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Archive for October, 2010

Game Four Thoughts

Posted by Sean Forman on October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! Our house sits right at the start of the local parade route, so I've already given out 350 pieces of candy tonight. Best costume Animal of the muppets and a box of popcorn.

I like Lyle Lovett, but that seemed a touch morose.

Little Ron Washington is not quite in Baby Mangino territory, but is pretty good.

Over/Under on how many Halloween-related shots of the crowd (18 innings * 2/inning) = 36 separate camera shots. Top of the first, Dumb and Dumber, Construction Worker are the only two I counted the top half. (Rules note, Brian Wilson costumes do not count.)

Fourth double play turned by the Giants in six innings. It's looking like Grich and Belanger out there right now.

There's Waldo!

"Rangers have the best outfield arms in baseball." We have Jeff Francouer #1 in right field, Hamilton #6 in CF (BTW Peter Bourgos deserves the Gold Glove just for the value added in just 2/5ths of a season), and Cruz around average.

With Ishikawa, Uribe, Andrus and Young starting in this game, I'm really disappointed Ogando wasn't starting and no one signed Jim Edmonds to play center. For those of you curious, no WS game has seen a player with a last initial of A, E, I, O, U and Y start the game. The only postseason game ever with six such starters was Game 3 of the 2008 ALCS. Name those six starters.

Aubrey Huff was number two among active players in games played without a postseason appearance. Adam Dunn is the new #2 behind Randy Winn.

Giants are up to 6 DP's turned. World Series record appears to be 10 set in 1951 and 1955. The Indians turned 14 in the 2007 ALCS.

After Posey's home run, FOX caught Hensley Meulens saying "Wow" to Bochy. Agreed.

Do the Rangers really not have a better option to send out there against Bumgarner than Moreland? He doesn't appear to have much chance against lefties (.603 OPS during the year). And if not, why not?

FOX just listed Bumgarner as the fourth youngest to win a WS game. Should have used they Play Index, they missed K-Rod.

17 Comments | Posted in World Series

Game Three Thoughts

Posted by Sean Forman on October 30, 2010

I had no thoughts for game two because, well. I didn't watch it.

Bottom Second, Cruz went back to third on a ball hit to third with the infield back, a poor baserunning play. I always wonder how much practicing of that sort of stuff the teams do. I assume it gets covered in spring training, but probably never again.

Another question, do the managers ever time their batters and pitchers to first base or first to third to see who would be the best pinch runners.

McCarver noted that Moreland attended the same school as "Giant great Will Clark." He did play a bit for the Rangers as well.

"His FATHER'S THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY!!", "It's a trap!", "Kid chewed a heckuva chalupa today."

Glad to see Ken Rosenthal is sporting the bowtie again. I think he should stick with that. George Will turned a bowtie into a pretty lucrative career.

Great jump there by Hamilton on Freddy Sanchez's fly ball. If the outfielder isn't moving by the time the camera is on them, they got a bad jump.

Regarding Hamilton hitting well in Rangers' wins. Check out the splits of any better and they hit and pitch better in team wins. I need to get a split finder done so we can quickly tell who plays better in losses than in wins.

Aubrey Huff's grandma would have left grandpa for Jeff Huson. I was more of a Jeff Frye man during my time in Texas. Frye could draw a few more walks.

45,000 beers and just 2,688 sodas (and why is that the only one not rounded to hundreds?). That just can't be credible can it? They must not have draft beer and are not counting fountain sodas.

I spent a couple of summers in in Dallas and went to about 30 games at the Ballpark back in 1994 and 1995. It's a pretty nice ballpark. I liked it a lot.

At the O'Reilly Makers Faire in Queens I bought a very good brownie from the woman in the Treats Truck who appears in the blackberry torch commercial. I did not use twitter to locate the truck. My son enjoyed his sugar cookie with yellow sprinkles as well.

Ron Washington thinks Andrus will be a Ryne Sandberg like hitter. Sandberg hit for a good deal more power at the same age, albeit in AA and AAA. A SS who could hit like Sandberg would be a pretty good player, wouldn't he?

What's with the rubber gloves on the hats in the stands?

The double play in the bottom of the fifth is about as good of an illustration about why strikeouts aren't that bad in the major leagues. If they can turn a double play on that, you really shouldn't put it into play unless you hammer it. And hammering it requires swinging really hard. No DP by Young also means a two-run homer by Hamilton.

I love Vlad Guerrero, but he is terrible at the little things. Bad at baserunning, bad at hitting cutoff men. Last four years, he is 13 of 25 stealing bases and made 40 outs on the bases or ten a year. Average team makes 55 or so a year.

