely HOFer > 100)
Similar Batters in HOF: None
Top 10 Similar Batters: Reggie Sanders, Jeromy Burnitz, Jimmy Wynn, Andruw Jones, Bobby Bonds, Roy Sievers, Greg Vaughn, Darryl Strawberry, Bobby Thomson, Frank J. Thomas
Year-by-Year Win Shares & Wins Above Replacement Level (WARP3)
Career Win Shares: 206
Career WARP3: 62.9
My Stupid Opinion
Had a nice combination of power and speed in his prime but was never among the best players in the game in any particular year. Don't think the dirt bike accident he had in '94 where he broke his leg, costing him the entire season and a contract with the Braves that he just signed a week before (oops!), hurt him too much as he followed that up with of his best seasons in '95. His #1 comp of Reggie Sanders is one of the more apt comparisons I've seen with the Similar Batters tool.
Roy Oswalt is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore!
Okay first off this is just silly. You're an active player and a very good one at that. A-Rod hasn't cost you a spot in the Majors, hell he's not even a pitcher!
So why did God let these heathens have their performance enhancing drugs? Jesus didn't need steroids to hit a curveball!
Hmm, interesting considering they've never even played in the same league together but they have faced off in three games in interleague play so let's go to the video tape! Or let's go to baseball-reference.
June 8, 2001
Oswalt failed to retire Rodriguez in three plate appearances as he doubled, walked, and doubled. Obviously those doubles would have been infield pop outs without steroids. Oswalt also gave up home runs to Ivan Rodriguez and Rusty Greer and I now demand both have their records removed the books as obviously Oswalt's God given gifts would not surrender home runs to clean players. Oswalt got a no decision but the Astros won, but who cares because A-ROD COULD HAVE COST HIM MONEY!!!
June 28, 2002
In this game Oswalt did get the better of Rodriguez in two of his at bats but in the 4th inning A-Fraud hit a home run off our hero and if I were Roy I would demand that MLB lower his ERA for the 2002 season immediately! But our hero did win the game but hey he could have also lost it which means A-ROD COULD HAVE COST HIM MONEY!!!
June 15, 2008
Rodriguez reached base only once against Oswalt on a walk. But with these new fangled PEDs they keep coming up with who knows they might actually give players telekinesis. I think A-Fraud may have caused Roy's pitches to land out of the strikezone with his mind! Oswalt lost this game and this certainly means that A-ROD COST HIM MONEY!!!
For those scoring at home Roy Oswalt has made $46,950,000 in his career and his current contract will guarantee him another $45 million over the next three seasons. And you know what he deserves it, he's a fantastic pitcher and I'm just having some fun here. He has a right to be pissed that there will be a cloud over all players who played in the last 15 years. But he really comes off like a sanctimonious crybaby in this and does anyone really want to hear a millionaire whine about possibly being cost money? Also if Roger Clemens is ever "proven" to have used PEDs in his career, I hope Roy has the same conviction that he has with A-Rod and demand the Astros be stripped of their 2005 National League Championship.
Yes, Pujols is too low but again I was conservative with players who still have several years left in their career.
Jeff Kent, 2B
Will Clark, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Vladimir Guerrero, RF
John Smoltz, SP/RP
Tom Glavine, SP
Alan Trammell, SS
Jim Edmonds, CF
Curt Schilling, SP
Ozzie Smith, SS
Derek Jeter, SS
Lou Whitaker, 2B
Mike Mussina, SP
Albert Pujols, 1B/LF
Jim Thome, 1B/DH/3B
Paul Molitor, DH/3B/2B
Tim Raines, LF
Craig Biggio, 2B
Ryne Sandberg, 2B
Ivan Rodriguez, C
To not turn this into solely a blog about the Oakland A's (although I'll probably just go back to them for my next entry) I figured I'd pull out something random. So here is a look back at the 1989 NBA Draft using Win Shares.
I picked the '89 Draft because for quite the lack of talent that came out of it as there is not a future Hall of Famer in the class, it featured it's 2nd pick overall Danny Ferry pitching a fit after being selected by the Clippers and sitting out the '89-'90 season, and it was the first year that the draft was shrunk to two rounds. As you'll see they couldn't fit nearly a full round of decent NBA talent. In addition only Clifford Robinson is still active from the '89 Draft so you can realistically evaluate a draft when almost every player is no longer in the league rather than those who try to evalute only a few years after a draft. Robinson incidently enough was the best value pick of the draft as he was not selected until 36th overall.
Now for Win Shares, everyone thinks of them for baseball but at Basketball-Reference.com they came up with a version for basketball. I don't know how reliable the stat is but seems useful to compare the success of players who were drafted the same year.
