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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bill Buckner

Eligible in 1996.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:02 PM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:06 PM (#2310255)
Boy, I know Garvey gets skewered about being overrated around here, but compared to Billy Buck, Steverino looks like Lou Gehrig.

BTW, as a Mets fan, I don't thank Buckner. I thank his manager.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:29 PM (#2310267)
How many casual baseball fans would be surprised to learn Buckner had 2715 career hits? More than Ted Williams, Reggie Jackson, Ernie Banks, Richie Ashburn, Joe Morgan and Jim Rice. Not that it means a whole lot. The guy was Mark Grace without the frat boy attitude.
   3. Juan V Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:31 PM (#2310269)
What if he had gotten to 3000? He should have done to that mark what Kingman did to 400 homers, right?
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2310273)
What if he had gotten to 3000? He should have done to that mark what Kingman did to 400 homers, right?

Yep. Thankfully Rafael Palmeiro has done that for us.
   5. DCW3 Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2310292)
If anything, the error was probably a huge boost to Buckner's reputation in the long run. Yes, he received a lot of hate, but it kept him in the public memory, and that hate inspired a lot of defenders, like the guy who sponsors Buckner's BB-Ref page and calls him "a great player whose legacy is one error." Without the error, he would probably be forgotten today--or maybe even worse, he might be remembered as the worst player ever with 10,000 PAs. (Well, okay, he probably wouldn't be remembered that way, since you need something of a sabermetric inclination to realize that. But still...)
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 11, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2310314)
Yep. Thankfully Rafael Palmeiro has done that for us.

Palmeiro may be not an inner-circle great, but he's no where near Kingman and Buckner as a productive player. Besides, Lou Brock has to be the worst player with 3,000 hits.

The guy was Mark Grace without the frat boy attitude.

Grace was a lot better.
   7. tjm1 Posted: March 11, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2310342)
Without the error, he would probably be forgotten today--or maybe even worse, he might be remembered as the worst player ever with 10,000 PAs.


I hadn't realized this until you mentioned it, but looking at the list of players with 10000 PAs, Buckner's not just the worst, he's the worst by a rather healthy margin. Of course, I think a majority of the players with 10000 PAs are HOFers. However, Buckner, as a 1B with a below average OPS+, managed to stick around for 22 years as a below average major leaguer. An interesting question is who's second worst on that list - Vada Pinson, or Rabbit Maranville, maybe? The others were/are all good ballplayers. Buckner's the only one, I think, who you wouldn't at least consider for the HOM.
   8. Juan V Posted: March 11, 2007 at 08:58 PM (#2310359)
Exactly. Pinson gets occasional votes here, and the biggest fans of middle infield defense support Maranville pretty consistently. I doubt Buckner will even make any consideration sets.
   9. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 11, 2007 at 09:03 PM (#2310361)
If not for the error, he'd be today remembered as the LF over whom Hammerin' Hank's 715th flew.
   10. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: March 11, 2007 at 09:05 PM (#2310362)
I hadn't realized this until you mentioned it, but looking at the list of players with 10000 PAs, Buckner's not just the worst, he's the worst by a rather healthy margin.


Endpoints. I don't think he's worse "by a rather healthy margin" than Doc Cramer, who had only 100 fewer PAs, and would have had a lot more had he played in a 162 game season context.
   11. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 11, 2007 at 09:56 PM (#2310399)
I hadn't realized this until you mentioned it, but looking at the list of players with 10000 PAs, Buckner's not just the worst, he's the worst by a rather healthy margin. Of course, I think a majority of the players with 10000 PAs are HOFers. However, Buckner, as a 1B with a below average OPS+, managed to stick around for 22 years as a below average major leaguer. An interesting question is who's second worst on that list - Vada Pinson, or Rabbit Maranville, maybe?

The difference is that Buckner was in the lineup supposedly because of his ability to hit, and Maranville was in the lineup primarily because of his glove. Evaluating Maranville's value by OPS+ is like evaluating Sandy Koufax by his OPS+...
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 11, 2007 at 10:35 PM (#2310419)
The difference is that Buckner was in the lineup supposedly because of his ability to hit, and Maranville was in the lineup primarily because of his glove. Evaluating Maranville's value by OPS+ is like evaluating Sandy Koufax by his OPS+...

