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Archive for November, 2009

What Can Each Team Afford to Spend?

Posted by Neil Paine on November 29, 2009

I don't need to tell you that ever since the Yankees won the World Series earlier this month, there's been a lot of renewed discussion about whether or not New York's payroll advantage finally "bought" them a championship, and if a salary cap is needed to restore competitive balance to baseball. That topic has really been talked about to death over the past few weeks, but I feel like a salary cap -- ostensibly designed to prevent the Yankees from spending $50 million more than the next highest-payrolled team -- is only half of the discussion. If all you do is put a cap on team payrolls, you're still going to have cheapskate owners who take their revenue-sharing money and fail to invest it in their teams, owners who have learned to game the system and are content to put a poor product on the field if it means they can keep more cash for themselves.

So, obviously, you need to talk about a salary floor every bit as much as a salary cap. Discussing salary floors, though, leads to the question of whether you should force owners to spend a certain amount of money on their players, whether they have it or not. Opinions on the profitability of MLB teams vary wildly depending on who you talk to -- Bud Selig routinely claims teams are operating at a loss, while Forbes magazine routinely disagrees -- so it's an open question at this point in terms of how high of a floor you can impose on some of the more (allegedly) cash-strapped teams. But here's a fun exercise we can engage in, as long as we're pretending that a salary cap/floor is even a remote possibility...

17 Comments | Posted in Insane ideas

Follow The Triple Brick Road

Posted by Steve Lombardi on November 29, 2009

Sometimes it's just nice to play with Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index and see where it takes you. For example, let us look at which team, since 1954, had at least one triple in a game the most games in a row. Thanks to PI's Team Batting Streak Finder here's that answer:

Rk   Strk Start End Games W L AB R H 3B BA OPS Opp
1 PHI 1979-06-08 1979-06-17 9 5 4 298 44 80 11 .268 .770 ATL,HOU,CIN
2 MIL 2007-08-07 2007-08-15 7 2 5 240 31 60 7 .250 .828 COL,HOU,STL
3 STL 1991-06-24 1991-06-30 7 4 3 243 51 78 7 .321 .861 SDP,PHI,CHC
4 STL 1989-08-29 1989-09-05 7 4 3 242 30 63 10 .260 .733 CIN,HOU,MON
5 KCR 1983-09-14 1983-09-20 7 5 2 251 38 76 7 .303 .770 CAL,OAK
6 MON 1980-07-28 1980-08-03 7 6 1 217 28 61 7 .281 .806 CIN,ATL
7 KCR 1979-05-18 1979-05-26 7 4 3 261 45 81 13 .310 .862 MIN,SEA
8 KCR 1978-09-25 1979-04-05 7 5 2 229 32 56 7 .245 .672 SEA,MIN,TOR
9 HOU 1977-09-07 1977-09-13 7 5 2 238 41 71 8 .298 .894 SDP,SFG,CIN
10 CHC 1967-04-11 1967-04-20 7 4 3 248 37 69 7 .278 .794 PHI,PIT,NYM
11 KCA 1965-04-30 1965-05-06 7 2 5 235 29 66 8 .281 .785 CAL,WSA
12 NYY 1955-08-30 1955-09-05 7 4 3 243 41 68 8 .280 .841 KCA,WSH,BAL
13 STL 1954-06-17 1954-06-24 7 3 4 280 32 81 10 .289 .809 PHI,NYG,PIT
14 SFG 2004-06-12 2004-06-18 6 4 2 215 42 58 6 .270 .826 BAL,TOR,BOS
15 DET 2001-07-26 2001-07-31 6 3 3 205 32 58 7 .283 .793 NYY,CLE,SEA
16 COL 2000-04-23 2000-04-30 6 1 5 196 38 54 7 .276 .861 STL,MON,NYM
17 CHW 2000-04-23 2000-04-28 6 5 1 200 50 62 8 .310 .983 DET,BAL
18 CIN 1999-06-21 1999-06-26 6 6 0 226 45 72 8 .319 .931 ARI,HOU
19 MIL 1991-09-22 1991-09-27 6 4 2 211 41 63 8 .299 .844 DET,NYY,BOS
20 HOU 1991-07-27 1991-08-02 6 5 1 195 45 60 7 .308 .924 PIT,STL,LAD
21 PIT 1989-06-23 1989-06-28 6 5 1 196 22 49 7 .250 .685 STL,CHC
22 SFG 1989-06-19 1989-06-25 6 5 1 192 27 56 7 .292 .810 HOU,SDP
23 ATL 1986-08-23 1986-08-29 6 1 5 192 15 46 6 .240 .705 PIT,STL,CHC
24 TOR 1984-05-15 1984-05-20 6 5 1 198 21 58 6 .293 .777 MIN,CHW
25 CIN 1981-05-02 1981-05-08 6 2 4 200 22 50 8 .250 .687 STL,PIT,HOU
26 CHW 1977-09-18 1977-09-22 6 5 1 210 40 61 6 .290 .855 CAL,OAK,SEA
27 KCR 1977-08-20 1977-08-25 6 6 0 217 37 57 6 .263 .790 BOS,BAL,MIL
28 MIN 1977-06-11 1977-06-17 6 3 3 209 31 56 7 .268 .755 NYY,CAL,KCR
29 CIN 1975-08-10 1975-08-16 6 6 0 221 51 82 7 .371 1.001 MON,CHC,PIT
30 NYY 1972-08-25 1972-08-29 6 3 3 254 31 83 6 .327 .880 KCR,TEX
31 NYY 1961-09-07 1961-09-12 6 6 0 195 44 66 7 .338 .999 CLE,CHW
32 PIT 1958-05-10 1958-05-15 6 5 1 204 40 65 7 .319 .913 PHI,CIN
33 NYY 1957-07-25 1957-07-30 6 3 3 209 27 47 7 .225 .634 CHW,DET,KCA
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/29/2009.