1989 NBA Draft Rankings by Career Win Shares
1. Glenn Rice, Miami - 270 Win Shares (4th pick)
2. Vlade Divac, L.A. Lakers - 269 (26th)
3. Clifford Robinson, Portland - 258 (36th)
4. Tim Hardaway, Golden State - 252 (14th)
5. Shawn Kemp, Seattle - 237 (17th)
6. Mookie Blalock, New Jersey - 203 (12th)
7. Sean Elliott, San Antonio - 174 (3rd)
8. Nick Anderson, Orlando - 161 (11th)
9. B.J. Armstrong, Chicago - 138 (18th)
10. Dana Barros, Seattle - 133 (16th)
11t. Danny Ferry, L.A. Clippers - 103 (2nd)
11t. Sherman Douglas, Miami - 103 (28th)
13. George McCloud, Indiana - 80 (7th)
14t. J.R. Reid, Charlotte - 70 (5th)
14t. Pooh Richardson, Minnesota - 70 (10th)
14t. Blue Edwards, Utah - 70 (21st)
17. Chucky Brown, Cleveland - 58 (43rd)
18t. Pervis Ellison, Sacramento - 52 (1st)
18t. Doug West, Minnesota - 52 (38th)
20. Tom Hammonds, Denver - 45 (9th)
21. Stacey King, Chicago - 40 (6th)
22. Dino Radja, Boston - 38 (40th)
23. Haywoode Workman, Atlanta - 31 (49th)
24. Todd Lichti, Denver - 17 (15th)
25. Michael Ansley, Orlando - 16 (37th)
26. Randy White, Dallas - 14 (8th)
27. Greg Grant, Phoenix - 10 (52nd)
28. Kenny Battle, Detroit - 9 (27th)
29. Jeff Martin, L.A. Clippers - 8 (31st)
30. Byron Irvin, Portland - 7 (22nd)
31. John Morton, Cleveland - 6 (25th)
32. Michael Smith, Boston - 5 (13th)
33. Brian Quinnett, New York - 4 (50th)
34t. Pat Durham, Dallas - 3 (35th)
34t. Kenny Payne, Philadelphia - 3 (19th)
36t. Jeff Sanders, Chicago - 2 (20th)
36t. Anthony Cook, Phoenix - 2 (24th)
36t. Frank Kornet, Milwaukee - 2 (30th)
39t. Ed Horton, Washington - 1 (39th)
39t. Doug Roth, Washigton - 1 (41st)
39t. Scott Haffner, Miami - 1 (45th)
The Zero Club
Roy Marble, Atlanta (23rd)
Dyron Nix, Charlotte (29th)
Stlaney Brundy, New Jersey (32nd)
Jay Edwards, L.A. Clippers (33rd)
Gary Leonard, Minnesota (34th)
Ricky Blanton, Phoenix (46th)
Mike Morrison, Phoenix (51st)
Michael Cutright, Denver (42nd)
Reggie Cross, Philadelphia (44th)
Reggie Turner, Denver (47th)
Junie Lewis, Utah (48th)
Jeff Hodge, Dallas (53rd)
Toney Mack, Philadelphia (54th)
Here's one more list, as we know just because a player had a good career didn't necessarily make him a good draft pick for the team that drafted him. So here's the Top 10 in career Win Shares for the team they were drafted by.
1. Shawn Kemp 180
2. Sean Elliott 169
3. Nick Anderson 151
4. Clifford Robinson 137
5. Vlade Divac 120
6. Tim Hardaway 115
7. Glenn Rice 109
8. B.J. Armstrong 102
9. Doug West 50
10. Dino Radja 38
Yikes quite the drop off after Armstrong.
I'm not someone to get overly sentimental about someone famous dying. If I didn't know someone personally I just don't have a lot of emotions. Sure it's sad they died but in the end I can't feel an overt emotional connection to them, whether it be Eddie Guerrero or now Kirby Puckett. Being that I'm 27 years old, Puckett was of course in his prime when I was a kid. I personally don't have any unique Puckett memories, everyone remembers his Game 6 homerun against the Braves, and my perspective on him is a little odd being an A's fan. The Twins were their biggest rival during the late 80's and early 90's in what was really a great, forgotten rivalry. Naturally I couldn't stand the Twins or Puckett and I would dread the A's every trip to the Metrodome.
So in an attempt to do some sort of "memory" post I figured I'd go to retrosheet.org and scan Puckett's daily lines and pick out some of his great games.
May 8, 1984 - Twins 5, Angels 0
Puckett's MLB debut where had four hits. He'd hit safely in 19 of his first 20 games.
April 22, 1985 - Twins 9, Mariners 5
Puckett hits his first career homerun off of Matt Young after not hitting one his rookie year, he went 3 for 5 on the day.
July 18, 1986 - Twins 7, Orioles 3
Puckett's first multi-homerun game, leading the game off with a homerun off of Scott McGregor.
August 1, 1986 - Twins 10, A's 1
In the same game where Bert Blyleven gets his 3,000th strikeout, Puckett hits for the cycle getting it with a homerun in the 8th off of Darrel Akerfelds.
August 30, 1987 - Twins 10, Brewers 6
After going 4 for 5 with two homeruns the previous day he follows that up with a 6 for 6 two double, two homeruns performance.
October 24, 1987 - Twins 11, Cardinals 5
Goes for 4 for 4 as the Twins force a Game 7.
May 13, 1989 - Twins 10, Blue Jays 8
Puckett goes 4 for 5, all of his hits are doubles.
June 26, 1989 - Twins 4, A's 3
Puckett goes 3 for 5 and hits a walk off homerun against Todd Burns in the 10th inning.
October 13, 1991 - Twins 8, Blue Jays 5
Went 4 for 5 the previous game, hits a 1st inning homerun off of Tom Candiotti, finishes this game 3 for 5 as the Twins win the ALCS and he wins the series MVP.
October 26, 1991 - Twins 4, Braves 3
Needs no introduction.