If ESPN showed the World Series, would we get crowd shots of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden?

I've never understood why it would matter what where the series stands in deciding to use a pitcher on three days rest or not. The question is what gives you to the opportunity to win four of the next five games? Does that mean Lewis, Hunter, Lee, Wilson and Lewis or Lee, Wilson, Lewis and Lee?

I agree with McCarver that you should use your three best starters exclusively in the postseason, but he stated there haven't been any studies. There have been, J.C. Bradbury linked to one last week.

Do fans really believe that faking a throw to second is a balk? Or is it just a tradition at this point?

Neftali Feliz has thrown more than four outs during the season four times, so I'm not sure if Washington just doesn't remember or if they don't count because they were all extra-inning games.

I was at game one of the NLCS, and about five seconds before Ross hit his first home run, I turned to the guy I was sitting with that I wouldn't be shocked to see Ross hit 30+ homers some year. I just didn't expect it to be in a single postseason.

San Fran gave us Tony Bennett and Fox sticks Texas with Martha Plimpton, whose voice work as best I can tell entails "Martha Plimpton Sings?" a one-woman show from January 2010 and a couple of duets.

Colby Lewis was not the first Colby in the major leagues. Also, five players from Colby College.

Twelfth postseason game with 2 5-4-3 DP's by a single team.

Pat Burrell's golden sombrero was the 13th in World Series History.

22 Comments | Posted in World Series

Bloops: The Greatest 21 Days

Posted by Andy on October 30, 2010

A quick shout out to The Greatest 21 Days, a blog that looks at every player featured in the 1990 CNC minor league baseball card set, and tells the story of what happened to each guy.

Here's an example card:

Click on the card to go to Flaherty's story about how he eventually broke into the majors with the Tigers despite being drafted and groomed by the Red Sox.

The blog is very well-researched and nicely written and contains a lot of cards from other sets too. Definitely worth a read.

3 Comments | Posted in Bloops

Clutch 2-Out Game Ending Post-Season RBI

Posted by Steve Lombardi on October 29, 2010

Some fun with Play Index's Post-Season Event Finder - 57 batters with "High Leverage" 2-out game-ending RBI in post-season games.

25 Comments | Posted in Event Finders

Card of the Week: 1982 Topps and Fleer Rod Carew

Posted by Andy on October 29, 2010

(If you can't see the images, click here and they should come up.)

This week, let's do something a little different.

Above are the backs of two cards from 1982.

The first one is a regular-issue Topps card, #501. It was part of the "In Action" subset from that year's set.  On the back, you read about Carew's achievements in the All-Star game, LCS, and World Series. Carew had 3 other cards in the 1982 set: his main card (#500), the Angels Team Leaders card that also featured Ken Forsch (#276), and his All-Star card (#547). Back in those days, for a guy to appear on four different cards was pretty special.

The second card back shown above is from his regular-issue 1982 Fleer card, #455. This is a pretty standard card back. I don't believe Carew was featured on any other cards from the 1982 Fleer set.

So why am I showing these two cards? Check out their fronts:

Quite unusually, they feature the exact same photo. Carew's unusual facial expression gives away that the photos are from the same instant in time and the angle is identical.

The only logical conclusion is that a freelancer sold the same photo to both Fleer and Topps. This is surprising to me--I would think that both companies would require exclusivity on any purchase. I seem to recall that in its early days, Fleer bought some photos from Topps, though, so perhaps that's how this one got shared.

There's another weird thing about this photo. Based on what we can see, I think Carew must be playing 3rd base. He's come in on the grass and we can see the 2nd base umpire blurred out in the background. I suppose it's  possible that Carew is playing 1st base and he's fielding a slow-roller, but if so he's coming at a very strange angle, given the cut of infield grass visible behind him.

This is weird because Carew never played 3rd base with the Angels. This is almost certainly a spring training photo, so it's conceivable he played 3rd in a pre-season game.

Anyway--does anybody out there have any more info (or even speculation) on the story behind these two cards?

Thanks to reader Seth M. for emailing in this idea.

33 Comments | Posted in Card of the Week

Blog Theme Updated. Please report bugs

Posted by Sean Forman on October 28, 2010

Phew, after about 10 hours of hacking on chrome, IE, and firefox, I believe I've got a new blog theme that works pretty well in all of them.

The major changes:

Cleaned stuff up and now it uses the same stylesheet and js as the main site, so it will be much quicker to load when you travel from the main site to here.

Added tweet this and facebook like buttons to every page.