 

Ah, so, the 1979 Phillies are the leaders here.  Let's look at their Team Batting Page at B-R.com and see who had more than one triple for them that season:

Rk Pos   Age G PA R H 2B 3B 6 HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+
1 RF Bake McBride* 30 151 637 82 163 16 12 12 60 25 41 77 .280 .328 .411 99
2 SS Larry Bowa# 33 147 619 74 130 17 11 0 31 20 61 32 .241 .316 .314 71
3 CF Garry Maddox 29 148 577 70 154 28 6 13 61 26 17 71 .281 .304 .425 95
4 1B Pete Rose# 38 163 730 90 208 40 5 4 59 20 95 32 .331 .418 .430 130
5 3B Mike Schmidt 29 160 675 109 137 25 4 45 114 9 120 115 .253 .386 .564 154
6 OF Greg Gross* 26 111 206 21 58 6 3 0 15 5 29 5 .333 .422 .402 124
7 C Bob Boone 31 119 454 38 114 21 3 9 58 1 49 33 .286 .367 .422 113
8 C Keith Moreland 25 14 51 3 18 3 2 0 8 0 3 5 .375 .412 .521 151
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/29/2009.

 

Bowa and McBride leading the pack here, huh? Yeah, I can just see those two slashing balls into the gap on the turf at the old Vet; and, then, taking off, scooting around the bases. Seeing this, I next wondered how many teams in the "D.H. Era," had at least two players on their team with 10+ triples in a season. Thanks to PI's Batting Season Finder, here's that answer:

