Some things literally never change

Like most things, stolen base totals have fluctuated through baseball’s history. Players from certain eras tend to show up in leaderboards, even if they weren’t any good; they just happened to be in “faster” eras than others. The American League, by skipping the nineteenth century, would seem to be exempt from some of this fluctuation, […]

Weird history: 1987 San Jose Bees

In doing research for the 2011 Annual’s trivia section, I came across this gem of a team: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/team.cgi?id=32072 One of the many unaffiliated teams that the low minors had in this era, the 1987 San Jose Bees had names but only scattered talent. It was a part Japanese farm team, part independent league, and part…well, […]

Kendrick v. Hawksworth and the Underwhelmonster

I attended the Cardinals-Phillies game last night and, thanks to getting home late, slow Internet, and a storm-based power outage, am finally commenting my random thoughts on it. It was an entertaining game — three convincing home runs with only one out separating them is great fun any time — but a few thoughts about […]

PIT-thagoras

I’ve wondered for awhile if, for expected record purposes, blowouts should have their runs capped. If any team has given us reason to consider this in more depth, it’s the Pirates. Right now, the Brewers and Pirates both are 13-16. The Brewers have scored and allowed the same amount of runs, while the Pirates have […]

Does this happen often?

I stumbled across this gem of a box score and had to share: http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1927/B08050WS11927.htm This is one where I’d really love to have the play-by-play. The thing that makes it odd is this: in the ten-run fourth inning for the Senators, Bennie Tate, pinch-hitting for Firpo Marberry, walked and was replaced at first by Lefty […]

The culture of debate

How much this entry has to do with baseball, I’m not sure yet, but it certainly relates. The more I observe, the more I conclude that for every passion in this world, there is a group that equates posturing and doctrinaire stances to purity within that passion, i.e. taking a hardline stance is the way […]

In the backwater swirling

As I was reading through old Baseball Digests on Google Books for an upcoming article series, I found this quote: “There’s an American League joke which has a gag line: ‘Switch to the National League and add five years to your career.’” Although it could describe modern baseball well enough, the quote is from May […]

Insert “no Angel” pun here

Giants wunderkind Angel Villalona turned himself in on a murder, according to sources out of the Dominican Republic. I may be forgetting somebody, but I can’t remember anything like this happening during a player’s career (thankfully, of course). Maybe we throw Ugueth Urbina into the mix, but his situation was far more complex than someone […]

Just ordinary swingmen

For obvious reasons, very few players start 17 games and relieve 23 others in a season; it’s happened 210 times. Yet this team had six of them, accounting for all but 42 of their starts and 26 of their relief appearances. Rogers Hornsby was managing these Browns, and they drew a franchise-low 80,000 fans for […]