Added a default gravatar of Honus Wagner. I may mess around with this as time permits. I thought about using a random player, but that seems like it would be a waste of bandwidth. You can set up your own here: http://www.gravatar.com/, Grab a b-r player photo and make one.

It should look pretty good in any browser now.

Any new tables that authors paste in should have full b-r functionality for users.

It is much faster to load.

5 Comments | Posted in Announcements, Site Features

Worst World Series Game 1 game scores

Posted by Andy on October 28, 2010

Well it had to happen eventually. Cliff Lee was creamed in Game 1 of the World Series. Here are the worst game scores, all time, in Game 1 of the Fall Classic:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 Woody Williams 2004-10-23 STL BOS L 9-11 GS-3 2.1 8 7 7 3 1 1 70 42 11
2 Hal Newhouser 1945-10-03 DET CHC L 0-9 GS-3 ,L 2.2 8 7 7 1 3 0 16
3 Andy Pettitte 1996-10-20 NYY ATL L 1-12 GS-3 ,L 2.1 6 7 7 1 1 1 54 31 17
4 Jeff Francis 2007-10-24 COL BOS L 1-13 GS-4 ,L 4.0 10 6 6 3 3 1 103 62 18
5 Orel Hershiser 1997-10-18 CLE FLA L 4-7 GS-5 ,L 4.1 6 7 7 4 2 2 83 49 21
6 Eddie Cicotte 1919-10-01 CHW CIN L 1-9 GS-4 ,L 3.2 7 6 6 2 1 0 22
7 Bruce Kison 1979-10-10 PIT BAL L 4-5 GS-1 ,L 0.1 3 5 4 2 0 1 27 11 25
8 Paul Derringer 1940-10-02 CIN DET L 2-7 GS-2 ,L 1.1 5 5 4 1 1 0 26
9 Dennis Leonard 1980-10-14 KCR PHI L 6-7 GS-4 ,L 3.2 6 6 6 1 3 1 71 45 27
10 Don Drysdale 1965-10-06 LAD MIN L 2-8 GS-3 ,L 2.2 7 7 3 1 4 2 27
11 Roger Craig 1959-10-01 LAD CHW L 0-11 GS-3 ,L 2.1 5 5 5 1 1 1 27
12 Guy Bush 1932-09-28 CHC NYY L 6-12 GS-6 ,L 5.1 3 8 8 5 2 1 27
13 Cliff Lee 2010-10-27 TEX SFG L 7-11 GS-5 ,L 4.2 8 7 6 1 7 0 104 69 28
14 Joe Magrane 1987-10-17 STL MIN L 1-10 GS-4 ,L 3.0 4 5 5 4 1 0 59 30 28
15 Whitey Ford 1956-10-03 NYY BRO L 3-6 GS-3 ,L 3.0 6 5 5 0 1 2 28
16 Bob Forsch 1982-10-12 STL MIL L 0-10 GS-6 ,L 5.2 10 6 4 1 1 1 89 58 29
17 Chief Bender 1914-10-09 PHA BSN L 1-7 GS-6 ,L 5.1 8 6 6 2 3 0 29
18 Allie Reynolds 1951-10-04 NYY NYG L 1-5 GS-6 ,L 6.0 8 5 5 7 1 1 30
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/28/2010.

24 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Game One Thoughts

Posted by Sean Forman on October 28, 2010

I was on duty to write for the New York Times this morning, so I took some notes. a la Peter King here are some thoughts I think I think.

Sports Reference needs to spare no expense so that we can provide a Bat Breaker leaderboard next year.

Elvis Andrus has been horribly overrated by the announcers this postseason. A .301 Slugging Percentage means that he had the 14th most WAR for the Rangers this season. They win more games with Wilson Valdez as their shortstop.

41 Comments | Posted in World Series

3+ XBH In Post-Season Game With No HR

Posted by Steve Lombardi on October 28, 2010

How many players have produced 3+ extra base hits in a post-season game where none of them were homeruns?

8 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Bloops: Nuns find Honus Wagner card at their doorstep

Posted by Neil Paine on October 27, 2010

Remember the famed "T206" Honus Wagner card that Wayne Gretzky once bought for a record price?

Well, one of those now belongs to a lucky order of nuns:

"The School Sisters of Notre Dame received a generous gift and a quick baseball education when one of the rarest items in sports collectibles was dropped on their doorstep.

A T206, better known a Honus Wagner baseball card, was included in an estate that was donated.

Although the card is not in good condition it is expected to fetch six figures at auction. A mint card sold for $2.6 million in 2007."

7 Comments | Posted in Bloops

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