Rk Year Tm Lg #Matching  
1 1984 Houston Astros NL 3 Jose Cruz / Bill Doran / Craig Reynolds
2 1979 Kansas City Royals AL 3 George Brett / Darrell Porter / Willie Wilson
3 1979 St. Louis Cardinals NL 3 Keith Hernandez / Tony Scott / Garry Templeton
4 1977 Kansas City Royals AL 3 George Brett / Al Cowens / Hal McRae
5 2006 San Francisco Giants NL 2 Steve Finley / Omar Vizquel
6 2001 Colorado Rockies NL 2 Juan Pierre / Juan Uribe
7 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 2 Steve Finley / Tony Womack
8 1998 Kansas City Royals AL 2 Johnny Damon / Jose Offerman
9 1993 Chicago White Sox AL 2 Joey Cora / Lance Johnson
10 1992 Baltimore Orioles AL 2 Brady Anderson / Mike Devereaux
11 1991 Toronto Blue Jays AL 2 Roberto Alomar / Devon White
12 1987 St. Louis Cardinals NL 2 Vince Coleman / Willie McGee
13 1986 Montreal Expos NL 2 Tim Raines / Mitch Webster
14 1985 St. Louis Cardinals NL 2 Vince Coleman / Willie McGee
15 1984 Toronto Blue Jays AL 2 Dave Collins / Lloyd Moseby
16 1980 Kansas City Royals AL 2 U L Washington / Willie Wilson
17 1980 Montreal Expos NL 2 Ron LeFlore / Rodney Scott
18 1979 Philadelphia Phillies NL 2 Larry Bowa / Bake McBride
19 1978 Minnesota Twins AL 2 Rod Carew / Dan Ford
20 1977 Detroit Tigers AL 2 Tito Fuentes / Ron LeFlore
21 1977 Minnesota Twins AL 2 Lyman Bostock / Rod Carew
22 1977 Philadelphia Phillies NL 2 Garry Maddox / Mike Schmidt
23 1977 Pittsburgh Pirates NL 2 Phil Garner / Frank Taveras
24 1977 San Diego Padres NL 2 Bill Almon / Gene Richards
25 1977 St. Louis Cardinals NL 2 Jerry Mumphrey / Garry Templeton
26 1976 Kansas City Royals AL 2 George Brett / Tom Poquette
27 1974 Philadelphia Phillies NL 2 Larry Bowa / Dave Cash
28 1973 San Francisco Giants NL 2 Garry Maddox / Gary Matthews
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/29/2009.

 

No shockers here - alotta fast guys playing on turf teams, for the most part.  Seeing how triples are no longer hit with the frequency that came in baseball prior to the 1930's, and the fact that more teams play on natural grass (as it should be!) these days.  I doubt that we'll see a team with 4+ players with 10+ triples in a season again...

But, it was still fun to use Play Index to travel down this road and check this all out.

6 Comments | Posted in Season Finders, Streak Finders

Strikes – Odds and Ends

Posted by Raphy on November 28, 2009

Here are a fewest of list related to strikes made possible by the new and improved PI.

Most Batters Faced - All Strikeouts 1954-2009:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc IR IS BF
1 Chris Schroder 2006-09-17 WSN MIL W 6-1 5-6 2.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 31 20 0 0 6
2 Rafael Soriano 2003-07-30 SEA DET W 13-3 7-8 2.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 29 23 0 0 6
3 Scott Williamson 1999-05-27 CIN LAD L 3-4 8-9f 2.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 26 20 0 0 6
4 Roberto Hernandez 1996-07-25 CHW TEX L 3-4 9-10 2.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 27 20 0 0 6
5 Willie Hernandez 1983-07-03 PHI NYM W 6-4 8-9f ,W 2.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/28/2009.

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Most Pitches thrown-  all strikes 2000-2009:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str
1 John Smoltz 2004-04-08 ATL NYM W 10-8 9-9f ,S 1.0 2 1 1 0 2 1 14 14
2 Carlos Almanzar 2000-04-07 SDP MON W 10-5 7-8 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 14 14
3 Luis Vizcaino 2008-06-27 COL DET L 1-7 8-8f 1.0 2 2 2 0 0 0 13 13
4 Kyle Farnsworth 2002-07-31 CHC SDP L 6-8 11-11f,L 1.0 2 2 2 0 2 2 13 13
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/28/2009.


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Most IP -  no balls thrown 2000-2009:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str
1 Manny Delcarmen 2006-08-27 BOS SEA L 3-6 7-8f 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 10
2 Terry Mulholland 2005-04-09 MIN CHW L 5-8 8-9f 2.0 1 1 1 0 0 1 12 12
3 Jeff Tam 2001-07-22 OAK KCR L 4-5 6-7 2.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 9 9
4 Carlos Almanzar 2000-04-07 SDP MON W 10-5 7-8 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 14 14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/28/2009.