Right. You can make a marginal case for Rabbit for the HOF, but certainly not for Buckner.
   13. tjm1 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 07:37 AM (#2310613)
The difference is that Buckner was in the lineup supposedly because of his ability to hit, and Maranville was in the lineup primarily because of his glove. Evaluating Maranville's value by OPS+ is like evaluating Sandy Koufax by his OPS+


I agree on the principle. But he was a terrible hitter, and that does matter. If you'll notice, the other option I mentioned was not the second worst hitter with more than 10000 PAs (which is Ozzie Smith), but the worst hitting outfielder on the list, although I suppose you could make a case than Pinson was better than Baines since Pinson played half a career each at centerfield and the corners, while Baines split his career between RF and DH. If you really believe Maranville was in the same league as Ozzie as a fielder, then he is a borderline HOFer, and that was sort of my point - all the other guys who played that much for that long are borderline HOFers at worst.

I think Cramer was a little better than Buckner. Cramer was generally regarded as a superior defensive centerfielder. He was a six time all-star, so his peers legitimately thought he was good. And while the 154 game season cut time off Cramer's career relative to a lot of other guys, the war probably added 3-5 years on the end of his career.

Anyways, Buckner and Gary Gaetti are the only two guys on the list of the top 100 players in PAs who (1) had an OPS+ under 100 and (2) played a position other than an up-the-middle position. For that matter, the up-the-middle denfenders with the low OPS+'s on the list are generally regarded as the historically good defensive players - Ozzie, Maranville, Aparacio, Vizquel. Nellie Fox is generally regarded as a good 2B, plus he was just below 100 in OPS+, and as a high OBP, very low strikeout guy, he's about as severely underrated by OPS+ as a player can be.

Gaetti's presence on the list can be explained too. He was a multiple Gold Glove winner at 3B, and hit about as well in his mid-to-late 30's as at any other time in his career. In his age 31 and 33 seasons, you can argue he was hurting his team, but the rest of his seasons, he was at least solid.

That leaves only Buckner. A player of Buckner's defensive skill level at 1B probably needs a 110 OPS or so to be useful. From 1983 on (the last 8 years of his career!) his best OPS+ was 106. He did have a couple of 100 RBI seasons in there, and decent batting averages, but basically he proved that if you hit behind Wade Boggs and Dwight Evans in Fenway part, you could drive in 100 runs even if you were just an average hitter. I wonder if a player like Buckner would even find a job nowadays with the added emphasis on modern stats.
   14. sunnyday2 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 11:35 AM (#2310624)
>I thank his manager.

I have read that Buckner typically was replaced by a glove in the late innings, but that the Red Sox manager left Buckner out there so that he could be on the field when the Series was won.

True?

And who were the other players--manager? The usual replacement?

Can somebody confirm the whole story?
   15. karlmagnus Posted: March 12, 2007 at 12:09 PM (#2310628)
The manager was the usual Boston-Irish dumb Red Sox manager before Dan Duquette got there, name of Macnamara (plenty of bright Boston Irish, but they didn't get to manage the Red Sox under Yawkey and the immediate successor regimes.) The better fielding 1B was Dave Stapleton. Macnamara was almost certainly under the impression that Buckner was a probable Hall of Famer.
   16. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: March 12, 2007 at 01:02 PM (#2310641)
Buckner was supposed to be clutch hitter accourding to the Chinese Democracy-like study of Elan Fuld, IIRC. I wonder how many outs on base he piled up. He seemed to try a stretch too many singles into doubles by the time he got to Boston.
   17. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 12, 2007 at 01:05 PM (#2310643)
The manager was the usual Boston-Irish dumb Red Sox manager before Dan Duquette got there

No hang on. They weren't all dumb and Irish. Don Zimmer was German.

Also Eddie Kasko and Darrell Johnson aren't immediately Irish sound names. Nor Ralph Houk.
   18. yest Posted: March 12, 2007 at 02:32 PM (#2310685)
Right. You can make a marginal case for Rabbit for the HOF, but certainly not for Buckner.