August 14, 1992 - Twins 9, Mariners 6
Hits two homeruns, six RBI, includes a grand slam in the 3rd inning off Brian Fisher.
July 13, 1993 - American League 9, National League 3
Wins All-Star game MVP, 2 for 3 with a homerun off Terry Mulholland.
August 15, 1993 - Twins 12, A's 5
Goes 5 for 5 with a two homeruns in the second game of a double header.
August 10, 1994 - Twins 17, Red Sox 7
Matches his career high with seven RBI, which he did against the Red Sox earlier in the season, hitting two homeruns with a grand slam in what would end up being their last game of the '94 season before the strike.
Puckett's Year-by-Year Win Shares
Before I go into the draftback with the current state of ESPN Classic, why not have a marathon of old drafts? Just edit down the first round of each draft to two hour blocks as I think it would be mildly interesting to see how each player was evaluated as they were drafted. It certainly can't be any less interesting than "classic" pool. What exactly constitutes classic pool anyways? Maybe a match where at the end a guy breaks his pool cue over the guy's head or any match with that hot asian chick. My guess though is that ESPN might not want to air those old drafts and show that Mel Kiper Jr. is really no better than your average draft prognosticater at predicting future success.
Anyways just picked the '95 Draft at random and it features quite a few busts starting at #1.
1. Cincinnati - Ki-Jana Carter, RB, Penn State
Hands down, the #1 rated player in the draft, can't miss, guarenteed star. But he injured his knee in the preseason and that pretty much doomed him for the rest of his career.
2. Jacksonville - Tony Boselli, T, USC
Had the potential to be a future HOF but injuries plus a botched shoulder surgery ended his career early. Selected to five Pro Bowls.
3. Houston - Steve McNair, QB, Alcorn State
Has put together a pretty good career and nearly won a Super Bowl. Injuries have slowed him down in recent years.
4. Washington - Michael Westbrook, WR, Colorado
Big debate over who was the top receiver going into the draft, Westbrook or J.J. Stokes. Did it really matter in the end? One good season and that's about it.
5. Carolina - Kerry Collins, QB, Penn State
Ocassinally has his moments but overall a dissapointing career. But hey he can drink any player in the league under the table.
6. St. Louis - Kevin Carter, DE, Florida
Decent career, led the league with 17 sacks in 1999.
7. Philadelphia - Mike Mamula, DE, Boston College
Probably the poster child for workout wonders who shoot up the draft board but then don't produce on the field. Played only five seasons.
8. Seattle - Joey Galloway, WR, Ohio State
Although was highly rated, Seattle was crticized for taking him over Stokes. Has had to battle some injuries over the years but overall a fairly productive career.
9. N.Y. Jets - Kyle Brady, TE, Penn State
This pick was of course a classic televised draft moment as every Jet fan in the audience wanted them to pick Warren Sapp and they were none too pleased when Brady's name was announced. Not bad numbers for a tight end but certainly not worth a Top 10 pick.
10. San Francisco - J.J. Stokes, WR, UCLA
This was a pretty big deal at the time as the defending champs traded up to get the next Jerry Rice. So much for that. Never cracked 800 yards in a single season.
11. Minnesota - Derrick Alexander, DE, Florida State
Another team that passed on Sapp. Five seasons. 20 sacks. Bust.
12. Tampa Bay - Warren Sapp, DT, Miami
A positive drug test for marijuana (OMG, professional athletes smoke weed? No way!) dropped him in the draft and Tampa ended being the benefactor. Very good career, although massively overrated in recent years.
13. New Orelans - Mark Fields, LB, Washington State
Pretty good career.
14. Buffalo - Ruben Brown, G, Pittsburgh
Good pick, eight time Pro Bowl selection.
15. Indianapolis - Ellis Johnson, DT, Florida
16. Philadelphia - Hugh Douglas, DE, Central State
I suppose the Eagles wanted to make sure they got one good end out of this first round. Selected to three Pro Bowls.
17. N.Y. Giants - Tryone Wheatley, RB, Michigan
Kiper had a big hard on for Wheatley but only put together one good season.
18. Oakland - Napolean Kaufman, RB, Washington
Most felt the Raiders were reaching here. Not a workhorse by any means but when he touched the ball he could make big plays. Retired early to became a pastor. Loser.
19. Jacksonville - James Stewart, RB, Tennessee
Decent back when healthy.
20. Detroit - Luther Elliss, DE, Utah
21. Chicago - Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado
Think Ricky Williams without the talent. A Heimsan Trophy bust? Never saw it coming.
22. Carolina - Tyrone Poole, CB, Fort Valley State
Just an average corner.
23. New England - Ty Law, CB, Michigan
Maybe a tad overrated but not too shabby of a pick here. Selected to four Pro Bowls.
24. Minnesota - Korey Stringer, T, Ohio State
We know what happened here.
25. Miami - Billy Milner, T, Houston
Shitty. Where else can you get in depth analysis like that?
26. Atlanta - Devin Bush, S, Florida State
27. Pittsburgh - Mark Bruener, TE, Washington
Very few catches but made his mark as a good blocking tight end.
28. Tampa Bay - Derrick Brooks, LB, Florida State
Wow, what a first round by the Bucs. Potential future Hall of Famer.
29. Carolina - Blake Brockermeyer, T, Texas
Decent and had a great lineman name.