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Most IP with SO > 3*IP 1954-2009:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str
1 Steve Kline 1999-08-17 MON SFG W 2-1 7-8 1.2 1 0 0 0 6 0 29 20
2 Tim Wakefield 1999-08-10 BOS KCR W 9-6 9-10 ,BW 1.2 3 3 1 0 6 1 21 15
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/28/2009.

5 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Bloops: MLB vs Mattingly

Posted by Andy on November 28, 2009

A patent lawyer colleague of mine pointed out that MLB is fighting Don Mattingly over a trademark application. Apparently Mattingly's company, Mattingly Hitting Products Inc., has attempted to trademark a logo featuring a left-handed batter wearing the #23 swinging a bat. Here below are the logo that Mattingly is attempting to trademark as well as the classic MLB logo that is the basis of the complaint:

For those unfamiliar with the rules of trademarks, the US Patent & Trademark Office will usually grant a trademark (which can be a name or a logo) unless it feels that the new mark may cause consumer confusion. For example, they would not allow a new soda company to trademark something like "Coka Cola" for fear that it would cause consumer confusion with "Coca Cola." Anyway, MLB has claimed that Mattingly's desire to put the logo on hats, bats, mitts, and other equipment will cause consumer confusion with equipment bearing the MLB logo. The case has been going on for more than 2 years already and is still not decided.

You can see the logo currently in use on the Mattingly Hitting Products website. Note the little "TM" that appears next to the logo--that means that Mattingly intends to trademark the logo but that a trademark has not yet been granted (otherwise the logo would have the ® symbol.)

It's neat to look at all the other trademark disputes that MLB has put up. You can see that many of the disputes have to do with use of the phrase "major league" such as for "major league kickball" and "major league medic." They have even battled the Melbourne Airport Authority in Melbourne, FL over the use of a logo featuring the abbreviation MLB for Melbourne! There is also a dispute with Jewish Major Leaguers over the use of that name to describe a set of baseball cards featuring Jewish ballplayers. Also, perhaps Bank of American really is not the official bank of MLB.

You can read more about the Mattingly case specifically at the TTABlog®.

Comments Off | Posted in Bloops, Uncategorized

Striking Out Without Getting On.

Posted by Raphy on November 27, 2009

In the 2009 season there were 4 players who came to the plate at least 300 times and struck out more than they reached base.

Rk Player OPS+ SO TOB PA Year Tm Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB HBP BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Miguel Olivo 103 126 121 416 2009 KCR AL 114 390 51 97 15 5 23 65 19 0 5 .249 .292 .490 .781 *2D
2 Chris Davis 85 150 119 419 2009 TEX AL 113 391 48 93 15 1 21 59 24 2 2 .238 .284 .442 .726 *35/D
3 Jarrod Saltalamac 70 97 89 310 2009 TEX AL 84 283 34 66 12 0 9 34 22 1 1 .233 .290 .371 .661 *2/D
4 Bill Hall 58 120 94 365 2009 TOT ML 110 334 32 67 20 1 8 36 27 0 0 .201 .258 .338 .596 *579/48
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/27/2009.
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Hall (1.277) and Davis's (1.261)  ratios of strikeouts to times on base  were the second and third highest in baseball history (min. 300 PA). The only player with with a higher ratio was pitcher Frank Meinke, who struck out 89 times, while only reaching base 62 for the 1884 Detroit Wolverines (ah,  the memories) . (Meinke also had a W-L record of 8-23 that year.)

Meanwhile, Olivo became the 12th player to strikeout more often than he reached base and still post an OPS+ of 100 or higher. As Gerry and I mentioned in the PI Tag thread, only Dave Nicholson has done so while qualifying for a batting title.

