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Friday, July 21, 2017

He played where? Majors’ best ‘irony jerseys’

Giants: Darryl Strawberry’s No. 17
The only time Straw wore that weird No. 17 (which had always been Keith Hernandez’s number in New York) was the 29 games he played with the Giants in 1994. He got off to a very hot start, hitting homers in back-to-back games in Montreal and then doing it again with back-to-back homer days against the Rockies. At that point, Strawberry was hitting .303/.407/.530, but he promptly went 2-for-his-next-26, the strike came, and the Giants let him go.

Indians: Keith Hernandez’s No. 17
Most people think Hernandez retired as a Met, but he actually played 43 games for a lamentable Cleveland team in 1990. Five years later, Cleveland would have one of the greatest offensive teams in baseball history—this team had Candy Maldonado, Chris James, Cory Snyder, Felix Fermin and Brook Jacoby. Put it this way: Hernandez got 145 plate appearances with the Tribe. He scored seven runs. He drove in eight.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2017 at 02:43 PM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: joe posnanski

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Posnanski: Almost Hall of Famers

1980: Here’s a fun trivia question: Before Ken Griffey was drafted in 1987, there had been 22 drafts meaning their had been 22 first overall picks.
Which first overall pick had the most WAR in his career?
If you are like me (which I know you are not) you immediately thought of Harold Baines, the first overall pick in the 1977 draft. Rick Monday had a terrific career. Both are good guesses.
But the answer (somewhat shockingly) is Darryl Strawberry in 1980.
Strawberry is, of course, one of the great what-if stories in baseball history. He had that big and glorious swing, he had this wonderful grace about him, the force just flowed from him. And it didn’t turn out.
But the truth is: He had a good career. too. He hit 335 homers and drove in 1,000 RBIs in his career. He won Rookie of the Year, was an eight-time All-Star and almost won the 1988 MVP award, the year he led the league with 39 homers.
His life went off the rails after he turned 30 and so we look back and think how good he might have been. But he was a wonderful even with all that went wrong. He still had more career WAR than Harold Baines.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 13, 2017 at 11:59 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, hall of fame, joe posnanski

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Posnanski—How Many More Years: Dale Murphy

So how many more good years would Dale Murphy have needed to convince those voters that he was a Hall of Famer? Well, one more good year would have pushed him well over 400 home runs; that is something that might have pushed a few more votes in his corner. But I think, if we’re being honest, I think Murphy’s best bet would have been FIVE hundred home runs. With 500 homers he would have been a first ballot, slam dunk Hall of Famer.

In 1990, when Murphy was traded from the Braves to Philadelphia, he was 34 years old. At the end of that season, he needed 122 homers. How likely was he to get that? Well, it would have been hard but not impossible; 38 players have done it. Dave Parker did it. Harold Baines did it. Dave Winfield, Fred McGriff, Graig Nettles, Eddie Murray, Carlton Fisk, and Brian Downing all did it. Murphy in his prime was as good as any of them.

And Murphy probably wouldn’t have needed 500 homers to be elected over time — 450 homers would have probably gotten the job done.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Ranking top 10 homer-stealing catches

When I was a kid—and maybe you used to do something like this, too—we would practice making home run-robbing catches. It wasn’t exactly authentic. The walls were chain-link fences, and they were probably no more than four-feet high. And these weren’t actual home runs we were saving but were, instead, thrown balls. The idea was to throw the ball high enough to clear the chain-link fence and potentially end up in the Zepkin’s yard (where it might end up in the Zepkin granary of lost baseballs) but low enough to be caught by a fantastic play.


——————-


What we found was that the key to an amazing home run saving catch is ... timing. I don’t mean timing on the fielder’s part, though that is certainly a part of it. No, I’m talking about overall timing. Everything has to be just right. The ball has to be hit at exactly the right launch angle. The fielder has to be in exactly the right position and get exactly the right kind of jump on the ball. A great home run catch is a perfect storm, precise clockwork. It’s a little miracle, really.

cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2017 at 03:40 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: homerun robbing catches, joe posnanski

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is 300-wins club done adding members?

JoePos clearly underestimates the drive of Rick Porcello. Next 300-game winner right there.

No one in baseball now threatens that magic 300 number. The active leader in victories is Bartolo Colon with 233, and while we would be the last people to ever underestimate Colon, no, he won’t win 300. After him is CC Sabathia with 223 wins. He’s just 36, but he has been trending down for a while now. Sabathia has a combined 18 victories his past three seasons.

After that, you drop to John Lackey with 176. He doesn’t have nearly enough time left. Then there’s Justin Verlander with 173. We will get back to him.

Point is, once again people are saying that 300-game winner is a dodo bird. And this time, they could be right, but perhaps not for the reasons usually given. Yes, there are pitch counts and, yes, starters go fewer innings and, yes, fewer pitchers win 20-plus games in a season than they did in, say, the 1970s.

But pitchers still could win 300.

It comes down to desire. Ambition. Zeal. If you look at history, most of the pitchers who won 300 games had not done it by the time they turned 40. Some of them, like Niekro and Johnson, were not even close to 300 wins after their age 40 season. They were still effective and they would not stop.

 

ajnrules Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:23 AM | 130 comment(s)
  Beats: 300 wins, joe posnanski, pitching, randy johnson

 

 

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