30. Cleveland - Craig Powell, LB, Ohio State
Played a whole three games with the Browns.
31. Kansas City - Trezelle Jenkins, T, Michigan
Nine games in three years. Yikes.
32. Green Bay - Craig Newsome, CB, Arizona State
Showed a lot of promise when his career started but a knee injury did him in.
Other Players of Note
37. Washington - Cory Raymer, C, Wisconsin
38. St. Louis - Zach Wiegert, T, Nebraska
47. Arizona - Frank Sanders, WR, Auburn
48. Indianapolis - Ken Dilger, TE, Illinois
50. Philadelphia - Bobby Taylor, CB, Notre Dame
60. Pittsburgh - Kordell Stewart, QB, Colorado
74. New England - Curtis Martin, RB, Pittsburgh
79. Indianapolis - Zack Crockett, FB, Florida State
90. Green Bay - Antonio Freeman, WR, Virginia Tech
132. Carolina - Frank Garcia, G, Washington
181. Atlanta - Travis Hall, DT, BYU
192. Detroit - Cory Schlesinger, FB, Nebraska
196. Denver - Terrell Davis, RB, Georgia
206. N.Y. Giants - Charles Way, FB, Virginia
230. Green Bay - Adam Timmerman, G, South Dakota State
Before I got side tracked with my entry on The Baseball Network, I'd put together a redo for the 1995 A.L. MVP. This particular vote was one of the best examples of writer bias and how character plays a part in players winning awards. In an incredibly tight vote Mo Vaughn beat out Albert Belle receiving one more first place vote than Belle. To say this was a joke is an understatement. You don't need EQA, VORP, or Win Shares to tell you that Vaughn was in no way better the Belle in 1995. Let's just look at the standard numbers:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG TB
Vaughn 140 550 98 165 28 3 39 126 11 4 68 150 .300 .388 .575 316
Belle 143 546 121 173 52 1 50 126 5 2 73 80 .317 .401 .690 377
Edit: Fuck, it of course previewed perfectly fine and it comes out like this. Oh well.
How could anyone look at those numbers and pick Vaughn over Belle? Maybe the writers were just blown away that a man as fat as Vaughn could steal 11 bases. Seriously how the hell did that happen? A guy with a 50-50 doubles/homeruns season with a near .700 slugging and playing on the best team in the league would seem like a slam dunk for the writers. Belle led the league in Slugging, Runs, Total Bases, Doubles, Homeruns, and RBI (tied with Vaughn). His resume that year screams MVP. But Albert Belle was perceived as a bad guy, which was true, and Mo Vaughn was perceived as a good guy, which was partially true. There is no other logical explination for it. The writers liked Vaughn and hated Belle. To add to the case against Vaughn he was arguably not even the best player on his own team as John Valentin had a huge breakout season for the Sox.
A quick look at the rest of the voting, Edgar Martinez finished 3rd with four first place votes as the Mariners won their first division title ever. Then there was 4th place...Jose Mesa. The man has since become a walking punchline in recent years but at one point he was a very good closer. Again the closer argument doesn't have to be made again but someone actually gave Mesa a first place vote. Somebody actually thought that Jose Mesa was the MVP of the league playing on a team that had Belle, Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Carlos Baerga, and Kenny Lofton. It's vote like that that should get your voting privledges revoked. Other name of note was Tim Salmon who finished 7th who may have made a much more serious run at the MVP if it weren't for the Angels last season collapse.
1) Mo Vaughn 2) Albert Belle 3) Edgar Martinez 4) Jose Mesa 5) Jay Buhner 6) Randy Johnson 7) Tim Salmon 8) Frank Thomas 9) John Valentin 10) Gary Gaetti 11) Rafael Palmeiro 12) Manny Ramirez 13) Tim Wakefield 14) Jim Edmonds 15) Paul O'Neill 16) Mark McGwire 17t) Wade Boggs 17t) Chuck Knoblauch 19t) Gary DiSarcina 19t) Cal Ripken 21) Kirby Puckett
.300/.388/.575, 119 RC, 145 OPS+, .319 EQA, 52.3 VORP, 24 Win Shares
.308/.402/.558, 108 RC, 148 OPS+, .323 EQA, 46.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.333/.424/.487, 109 RC, 138 OPS+, .319 EQA, 72.3 VORP, 27 Win Shares
196 ERA+, 4.52 K/BB, 1.05 WHIP, 87.5 VORP, 22 Win Shares
.314/.438/.558, 110 RC, 158 OPS+, .341 EQA, 61.5 VORP, 24 Win Shares
.298/.399/.533, 109 RC, 139 OPS+, .317 EQA, 74.4 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.330/.429/.594, 136 RC, 164 OPS+, .342 EQA, 70.6 VORP, 29 Win Shares
.308/.454/.606, 137 RC, 178 OPS+, .364 EQA, 76.4 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.317/.401/.690, 150 RC, 178 OPS+, .351 EQA, 85.6 VORP, 30 Win Sahres
.356/.479/.628, 153 RC, 183 OPS+, .372 EQA, 91.0 VORP, 32 Win Shares
I fully expected for Belle to come out on top but I completely forgot about Martinez. When I put it all on paper Edgar was the easy choice and he emerged as the Mariners premier hitter with Ken Griffey Jr. missing half the season due to a broken wrist. As you see Vaughn was indeed not even the best player on his own team. I nearly left him off the list as he came down between him and Mark McGwire who had ridiculous rate numbers (200 OPS+, .370 EQA) but missed 40 games due to injury so I gave the nod to Vaughn.