Rk Player OPS+ SO TOB PA Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB HBP BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Pete Incaviglia 117 153 150 467 1988 24 TEX 116 418 59 104 19 3 22 54 39 3 7 .249 .321 .467 .788 *7D
2 Dave Kingman 109 122 105 351 1973 24 SFG 112 305 54 62 10 1 24 55 41 3 2 .203 .300 .479 .779 *53/1
3 Russell Branyan 108 132 114 361 2001 25 CLE 113 315 48 73 16 2 20 54 38 1 3 .232 .316 .486 .802 *57/D9
4 Bo Jackson 108 146 134 468 1988 25 KCR 124 439 63 108 16 4 25 68 25 6 1 .246 .287 .472 .758 *79/8D
5 Dave Nicholson 107 175 166 520 1963 23 CHW 126 449 53 103 11 4 22 70 63 0 0 .229 .319 .419 .738 *7
6 Wily Mo Pena 105 116 102 335 2005 23 CIN 99 311 42 79 17 0 19 51 20 0 3 .254 .304 .492 .796 *987
7 Mark McGwire 105 118 115 364 2001 37 STL 97 299 48 56 4 0 29 64 56 3 3 .187 .316 .492 .808 *3
8 Miguel Olivo 103 126 121 416 2009 30 KCR 114 390 51 97 15 5 23 65 19 0 5 .249 .292 .490 .781 *2D
9 Russell Branyan 102 151 139 435 2002 26 TOT 134 378 50 86 13 1 24 56 51 3 2 .228 .320 .458 .777 *753/D
10 Dave Kingman 102 125 118 393 1974 25 SFG 121 350 41 78 18 2 18 55 37 2 3 .223 .302 .440 .742 *35/97
11 Melvin Nieves 101 158 156 484 1996 24 DET 120 431 71 106 23 4 24 60 44 2 6 .246 .322 .485 .807 *97D
12 Rolando Roomes 100 100 99 334 1989 27 CIN 107 315 36 83 18 5 7 34 13 0 3 .263 .296 .419 .715 798
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/27/2009.

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Most of the players listed were young. Oliva however, is not. In fact, with the exception of Mark McGwire, Oliva is the oldest player to ever accomplish this feat.

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In terms of career numbers, only 4 players in history have posted an OPS+ of at least 100 with more strikeouts than times on base in at least 200 career PA. Three of those players are active.

Rk Player PA OPS+ SO TOB From To G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB HBP GDP BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Russell Branyan 2824 113 946 934 1998 2009 882 2431 347 568 117 8 164 396 339 27 27 23 .234 .331 .491 .822
2 Bo Jackson 2626 112 841 812 1986 1994 694 2393 341 598 86 14 141 415 200 20 14 40 .250 .309 .474 .784
3 Kelly Shoppach 1043 105 339 338 2005 2009 310 909 134 219 60 0 43 141 88 3 31 19 .241 .327 .449 .776
4 Chris Davis 736 103 238 224 2008 2009 193 686 99 177 38 3 38 114 44 3 3 11 .258 .304 .488 .793
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/27/2009.

4 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Not So Gross After All?

Posted by Steve Lombardi on November 27, 2009

Today I was wondering about which starting pitchers were consistent in terms of taking a regular turn and providing innings pitched - but who were also not stellar or terrible that season. Who did this most often? So, I turned to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Pitching Season Finder and set the controls for:

For single seasons, from 1901 to 2009, requiring GS>=30, IP>=200, ERA+>=90 and <=110, sorted by greatest number of seasons matching criteria

and, I got this leader board:

