Some Notable 2012 Retirees

Five years ago, on October 3, 2012, that year’s MLB regular season ended. Here is a summary of that day: http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2012/10032012.htm

Some of the notable players playing in their final regular MLB game that day were: Andruw Jones, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Scott Rolen, Ben Sheets, Chipper Jones.

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Published in: Uncategorized on October 2, 2017 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  

A Bit of Dodgers History

The 2017 Dodgers will probably set a new franchise record for regular season wins. The Dodgers are one of the few great NL franchises, and yet they have won 100 or more games only 6 times in their history, never more than 105 in a season, and only once (1974) have won 100 games in a 162-game season. They have never won the World Series after a 100-win regular season. To me, this clarifies how hard it is to get to 100 wins: a storied franchise with 133 seasons and 22 pennants at the close of 2016 has reached 100 wins 4.5 percent of the time.

The Yankees have 19 100-win seasons, by the way, but even they got past 105 wins only 3 times before the start of the 162-game schedule.

Published in: Uncategorized on September 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Few Remarkable Barry Bonds Stats

Bonds led the NL in walks 11 times, but led it in the other major counting stats only 4 times: twice in homers, once in RBIs, and once in runs scored. All the walks, and Bonds missing at least 15 games most years after 1998, meant he never had more than 500 at-bats in any year after that 1998 season. He had 2558 walks, close to as many as his 2935 hits. He had more walks than hits almost every year after 2000. For his career, he scored 2227 runs vs. 1996 RBIs, with 38% of those RBIs attributed to driving himself in on 762 homers. My guess is that of all the batters in the 500-homer club, Bonds is the one with the largest gap between his runs scored and his RBIs.

Here are some exceptional walk to strikeout ratios in Bonds’s career: 198 to 47 in 2002, 232 to 41 in 2004, and 132 to 54 in 2007. Bonds struck out 100 times in a season just once, in his rookie year, 1986.

Published in: Uncategorized on August 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm  Comments (1)  

A Note on Bob Feller’s Strikouts

You probably know about how Babe Ruth led MLB in homers by a very large margin in 1920 and 1921. I happened to notice this list of the MLB strikout leaders in 1946:
1. Bob Feller        348
2. Hal Newhouser  275
3. Tex Hughson    172
4. Virgil Trucks     161
5. Dizzy Trout      151
6. Spud Chandler  138
Fred Hutchinson    138
8. Johnny Schmitz  135

Feller had quite a gap on the #2 pitcher, but nothing very remarkable, you think, until you notice that Schmitz, who pitched for the Cubs, led the NL with his 135 strikouts. That 135 was 39% of Feller’s 348.

In 1940, the top 4 in strikeouts in MLB went like this:
1. Bob Feller       261
2. Bobo Newsom 164
3. Johnny Rigney 141
4. Kirby Higbe     137

Similarly, Higbe’s 137 led the NL, but that was just a bit more than 50% of Feller’s 261 strikeouts. My point is not to show that Feller overwhelmed the rest of baseball with his power in a way similar to how Ruth did in the early ’20s, but more to point out that Feller was a dominant pitcher for quite a while, both before and after he was in World War II. And, apparently the AL and NL hitters were playing two different kinds of baseball in 1940 and 1946. It’s hard to believe the great NL pitchers were throwing a significantly slower, more difficult to hit ball than the one Feller was throwing.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 13, 2017 at 7:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Highlighting a Nice Retrosheet Feature

I came by a Retrosheet page titled Top Individual Performances (Based on Retrosheet Seasons), here: http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/MISC/XOP.htm

There is a lot of interesting material on the page. Right at the top is the longest hitting streaks: only 7 have lasted past 35 games. At the bottom, you will see that Bob Shaw has the record for most balks in a game: 5, on May 4, 1963. Eddie Rommel set the record for most hits allowed in a game: 29, in this 1932 game in Cleveland: https://miscbaseball.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/an-interesting-philadelphia-as-cleveland-indians-game-at-league-park-in-1932/

Retrosheet also has a page chronicling Top Team Performances (Based on Retrosheet Seasons), here: http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/MISC/XOT.htm

Published in: Uncategorized on June 22, 2017 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Winning Percentages for the 30 MLB Teams

Below is a snapshot of the franchise win-loss records (regular season) for the 30 MLB teams, as of June 6,2017. You can find the updated totals at http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams The Padres have the worst franchise record, especially when you consider that Tampa’s win % is hampered by being a fairly new team.

The Yankees are the only team a long ways above or below .500. It is surprising to see the Giants with the second best win %, but also to see that even renowned franchises, like the Cardinals, have only a .52 win %. Would you have guessed that the White Sox, Pirates, and Tigers have won more than half their games, or that the Orioles are still a long ways below .500?

 

Published in: Uncategorized on June 7, 2017 at 10:29 am  Comments (1)  

Trout Triple Play

When I saw this heading below the news of Jean Harlow’s death on June 7, 1937, the first thought was of Mike Trout. It was not that kind of triple play though.

 

Published in: Uncategorized on May 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MVP and Cy Young Winners, 1980-2016

I’m pasting in below the years 1980 through 2016, with columns for the NL and AL MVPs, and the NL and AL Cy Young winners. The idea is for you to fill in (mentally anyway) the names of the players who won each of the 4 awards. How many of them can you name off the top of your head? Below the blank version of the table, I’ve pasted in a list of the winners of the 4 awards for you to check against. I know, the list is not well formatted: if it’s more convenient, you can also go to baseball-reference’s awards page to look up all the winners.