New feature! Well I'm gonna burn out on redos eventually so decided to come up with a new idea. I'll take the subject from a Sports Illustrated cover from this date and look at what that person did on that date (if anything), what happened in their sport on that date, and what may have happened in other sports on that date. I definently won't be doing this everyday as it'll probably just be a once in a while thing. I think I'll focus on only covers from my lifetime and typically the main subject will be baseball as retrosheet.org makes researching a breeze. Also to get some perspective on what sports fans were thinking about the time I'll try to dig up threads from the Google message boards. Okay it will be really to find incredibly stupid opinions from sports fans. So the subject of the first one comes from May 7, 1990:
Ken Griffey Jr. at the age of 20 was already becoming a superstar and was the rare commodity of a young player with an insane amount of hype actually living up to it.
Griffey's 1990 numbers coming into May 7th, 1990: 26 games, .385/.425/.596, 5 homeruns, 18 rbi
Mariners record going into May 7th, 1990: 12-14, 5th place in A.L. West, 7 games back
Griffey on May 7th, 1990: Went 0-2 with two walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base. Mariners lose at home to the Red Sox 5-4. Boston scored four runs in the 3rd inning off of Mariners starter Erik Hanson on two, two run doubles by Tom Brunansky and Dwight Evans. Mariners manager Jim Lefebvre is ejected in the 4th inning for arguing balls and strikes.
Other MLB action on May 7th, 1990: Detroit's Cecil Fielder hit his 11th homerun of the season in a 5-4 loss to the Brewers. Oakland's Jose Canseco homers twice in a 5-1 win over the Yankees. Atlanta's Jeff Blauser hits his first two homeruns of the season including a two run homer in the top of the 9th off Cubs' closer Mitch Williams as the Braves win 9-8. Montreal's Andres Galarraga hits a game winning double in the bottom of the 9th as the Expos beat the Giants 7-6 after the Giants had scored three in the top of the 9th to tie the game. N.Y. Mets' Frank Viola improves to 6-0 on the year in a 7-1 win over Houston.
Other Sports action on May 7th, 1990: In the NBA the Chicago Bulls beat the Philadelphia 76ers 96-85 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. In the NHL the Boston Bruins beat the Washington Capitols 4-1 in Game 3 of the Wales Conference Finals, taking a 3-0 series lead.
Fun with Google on May 7th, 1990: A brief thread on who was more valuble: Ryne Sandberg & Jose Oquendo? No really.
After starting to run thin on good subjects to redo MVP's for the next natural progression would be to move on to Cy Youngs. Now Culloden/Vern suggested 1969 & 1983 A.L. Cy Young's to me and then I decided I'd throw the 1982 A.L. Cy Young in there. But as I started doing them I realized that there was a common theme with the '82 and '83 redos and that was the underrated greatness of Dave Stieb. So I've expanded I decied to do four redos in one, examining the period from 1982 to 1985 when Steib was the most consistent and best overall pitcher in the game.
The 1982 A.L. Cy Young is as good a place as any to start when it comes to Cy Young redos as it featured quite possibly the worst pitcher ever to win a Cy Young in the Brewers' Pete Vukovich. In '82 Vukovich benefitted from two things, playing in a pitcher's park and being supported by the far the best offense in the league. He finished the season with an 18-6 record and an unimpressive 3.34 ERA, the highest among all pitcher's who received votes. He was lucky to have such an ERA beyond playing a pitcher's park he had an atrocious K/BB ratio as he only struck out three more batters than he walked (105 to 102). He also posted an awful 1.50 WHIP, which I didn't bother to check but I'd be very surprised if any Cy Young award winner had one worse than that. But there was no 20 game winner in the A.L. and only one pitcher, Rick Sutcliffe, posted an ERA under 3 so with no standout pitcher the writer's made this incredibly bad choice.
Now the writers were fairly split on the voting as four other pitchers received first place votes but Vukovich received 14 total. Stieb received five first place votes but only finished in 4th place as the poor hitting Blue Jays only helped him to a 17-14 record. In fact it's kinda surprising he received that much support as writers usually can't look past the win/loss record. This would be a good time to point out that I give zero consideration to win/loss record as a pitcher's single season win/loss record is much too deceiving.
1) Pete Vukovich 2) Jim Palmer 3) Dan Quisenberry 4) Dave Stieb 5) Rick Sutcliffe 6) Geoff Zahn 7t) Bill Caudill 7t) Bob Stanley 9) Dan Petry
129 ERA+, 1.63 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 53.9 VORP, 20 Win Shares
159 ERA+, 3.83 K/BB, 1.01 WHIP, 38.6 VORP, 22 Win Shares
138 ERA+, 1.88 K/BB, 1.20 WHIP, 65.0 VORP, 25 Win Shares
Now Stieb's numbers don't blow you away in '82 but in a weak year for candidates he was the best choice. I'm kind of surprised the writers didn't give Palmer a lifetime achievement Cy Young here but he only had 15 wins. Would have at least been a better choice than Vukovich. As you see with Quisenberry, unlike with the MVP I do believe closers can be viable candidates to win a Cy Young in certain years.