Rk   Yrs To From Age  
1 Don Sutton 9 1966 1985 21-40  
2 Frank Tanana 8 1974 1993 20-39  
3 Mickey Lolich 7 1965 1975 24-34  
4 Kevin Gross 6 1985 1993 24-32  
5 Tom Browning 6 1985 1991 25-31  
6 Nolan Ryan 6 1976 1988 29-41  
7 Paul Splittorff 6 1972 1980 25-33  
8 Phil Niekro 6 1970 1986 31-47  
9 Joe Niekro 6 1969 1985 24-40  
10 Steve Carlton 6 1968 1984 23-39  
11 Bob Friend 6 1956 1965 25-34  
12 Earl Whitehill 6 1924 1935 25-36  
13 George Mullin 6 1902 1910 21-29  
14 Walt Terrell 5 1984 1991 26-33  
15 Bruce Hurst 5 1983 1992 25-34  
16 Bill Gullickson 5 1982 1992 23-33  
17 Jack Morris 5 1980 1992 25-37  
18 Rick Sutcliffe 5 1979 1989 23-33  
19 Mike Flanagan 5 1977 1988 25-36  
20 Jerry Koosman 5 1974 1980 31-37  
21 Tommy John 5 1971 1983 28-40  
22 Rudy May 5 1970 1977 25-32  
23 Rick Wise 5 1969 1975 23-29  
24 Jim Kaat 5 1969 1976 30-37  
25 Ray Culp 5 1963 1971 21-29  
26 Robin Roberts 5 1949 1963 22-36  
27 Hooks Dauss 5 1914 1923 24-33  
28 Jack Powell 5 1901 1907 26-32  
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/27/2009.

 

Some of the names here are the ones that you may expect. But, I didn't think Kevin Gross would be so high on the list.  Anyone here that surprises you?

6 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Contest: most dissimilar player

Posted by Andy on November 27, 2009

Most Baseball-Reference.com users are aware of the site's inclusion of Similarity Scores for each player.

By way of example, here are the players tto whom Mark Teixeira is currently most similar:

  1. Kevin Mitchell (913)
  2. Miguel Cabrera (905)
  3. Tony Clark (883)
  4. Dick Stuart (868)
  5. Geoff Jenkins (861)
  6. Gus Zernial (856)
  7. Aubrey Huff (855)
  8. Richie Sexson (853)
  9. Richie Zisk (853)
  10. Ripper Collins (853)

This is the similar batter list for career totals. (Each player's page also lists similar players through the current age of the player as well as similar players at past ages for the player.)

So at this point in time, Mark Teixeira's career totals are most similar to Kevin Mitchell's career totals, which is not bad considering that Tex will just be turning 30 around the beginning of the 2010 season. For an explanation of how similarity scores are calculated, see here. I really like the system although I admit I'd prefer if it didn't consider the defensive position of each player so that we could compare based on offensive performance alone.

Anyway, I'd like to try to identify the players who are least similar to any other players.

Here's what I meant. If you look at Teixeira's list above, his top similarity score is 913. However, there are other players whose stats are so unusual that they have a top similarity score that is much lower. Barry Bonds, for example, has Willie Mays as his most similar player but with a score of just 762. By comparison, the guy most similar to Mays himself is Frank Robinson with a score of 830.

I want to find the player with the lowest #1 similarity score. I already know of one star player with such a score much lower than Bonds' but I'll let you, the readers, figure it out.

Let's also create a few categories: lowest similarity score for 1) retired players with at least 1000 games played, 2) retired players with under 1000 games played, 3) active players with at least 1000 games played, and 4) active players with under 1000 games played. I'm talking about only positional players here, not pitchers (or pitchers' similarity scores as batters.)

Go ahead and post whatever you find in the comments. I'll check back on this post at the end of the year (Dec 31) and see who posted the earliest comments with the best answers. Comment as many times as you like.

What are the prizes? As of now, there are none beyond bragging rights. However I am going to add some next week so stay tuned.

20 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

IBB>UBB

Posted by Raphy on November 26, 2009

Stores across the US are gearing up to begin selling gifts staring this evening.  Here are some prolific gift receivers, players (since 1955 when IBB became a stat) who were walked more intentionally then unintentionally. Only players with at least 15 walks are included.

3 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by Andy on November 26, 2009

To our American readers celebrating today's holiday:

Enjoy your turkey or other kind of bird (such as duck or chicken.)

And don't forget the cranberry sauce, stuffing, and apple pie.

6 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Doubling up runs with RBI

Posted by Andy on November 25, 2009

I got curious to see what players have had a lot of RBI without scoring all that many runs. Here is a list of players since 1901 to have more than double the number of RBI as compared to runs scored, ranked by most RBI in a season.