My suspicion is that not many people remember who won the awards, aside from recalling the players who had memorably dominant seasons. For example, I know very little about the ’83 Cy Young winners, John Denny and LaMarr Hoyt, and suspect that many fans don’t even recognize those names.

        NL MVP AL MVP NL Cy Young AL Cy Young

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1980

        NL MVP AL MVP NL Cy Young AL Cy Young
2016 Kris Bryant  Mike Trout  Max Scherzer  Rick Porcello
2015 Bryce Harper  Josh Donaldson  Jake Arrieta  Dallas Keuchel
2014 Clayton Kershaw  Mike Trout  Clayton Kershaw  Corey Kluber
2013 Andrew McCutchen  Miguel Cabrera  Clayton Kershaw  Max Scherzer
2012 Buster Posey  Miguel Cabrera  R.A. Dickey  David Price
2011 Ryan Braun  Justin Verlander  Clayton Kershaw  Justin Verlander
2010 Joey Votto  Josh Hamilton  Roy Halladay  Felix Hernandez
2009 Albert Pujols  Joe Mauer  Tim Lincecum  Zack Greinke
2008 Albert Pujols  Dustin Pedroia  Tim Lincecum  Cliff Lee
2007 Jimmy Rollins  Alex Rodriguez  Jake Peavy  CC Sabathia
2006 Ryan Howard  Justin Morneau  Brandon Webb  Johan Santana
2005 Albert Pujols  Alex Rodriguez  Chris Carpenter  Bartolo Colon
2004 Barry Bonds  Vladimir Guerrero  Roger Clemens  Johan Santana
2003 Barry Bonds  Alex Rodriguez  Eric Gagne  Roy Halladay
2002 Barry Bonds  Miguel Tejada  Randy Johnson  Barry Zito
2001 Barry Bonds  Ichiro Suzuki  Randy Johnson  Roger Clemens
2000 Jeff Kent  Jason Giambi  Randy Johnson  Pedro Martinez
1999 Chipper Jones  Ivan Rodriguez  Randy Johnson  Pedro Martinez
1998 Sammy Sosa  Juan Gonzalez  Tom Glavine  Roger Clemens
1997 Larry Walker  Ken Griffey  Pedro Martinez  Roger Clemens
1996 Ken Caminiti  Juan Gonzalez  John Smoltz  Pat Hentgen
1995 Barry Larkin  Mo Vaughn  Greg Maddux  Randy Johnson
1994 Jeff Bagwell  Frank Thomas  Greg Maddux  David Cone
1993 Barry Bonds  Frank Thomas  Greg Maddux  Jack McDowell
1992 Barry Bonds  Dennis Eckersley  Greg Maddux  Dennis Eckersley
1991 Terry Pendleton  Cal Ripken  Tom Glavine  Roger Clemens
1990 Barry Bonds  Rickey Henderson  Doug Drabek  Bob Welch
1989 Kevin Mitchell  Robin Yount  Mark Davis  Bret Saberhagen
1988 Kirk Gibson  Jose Canseco  Orel Hershiser  Frank Viola
1987 Andre Dawson  George Bell  Steve Bedrosian  Roger Clemens
1986 Mike Schmidt  Roger Clemens  Mike Scott  Roger Clemens
1985 Willie McGee  Don Mattingly  Dwight Gooden  Bret Saberhagen
1984 Ryne Sandberg  Willie Hernandez  Rick Sutcliffe  Willie Hernandez
1983 Dale Murphy  Cal Ripken  John Denny  LaMarr Hoyt
1982 Dale Murphy  Robin Yount  Steve Carlton  Pete Vuckovich
1981 Mike Schmidt  Rollie Fingers  Fernando Valenzuela  Rollie Fingers
1980 Mike Schmidt  George Brett  Steve Carlton  Steve Stone

Published in: Uncategorized on May 4, 2017 at 3:37 pm  Comments (1)  

The New York Yankees

From 1920 through 1964, the Yankees went 95.4-58.7 in the regular season on average, for a .619 winning percentage. From ’36 through ’64, they went 96.5-58.2, for a .624 winning percentage. From 1995 through 2012, they went 96.2-64.6, for a .598 winning percentage. Their sub-.500 winning percentages since 1920 are 1925 (.448%), 1965-67, ’69, ’73, ’82, and ’89 through ’92.

Published in: Uncategorized on April 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Playing Baseball in the Cold

The coldest MLB game ever was apparently played on April 23 of 2013: the Rockies against the Braves, and a 23F temperature in Denver at the start of the game. Quoting from this post by meteorologist Cliff Mass:

“Denver was an expansion team that played its first season in 1993. Thus, considering its unique meteorological location and altitude, it is quite possible that the 23F would have been the coldest temperature on record for all major league games at any location. Yes, you might argue about Minnesota, but keep in mind that the baseball season usually starts around April 1, and the all-time record low daily maximum temperature in Minneapolis for April was 22F in 1896.”

The Phillies-Rockies NLDS game 3 in Denver in 2009 apparently got into the mid-20s by the end of that game, with a wind as well. When you look at attendance for World Series games in the deadball years, you see quite a few times that cold and/or wet conditions kept the number of fans well below 10,000.

Finally: another meteorologist says MLB would drastically reduce the chances of games played in cold/snowy conditions if it just avoided home games in Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Boston during the first 10 days of April.

Published in: Uncategorized on March 29, 2017 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment