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His manager, Dusty Baker, a guy who combined power and average during an outstanding career, talks to Bruce often about just that.
"When you hit home runs you are going to get RBIs," said Baker. "I’ve talked to him many times for him not to be satisfied, which he shouldn’t be. Nobody should be satisfied until their career is over. But he is working at it.
Other guys with similarly "outstanding" careers would include George Scott (1 HOF vote), Amos Otis (0 HOF votes), Toby Harrah (1 HOF vote), and Gary Matthews Sr. (0 HOF votes). Fine players, all, but that's still a rather liberal use of "outstanding."
as long as his Cincinnati Reds continue to shred the National League Central.
Top of the 7th, runners on second and third and no outs, score is tied, 1-1, Cliff Lee on the mound, and the pitcher for the Reds, Homer Bailey, due up.
Dusty Baker lets him hit! WTF!
First, you have a huge leverage situation in which you are severely wasting an AB. A two-year old can figure that out.
Second, you have a mediocre starter facing the lineup for the 3rd and then 4th time. Baker thinks that since he has been “pitching well” he will continue to pitch well. He is wrong. We have voluminous data on starting pitchers who have been pitching shutouts and then are allowed to face the order for the 3rd time. They do poorly.
Finally, even if Bailey was going to pitch well, how many more innings will he pitch on the average? If he allows a base runner or two, he is getting pulled, as he did. If he gets through the 7th, he will pitch the 8th maybe (and Chapman will likely pitch the 9th), although Marshall is likely going to come in to face Utley and Howard no matter what.
He is maybe going to pitch 1 more inning on the average, probably less. Even Cy Young, Pedro Martinez, and Roger Clemens on steroids for one inning or less cannot make up the difference between Bailey hitting and a pinch hitter in that high leverage situation in the top of the 7th.
In 2003 he kept Prior in in a game in which he had a nasty collision with Marcus Giles. Prior wouldn’t pitch in a game again for almost a month and Giles missed a week but hey, Prior really needed to pitch that 5th inning.
Then in the playoffs he hs Prior throw 7 innings and 116 pitches in a game in which the Cubs were up 10-0 after 5 innings. He threw only 73 pitches through 5 innings.
Then in Game 6 Baker keeps Prior in for the 8th and doesn’t have anyone warming up despite the fact that he had already thrown 95 pitches, had the top of the order up, and it would be the 4th time he faced them.
#37 Tangotiger (see all posts) 2012/08/24 (Fri) @ 09:47
I remember that 10-0 game, thinking the exact same thing while watching it.
You also forgot to mention that Prior:
- had just turned only 23
- was only his second pro season, and faced over 900 batters by that point in the season
- in his first pro season the year before, faced 700 batters (meaning a fairly big jump in 2003)
While I don’t know that it’s necessarily a problem for a pitcher to go from 700 batters in one year to 950 batters by the end of the next year, for someone who just turned 23, but it AT LEAST suggests that you should cut corners in low-leverage situations. And a 10-0 lead with 73 pitches thrown is screaming that out.
Another rough way to put his career stats is his bWAR, and he's 362nd all time among position players. Given how many years the major leagues have been in existence, that seems like an "outstanding" career to me.
Why do people here hate Dusty Baker so much?
You forgot to account for the fact that a lot of those stats were put up as a DH, rather than as a real player.
I don't have any problem with saying Dusty had an outstanding career.
It's just short of the Hall of Very Good but easily within the Hall of Pretty Good.
The Hall of WTF would be better. Guys who had a 10 year or longer career for reasons it's hard to fathom. I nominate Johnny LeMaster and his 12--12!!!!--year career.
? Dusty had a grand total of 27 games as a DH.
A lot of teams would kill for a 100 ERA+ pitcher.
The first two posts here are absurdly snarky, even by BTF standards. Why do people here hate Dusty Baker so much?
Greg Norton played 13 years.
He attended the University of Oklahoma. Norton's father killed his mother.
the fact that Gary Bennett and Charlie O'Brien both played for eight different major-league teams (13 and 15 seasons respectively) is amazing.
I understood, I was just backing you up. Gantner wasn't a good hitter but he could really field and he got on base just enough not to kill what he gave you with the glove. He's kind of fascinating, actually because if you throw out 2 outliers, his OBA ranged from .300 to .336 his entire career. For a guy who skirted on the edge of being an offensive zero, he never did fall off the cliff until his 18th and final year in the league. That's very cool.
bruce is a spiffier right-handed version of tom brunasky.
That led me to find this:
It's quite the story, and makes his feat of making the majors and sticking around for 13 years all the more impressive.
Back before 15 man pitching staffs -- everybody used to have a spare OF who was in reality, the "pinch hitter"... Thad Bosley and Greg Gross come to mind. The immortal Lenny is, I think, the last from that breed.
I think Bruce has to be in the discussion.
It obviously depends on how the stretch run shakes out, but I think Posey has to be the favorite right now. McCutchen's fallen off pace a bit, as has his team.
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