Rk Player RBI R Year Tm G PA AB H 2B HR BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Vic Wertz 103 45 1960 BOS 131 487 443 125 22 19 .282 .335 .460 .796 *3
2 Terry Kennedy 98 47 1983 SDP 149 612 549 156 27 17 .284 .342 .434 .776 *2/3
3 Bengie Molina 95 46 2008 SFG 145 569 530 155 33 16 .292 .322 .445 .767 *2/D
4 Bengie Molina 81 38 2007 SFG 134 517 497 137 19 19 .276 .298 .433 .731 *2
5 Shanty Hogan 77 36 1932 NYG 140 529 502 144 18 8 .287 .323 .378 .702 *2
6 Earl Sheely 77 30 1931 BSN 147 586 538 147 15 1 .273 .319 .314 .633 *3
7 Bill Dickey 71 35 1941 NYY 109 397 348 99 15 7 .284 .371 .417 .788 *2
8 Larry McLean 71 27 1910 CIN 127 455 423 126 14 2 .298 .340 .378 .718 *2
9 Sherm Lollar 70 33 1957 CHW 101 403 351 90 11 11 .256 .342 .393 .736 *2
10 Danny Walton 66 32 1970 MIL 117 455 397 102 20 17 .257 .349 .441 .790 *7
11 Chief Meyers 62 25 1910 NYG 127 422 365 104 18 1 .285 .362 .342 .704 *2
12 Sid Bream 61 30 1992 ATL 125 426 372 97 25 10 .261 .340 .414 .754 *3
13 Spud Davis 60 28 1935 STL 102 354 315 100 24 1 .317 .386 .416 .802 *2/3
14 Jesus Flores 59 23 2008 WSN 90 324 301 77 18 8 .256 .296 .402 .698 *2
15 Chris Truby 59 28 2000 HOU 78 279 258 67 15 11 .260 .295 .477 .772 *5
16 Dan Meyer 59 28 1982 OAK 120 409 383 92 17 8 .240 .271 .363 .634 3D/975
17 Bob Oliver 59 23 1974 TOT 119 402 379 92 11 8 .243 .271 .340 .612 *35/9D7
18 John Bateman 59 23 1963 HOU 128 434 404 85 8 10 .210 .249 .334 .583 *2
19 Spud Davis 59 24 1936 STL 112 402 363 99 26 4 .273 .342 .388 .730 *2/5
20 Darrin Fletcher 57 28 1994 MON 94 325 285 74 18 10 .260 .314 .435 .749 *2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/23/2009.

 

 
It's unsurprising that none of these guys had big HR totals. If a player hits 30-40 HR, he automatically scores 30-40 runs and, when adding in other runs scored will usually get a pretty decent total.

What I found somewhat more surprising is how many of these guys are catchers. Of the top 20 seasons, 13 of them saw the guy play significant time at catcher.

I know what you're thinking---duh Andy, catchers are usually slow and slow players don't score as many runs. While it's true that catchers are slow, I wonder why their plodding path around the bases causes fewer runs to be scored. I don't think it's just because slower runners take the extra base less often and therefore score less often. I think it has more to do with where these guys bat in the lineup. The fastest guys on the team, as long as they are decent at getting on base, usually bat leadoff. The 2-5 hitters are usually good hitters and fairly rarely are very slow. But if a manger has a good hitter who is slow, I think he tends to put that guy in the 6th or 7th hole more often. That means that he has the weakest hitters in the lineup following him, and that means he scores fewer runs.

Here's what I'm trying to say by way of example. Let's imagine two identical hitters except that hitter A is an average runner (speed-wise) and hitter B is a slow runner. If they both bat 3rd in the same lineup over the course of 150 games, my guess is that hitter A would score 10-20 more runs. So maybe he finishes with 100 RBI and 80 runs scored, while hitter B finishes with 100 RBI and 60 runs scored. I don't think this is enough of a difference to account for the performances we see on the list above. But in reality, a manager wouldn't bat hitter B in the 3-hole unless he was an incredibly good hitter, like Mike Piazza. Instead, the decent but slow hitter bats 6th or 7th, has fewer RBI chances but scores MANY fewer runs.

That's my guess--anybody have a different theory?

8 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

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