Todd Helton Newsbeat
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Didn’t James say he regrets the name, but we’re stuck with it now? If so, I think he’s right on both counts…
Bill—I ran a genuine tracer on a short story (about Joe DiMaggio) that appears in the current Penguin Classic books blog—just thought you’d like to know. Link is here: http://www.penguinusablog.com/john-oharas-bread-alone-from-a-sabremetric-perspective-by-steven-goldleaf/ It’s about one of the few stories in literature that is mostly set at Yankee Stadium from a black baseball fan’s perspective during the Depression, and I worked your word “sabremetrics” into the title of the blog piece.
We hear a lot about discrimination faced by black players in the aftermath of the color barrier, both from teammates and fans. While there was never any barrier against them, did other ethnic minorities face similar distaste from their teammates. Did Jewish Americans, Polish Americans, Italian Americans, etc face any problems in the clubhouse?
Jewish players certainly did. Polish and Italian players were subject to less invidious forms of discrimination, of which they were expected to be tolerant… LIFE Magazine wrote a famous article about DiMaggio early in his career which is replete with insulting cultural stereotypes, talking about DiMaggio greasing his hair, etc. But the discrimination that was directed at other groups, while we might look back on it and cringe, was not on a par with the level of discrimination directed at black athletes or at blacks in general.
Bill Todd Helton just got his 2500th hit. Is he a HOF to you?...
I think Helton is a Hall of Famer, yes. His numbers are so good that it’s disorienting. My son Reuben asked me this same question, and I told him a story I remember reading about Dick Stuart when I was maybe 14 years old. Stuart hit 66 home runs for Lincoln in the Western Association in 1956, didn’t make the majors for a couple of years after that. Stuart said that when some young player in the Pirate system would hit 35 homers and drive in 100 runs, the club would get all excited about him, but that when he hit 66 homers and drove in 158 runs, the numbers were so fantastic that they didn’t know what to do with them, so they just wrote them off.
That’s Helton; his numbers at his best are so fantastic that people don’t know what to do with them, so they just ignore them. But my interpretation of his numbers is that he is above the line.
Who would you rather have, Puig or Bryce Harper?
Not sure. To me, Puig is in a line marked by Vladimir Guerrero on the one end and Jeff Francoeur on the other. He’s certainly out-played Harper this year.
Is it cherrypicking to point out Ike Davis’s untapped potential in his excellent 2010 defense, and his excellent 2011 power and his excellent 2013 OBP, or do you think he’s just been able to be good at various parts of his game but putting them all together is just fantasy?... When he’s a free agent this off-season, are you clamoring to sign him at 3 Million?
It is cherry picking, yes. If you put together his lack of power one year, his strikeouts the next, his lack of speed in all seasons and a .218 batting average in his last 800-plus at bats. ... $3 million seems like a lot.
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