Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher

Syndicate

National League Newsbeat

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

How They Got There: The 1990-1999 NL Cy Young Winners

Whether you’re assembling a fantasy baseball team or a real-life one, my number one rule is to never trust pitchers. Don’t trust that a pitcher will stay healthy. And even if they can avoid an extended stint on the Injured List, don’t trust a pitcher to put up numbers that resemble any previous season.

But even in the wildly unpredictable game of baseball, there is a very small group of starting pitchers who stand above the rest due to a rare combination of command, stuff, consistency, and durability. The winners of the Cy Young Award often come from this group of aces. Several have won the award multiple times. Twenty-one pitchers have accounted for more than half of the 118 Cy Young awards handed out since the honor was created in 1956 (Don Newcombe was the first recipient).

Back in 1981, a 19-year-old rookie named Fernando Valenzuela won the hearts of Cy Young voters after “Fernandomania” ran wild through the baseball world. But he’s the rare exception, an overnight sensation who won the award. The Cy Young typically goes to well-established stars with track records of success. Where they differ is the beginning of their paths and how it led them to their respective team.

Here’s a look back at how the NL Cy Young winners of the 1990s were acquired.

 

QLE Posted: April 22, 2020 at 01:16 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, cy young award, national league

Friday, April 10, 2020

How They Got There: The 1990-1999 NL MVPs

Where in the player ranks do MVPs come from? As unpredictable as baseball can be, this particular question has a very simple answer for the most part. If we go back through the years, there aren’t too many award winners whose origins deviate too much from a few common paths. MVPs largely are who we thought they were: established superstars, former top prospects, former first round draft picks. In some cases, all of the above are true.

But the stories of how those MVPs ended up with their particular teams can still be intriguing. Some were drafted by the team with which they won the award, including a few, like Bryce Harper and Joe Mauer, who were drafted first overall. Others were traded away only to find success (and some shiny hardware) on another squad.

Here’s a look back at how the NL MVPs of the 1990s were acquired.

...

Barry Bonds was just one several college baseball stars being considered for the first overall pick in the 1985 draft. Despite his obvious talent, there were some questions about his makeup — his reputation for being cantankerous didn’t begin when he arrived in the major leagues — which may have contributed to him slipping to the Pirates, who held the sixth pick in the draft.

QLE Posted: April 10, 2020 at 01:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mvp, national league

Monday, March 23, 2020

Vince Velasquez and why the NL shouldn’t adopt the DH rule

In general, I like to think of myself as a forward-thinking person. I wouldn’t use the word “hip,” but I don’t get stuck in my ways. I’m only in my early thirties, so get back to me in a decade and see if I’m still this way. I want to be a capable and up-to-date old person, sort of like a boomer right now who knows how to fix his own router.

That being said, the one way in which I’m retrograde is my lack of support for the DH rule. The pro-DH arguments are convincing and, I admit, rationally correct. However, I irrationally love watching pitchers hit and, in rare circumstances, play other positions. I believe I can blame Mitch Williams for this. The former Phillies closer delivered a walk-off single at 4:41 AM against the Padres back on July 2, 1993, ending the second game of a doubleheader at Veterans Stadium. As a young Phillies fan who had chronic insomnia and loved the heck out of baseball even back then, I watched the entire game, the memory of which was seared into my brain.

There were many other non-traditional performances from Phillies pitchers in the time since. Robert Person hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and nearly missed a third homer (another grand slam) against the Expos on June 2, 2002. Randy Wolf hit two homers against the Rockies on August 11, 2004. In Game 4 of the 2008 World Series against the Rays, Joe Blanton became the first pitcher since Ken Holtzman in 1974 to hit a homer in the Fall Classic. Don’t worry, I’m not going to stop listing examples.

Another great Phillies-related example was when starter Roy Oswalt played left field in a 16-inning loss to the Astros on August 24, 2010 because third base umpire Scott Barry picked a fight with Ryan Howard and ejected him. The Phillies had no bench players left, so Oswalt had to take the field. Naturally, the first ball in play went right to him, which he caught easily. The Citizens Bank Park crowd erupted in applause and Oswalt flashed a [crap]-eating grin. Oswalt came to bat with the potential to tie the game or even win the game in the bottom of the 16th. He made contact, but grounded out to end the game.

Well, now’s as good a time as any to reopen this can of worms…..

 

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitters, national league, vince velasquez

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Let’s Dole Out Some Twists of Fate, National League Edition

Black swan events are a defining feature of each baseball season. Like any good sport, the contours of the game elicit a comfortable and familiar warmth. But also like any good sport, the details that make up the fabric of a particular contest or campaign are essentially unpredictable. It’s the round ball, round bat game: Weird stuff happens all the time.

Once they happen though, unexpected events have a way of enmeshing themselves in the game’s broader narrative as if they were just another ad on the outfield wall. Our brains struggle to handle surprises, and so we rationalize them. For a time, it was very weird that Lucas Giolito suddenly looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball; by the time the Cy Young ballots were tallied, his breakout season was just another event from 2019, a feel-good moment and a developmental win but no longer a curiosity. Lucas Giolito is now good and we accept this for what it is.

But there’s so much more fun to be had with unexpected events. They’re worth celebrating on their own merits. In one form or another, they happen every day and to every team and we should remember the most notable of those surprises. More to the point, one of these is coming for your club in 2020. Like a birthday present waiting to be unwrapped, each team is just a month or so away from discovering something weird about itself. Today we’re going to use recent history as a guide to imagining what that will look like.

Below I’ve recounted the most unexpected thing that happened to each team from last year — with a twist. Instead of simply reflecting on what happened, I’ve assigned that very same outcome to a different, random team in 2020. For example, the Tampa Bay Rays saw their ace break a bone in an unfortunate shower accident. What would that look like if it happened to the Dodgers?

A consideration of the various fluke incidents which can occur during a season, and the effects that they have.

QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: narratives, national league, twists of fate

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(7376 - 8:41am, Jul 16)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-15-2020
(4 - 7:58am, Jul 16)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogIke at the Bat: Eisenhower's rumored baseball past
(8 - 7:23am, Jul 16)
Last: AndrewJ

NewsblogWashington Post opinion editor says Texas Rangers should drop their name because legendary lawmen they're named after are a 'cruel, racist force
(41 - 7:19am, Jul 16)
Last: TJ

NewsblogOT – NBA Revival Thread 2020
(569 - 4:37am, Jul 16)
Last: never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135

NewsblogPicking both 2020 MLB All-Star rosters -- even though there's no game
(9 - 4:14am, Jul 16)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogHow long will Trout reign as MLB's best player?
(6 - 4:02am, Jul 16)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogMcCarver opts out of Cardinals telecasts this season
(4 - 2:17am, Jul 16)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogYasiel Puig signs with Atlanta Braves
(28 - 11:15pm, Jul 15)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogThe Four Biggest Tactical Innovations We Could See This MLB Season
(3 - 9:36pm, Jul 15)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

NewsblogReport: Blue Jays Exploring Possibility of Home Games in Buffalo
(28 - 9:02pm, Jul 15)
Last: Jose Canusee

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Spring 2020
(458 - 8:56pm, Jul 15)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogBill James: Why We Need Runs Saved Against Zero
(196 - 8:05pm, Jul 15)
Last: Rally

NewsblogFormer MLB Pitcher Sergio Mitre Under Investigation for Rape, Murder of Two-Year-Old
(29 - 7:52pm, Jul 15)
Last: Zach

Hall of Merit2021 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(311 - 6:06pm, Jul 15)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

Page rendered in 1.0843 seconds
59 querie(s) executed