I remember somewhere someone saying that Buckner should be in the Hall of Fame because he made millions of players remember to bend their knees on ground balls :'/)
   19. tjm1 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 03:07 PM (#2310697)
McNamara was also born in Sacramento. Sorry, but there really weren't any Boston-Irish managers of the Red Sox, except Joe Morgan (and I think Morgan is actually a Welsh name). There have been a lot of California-Irish and Pennsylvania-Irish managers of the Sox, though, both before and after the Duquette era.

I wonder how many outs on base he piled up. He seemed to try a stretch too many singles into doubles by the time he got to Boston.

I wonder if that's related to the fact that he was, at one point, before all the injuries, really fast, and never really adjusted to becoming slow. He also hit an inside-the-park homerun for the Red Sox in his final season.

People blame Buckner for losing the 1986 WS, although as has often been pointed out, the score was already tied, and Mookie might have beat the ball to the bag. What they should really be upset about is that his horrible bat was in the lineup all 7 games, instead of Baylor, or Greenwell, who was probably really already ready to play in the majors that year. He was at least ready to out-hit Buckner.
   20. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 12, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2310713)
The manager was the usual Boston-Irish dumb Red Sox manager before Dan Duquette got there, name of Macnamara

He would have been better off as the leader of a band.
   21. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 12, 2007 at 04:15 PM (#2310741)
I remember somewhere someone saying that Buckner should be in the Hall of Fame because he made millions of players remember to bend their knees on ground balls :'/)

Or, to remind players to take care of their knees so that when they have to field the ball late in their careers, they'll be ABLE to bend at the knees, which looks like Buckner COULDN'T do.
   22. JPWF13 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 04:30 PM (#2310750)
Or, to remind players to take care of their knees so that when they have to field the ball late in their careers, they'll be ABLE to bend at the knees, which looks like Buckner COULDN'T do.


As much as I disliked Buckner when he was playing- this seems like a low blow
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: March 12, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2310767)
Well, if you disliked him when he was playing, Joey's entitled to dislike him now ;-)
   24. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 12, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2310783)
Or, to remind players to take care of their knees so that when they have to field the ball late in their careers, they'll be ABLE to bend at the knees, which looks like Buckner COULDN'T do.


As much as I disliked Buckner when he was playing- this seems like a low blow


Actually, I was defending Buckner, not attacking him.

I don't think it's his fault that his knees were shot (much like I don't blame Bobby Orr for his situation).
It's not that Buckner didn't TRY to field that ball properly, it's that he probably COULDN'T field it properly because of the damage to his knee(s).
   25. Rocco's Not-so Malfunctioning Mitochondria Posted: March 12, 2007 at 05:30 PM (#2310787)
Whatever bad you might say about Buckner, he absolutely MASTERED the 5 foot underhand toss to the pitcher covering first.
   26. DavidFoss Posted: March 12, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2310823)
Whatever bad you might say about Buckner, he absolutely MASTERED the 5 foot underhand toss to the pitcher covering first.

That's right. Buckner got the assist record for 1B in 1985 with 184. Does he still have that record? Any retrosheet experts know what percentage of those 184 assists went where?
   27. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 13, 2007 at 12:43 AM (#2311035)
Any retrosheet experts know what percentage of those 184 assists went where?


Ask and ye shall receive:

3-1: 126
3-2: 2
3-4: 10
3-5: 1
3-6: 24
4-3-6 (reverse DP): 2
rundown plays on CS/PkO: 11
relay throws from OF: 2

6 assists are missing. It should be noted that Retrosheet PBP files do not always have complete fielding data.

Buckner also had, if I'm counting correctly, 182 unassisted putouts at 1B.

-- MWE
   28. jimd Posted: March 13, 2007 at 12:49 AM (#2311040)
People blame Buckner for losing the 1986 WS, although as has often been pointed out, the score was already tied, and Mookie might have beat the ball to the bag. What they should really be upset about is that his horrible bat was in the lineup all 7 games, instead of Baylor, or Greenwell, who was probably really already ready to play in the majors that year.

Agreed.