This year features another not so glamerous Cy Young pick in the White Sox LaMarr Hoyt. Better known for his cocaine problems now, Hoyt holds the distinction of having the highest ERA ever for a Cy Young winner at 3.66. Now in fairness to Hoyt is peripheral numbers weren't bad, unlike with Vukovich, but he was definently a pitcher who won simply because of his win total as he won 24 games largely due to having the top offense in the league supporting him. Again though it was another year with a lot of strong candidates.
Hoyt's main competition was Dan Quisenberry who received nine first place votes as he had then single season record of 45 saves with a 1.94 ERA. He was though just as dominant as those numbers indicate and did it 139 innings pitched. Steib actually had a better record (17-12) and ERA (3.04) than the previous year but this time around he didn't receive a single vote which I'd attribute to having four 20 game winners instead of zero the previous year.
1) LaMarr Hoyt 2) Dan Quisenberry 3) Jack Morris 4) Richard Dotson 5) Ron Guidry 6) Scott McGregor
117 ERA+, 2.80 K/BB, 1.16 WHIP, 61.4 VORP, 20 Win Shares
142 ERA+, 2.01 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 68.9 VORP, 24 Win Shares
210 ERA+, 4.36 K/BB, 0.93 WHIP, 48.5 VORP, 28 Win Shares
Quis was never Mr. Photogenic.
Even though he had a better season than '82, I couldn't pass on the dominance of Quisenberry this time around.
Only going over this one briefly as I already kind of touched on it in the 1984 A.L. MVP Redo and if you remember I already gave the answer away to this one.
Willie Hernandez won the award in a tight vote over Quisenberry. Would have been quite interesting if Herandez won the MVP but didn't win the Cy Young. Bert Blyleven and Mike Boddicker also received solid support. Steib went 16-8 with a 2.83 ERA but garnered only one 3rd place vote.
1) Willie Hernandez 2) Dan Quisenberry 3) Bert Blyleven 4) Mike Boddicker 5) Dan Petry 6) Frank Viola 7t) Jack Morris 7t) Dave Stieb
132 ERA+, 2.36 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 60.6 VORP, 23 Win Shares
204 ERA+, 3.11 K/BB, 0.94 WHIP, 52.3 VORP, 24 Win Shares
145 ERA+, 2.25 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 75.4 VORP, 25 Win Shares
This was Steib's best year and the year he most deserved to win the award yet he receives almost no support. 3rd place was tough as I gave considertion to Quisenberry, Boddicker, and Blyleven.
Out of these four years this one was certainly the least controversial and in fact I don't think it's ever been disputed. Bret Saberhagen, in just in second season, went 20-6 with a 2.87 ERA with a near sweep of the first place votes. I wouldn't have even given this one a look if it weren't to see if possible that Steib a 3rd Cy Young redo.
Ron Guidry was only the other pitcher to receive any real support as he won 22 games. Steib had to be the hard luck pitcher of all-time with this season as he won the ERA title with a 2.48 ERA and played on a team that won 99 games with a good offense. Despite that he finsihed with only a 14-13 record so to no surprise he received little support. One interesting vote was Bert Blyleven receiving a first place vote with a 17-16 record which is shocking but kudos to one writer in 1985 thinking outside the box even though it wasn't the right choice.
1) Bret Saberhagen 2) Ron Guidry 3t) Bert Blyleven 3t) Dan Quisenberry 5) Charlie Liebrandt 6) Doyle Alexander 7t) Britt Burns 7t) Donnie Moore 7t) Dave Stieb 10) Mike Moore
135 ERA+, 2.75 K/BB, 1.15 WHIP, 64.9 VORP, 23 Win Shares
171 ERA+, 1.74 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP, 78.1 VORP, 24 Win Shares
145 ERA+, 4.16 K/BB, 1.06 WHIP, 68.2 VORP, 24 Win Shares
It was close but I give Saberhagen the nod here. Hey baseball writers congrats on being right 25% of the time!
So there you have it for a four year period Stieb was the 1st or 2nd best pitcher in the league and it's a crime that he didn't come away with at least one Cy Young. Injuries shortened his career and possible bid for the Hall of Fame although even then due his bad luck his low win total would kept him out. People who try to argue Jack Morris for the Hall always try to proclaim him as the 80's Pitcher of the Decade but that honor belongs to Stieb.
One way to measure a player's value can be their ability to stay healthy. Obviously if a player can give at least average production for their position and stay in the line-up everyday their value might be higher than their statistics may indicate especially if their team lacks a suitable replacement. This can come up when considering someone for MVP. Some seasons there maybe a player who's peripheral numbers were superior to other candidates but they missed 30-40 games due to injury thus their value for that season decreased and the other candidates may have been more valuable simply because they stayed healthy all season.
That brings me to the 1980 A.L. MVP which was won by George Brett and he won it rather easily. Of course what is most remembered about Brett's 1980 season is that he had a .390 batting average, the closest a player had come to hitting .400 since Ted Williams had a pulled off the feat 39 years earlier. What many people don't remember is that Brett only played in 117 games that year due to injuries. In fact he barely qualified for the batting title as a player needed 502 plate appearances to qualify and Brett finished with 515. Now Brett didn't simply just have a high batting average, he also had a .454 OBP and a .664 SLG, both tops in the league. Although I typically discard RBI's his total was worth mentioning as he had 118 RBI in those 117 games. Even with his phenomenal numbers could he possibly be the run away MVP winner while missing 45 games?
