Ladies and gentlemen, I give you … Eric Milton!
His starts now earn the Reds outfielders Frequent Flier miles … (as well as BenGay endorsements for their stiff necks watching balls sail into the stands).
Buzz Bissinger (Friday Night Lights) followed Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa around for a good portion of the 2003 season, and presents an in-depth look at a critical 3-game series against the Cubs during that August.
Each game’s critical moments are dissected and given a managerial review. Why would LaRussa keep his tiring pitcher in … why wouldn’t he pinch-hit in a certain situation? These type of decisions, literally hundreds in each game, show LaRussa to be an obsessive, extremely focused individual.
Bissinger is a very talented writer, and he is able to present the games in a colorful and exciting way. Occasionally, his prose gets a little too "cute" or "theatrical", but on the whole, he presents a side of the clubhouse and the team psyche rarely before seen in such detail.
I heartily recommend this …
"Streaking Rangers host slumping Royals"
"The Royals, who have dropped five of their last seven …"
Hmmm …. winning percentage before "slump": .289 (11W, 27L)
Winning percentage during "slump": .286 (2W, 5L)
Yup, playing .003 worse than your season-to-date average is a "slump". Better call a team meeting!
Following up on an earlier post, the Astros, Rockies and Devil Rays are continuing their quests for establishing a new record for futility in road games.
With results through 5/22:
Astros .095 (2-19): The most amazing thing??? They currently own the BEST home record in their division (13-9).
Devil Rays .143 (3-18): They too have managed to perform adequately at home (12-12).
Rockies .150 (3-17): At least these guys have a losing record at home also (10-11).
Worst road winning percentage (season) – since 1900
.167 — 1935 Boston Braves (13-65)
.169 — 1916 Philadelphia A’s (13-64)
.171 — 1945 Philadelphia A’s (13-63)
.195 — 1909 Washington Senators (15-62)
.197 — 1904 Washington Senators (15-61)
A. Cleveland, Kansas City and Oakland, respectively.
With approximately 1/4 of the season finished, these 3 clubs are chasing offensive ineptitude records rarely seen in the DH era:
First, Cleveland …. the last time they batted as low as their current .238 was in 1989 (.245). What makes this more astounding is that only last season, the team batted a robust .276.
Here are the worst team season batting averages in the DH era:
TEAM YR AVG
Toronto Blue Jays 1981 .226
California Angels 1976 .235
Oakland Athletics 1982 .236
Cleveland Indians 2005 .238
Baltimore Orioles 1988 .238
Highly doubtful they’ll catch the ’81 Jaywalkers, but still goes a-ways to explaining their rough start.
Next up, your OBP felons, the Kansas City Royals. To them, OBP apparently means "Only By Permission".
Once again, the worst team season OBP performances in the DH era:
TEAM YR OBP
Detroit Tigers 2003 .300
Detroit Tigers 2002 .300
NY Yankees 1990 .300
California Angels 1992 .301
Seattle Mariners 1983 .301
Detroit Tigers 1975 .301
Kansas City Royals 2005 .302
Oakland Athletics 1979 .302
Hmmm, who will finish the year with a higher OBP …. the Royals … or Jose Reyes?
Finally, the team that puts the "slug" in "Slugging Percentage", the Oakland Athletics.
Maybe there were other A’s (besides their former MVP first baseman) that gave up ‘roids?
One more time, the worst team season slugging percentage in the DH era:
TEAM YR SLG
California Angels 1975 .328
Toronto Blue Jays 1981 .330
Minnesota Twins 1981 .338
California Angels 1992 .338
Texas Rangers 1976 .341
Oakland Athletics 1979 .346
Boston Red Sox 1992 .347
California Angels 1973 .348
Chicago W Sox 1976 .349
Cleveland Indians 1991 .350
Oakland Athletics 2005 .350
Growing up a Yankee fan in the early 70s, Murcer was pretty much the only star on the roster, and so he was the one I rooted for the most. He had to try and replace a legend (Mickey Mantle), and of course, no one could do that. But Murcer played a solid center field, and was a consistent run-producer for those Ralph Houk-led teams.
Today, Murcer is a well-liked annoucer for the Yankees …
Happy Birthday Bobby!