Cleanup-hitter Jim Rice took a lot of heat for his WS performance that year. Zero RBI's was the story, never mind the .333 BA. (He also had a .900 OPS without a HR.)

For some unknown reason, Buckner's batting performance was ignored. .188 BA, and an empty .188 at that, .188/.212/.188. (No XBH, no walks, but one HBP.) Not only that, Buckner was 1/12 with RISP, one RBI. Yet the Buckner and Rice stories were closely related, as Buckner batted in front of Rice in the lineup. Buckner ended 14 innings, effectively making Rice a leadoff hitter almost half the time. #2 hitter Marty Barrett was having the series of his dreams (.514 OBP, .500 SLG with no HRs). Combine that with Boggs hitting #1 and Buckner was constantly coming up in first-and-second or first-and-third situations, usually with two outs.

I don't blame Buckner for the ground-ball, but his bat arguably cost the Sox the Series in 1986.
   29. Paul Wendt Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:02 AM (#2311049)
I have read that Buckner typically was replaced by a glove in the late innings, but that the Red Sox manager left Buckner out there so that he could be on the field when the Series was won.

True?


Yes, as Charlemagne says, Dave Stapleton

McNamara was reasonably well known throughout baseball. Stapleton was reasonably well known in Boston because he played seven years and his batting average declined each year. He was down to 39g, 42pa in 1986. Hey, he was older than Joe Charboneau and he lasted longer.
   30. AndrewJ Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:04 AM (#2311052)
That's right. Buckner got the assist record for 1B in 1985 with 184. Does he still have that record?

According to Lee Sinins' Complete Baseball Encyclopedia CD-ROM, yes.
   31. Paul Wendt Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:04 AM (#2311053)
It's my impression that some to many people consider Buckner a good batter and a good fielder (for his career, not to say his late thirties).

George Brett gave himeself a charley horse rushing to the TV to watch Bill Buckner bat.
True?
   32. Spahn Insane Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:42 AM (#2311068)
Bill Buckner was my favorite player when I became a Cub fan in the early 80s. He wouldn't have been if I knew then what I know now about stats, but during his 200-hit season of '82, I thought he was all that.
   33. Shock Posted: March 13, 2007 at 02:22 AM (#2311090)
I wonder if a player like Buckner would even find a job nowadays with the added emphasis on modern stats.

Yes?
   34. DavidFoss Posted: March 13, 2007 at 03:51 AM (#2311118)
Yes?

Yeah, its a big league and at his best Buckner was decent. Hillenbrand got a much later start and is considered an "old 30" after just 3500 PA. Hillenbrand has also been to twice as many all-star games.

On an unrelated note, it doesn't really effect his "merit", but Buckner had quite a knack for avoiding the K. Four 1sts and five 2nds in AB/K's.
   35. OCF Posted: March 13, 2007 at 05:42 AM (#2311158)
3-4 would be on a bunt - standard sacrifice, 1B charging, 2B covers first.

Cross-posted from the Boone thread with the formatting fixed:

I couldn't resist the temptation. Here's my RCAA-based system for Boone, for Buckner, and for three other people: Rick Ferrell (whose HoF election might be some kind of precedent for Boone if we payed attention to that sort of thing, which we don't), Ozzie Smith, and Rabbit Maranville. I'll do the chart in two versions. The first is in RCAA, as all my other charts are:

Buckner 28 24 22 17 17 15  8  8  4  3  0 ---------9-11-14
Boone   16 10 10  8  7  2  0 
--6-10-12-14-14-18-19-19-20-23-39
Ferrell 12 12 11 11  8  7  5  5  4  0 
-------8-13
Ozzie   36 28 16 16 13 11  9  9  3  1 
---7-11-12-13-17-23-39
Rabbit  10  9  6  3  1 
---------9-11-11-13-13-14-16-16-25-29 


Then there's changing the baseline: RC over 75% of average. This has greater rewards for longevity and durability - but only if you are better than 75% of average.

Buckner 45 45 39 36 30 30 28 27 18 18 15 14  9  8  5  5  4  1  0 ---8
Boone   28 24 24 21 21 14 12  3  2  2  0 
-------7-23
Ferrell 27 26 25 25 22 22 17 16 14  9  9  9  8  6  5  4  1 
-4
Ozzie   55 46 33 33 32 28 25 25 21 14 13  8  8  7  6  4 
--7-18
Rabbit  30 27 22 21 20 18 15 15 10 10  9  7  6  4  4  0  0 
-----6-12 


So, if you don't totally ignore defensive position and value, it's a close call whether Buckner or Ozzie Smith were better offensive players. Buckner's worst years weren't as bad, but Ozzie does have a slight peak advantage. And Boone is closer to Maranville as a hitter than he is to Ferrell.
   36. tfbg9 Posted: March 13, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2311394)
"Mookie might have beat the ball to the bag."

But there were two outs, and the guy, Knight I believe, scored the winning run from 2nd base, not third, so even if Mookie beats it out, the odds are still good that the inning ends with the score tied.

Billy Bucks was also the "goat" of the '74 series, BTW, for a baserunning blunder.
   37. tjm1 Posted: March 13, 2007 at 09:02 PM (#2311509)
Hillenbrand has a key advantage over Buckner, in that he can play third base. He's not really a good third baseman, but a so-so third baseman with a 99 OPS+ is a legitimate major leaguer. Not a legitimate all-star, of course, but a guy who most teams would be happy to have as a bench player, if he didn't have an attitude problem.

However, I'd be surprised if Hilly plays into his 40's with a normal career trajectory, the way Buckner did. Buckner was also a surprisingly good base-stealer, well into the period of time when he'd lost his mobility in the field.
   38. JPWF13 Posted: March 13, 2007 at 10:33 PM (#2311569)
the way Buckner did. Buckner was also a surprisingly good base-stealer, well into the period of time when he'd lost his mobility in the field.


Oddly, when Buckner was willing to grit his teeth and run all out in a straight line he could move suprising well for someone who was otherwise rendered largely immobile by injuries.

When he first came up he was fast, and he continued for a suprisingly long time to try to play (at least on the offensive side) as if he was still fast. His speed was kind of like the ex-power pitcher who every now and then could still heave the ball at 94mph.
   39. LSR Posted: March 15, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2312640)
Or, to remind players to take care of their knees so that when they have to field the ball late in their careers, they'll be ABLE to bend at the knees, which looks like Buckner COULDN'T do.


As much as I disliked Buckner when he was playing- this seems like a low blow

Actually, I was defending Buckner, not attacking him.

I don't think it's his fault that his knees were shot (much like I don't blame Bobby Orr for his situation).
It's not that Buckner didn't TRY to field that ball properly, it's that he probably COULDN'T field it properly because of the damage to his knee(s).


IIRC it was Buckner's ankles not his knees that were messed up when he was with still with the Dodgers (before the Cubs and waaaayy before the BoSox).

In any case, Buckner actually had a rep (deserved or not I don't know) for soft hands. His defensive limitations arose from his well documented immobility - not from an inability to catch a ball. The fact that he missed a ball that was hit right at him was a rather cruel joke that fate played on him.
   40. Traderdave Posted: March 15, 2007 at 07:44 PM (#2312658)
Looking at Buck's 4 post-error seasons, how did he continue to get hired? Lots of guys suck for a year or two before retiring, but he sucked for 4. Why did anyone hire him for the 2,3,4 years of his tailspin?
   41. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 15, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2312664)
IIRC it was Buckner's ankles not his knees that were messed up when he was with still with the Dodgers (before the Cubs and waaaayy before the BoSox).

Really? His ankles? Then really he's got no excuse for not bending down.