The other candidates who received a lot of support were led by Reggie Jackson. At age 34 he had one of the best years of his career hitting .300 with 41 homeruns and playing on a Yankees team that won 103 games but he was a distant second to Brett. His teammate Goose Gossage finished 3rd and closers don't deserve the MVP, blah blah blah. Willie Wilson, Cecil Cooper, and Eddie Murray were the only other players to receive over 100 voting points. One very odd first place vote went to Yankees catcher Rick Cerone and just a hunch he was probably the heart of the team or some crap like that. Anyways he had a good year, especially for him, but no where near an MVP calibar season.
1) George Brett 2) Reggie Jackson 3) Goose Gossage 4) Willie Wilson 5) Cecil Cooper 6) Eddie Murray 7) Rick Cerone 8) Dan Quisenberry 9) Steve Stone 10) Rickey Henderson 11) Al Oliver 12) Tony Armas 13t) Al Bumbry 13t) Ben Ogilvie 15t) Mike Norris 15t) Willie Randolph 17) Robin Young 18t) Buddy Bell 18t) Mickey Rivers 20) Alan Trammell 21) Ken Singleton 22t) Miguel Dilone 22t) Tony Perez 24t) Fred Lynn 24t) John Wathan
148 ERA+, 2.17 K/BB, 1.05 WHIP, 84.1 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.326/.357/.421, 105 RC, 112 OPS+, .290 EQA, 49.4 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.304/.397/.485, 113 RC, 142 OPS+, .313 EQA, 49.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.304/.362/.562, 121 RC, 153 OPS+, .313 EQA, 52.9 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.352/.387/.539, 131 RC, 155 OPS+, .321 EQA, 71.4 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.318/.392/.433, 109 RC, 128 OPS+, .303 EQA, 58.4 VORP, 33 Win Shares
.294/.427/.407, 89 RC, 133 OPS+, .316 EQA, 63.8 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.303/.420/.399, 99 RC, 134 OPS+, .315 EQA, 54.0 VORP, 34 Win Shares
.300/.398/.597, 122 RC, 172 OPS+, .335 EQA, 64.7 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.390/.454/.664, 137 RC, 202 OPS+, .368 EQA, 92.7 VORP, 36 Win Shares
See I don't always just do redos to point out horrible choices by the writers. Okay the royally screwed Mike Norris out of the Cy Young but that's another redo.
Amazingly as it seems even though he only played 117 games Brett was the deserving choice and there's simply no one else to consider. As you can see it wasn't like there was a weak group of candidates but Brett out classed them all with one of the most incredible seasons of all-time.
This is one that I’ve been putting off as it seemed too obvious for an entry. No one in there right mind thinks in 1991 that Terry Pendleton was a better player than Barry Bonds except apparently the 12 baseball writers who voted for Pendleton over Bonds. Now Pendleton winning wasn’t on the level of Andre Dawson winning in 1987 and actually after reviewing it there certainly have been several worse choices for MVP in the past.
There’s an easy answer as to why Pendleton won the MVP and that was because the Braves were the feel good story of 1991. The Braves had lost 89 games or more in six consecutive seasons and had lost 97 the year before. But that all changed in ’91 when they made a shocking run at the N.L. West title and Pendleton received a good portion of the credit for their run. After all he wasn’t with the Braves before ‘91 and when he joins the team they suddenly became good so it must have been because of him, or at least that was probably the logic of some writers. Now I don’t want to slam Pendleton, he had a great year and he was the MVP of the Braves that season as he had a career year offensively after appearing to be washed at age 29 just a year earlier with the Cardinals. What would hurt Bonds in the MVP voting was A) he won the MVP the year before and did not have as good a year to follow it up, B) the Pirates ran away with the East title while the Braves were in a dog fight into the final weekend with the Dodgers for the West title so in September all eyes were on Atlanta, and C) he was already the miserable prick we know today and thus not liked by the media. Pendleton and Bonds received 22 of the 24 first place votes with Bonds’ teammate Bobby Bonilla receiving one. Not sure why someone picked Bonilla over Bonds but it did not cost Bonds the award and Bonilla had a great year. The other first place vote though went to Brett Butler who I’m assuming received it from a Dodgers writer. Butler had a good year but far from deserving to win it and he only placed 7th in the overall voting.
Now what eventually convinced me to write an entry on this one had little to do with the winner of the award but one bizarre 10th place vote. Dave Martinez was with the Expos at the time and I don’t think MVP and Dave Martinez have ever been uttered before but yet he showed up one writer’s ballot that year. Martinez played in 124 games, received 427 plate appearances, with his Triple Crow stats at .295 avg, 7 hr, 42 rbi. It got me thinking as to how in the world did a writer justify giving Dave Martinez an MVP vote, even if only a 10th place? The Expos lost 90 games that year so it wasn’t like he had some relevant “clutch” hits down the stretch that would caused a writer to overrate him. The two best players on the Expos in 1991 were his outfield mates Ivan Calderon and Larry Walker so it’s hard to imagine his play was noticed more over those two. Then it donned on me…the writer meant to vote for his teammate Dennis Martinez. El Presidente won the N.L. ERA title and it’s completely conceivable for a writer to have given the league leader in ERA a 10th place vote. I can’t confirm this is what happened but there is no other logical explanation for it.
1) Terry Pendleton 2) Barry Bonds 3) Bobby Bonilla 4) Will Clark 5) Howard Johnson 6) Ron Gant 7) Brett Butler 8) Lee Smith 9) Fred McGriff 10) Darryl Strawberry 11) Tom Glavine 12t) Jay Bell 12t) David Justice 14t) Andre Dawson 14t) John Smiley 16) Tony Gwynn 17t) John Kruk 17t) Barry Larkin 17t) Ryne Sandberg 20t) Dave Martinez 20t) Chris Sabo 20t) Ozzie Smith
.294/.367/.483, 97 RC, 139 OPS+, .311 EQA, 43.9 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.259/.342/.535, 105 RC, 145 OPS+, .308 EQA, 47.2 VORP, 25 Win Shares
153 ERA+, 2.78 K/BB, 1.10 WHIP, 55.5 VORP, 23 Win Shares
.278/.396/.494, 104 RC, 147 OPS+, .322 EQA, 48.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.304/.377/.454, 88 RC, 143 OPS+, .315 EQA, 54.2 VORP, 26 Win Shares
.319/.363/.517, 111 RC, 139 OPS+, .308 EQA, 53.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.302/.391/.492, 112 RC, 150 OPS+, .323 EQA, 49.9 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.291/.379/.485, 109 RC, 137 OPS+, .310 EQA, 52.5 VORP, 37 Win Shares
.301/.359/.536, 109 RC, 152 OPS+, .321 EQA, 53.2 VORP, 34 Win Shares
.292/.410/.514, 109 RC, 161 OPS+, .337 EQA, 61.6 VORP, 37 Win Shares
See...I put an asterisk. Cause he's a cheater. HAHAHAHA. People who use asterisks to mock Bonds are so clever.
Anyways you to have to admit that's one prophetic card.
1975 World Series Game 4 - Red Sox 5, Reds 4 (boxcore and play account)
-The Cincinnati crowd audibly groans when starter Fred Norman gets behind 2-0 to the first batter of the game. Man, tough crowd.
-The announcers throughout the series have been talking about the possibility of Rico Petrocelli retiring after the Series. He’d retire after the following season.
-Announcers do a promo for the reunion of Simon & Garfunkle on Saturday Night Live that week.
-The video quality is very good for the first six innings and then in the 7th goes to shit. It’s such a dramatic change that for a second it almost seems like it’s a completely different game.
-They show Luis Tiant’s wife a few times and she’s waving some giant noise maker and the announcers say she does it for every game during the entire game. Now why didn’t the crowd around her rise up and slay her, I have no idea.
-In the 9th inning Tony Kubek thinks Tiant is at almost 200 pitches. Errr not quite. He did throw 163 pitches which is a lot of fucking pitches. Given his shutout in Game 1 and another complete game victory here he was definitely the MVP of the series so far. He even has a couple hits and runs scored in the series although he was just a .164 career hitter.
1979 World Series Game 4 - Orioles 9, Pirates 6 (boxscore and play account)
-Once again no network graphics for this game which is getting annoying. This game was played on a Saturday so they run a bunch of college football scores during the game which would have been kind of neat to see, if only to me. Cosell seems more excited about reciting the scores to the college games than this game itself.
-They hype the Red River Shootout game which was to follow the telecast of Game 4. Texas beat Oklahoma 16-7, the Sooners only loss of that season.
-It’s mentioned that the Pirates and Tim Foli have agreed on a new five-year contract. He’d spend just two years of the contract there as he was traded to the Angels after 1981. In Game 3 and this game the Pirates fans do a “Foli, Foli, Foli” chant. I’m not aware if Tim ever lost part of his ear during a game or landed on some thumbtacks while diving for a groundball.
-In this series and the ’75 Series there are several check swings that in today’s game would always be called strikes that are almost always called balls here. There must have been some rule change or evolutionary change in how umps call check swings in the last 30 years. In the Orioles huge 8th inning Doug DeCinces checks his swing on a two strike pitch that 99.9% of the time would been called a strike in today’s game but is called a ball here without question. He would draw a walk and be followed by pinch hit doubles by John Lowenstein and Terry Crowley.
1986 World Series Game 4 - Mets 6, Red Sox 2 (boxscore and play account)
-A potential great storyline never happened in this series as Tom Seaver would have been the Game 4 starter here for the Red Sox but an ankle injury caused him to miss playoffs. Jerry McNamara decides to go with Al Nipper and his 5.38 ERA here instead of having Bruce Hurst on three days rest. Nipper was solid in this game though and the Red Sox missed several opportunities against Ron Darling who didn’t give up an earned run in his first two starts.
-The crack researchers at NBC note that Danny Heep, who was at DH for the Mets, is the first DH in World Series history with the initials DH. God I hope that doesn’t end up on his tombstone.
-Lenny Dykstra’s homerun in the 7th goes off Dwight Evans glove. They compare it to Dave Henderson’s play in Game 5 of the ACLS where a Bobby Grich flyball went out of his glove and over the wall for a homerun but this wasn’t nearly as bad. Evans had it on his webbing and it would have been a snow cone job if he caught it. If he timed his jump better he would have had it.
-Classic series or not, the last three games haven’t been very competitive.
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.