DEFENSE RETRACTED!
   42. JPWF13 Posted: March 15, 2007 at 09:36 PM (#2312704)
Looking at Buck's 4 post-error seasons, how did he continue to get hired? Lots of guys suck for a year or two before retiring, but he sucked for 4. Why did anyone hire him for the 2,3,4 years of his tailspin?


because he was a "professional hitter"
the year after he hit .286 with 74 ribbies- which back in the 80s looked decent (plus he hit .300 after ending up in Anaheim) he had driven in 100 runs 2/3 previosul years- so he was coming back. (The fact that his age 37 line of .286/.314/.365 in 1987 was not "decent"- an OPS+ of 79 for an immobile 1B probably meant he was the worst full time player in the MLB in 1987- would have been lost on many fans and executives)

He was a seasoned veteran, and 100 ribbies proved he was clutch- how else could you reach 100 rbis without homers? There was a junk stat going around in the 80s- TIbbers- teammates batted in- Buckner was HIGH up on those lists. (BTW in 1986 Buckner hit .242/.305/.340 with RISP- 102 rbi season- it's amazing what teammates can do for you).

He was perceived as a .300 hitter, a 100 rbi man. Your average non-stathead fan probably would not have been able to distinguish Buckner from Hernandez as hitters (or would favor Buckner due to the RBIs).

So, even though he was almost certainly the worst player in baseball in 1987 he was coming back in 1988 if he wanted to- and he wanted to. California soon realized he was toast and released him- he was signed by KC who inexplicably gave him 400+ awful at bats spanning two seasons before releaseing him- and then even more inexplicably Boston signed him just before ST in 1990. (maybe so he could become a 4 decade man...)

FWIW if he quit after 1986 his career OPS+ would have been 103
   43. Paul Wendt Posted: March 17, 2007 at 03:15 PM (#2313399)
35. ntr Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Posted: March 13, 2007 at 01:38 AM (#2311155)
3-4: 10

Hmmm.

2B covering first on some sort of shifted infield, grounder fielded back at the OF grass, lefthanded pitcher?

I don't know...I can see that happening rarely, or some odd play where the 2B covers second despite the grounder to the right....but 10 times? Puzzling. Especially since these are specifically differentiated from rundown plays. I feel like I'm missing something obvious...


This goes back a few years. In 1900, Boston Globe baseball writer (and sporting editor) Tim Murnane multiply criticizes second baseman Bobby Lowe for running to second on a ball hit to first baseman Fred Tenney (a famously good fielder, like several teammates not including Lowe). Murnane thinks the team is losing many doubleplays, presumably 3-6-4, in favor of 3-6 and 3-4 forces.
A few years later, Addie Joss says that it is now an important part of the pitcher's job to cover first base. Murnane's harping on Lowe shows that it wasn't routine, perhaps Murnane didn't even imagine, that the pitcher would do so in 1900.
   44. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 17, 2007 at 03:40 PM (#2313411)
Really? His ankles? Then really he's got no excuse for not bending down.

Please tell me you that you're kidding. Bad ankles limit all kinds of mobility. The ankle bone's connected to the...and so on. Bending at the knees puts strain on ankles.
   45. tfbg9 Posted: March 17, 2007 at 04:17 PM (#2313424)
10/25/86 only made 10/20/04, and 10/27/04 all the more glorious for me, as it turned out.
   46. Darren Posted: March 17, 2007 at 05:49 PM (#2313454)
Yes, it was Billy Bucks' ankles and not his knees.

As for Stapleton, I believe he was used in order to give Buckner a break, not because he was considered a better fielder. Buckner, rightly or wrongly, was talked about as a good fielder at the time.

For Red Sox fans, this is ground well-covered, but just in case you didn't know it. Buckner (as well documented by Eric M Van) was terrible against lefties. In the 8th of game 6, with the bases loaded and two outs, Orosco was brought in to face Buckner. In 86, Buckner had a .579 OPS (.674 career) against lefties. Baylor's was .747 (.826 career). Baylor remains on the bench (as he had all series while rookie Mike Greenwell got the pinch-hitting opportunities), and Buckner promptly flies out, with Jim Rice waiting on deck.

Even if you forgive Mac for leaving Stapleton on the bench, there's no good explanation for not using Baylor there.
   47. LSR Posted: March 18, 2007 at 06:20 AM (#2313678)
Even if you forgive Mac for leaving Stapleton on the bench, there's no good explanation for not using Baylor there.

Actually there is an excellent "explanation for not using Baylor" ... Buckner was coming off of 2 straight 100 RBI seasons - why would anyone pinch hit for such a proven run producer?

Of course that's just an "explanation, it's not an excuse.

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